Traveling with kids requires some planning that too in good measures to ensure worry-free trip. Well, as much as possible! If a smooth and stress-free trip is on your mind; then might as well not travel, because, with kids at tow, it’s not even remotely possible.
My travel genie granted me more than I wished for this year. During summer I found myself traveling to 7 different locations – Goa, Marari, Kumarakom, Krabi, Bangkok, Sepang and Kuala Lumpur, in that order. My kids (5 year and 1 year old) traveled with me. And voila! I survived! Was it exhausting? Bet, it was.
My bag is full of extra clothes, extra diapers, extra everything when I travel with kids. I carry crayons, story books, toys anything to keep my kids entertained. I also carry a bottle of water, snacks, wet tissues and sanitizer. No matter what the weather condition is at our destination, I carry one light jacket for the kids in my cabin bag.
My one year old has a special talent for pooping into his diaper every time I get into a shop to shop for myself. I repeat “myself.” Ask me about which place had a better diaper changing station, I know it. Ask me what to do if you don’t find a diaper changing station. I will tell you.
Traveling with my older one was a breeze as compared to my son. She has always been the calm, sweet and well-mannered kinds until my second one arrived. Now, she is dangerously trotting on uncharted waters, trying things she never did, adding more spice to the drama, my travel anyways unfolds.
On a lighter note my kids’ pediatrician had mentioned once, “People who have a girl child first, generally go for the second one thinking, managing toddlers is an easy job.” I relate to it. Bringing up my boy is such a different experience. I had to tell my little girl,” Sit here baby, don’t move.” and she would sweetly oblige. Leave my boy on the floor, blink a second and he’s gone. Now I know why people use leashes. I had seen a couple of them, during my 4 months of backpacking in Europe. Way back in 2009, I couldn’t understand why people would use leashes on their kids. How cruel it was etc, etc etc., Seven years hence, with two kids, the humble me understands and totally respects their decision.
Having said that, will I stop traveling with my kids till they are big enough to manage themselves? No.
To have your children experience various sights, smells, sounds and flavors is enriching. They might be too small to express their joys and queries, but it surely is getting stored somewhere in their memory bank and silently contributing towards their overall development.
While traveling with kids, one must get active as a family. Experience local cuisines, collect shells from the beach; visit the local museum, don’t worry if kids are too small to appreciate it, relax or play in a garden, do an outing to an amusement park, travel in a rickshaw, tuk-tuk, metro rail; explore places on foot. Do anything and everything. Idea is to give as much of varied experience to your kid.
We did a food trail on the streets of Bangkok. My kids have picked up both the unadventurous and adventurous foodie streak from me and my husband (respectively). My daughter refused to try the fried creepy crawlies which my better half devours. It’s too early to talk about my younger one though he is showing early signs of being food-adventurous. Will he turn into a hard core foodie like his father, time will tell.Traveling is fun. Traveling is information. Traveling is liberating. Hope my kids are equally passionate about traveling as I am.
Now that am back home to reality, I could do with an ultra-long spa treatment to release painful knots and aches, I earned carrying my son around, during my travels. Bwaaahhh!