Travelling with Baby & Toddlers (Keeping Sanity intact)

Comments 2 Standard

35963839_10156519083848799_2470394592281755648_n (1)

After our baby was born, itchy feet of ours could not wait any longer and we headed with Ayaan on his first 400 miles road trip to Wales when he was 6 weeks old. We did not stop after that!!

Travelling with a baby/toddler is piece of cake!! Shocked !! Don’t be, I am kidding.  Truth is it is not easy but it is not even the hardest task you will ever do. With prior planning and tricks to keep them busy & entertain will do the magic. And you will never have to think about taking a travel break.

Ayaan is turning 2 in next two weeks and he has already visited 8 countries. We want to raise him wild and free. We are lucky that he gets adapted to new places, weather & people quickly. He loves to smile, run around and explore.

We are no experts in travelling with little ones, but here is some tips & tricks we have learnt over the last 2 years of travelling with our little explorer.

Give your little ones enough breaks to unwind the built up energy on road trips

Give your baby enough breaks on those long road trips. If he/she is young and cannot sit or walk yet, carry a sheet and lie them on it to freely move their hands & legs 🙂 And if they are walking, let them be kids – Run like a wild cat [of course keep an eye for safety]

36064559_10156519083558799_7034140752686874624_n

IMG_3862

Air Travel – Let those wings fly

Give yourself a good time for security, check-ins etc. Their tantrums may kick in anytime. Most airports these days are equipped with kids-play area. So while he is busy playing, treat yourself with a warm cup of coffee. Believe me you will need the kick of that caffeine once aboard on a plane 🙂 If there isn’t one, let them do their sprints or laps near the boarding gate. You do not want to get on board with a superman/superwoman who is ready to conquer word like Now.

IMG_3694.JPG

Bring lots of snack.

A running around toddler means refuelling his energy meter from time to time. So carry a lot of snacks, We generally carry oat cakes, fruits bars, raisins, nuts to fulfill the sudden hunger pangs. A happy baby always equals to happy parent.

20031836_10155556163228799_6048034065824484165_n.jpg

Entertainment is another key for happiness

On a road, plane, train, hotel or a walk – your toddler will need entertainment. Now I do not mean handover your phone or ipad to them. Bring them but use them as a last resort. No judgement -there is nothing wrong in showing them a couple of ryhmes or a story to get that sanity back . Bring along his favourite book, cars, colours, stickers, any other small that your little one loves. On our recent trip, we carried a book of 5000 stickers and Ayaan couldn’t be much happier. Sing rhymes and read stories to them.

IMG_3810

IMG_3543

IMG_3548

Exploring the world

Baby/Toddler brain is an explorer in making and travel could be a perfect ingredient. Let them run around bare feet to feel the sand & grass, let them swim in the lake or play with water fountain. This is going to make them inquisitive, stronger and a better immunity. Be watchful but do not stop them from trying new things. We fall, we Get up & we Learn.

36064559_10156519083558799_7034140752686874624_n

19989547_10155556149798799_1128507772249879683_n

IMG_3842.JPG

Follow your little ones routine of sleep/food or forget the “normal”

Now this one is totally dependant on your style of parenting. We like to stick to our son’s sleep and food routine wherever possible.  With Ayaan, he gets cranky if he has not been fed or slept properly. So we plan out few things around his scedule and we have early nights in most of the time. Frankly we do not want to party anymore until midnight either 🙂

Invest in a good baby carrier

Buy a god quality baby carrier for those walks & hikes or even for a simple stroll. Life will be much easier and you both will enjoy your time outside as well. We have one from Osprey for long walks and another one from iangel that we generally use for in city walks.20106324_10155556163328799_7051360353528320295_n

Duty of care, but do not beat yourself up.

This is one of the most important bit and something that basically keeps us all away from the idea of travelling.

As a parent, we want our kid to be at the best of his behavior – no crying/tantrums,  tidiness, physical boundaries etc. But fact is kids are very unpredictable and you will not have necessary control on every reaction. If you do fall in a tantrum situation or a sudden cry, apologize to fellow passengers (non-guilty way) and try to settle down your kid. Never ever shout at them in public ( you do not want them to learn shouting is OK) Let them cry for a bit, diver their attention , those 5 minutes might feel like 5 hours. Help them learn about acceptable behavior & manners . Most of the people around you will be understanding and sympathetic , will pass a silent message of “It is OK”. But if you were not around those bunch of people, do not worry you did what you could.

Remember next time you are sitting close to parents with young kids, just give them a nodding smile making them believe that it is all OK 🙂

We know a lot of you are travelling, any advises for us to add to the list?

Advertisements

Recommended Travel Sites In India

Comment 1 Standard

As summers are approaching, everyone must be excited to plan the summer holiday itinerary. One of the main worry that comes to mind while planning for a holiday is to find a travel site with good travel deals and offers.

