Last week over tea, some colleagues started talking about how they have been unable to go for vacations ever since they had kids some of their kids are two years old now. The discussion quickly turned into a debate with people vociferously defending both ends of the spectrum. While some colleagues had started going out on vacations when their kids were just a few months old, others were still waiting for the kids to grow up to a more "manageable" age (though the definition of "manageable" was different for everyone).
I have a little nephew and a neice and both have been travelling since they were babies. One cannot deny that there are challenges when it comes to taking young kids on long travels. One may get stuck at a place without basic amneties. Kids may fall sick. They may be cranky and moody. They may not enjoy the road trip at all. If you start thinking about things that can go wrong, the list will be endless, so I can empathize with parents who keep postponing travel. However, the question is what is a good age to start travelling. A lot of it depends upon how comfortable parents themselves feel, irrespective of the age of the child.
If you belong to the set of parents who are contemplating taking your child on his/her first vacation ever, there are some things you can do to make yourself feel at ease and to ensure that you as well as your child have a comfortable trip:
1) Talk to people who take regularly take their baby/toddler on vacations
I don't think this point needs much explanation. People who have been there and done that and then done that all over again can obviously give you tips to prepare well. They can not only give you advice, they can also talk about the mistakes they made so that you can avoid making the same. There's no better teacher than experience.
2) Think of everything, make lists
If you are taking your baby out for the first time, you cannot be more careful. Start preparing days before the actual travel. List down everything your baby needs during the day. Talk to the pediatrician and prepare a first aid/basic medication kit. While packing, ensure that you pack for at least one extra day.
3) Don't be too adventurous
If this is the first time you are taking your baby out, play safe. Choose a place that is not too remote and has a market and medical facilities. Book your travel and hotel beforehand. Don't leave anything for the last moment.
4) Ensure that the place is suitable for kids
Speak to the hotel before making a booking. Ensure that they can provide milk/food/hot water for your baby any time you need. It may be better to opt for a proper hotel for the first time, instead of a homestay.
5) Travel with other families
Preferably the one you consulted with in point 1. This way you will have experienced travellers with you and your child too will have company. You will have support in case any unforeseen circumstances arise.
And now that it is getting too hot to stay in the plains, you will probably want to take your baby to a hill station. You may get some ideas from our list of 30+ Hill stations in Himachal Pradesh to beat the heat.
For those who are adventurous and are traveling without kids, the following post can probably be an inspiration: Trek to Malana from Kasol
There are folks who are doing amazing work even as they travel. Check out this wonderful initiative:
However, if you are unable to travel too far and still want to experience new things, there's plenty to do in Delhi/NCR too. Following are some of our recent experiences. For more inspiration, you can do a search on our blog.
Or you could simply explore some malls and new restaurants. Here's the outlet we reviewed this month - Mamagoto in the Mall of India, Noida.
And while we are talking about reviews, here's our opinion on various other things:
We need to thank our guest writers too. They went where we could not go, and brought us beautiful photo journey's from their travels. Check out their posts:
We conclude this month's digest with a post that will keep inspiring us for long. Some projects are more special than the others, and this one indeed is one of those. This month in our inspiration corner -- Incredible India Project by Dinesh Khanna
If you liked this post and found it helpful, I would request you to follow these things when traveling -
- Manage your waste well and don’t litter
- Use dustbins. Tell us if you went to a place and found it hard to locate a dustbin.
- Avoid bottle waters in hills. Usually you get clean water in hills and water bottles create lot of mess in our ecosystem.
- Say big no to plastic and avoid those unhealthy snacks packed in plastic bags. Rather buy fruits.
- Don't play loud blaring music in forests of jungle camps. You are a guest in that ecosystem and disturbing the locals (humans and animals) is not polite