All those concerns might keep you awake after the realization of the fact that now you couldn't stick to the 'happy- go- lucky couple' tag when the question falls on your vacation after having kids. Now you have required to serve the strict path of bundles of responsibilities and plethora of groundwork. Where some parents able to manage situations offhandedly while others scuffle with unneeded stress that won't empowered them to get spoiled in the relaxing wedge of the break which is the most required element for every member of the family. Why to slaughter down the thoughts of a free walk in earthy smelled moist air, to elude long hours of sun bath while lazing around any sea beach or why to skip those electrifying romantic kairotic moments just as you've elevated on one step ahead to the rank which is known as "PARENTS".
No, not at all. As a single or as a lovey-dovey childless couple, for obligation- free old age generation to all those watchful parents of affectionate children; precisely a serene vacation is the right for everyone. A bit of pre-planning and proceedings can squeeze down your strain that left you with maximal grip of memories of the trip without burning a hole in your pocket.
1) Keep an eye on airfare sale- Starting with the airfare booking, just keep an eye on the occasional sale of airfares usually that flash round the year by almost every airline in this era of market rivalry. Malleability by opening up the bracket of your travel dates and not anchoring your travel plans to one particular choice of month or on some specific choice of dates can equipped your kitty with some surprisingly discounted deals that you definitely want to grab without having any second thought and especially when you are travelling with extra head counts of family out in the world.
2) Slow down your exception- So now when you are leaving behind all those glorious passionate days of the dreamy world entitled "Just U & Me" and already entered the gate of parenthood, proximity between two diversified patterned travel plans is a mere foolishness either in terms of budget, itinerary, light/full fledged packing, alternatives of available food, stay priorities. Long travel days are hard on little ones so it's quite a requisite to break up your day. Start early when young ones are fully energized and their moods are on their high spirits. Include nap time, allow kids some requisite interval to stretch one's legs. That will assist you in eliminating chapters of their potential tantrums and mood swings of the day. As there is no thumb rule for anything so always be prepared to expect the unexpected.
3) Self designed Itinerary or pre-booking through travel houses- Not only you get meticulous comprehension of plethora of facts about tourism, airlines,hotels, family and what not in one pure task of self scheduling for forthcoming days of break but if you have a time crunch then there is no harm to get your vacations booked with any well founded travel agency. Almost every agency or travel company proffer assorted packages and deals, in India I preferably show credence on Yatra, Via.com, OYO Rooms.
4) Choose your destination - Every one has their own preferences and you just can't imposed yours on the matter of destination. Can't be biased you have to take fair judgement after shuffling everyone's recommendations. For any perfect outing there are many essential constituents to be considered before pausing over couple of names like budget, types of holiday (spiritual/beach/ mountains/ children's lovable Disneyland kind of/ adventurous/ relaxing/jungle safaris), distance, leaves approved, month of travelling, weather, health etc. but at last you are the boss so always think twice before finalizing.
5) Hotel/Homestay/Apartment- Hotel is a home away from home when someone sojourn and in that context a person must provided with utter comfort of home. Why not, if you are loosing cash for the services.
- Must choose hotel at the core of the city, close to local attraction or beaches that will reduce transportation time and money.
- What could you ask more if the place you staying have divine amenity: swimming pool, will prove good to make children busy and qualify you to catch little nap local attraction.
- Keep an eye on family deals, prior booking with them always cross check about extra bed, free meals for children, room configuration, laundry for longer vacation.
6) Don't stay down rightly dependent on mobiles or technology - With revamping time we humans develop adaptability in terms of being less social and trust more on technology that sooner or later ask us to regret on our decision. Nowadays we feel uneasy while consulting routes and ways from locals, accepting that GPS is a mind-boggling revolution for traveler that makes our life sailing-smooth but with my personal experience I would never advocate such reliability. Have faith on locals they can guide you with precise direction and guidance about the place on almost about everything. Just remind yourselves that you are on the foreign soil and they are the masters of their native land.
7) Have backup of emergency contacts and salient documents- As communicated, from contact details of your known to navigation to travel schedule to ticket print shots never store all piece of instruction at one place i.e your cell phone, it's just a machine that can ditch you at any time. Be bit backward, keep things handy, swap your hi-tech methods with earlier generation (parents/grandparents) where people prefer to carry everything in their suitcase; keep soft copies of your every possible documents. Share your identity proofs on mailbox like passport, residential address, evidences of your relationship with other family members so in case of any kind of emergency you have not to worry about.