I have been contacted by Gayathri Pillai , who wanted me to publish an article for her to let all my readers know of the recommended sites to keep in mind while travelling in India. I am sure the below information will be good while planning your dream destinations across India.

Book Your Tickets Online & Travel More At Cheaper Price

Summer holidays are round the corner and I am quite sure most of you must be planning for a long vacation. It can be a fun-filled journey with friends to relieve yourself from the stressful office hours, or a relaxation time with your family as your kids must have done with their exams as well. Whatever it is, travelling makes you happy, relaxed and comfortable.

Imagine what if you get a chance to travel to your most favorite destination at the most cheapest price? It is sure to be a wow! There are plenty of online travel sites that help you in having the most luxurious and comfortable journey. Have a look at some of the top online travel sites that ensure that their customers get the best comfort while they travel.

Musafir

musafir-3

Musafir is one of the best online travel sites that caters all the travel needs of its customers in the most luxurious and comfort way. Right from booking your flight tickets (both domestic and International) to your accommodation at the most reasonable hotels, Musafir can be your ideal choice. They also help in deciding your holiday, making you pick the right choice for the kind of holiday you really want to have!

They have a wide choice from both Indian as well as International places. They are the best when it comes to Business travels. Look for Musafir Coupon Code if you are planning to book your journey for this summer vacation to avail great discounts in your expenses. Pay less for your tickets and shop more where you travel!

RedBus

redbus-1

RedBus is also yet another online travel site that helps you in getting your bus tickets at the most affordable rates. You can also book your hotels for accommodation along with your travel, thus ensuring a comfy journey.

RedBus is currently giving an exciting offer where you can book tickets for Volvo

or any other luxury buses for just Rs.99 for a journey to selected places from Ahmedabad. You can book your tickets till March 31and the journey will be valid till April 7. Look for RedBus Coupon Code for availing attractive discounts on your tickets. You can also look for RedBus offers and discounts for enjoying a luxurious travel at the cheapest price guaranteed.

Yatra

yatra-2

Alike Musafir and RedBus, Yatra is also one of the most trusted online travel sites in India that helps its needy travelers with the best and affordable travel facilities including booking tickets for flights, bus, trains, accommodation at reasonable hotels, planning the most reasonable holidays for you and lots more.

Look for Yatra Coupons, offers and deals for availing attractive discounts on your travel package. Now, you have many reasons to plan a wonderful journey. Book your tickets now and enjoy one of the most memorable journey in your life!

Budget Travel: Fort Williams & Isle of Skye

Comments 19 Standard

bg-traveltips-budget

 

Last month me & my hubby went for a 9 days trip to Highlands & Isle of Skye. It was one of those most awaited trips of the year, and being the summer season a hot favourite destination for many tourists and travellers like us. Being Scotland and famous for it’s weather, everyone wants to enjoy the sunny days and as the forecast changes people plan their holiday to this majestic land. Lodging becomes expensive, infact in many cases you will not be able to book one as the cheaper ones will be booked out a long time ago.

Travelling does not have to be expensive if you are flexible and plan well in advance. I will say planning Well in Advance adds more fun to your most awaiting trip. Of course we can always have unexpected expenses in our travel.

We had an awesome trip in Skye and fort williams with an expense of £250 per person that included our food, lodging in camps, travelling and sight seeing for 9 days. Hereby I am sharing with fellow readers my budget details for the trip.

PS: Our trip included more of hiking, walking and enjoying the serenity around. Our aim was to soak the beauty around and live in the nature. We camped in the beautiful valleys of Scotland.

How to get Around: There is public transport available, but it is not so frequent as population around Fort Williams and Isle of Skye is not very dense. It is a good idea to rent a car to get around these islands. I am not sure the cost of renting a car because we had our own so we had expenses only for fuel. We visited Fort Williams in Highlands and Glenbrittle, Aird of Sleat, Elgol, Dunvegan, Portree in Isle of Skye. Travelling from one place to another is not time consuming while on Isle. It is a small island, and it will not take more than 45 mins to go from one town to another.

Accommodation: One of the best part of camping in Scotland is that you can camp for free in various places. And Yes believe me you can camp in some of the most beautiful foothills, into the woodlands, near to a lake or may be in a field next to a quiet road. We wild camped in Isle of Skye for two days near the foothills of Black Cuillins. It was the most beautiful place I have stayed in during any trip. We stayed at two beautiful campsites:

Glen Nevis Holidays – You can not imagine a site better than this in fort williams, right at the foothills of Ben Nevis (Britains Highest Mountain). Ideal location for hikers or walkers. Clean toilets, washing area, bathrooms and a food cart shop in the site. Link- http://www.glen-nevis.co.uk/ – £10/night pp.

