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Trekking in Nepal with kids.

A trip to Nepal is a memorable experience for kids of any age, and it's also guaranteed to enhance your own experience. The mere presence of children bridges cultures. Nepalese have seen travelers galore, but meeting entire families is a rarity, and it reinforces the fact that you're just like them. Nepal is an extremely child-friendly place; men and women both are experts at cuddling and playing with kids, and you'll never receive any icy glare upon bringing children into a restaurant-on the country, the staff will be delighted.

Involving kids in the trip from the beginning will help maintain their interest. Study up on Nepal beforehand together, and let them take part in the planning. Older children can keep a journal, complete with photos, and learn a few Nepali phrases, Give them Rs.100 and let them shop in the bazaar for hair tassels, bead necklaces, khukri, or bananas.

Trekking is eminently do-able with children, as long as the schedule and route are appropriate. Don't expect kids to walk too fast or far, and allow some non-hiking playtime in the daily schedule. Younger children can be carried in a specially designed dokko, which allows them to nap comfortably; an attached umbrella will provide shade. Many families prefer trekking through a company in order to get the relative privacy of tents. Others are happy with teahouse (local lodge) trekking on the more comfortable trails. North of Pokhara is a great choice for a short trip; try Dhampus, Ghandruk, Poon Hill and Birethanti.

Altitude is a major consideration in trekking with children, particularly with infants, who can't tell you when they're feeling bad. General advice is to stay below 3, 050 meters with infant; with older children don't count on going above 4,000 meters unless they appear to be doing exceptionally well.

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