Traveling To Saudi Arabia for the First Time with Kids
When people plan to spend vacations with their kids, they need to be careful in picking up the right location that will be safe and enjoyable for all. Saudi Arabia is a great choice as a tourist destination where people can travel with their families, including children.
Why Travel Saudi Arabia?
Saudi Arabia is a safe country for tourists and there is hardly any case of crime reported that affected tourists negatively. It is also a heaven for food lovers, as plenty of mouth-watering non-vegetarian and vegetarian dishes, desserts, and refreshing drinks are available here. Mecca and Medina are the prime reasons for attracting pious Muslims to this country. There are also several places for sightseeing that tourists can enjoy with their kids.
How Much Does it Cost to Travel to Saudi Arabia with kids?
Though people generally think Saudi Arabia to be an expensive place for travel, there are several ways of maintaining an optimum budget while visiting this country. People can book rooms in budget hotels at an average $25 – 50 that means 100 – 150 SAR per day. They can have meals at a low cost of $4 – 6 i.e. 8 – 12 SAR per head. They can book cabs at a reasonable price for sightseeing with their kids.
Things to Pack for Kids Traveling to Saudi Arabia
Parents should pack suitable clothes for their kids while traveling to Saudi Arabia. If it is a summer tour, then light cotton clothes will be comfortable for children. Though adults are not allowed to wear short dresses here, kids can wear sleeveless shirts and shorts. For winter travel, parents should pack warm jackets, light sweaters, and scarves for their children. They should also carry comfortable sandals, sunscreen lotion or cream, and hats for their kids.
Best time to visit Saudi Arabia
The peak tourist season in Saudi Arabia is between October and March, as the weather remains pleasantly cool and dry at this time. Summer is usually avoided due to the scorching heat wave caused by the desert.
It Is Cheap to Get There
Several airlines operate cheap flights from various parts of the world to Saudi Arabia. However, flights become cheaper during the off-season, mainly during July and August. Air Arabia, Flynas, Air India, Flydubai, and Saudia are the airlines that offer the cheapest air tickets to Saudi Arabian international airports.
How to Reach Saudi Arabia
Tourists need to check the list of airlines offering flights for a specific route on their scheduled dates. They can get help from reputed online travel agencies, like the Almosafer flight list that features all the flights reaching various cities of Saudi Arabia. People need to obtain a visa and keep all valid documents ready before purchasing air tickets.
Where in Saudi Arabia is Safe to Travel?
Most of the Saudi Arabian cities, like Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam, Mecca, and Medina, are perfectly safe for foreign tourists. However, the areas along the borders with Iraq, Kuwait, and Yemen are generally avoided by tourists, due to the disturbances noted in those places.
How to Dress in Saudi Arabia
Both men and women are advised to keep the body well-covered while visiting Saudi Arabia. So tourists need to wear loosely fitted clothes to look modest as per the local rules. Women can wear long skirts, trousers, and long-sleeved tops or shirts, made of thick fabrics. Men can wear long or short-sleeved shirts or t-shirts, with trousers but not shorts or tight jeans.
Religious Respect in Saudi Arabia
Though Islam is the official religion in Saudi Arabia, all foreigners are free to practice their own religions. No one is forced to observe Muslim rituals here but they cannot preach their religions to local Muslims.
What can kids eat in Saudi Arabia?
Children love many local cuisines of Saudi Arabia, which include snacks like ring-shaped biscuits called Ka’ak and popular dumplings called Manthoo. They are also fond of traditional sweet dishes, like Hininy, Umm Ali, and Basbousa. Jallab is fruit syrup made from different kinds of local sweet fruits, which kids relish for a drink.
Cultural and educational things to do with kids in Saudi Arabia
Kids can be taken to Fakieh Aquarium in Jeddah, where they can watch and learn about various marine creatures, like seahorses, dolphins, sharks, and different species of fishes. Ushaiqer Heritage Village is a place where kids can see the lifestyle of people living in the 17th and 18th centuries in Saudi Arabia. A visit to Al Masmak Fort in Riyadh will provide them with historical knowledge about the kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Most popular attractions in Saudi Arabia
King Abdul-Aziz Historical Center is the National Museum of Saudi Arabia, which displays numerous sculptures, paintings, and antique items in 8 galleries. Jeddah Floating Mosque, Al Rahma Mosque, and Athr Gallery are the important tourist attractions in Jeddah. Dammam Corniche, Al Marjan Island, and Half Moon Bay are the places admired for their wonderful scenic beauty.
Outdoors kids activities in Saudi Arabia
Al Shallal Theme Park and Atallah Happy Land Amusement Park in Jeddah are two places where kids can enjoy numerous thrilling rides, along with an ice rink, bowling alley, and several food stalls for the entertainment of children. Tourists can take their kids for picnics in King Abdullah Park in Riyadh, which contains a play zone for children, a musical fountain, and cafes.
What Should I Avoid in Saudi Arabia?
Tourists should not carry alcoholic drinks while visiting Saudi Arabia and should not drink in public as well. Consumption of pork is strictly prohibited in this country as per Islamic rules. Tourists should not play loud music in public and cannot gamble, as both are punishable offenses. Adult men and women cannot display their affection for each other in public places.
Top Delicacies of Saudi Arabia
Kabsa is the national cuisine of Saudi Arabia, which is made of rice, meat, and several spices. Shawarma is a popular meat item while Falafel is the best delicacy for vegetarians. Saleeg is another tasty cuisine made of rice cooked in milk and served with chicken. Laban is a popular yogurt drink and Mutabbaq is folded pancake with stuffing, which cannot be missed by tourists.
Health & safety in Saudi Arabia
The government of Saudi Arabia takes care of the health and safety of foreign tourists visiting this country. All passengers need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and other infectious diseases before boarding the flights to Saudi Arabia. Crime rates are very low here except for a few petty thefts in crowded places. Tourists should take only mineral water or filtered water, and well-cooked foods, to avoid food and water-borne diseases.
Shopping with kids in Saudi Arabia
There are plenty of shopping malls in Riyadh and Jeddah, where kids can choose clothes, shoes, gadgets, and toys for themselves. Kingdom Center, Centria Mall, Granada Mall, and Al Nakheel Mall in Riyadh are popular shopping centers for kids and their parents. Jeddah International Shopping Center, Mall of Arabia, Red Sea Mall, and Al Salaam Mall are the places in Jeddah where kids love shopping.
Kids friendly hotels in Saudi Arabia
There are plenty of family resorts in all the major cities of Saudi Arabia, where people can expect their kids to enjoy their stay. These hotels have spacious rooms where parents can live with their children. Healthy foods are available for kids in these hotels and there are also play zones and swimming pools for the entertainment of children.
My Impressions of Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia has a friendly environment for tourists. And there are lots of facilities offered for foreigners visiting this country with their kids. People should read more information from the websites of reputed online travel agencies before planning their trips and traveling to Saudi Arabia.