8) or Neat packing is in demand- Who am I to advocate the perks of light packing required packing , its totally your call. But keeping in mind few points for packing essentials would be rewarding though any time you can purchase or take the facility on rent but there are places and time where you will not always find anything neither food nor medicine or baby products (On rent service-stroller, cribs, car seat) so make your decision accordingly.
- Wear your heaviest clothes while travelling that can give you extra room for luggage.
- Motivate your kids to pack their own essentials to teach them travel skills or ask their help while packing their stuff as feeling of assisting their parents/seniors makes them delighted.
- With a child you must have diapers, wet/dry wipes, hot water, milk powder, extra clothes, non perishable nutritious snacks. Who knows better than you about your young ones so the list can goes on or off as per the demand of the time.
- Always carry cotton buds to soothe ear pain while flying and extra plastic bags.
- Medicines for kids and senior citizen- Childhood and old age both of these are sensitive phase of life where extent of dependency on medicines is unpredictable. So ponder it accordingly, all the vaccination must be done, carry prescribed medication and carry all the major health reports. Carry general-aid box that cover basic medicines for cough, cold, fever, headache, vomiting, diarrhea, gastric indigestion, band aids and an antiseptic lotion. Check with your doctor if your senior family members are good enough to travel and what are the instructions and food they must avoid in journey.
- For all those lengthy waiting hours- carry puzzle games, coloring books, games,
- To keep kids busy in flights- Ear plugs, downloaded games, latest songs, cartoons, loaded movies or any other in flight entertainment and portable power bank.
9) Pamper your child- As calmest of children have a breaking point so instead of testing their patience in tedious long day of back-to-back hopping to sightseeing places without cheering them. Let them buy any present as a souvenir that will not only make them happy for that moment but also replenish their memories with pleasant experiences they had, every time when they play with it they feel more acquainted and interacted with the cultural side of the place they visited. Take it as an opportunity to expose them to newer civilization.
10) Plan in advance- Start fabricating the charm of vacation in the home no matter you travelling with kids or golden agers parents, convey them all affiliated attributes beforehand. That will help them in drafting a virtual plan of the whole trip well in advance. Avoid spontaneity, plan 3 to 6 months in advance coz every personality is unique and mostly people find inability for adaptation if not intimated earlier. Let them get excited, let them get familiar by involving them in the planning.
11) Jot down the events, keep a log- While swinging in the adrenaline rush of your exciting break take out some time in nights to outline your eventful days. A long gap and humans are prone to forget...so if you don't want to miss out with any significant detail and feelings that can be proved as noteworthy for you afterwards then penning down is a good habit.
12) Take care of yourself- Single or couple but as a leader you are attempting an appreciable work of comforting and imparting your family a memorable vacation. For me, travel is a luxury so do as a need and that what you are facilitating to them so in the meantime don't neglect yourself after all you are on the break too in the search of few moments for you. Create ME TIME.
13) Stay in touch with kith and kins- Agreeing that now your vacation mode is on and you don't want to get disturbed from the nonsense of the left behind society but then for the sake of your safety someone in this world must known about your daily status and slight knowledge of about next day plan. Promise, a small message or 2 mins phone call wont attack on tranquil vibes of your mental peace. They are family, they are well wishers, appreciate their sentiments.
14) Plan for Passport- Be ing the owner of the personality who love to maintain her paperwork prior to any requirement, I don't wait for the situation. It's been 3 years when I applied for Chiyu's passport at the age of two and still don't strike any international opportunity. Doesn't matter to me but there are people who tend to rush in last hour and generate chaos. There are many rules and conditions separately required for kids and passport validity is only for 5 years, you need to renew after every 5 years.
15) Hack for saving few pennies- What kind of traveler are you? If you focus on luxurious travel deal than worthy to disregard this point. But if you cataloged yourself as a backpacker or a budget traveler than you must avoid tourist traps, elude eateries and shops nearby any sightseeing place. Usually such place serve bad quality customary food at exorbitant charges by aiming tastes of tourists so it would be advantageous to direct your legs few meters away to savour local food at reasonable rates. Always carry snacks and water bottle to cut down the dependency at unpredictable time.Take along some peace of mind by opting for any travel insurance policy and shield your trip against losses
So after endless hours of planning and few hours of packing now you're ready to rule the world along with your family. As there is no sure shut safety gate and all these travel tips are based on my experiences so once again, trust your own judgement, accept the unexpected with open hearts and arms. Happy Travelling!!
Please suggest your inputs on the same, how do you prepare????
This post was originally published on The Flying Wayfarer.