Continuing the ‘Travelling with a Toddler’ series, here is the concluding part on Sightseeing and everything else you need to know.
Most developed countries have decent footpaths and walkways, so it is a great idea to carry a pram (stroller) while you sightsee. It is very likely that you will be out for long hours, and your baby may be able to sleep in it. A good quality stroller that has a good suspension system for bad roads and one that reclines fully and half way for her to sleep comfortably is an absolute must.
You are going on a vacation with your kid. Don’t just visit museums and churches that she understands little of and will be impatient to leave! Also take her to the nearby park, the beach or wherever else she would enjoy too! Ask the tourism office for kid-friendly places and they will tell you a host of places. We took SSS to little parks in the neighborhood wherever we were, lounged around in open squares where she enjoyed playing and gave her space and time to enjoy her vacation too!
- The most important of them all – Go slow! If there are ten things you need to see in 2 days, rest assured you will be able to do only 4 or 5! Either extend your trip or prioritize the places you want to see. Between your baby’s nap times, food times, play time and tired time, you certainly won’t be able to see it all! You can also consider splitting a few places with your travel partner such as climbing 400 steps of a cathedral where it may not be a great idea to take her. Let him see what interests him while you look after the baby and you see what you like while he takes care of her. And..we took her up those 300 odd steps in St Peter’s Basilica and I don’t know how I made it!
- First aid/Medicines – Talk to your pediatrician and find out what medicines you should carry if required in a foreign country. Also carry the receipts for these if they are required in customs.
- Pack light – It is highly probably that your kid’s bag is heavier than your own with extra clothes, toys and diapers! You need to compensate by packing light for your own baggage!
- Buy at your destination – Don’t pack what you can buy at your destination. Such as extra diapers apart from those you will require while travelling and for a day more, certain food stuff etc.
- Time zone changes – For a substantial difference in time zones you will have to give her two-three days to adjust to a new timezone. Manage your schedule accordingly.
I hope this series was helpful if you are planning to travel with a kid. Although, as someone said, it may scare others into not travelling with a baby! Happy Travelling!
Do check out my other two articles on Travelling with a Toddler –
1. Travelling with a Toddler – Travel
2. Travelling with a Toddler – Food and Accomodation
Continued from my previous blog on Travelling with a Toddler – Part 1 where I talk about how to travel/commute with a toddler.
Coming on to the next important thing is food. You may be giving your baby only homecooked meals and don’t want to subject her delicate tummy to restaurant food everyday. Can you do that on a trip out? Yes!,To a certain extent you can. It is simple. Don’t book hotel stays. Book home stays with kitchen facilities! That is what we did and I could give atleast 1-2 home cooked meals before our tour and after our tour ended for the evening to SSS.
If you are travelling internationally, you may want to carry a few basic ingredients from home that may not be available where you are travelling and even small cooking vessels if they are not readily available. I carried a small pressure cooker which we used for her food for all our stay, some wheat flour for rotis and Indian spices. You can visit a local super market and buy a few basic vegetables, and plenty of fruits too. This is when it is not a bad idea to use all those yummy baby food jars that are available in the market. Also carry baby cereal that can be instantly made with hot water. I carried a couple of Cerelac flavors.
Milk: Carry formula milk or breast-feed if you are staying at a hotel. If you have a kitchen or a microwave, you could even buy milk from a super market if that is what she drinks. While you are out and it is time for her milk, the easiest way is to pop into a coffee shop and ask for a glass of warm milk for the baby. It is that simple!
Lastly, don’t overdo the home cooked food! You are on a vacation and so is she! Let her enjoy some cheesy pasta and pizza too! And a little Gelato or those candies won’t hurt either!
Candy in Italy
Food and accommodation go hand- in-hand, since I have recommended you stay at home-stays with kitchen facilities. However, the kind of place you stay at is important too. If you would like to stay in a full fledged hotel instead of a home-stay, then you need to make sure it is kid-friendly. We booked most of our stay through airbnb.com for fabulous home-stays where we had the whole apartment to ourselves in lovely neighborhoods.
- Make sure that the hotel staff can cook baby meals for your baby and will sterilize any milk-bottles you may need.
- Ensure that the hotel is clean.
- You don’t want to tire out your child with excessive travelling, and may want to explore options that are nearest to your sight-seeing places so you can hop down quickly for her to have a peaceful nap.
- Kid facilities such as a swimming pool, small garden and a place with activities for kids will be nice too!
Do read my other two articles on Travelling with a Toddler –
1. Travelling with a Toddler – Travel
2. Travelling with a Toddler – Sightseeing