Glenbrittle Campsite – Another most beautiful site, I have never stayed in a campsite beautiful than this one. For those who are not willing for wild camping yet, this is an ideal site to get the taste of it. Link – http://www.dunvegancastle.com/content/?page=s20 – £8/night pp.

cam

camp

Food- After lodging the next big money saver is Food. For a camping trip or self catering trip, try to pack as much as you can back from home. You can always buy milk, bread or fruits from a local store. But most of the food you can pick up from your home itself instead of buying new packets for the trip. Believe me packing up spices, sugar, tea/coffee, jams, biscuits, energy bars, cereals, ready to eat food packets, snacks to nibble on, cling film or air tight packed for sandviches so that you can carry your lunch along with you as well. Read to eat packets will save you some money on stove fuel as well. So pack food according to your needs and carry it along.

Sight Seeings: We walked around to see places. For rainy days we kept some distillery and brewery, castles on the list as well. Well these are the places worth spending money on instead of an expensive hotel or a restaurant. I have already written my posts on various places I visited while in Scotland, please go through the Scotland page from drop down menu. Walk, Cycle or Drive – You have lots of place to explore and discover. I am going back to Highlands and Skye next summer.

Elgol Lake Shore

Elgol Lake Shore

10393935_10152590355743799_1665654655758597580_n

 

PLAN IN ADVANCE, summer is popular, lots of people want to go there, and everyone is planning same things, you would not want to miss anything from your list.

Budget Travel: Dalhousie

Comments 13 Standard

“When one is travelling, one must expect to spend a certain amount of money foolishly.” – Robertson Davies

One of my motto while travelling is to travel on budget. A certain amount of money should always be kept in buffer for emergencies and some unexpected things that comes along the way. In my last series of posts on Dalhousie, I did mention that we planned an economical back packing trip around beautiful hills of Himachal Pradesh. Here is the planning for my 5 days trip to Dalhousie with accommodation, restaurants, transport sight seeing. We visited Dalhousie during winters, but if you are planning in summer, I must tell you something : PLAN IN ADVANCE, summer is popular, lots of people want to go there, and everyone is planning same things, you would not want to miss anything from your list 🙂

How to get to Dalhousie – There are a lot of way to get to Dalhousie via car/self drive, bus, train or flight. We opted for train as it is the most cost-effective and convenient way to reach Dalhousie. Pathankot’s Chakki Bank railhead is the nearest railway station from Dalhousie. Once you reach Chakki Bank, you can take a local bus ride to Dalhousie. It is a frequent service. Note: Bus Service starts at 5am in the morning. So if you are arriving by early morning train, you can choose to sit in waiting room at station or take a taxi. For a 4 seater car taxi it might cost you INR 700 and for a 6 seater taxi it will cost you around INR 1400, depending on the car and the no. of people.

Accommodation – Dalhousie is very popular summer retreat hill station, so undoubtedly during peak season hotels & cottages prices are very high. Things are not that cheap during winter as well. So we decided to stay in a youth hostel at Banikhet, 10-12 kms from Dalhousie.A lovely hostel with nice big rooms, comfortable bed, clean toilets, and a lovely view of the hills around. They are also listed in YHAI (Youth Hostel Association of India), do not have website of their own so providing the details below:

YOUTH HOSTEL BANIKHET
C/O Hotel Sahara Inn, Dalhouse Hills,Banikhet – 176303 Himachal Pradesh.
Contact Person: Mr.Subash Sharma Phone:1899-254527; 9418010527 Email: saharainn.hotel@yahoo.com

The owners are very very helpful and good people, always ready to help. A Double bedroom will cost INR 1050 per night for 2-3 people, they have options for dormitory, standard bedroom as well.

Food/Restaurants: I love Indian food, and there are many options in Dalhousie and Banikhet. Since Dalhousie is a popular destination, once again the prices in the restaurants are high too. Some restaurants claim to be the best and oldest in town, but in actual food does not taste good. We were victim of such restro on our first day in Dalhousie. Hence we decided to give a try to a small vegetarian restaurant called ‘Vaishnav Dhaba- Pure Veg’ near to our hostel in Banikhet and that was our food joint for breakfast, dinner for next 5 days. Absolutely delicious and mouth watering food. Every meal per person will cost you around 60-70 INR. It is opposite to Banikhet bus station.

Transport for Visiting Places: You absolutely do not need taxi to see places around dalhousie, unless very necessary. You want to save some money, get up a bit early and board on a local bus to various places like Dalhousie, Khajjiar, Kalatop,Lakkar Mandi. A bus ticket will cost between 10-40 INR per journey. It is very cheap as comparable to taxi which will cost you per journey around INR 1500 and above. Since it is a hill station with a low population, you might not find frequent service. You will have to morning buses and return by 6 or 7PM as life takes a halt in evening time on hills.

