Traveling in India with kids is can be challenging, but rewarding. If you know the tricks, it’s more rewarding than challenging. I’m not a big fan of long distance trips and intense traveling with a child – my experience shows that everyday routine and sense of security is extremely important for kids. Being away from the usual surrounding, exposure to strangers and overdose of new impressions – all these can be rather stressful for a small one. However, it’s only my personal experience and things may vary from child to child. Besides, kids are very adaptable:)
Anyway, I prefer short one day journeys and these are a few lessons I’ve learned when traveling in India with kids.
1 Be ready to accommodate yourself at railway stations
Railway stations in India have very few places to sit. Needless to say, they are always occupied. Even if you arrive at a station close to your departure time, there is a chance you’ll have to spend a few hours waiting – trains are often late, especially in rainy season. If you don’t mind sitting on the floor like everyone else does, make sure to take a rag or a blanket to sit on – this way both you and your little one will have a chance to rest.
At the railway station
2. Beware of the cold attacks:)
If you travel by an AC bus or train, even in the hottest day make sure to take some warm clothes for your kid, preferably with a scarf and a hood. Usually they make it really cold – people paid for the AC and they want to get their money’s worth:)
Adriana is wearing her hoodie
3. Choose your destinations carefully
India has lots of interesting places to visit: temples, forts, museums, galleries, bazaars and so on. However, when traveling with kids one should consider their likes and comfort above anything else. Will your child enjoy exploring bas-reliefs of an ancient temple or sculpture in a rock cut cave? There are many “child friendly” destinations in the country you can offer your kids instead – parks, quiet villages, gardens, play areas, beaches, aquariums and what not. Places of natural beauty always work best for my kids.
Kids having fun
4. Slow down on serpentine roads
Traveling to the mountains by bus is not a good idea – they usually drive very fast in spite of all the curves and turns, and all this shaking can make a child sick. That’s why it’s more preferable to hire a car and ask your driver to take it easy. From time to time you can stop the car and get out for a few minutes – this will do your child good as well.
Taking a break
5. Be careful with street foods and beverages
Ideally speaking, avoid them completely when traveling with kids in India, no matter how tasty they are. Of course, the chances are that nothing will happen, but why take a risk? Here I actually took some precautions (no water, no ice) and gave Alexandra some sugar cane juice, but I shouldn’t have done that.
Alexandra is drinking sugar cane juice
Simple bottled water works best during the trips.
Alternatively, you can go for coconut water – it’s tasty as well as hygienic.
6. Prepare yourself to “share” your child:)
People in India are very friendly and they get even friendlier when you have a kid with you. Before you even say a word, you’re little one will be in someone’s arms, kissed, hugged and with his cheeks and nose pinched:) It’s a normal expression of affection towards someone else’s child here, and it took me time to get used to it:.
the parcel Alexandra
7. Sling or baby career is your best friend
Get ready to carry your child a lot – most of the places in the country are not suitable for strollers, and even city streets are no exception (no sidewalks, crowded sidewalks, broken roads and so on).
Get ready to carry your child a lot
Well, wishing you a lot of pleasant and trouble free journeys!