Are you planning to tour India with children? Contrary to what you may have been told, it is fun and exciting to travel with kids in India. With so many colors and interesting flavors and sights, your kids are sure to have lots of fun. All it needs is a bit of homework, like you would normally do if you were going on a tour in any part of the world. Indians are often a family oriented lot so you will find them warm and friendly with your kids.
Here is a look at some factors to keep in mind if you are planning a kids-friendly vacation in India.
Research the amenities
Depending on how old the child is, you may need to look into the amenities aspect at every stage. Very small children who stay in their cots need extra care. In India, kids below 2 years get to travel at 10% of the adult airfare and below 12 years of age it’s half the price of a grown-up’s ticket. So, you can save considerably on airfares if you plan to do different cities on one Indian trip. Indian restaurants usually do not have high chairs, so you can pack a portable high chair to enjoy fuss-free mealtimes if you are eating out in India. In hotels, kids below 12 years of age stay free of cost with adults in a room.
Updated medical protection
India is often hot, dusty and very crowded so it’s quite easy for kids to fall ill. Make sure your kids have all their immunizations updated and take the advice of your doctor before coming to India. If special immunizations are recommended by the doctor for rabies, get those completed before flying out to
A common ailment many small kids suffer in their first few days in the country is diarrhea. Boil and sterilize all the water and use it to disinfect bowls and spoons if you have an infant with you. Most decent hotels will have kettles but you can consider bringing your own travel or mini kettle.
If you travel with kids, always pack a portable medical kit with basics like band-aids, thermometers and fever medications from your own country. In addition, carry some medicines for diarrhea. It is also a good idea to prepare a rehydration therapy. Diarrhea and other stomach infections cause a lot of water to drain out of the system and oral hydration solutions like ORS (Oral Rehydration Solution) made of salt, sugar and water, fed at regular intervals to the child can compensate for this loss. In case emergency medical treatment is needed, your hotel can usually recommend a nearby hospital or call a doctor for you. Alternatively, wherever you are travelling, list some local hospital names and phone numbers for safe-keeping when you reach your destination. Make sure you buy travel insurance and keep their emergency numbers at hand so that if you do need it, you can call them quickly.
For those not used to very big crowds, the cluttered roads in Indian cities and towns can be quite a shock. People going in every direction, the frequent absence of pedestrian-friendly spaces and a free-for-all attitude on the streets can be discomfiting for a small child. Pack light and avoid strollers as you usually don’t have space for them on crowded roads. Instead, opt for back-packs which have child-carrier provisions. These backpacks also work great if you are going on light treks or planning hikes.
One of the strangest elements of a foreign culture for small kids is the food. If the child is very small, you should bring your own baby food that you can either carry with you as you travel. With older kids, the spicy Indian food may be too difficult to digest. Hotels often entertain special requests for the basics like boiled rice and veggies and pulses which are all great nutritious items that are of low-spice and easy on small tummies.
Your kids may often be the focus of excitement and attention on Indian roads and you may find inquisitive and friendly locals, eager to chat to your child. There may even be requests to click photos of your children. If you are uncomfortable with this attention, it is okay to indicate this with a shake of the head and walk on. It is also a good idea to explain to kids that strangers may approach them in India, and it’s nothing to worry about but they should not take anything from them. This is not unusual as Indians often enjoy interacting with small kids. But your child must understand not to take anything from a stranger and definitely not eat anything a stranger gives.
Keep an eye on them
As previously mentioned, India is a big country with a lot of people. The roads can be crowded so you must keep an eye on your children all the time. Hold their hands when on the streets and do not let them wander off. Sadly abductions of children do happen hence you must make sure that your children are never out of your site at any time.
Give them a camera
Why not give them a camera. You can buy a cheap digital camera and you never know what pictures they might take. This way, they will not get bored and bother you to go back to the hotel.
Give them the hotel details
If your child is old enough to remember things than make sure they know which hotel and area they are staying in. Alternatively, you can write your name, address, contact details and the name of the hotel and put it in their pocket. If they did get lost, at least the police will be able to call you or the hotel.