5 Tips For Travelling With Your Kids In India
India is a beautiful country and it is fun to explore it with kids. Here are some tips to make your experience better
The most vivid memories I have of my childhood are those of visiting new places. My parents have a strong wanderlust, and they made me one. Both my grandparents lived nearby, so there was no question of going to a ‘native place’ during vacations. Added to the fact, my dad worked for an airline. So most of the summers were spent exploring India. The variation in the climate, languages, food, folklore combined with the uniformity in the helpfulness of people is stunning!
I strongly believe that parents should start exploring India as soon as they can safely travel with their kids. That said, the infrastructure is not the most child-friendly, and you seldom see family restrooms and changing rooms at even busy places. However, this should not stop you from exploring the beautiful country. These are the five tips I would give to parents who want to travel with children.
#1 Plan well
Route: Plan the trips well. Make particular note of the route and educate your partner and the kids about it. If they can, they should know the places you are going. Don’t plan to cover too many places in a day. Anticipate minor illnesses and delays.
Use a diary instead of relying on your phone as you do not get many opportunities to charge your phones.
Communication: Carry some power banks and extra batteries. It pays to carry your old feature phone that lasts 2-3 days without charging.
Clothes: Pack for the journey, not just the destination. Overnight journeys in trains and buses may tend to get cold. Always carry an extra shawl for the kids. Needless to say, pack some extra clothes as kids regard them with a certain amount of casualness and may end up soiling them.
ICE: Make a list of the hospitals, pharmacies and local taxi companies where you are going.
Food: You may want to carry some dry food, just in case you do not get enough food on the way.
Entertainment: You may want to pack some games to play on the way. Kids need a lot of entertainment, and the battery of your devices may not last long enough.
Read on for more tips
#2 Choose a comfortable mode of transport
If you are not using a car, my suggestion is to use a train over a bus wherever possible. Trains provide access to toilets, areas to roam around and most importantly, place to sleep flat on the back. A well-rested kid would be much more excited about the destination than a tired one.
If you are flying, reach the airport early. Running around with kids is a pain. You can use the car seat in case you purchase a seat for your kid. The car seat provides a familiar environment for the kids.
Opt for weekdays to travel. The chance of getting a window for each kid will increase in a lightly crowded flight.
#3 Prepare for minor ailments
Even though you may purchase bottled water and eat at excellent places, the changes in the weather would cause some minor ailments. This should not discourage you. My brother would fall ill wherever we used to go. However, he would bounce back to his normal self in a day or two. Also, it seems that gravity loves kids, and they tend to fall a lot!
Start giving them dahi or any other probiotics two weeks before the journey. This will improve their intestinal bacteria and reduce the chances of them falling ill.
Carry some medicines for motion sickness, fever, an antiseptic cream, some digestive enzymes, and a travel thermometer.
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#4 Tag your kids
This is probably the most important part of your journey. The kids need to have your name, contact number and address on them when you travel. The easiest way to do so is to write it with a pen on their hand and to apply a clear cellophane tape over it. Alternately, you can always keep a waterproof card with these details in their pocket.
There are some good child locators available, and they alert you if you separate from the kid, or if he falls. Some also have a two-way communication system, just in case you need it.
#5 Empower your child to capture the journey
This is not a safety tip, but it would make the trip more memorable. Invest in a robust camera and teach your child to click photos. Give them a travel journal and ask them to write down their experiences daily.
Travelling provides your kid with an experience, unlike any classroom lecture. It broadens horizons and deepens perspectives. A little planning would help you make the most out of the journey.
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