Thursday, December 18, 2014

Travel a Little More with your Little Ones

Orange. Orange; Apple. Orange;Apple;Banana. Orange;Apple;Banana;Pear.
I am sure the above string of words must have transported you back to your childhood days. We all know THE GREAT MEMORY GAME. Then there was ATLAS.

These games hold special importance in my life since they remind me of the trips I made with my family as a child. And it is not just me, my mom too always rejoices when she reminisces about those trips.
It was a wonderful idea because these were not any silly games but great learning experiences.

My dear mother, who must be sneezing as I write this, always makes sure to express how we as kids added a different dimension to the trip. And I agree with her.

The fact is that when a couple goes for a vacation, the nature of activities is very different. It is usually like another honeymoon. They make impromptu plans; some work, some don’t. However, when one has kids in the rear seat they have to be a little cautious, a little more planned and a little more organised. Now that’s not bad news! Believe me; with the little ones the trip takes a whole new shape. 

Let me ask each one of you that how many times as adults do you enter a video game shop when you visit the mall road at a hill station? The honest answer is few. You are more concerned about that antique shop selling wooden products or shops selling embroidered woollens. But with children around us, we adults also turn into kids. We enjoy playing video games with them. Their effervescent energy rubs off on us. Their curiosity also makes us wonder. They help us get in touch with our deeper selves. They often push us to try things we haven’t tried earlier.

Had my parents stayed alone at a resort, they would have enjoyed a swim or had got their muscles relaxed at a spa, but with us around they tried things differently. They still enjoyed the pool but not taking laps, instead helping us float our ways through. They got a chance to get in touch with their own childhood by playing a game of cricket/badminton or by simply riding a bicycle.

I have a sweet memory from this trip we made to Shimla. While we went sightseeing for two days the third day we chose to stay at the hotel and enjoyed playing games with our parents. My mom had carried scrabble, then there was another fun game where we had to aim the balls at the basket. The expression of happiness that my dad had when he lost a game to my brother on that trip still makes me smile.
Like my mother says “Planning a trip with your children is not rocket science”.

There are just a few simple tips that one has to follow to make a family trip more organised and fun to be remembered. And I got these from my mom before you start thinking that I am too smart to give you a piece of advice without having kids of my own.  

Planning: Now this is an essential tip for any trip you make. Plan it. In case of family trip, plan not just the itinerary but also what all you will need. Make a list of it.

Involvement: Involve the children in everything, from planning the trip to sightseeing and other activities. 

Tuck: This is a slang we used for food that we carried for our school trips. Hunger has immense power to make a saint like person turn into a devil. ALWAYS carry some food while travelling. You can carry some crackers or cookies. Homemade food is a healthy option. You can make parantha (Indian bread) rolls and fold them into aluminium foil, wrapping them like a toffee to make them interesting for the kids.

First-Aid Kit: This is an essential when you have kids with you. Also include an anti-bug ointment in this.

Games and Books: Carry the games your kids love to play or buy one especially for a trip. Reading is a habit to be instilled from early childhood. I developed a knack for reading because my mom always encouraged us to read and bought us interesting books. Carry a few comics or books that interest your children. For the tech savvy kids you can download a drawing app or a book on kindle.

Encourage them to jot down their experience: This is a wonderful idea. My mom encouraged us to write down about our trip experiences. She specially got us (me, my sister and brother) beautiful diaries to put down our thoughts.

If you have a toddler then baby wipes and extra changes are a must to carry. 

I am not a mother yet, but in the near future I do plan on walking in my mother’s footsteps when it comes to travelling with kids.  

Hope this post helps you while planning your next trip with your loved ones. If you have tips that can contribute to this post and help parents do share them.

A happy child makes a happy trip.

Happy Travelling!

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