Places to Visit: I have already written posts on each visit of mine. Please browse through all Dalhousie posts from drop down menu to get more details.

As always do let me know if you are looking for further information. I will be glad to help you in planning.

A checklist for a Day Hike

Comments 12 Standard

 

What to Pack!!!???

What to Pack!!!???

As you start to explore places around you, the excitement and love for walking keeps on increasing. Over the years from a walk in the park, it changes to a passion for walking into villages, coastline walks, mountaineering and hiking.

Out of personal experience I thought of coming up with a checklist for day hike essentials to help myself in future and my fellow reader and hiking lovers.

So how to prepare yourself for a Hike:
1. A good walking Boots – Without a doubt it is a must. Make sure it fits you properly and is light weight. Remember on a long hike pushing yourself to hike with a heavy boots will bring in tears. Never a trainer,flip flop or heels. (Believe me I have seen people coming for hikes in those, No idea if they ever completed it)
2. Walking trouser– A cotton walking trouser that will allow easy movement up and down the hills. Those fancy jeans will not help you and your legs will plead you for some oxygen.
3.Waterproofs– A pair of trouser and jacket.
4.Warm Clothing– Fleece,Caps,Gloves. If you hiking a mountain or a costal hike, weather cant be trusted.
5.Water Bottle– A must even if it is a short distance hike.Keep some water purifier tablets in case you have to drink water from a stream. You will not fancy anything more than water while on a hike. You can also keep instant energy mix that can be added to water bottle.
6.Food– A packet of sandwich and a mixed nuts packet. Nuts will give you instant energy when you are tired.
7.Map,compass,torch and whistle
8. First aid kit.
9. Sun glasses, sunscreen and a Cap.
10. Walking pole– only if you think it is necessary.

Carry a phone and contacts of emergency services, just in case you find yourself seeking for help.

Ofcourse I know you are taking camera along with you 🙂

Pack everything in a waterproof and breathable backpack and Get Set GO.

A CheckList for Camping

Comments 10 Standard

lucy253x221

Can you relate to this picture? 🙂 🙂 Manytimes I have found myself searching over internet- essential things to pack on a camping trip. The reason because many times I forgot to pack few essentials  while going away for a trip and ended up spending extra pound on buying those.

Preparing for your first camping trip can be overwhelming for camping beginners. With a 100 questions in mind this exciting adventure into the great outdoors can be converted into more trouble than it is worth.

To save myself, I thought of coming up with a checklist for camping essentials and share it with all the camping lovers.

1.A good sleeping bag – Buy a good one, may be initial investment sounds a lot. But it will save you from having to change your bag every year due to wear & tear. Mine is a 3-season sleeping bag, keeps me cozy even on much colder and rainy nights.
2. A strong tent– Now you can make choice of a tent depending upon the number of people you will be staying with. But make sure it is water proof and have a high wind resistance. The last thing you want to do on a windy or rainy night is tightening the tent ropes or getting soaked inside. I have a 2men tunnel tent that keeps me protected.
3. Extra ground sheet It is a good idea to have an extra ground sheet on top of which you will put up your tent. It gives an extra layer of water proofing and insulation. It will also keep the base of your tent clean and prevent from any wear & tear.
4.Sleeping Mats- Mats that comes with insulation or reflector on the base. Believe me it will intact the heat and will not let the moisture from the ground getting into your sleeping bags.
5.Wellington Boots: Some campsites can get really muddy if it starts raining and these boots will help you keep those feet clean and warm.
6.Light- A night lamp, torch, head lamp, candle stand and candles.
7. Toiletries Bag- Shower gel,shampoo,soap,tooth brush, tooth paste,face wash,body lotion, sunscreen lotion,toilet rolls.
8. If you are planning to cook- portable gas stove, extra cyclinders, saucer pans, spatulas, plates, spoons, forks,knives,bowls,glasses,scissor,bottle opener,cork,tissues. Utensil wash gel,scrub.
9. To wear -Waterproofs, fleece, thermals, caps, gloves for those much colder nights.
10. First aid kit- plasters, pain spray, pain killers like paracetamols, antiseptic lotion, bandages.

IMP- Never dirty the campsite, keep it clean. Always carry extra bin bags to collect your waste and dispose it into designated bins.

If you know you will be spending most of the time at campsite, do not forget to get chair and a small table. Believe me it will be very useful.

If campfire and bbq is allowed, make sure to carry a portable bbq, lighting matches, fire paper.

While packing keep an umbrella handy, just in case as soon as you arrive it starts to rain 🙂

Please feel free to add anything else that I might have missed to the list by adding your comments :):)

I hope it will be a useful checklist. Happy Camping 🙂

cool-camping-ideas