We are a family of 4 with 2 young children (2 and 6). We arrive at Kochi on Dec 14 and leave from Chennai on Jan 3 in the very early morning which gives us 20 full days.
From reading throughout the forum we opted for traveling in a comfortable air-con minivan with driver. Here is the itinerary I have been thinking about. (We did a similar trip In Sri Lanka Last year and loved it!)
14 December: Arrival Kochin
15 December: Kochin
16 December: Kochin – Mararikulam (55kms / 1 ½ hrs)
17 December: Mararikulam – (½ day in Alleppey)
18 December: Mararikulam
19 December: Mararikulam – Periyar (150kms / 4hrs)
20 December: Periyar
21 December: Periyar
22 December: Periyar – Rajakkad ( 80kms / 3hrs)
23 December: Rajakkad
24 December: Rajakkad
25 December: Rajakkad – Chettinad (170kms / 4hrs)
26 December: Chettinad
27 December: Chettinad – Tanjore (100kms / 2hrs)
28 December 13: Tanjore
29 December 13: Tanjore – Pondicherry (230kms / 5hrs)
30 December 13: Pondicherry
31 December 13: Pondicherry – Mahabalipuram (100kms / 2hrs)
01 January 14: – Mahabalipuram
02 January 14: Mahabalipuram – Chennai (70kms / 1 ½ hrs)
I believe this itinerary would give us a broad and diverse experience of both Kerala and Tamil Nadu and yet we limit our moving to 7 times which already seems like a lot. We don´t want the holiday to be a race but at the same time we do not want to spend a whole day in the car. For the kids sake we are planning to stay in nice hotels with Air con and swimming-pools. I started searching for hotel on the net but most are full!
Should I be worried about room availabilities in those dates?
Any advice for Rajakkad at Xmas time?
Any advice for Pondy at New Year time?
What do you think about the itinerary?
Any recommendation? warning?
Any recommendation/advice regarding car/driver? (still need to find the great driver out there!)
All input is welcome!
Thanks a lot in advance for sharing your views :o)