Traveling always excites me and now I can see the same excitement in my 5-year-old son. The year 2020 kept all of us confined to our home, and we missed traveling so much. as things got a little better, we decided to go to our home state (Assam.) I was perplexed and worried about taking a trip at this time, especially with our daughter. After thinking a lot and discussing with a few people who have traveled, we decided to travel. I am glad we took that decision. And I didn't expect that's we will be taking road trips with a baby and toddler.
Due to COVID-19 traveling took a backseat and it badly affected those who are related to it traveling/travel in some or the other way. The best we can do is to visit one's local area/tourist places and give a boost to the economy.
At our stay in Assam, we visited many places with our kids by road. we covered approximately 1500 km in 25 days. My elder one who is 5 years old, is an experienced traveler now. We didn't have any issues with him. He slept most of the time or enjoyed looking outside when he is awake.
It was our 1-year-old daughter with whom we had little trouble. Because we could not go anywhere due to COVID, as a result, it was a new experience for her.
While coming from Mumbai to Guwahati she went off to sleep even before we boarded the flight and got up just a few minutes before landing. It was during our road trip to Jorhat where we got the real taste of traveling. (Jorhat is about 6-7 hours from Guwahati). She was fine and slept for 2 hours and later it was difficult for her to sleep and it was becoming very difficult for us. I tried all possible ways to keep her entertained or make her sleep, but she was just not comfortable. Here are few tips for taking Road trips with a baby and toddler in India, that I want to share.
Travel with an open mind when traveling with kids. Don't compare your child with other kids. We never had any issue with our son and were expecting the same from her.
It's better to get habitat to traveling shorter distances (2-3 hours) before taking long-distance trips. If you are covering a longer distance by road, then take few short breaks, where the child can move around for some time.
If you want to reach your destination the same day leave early or stay somewhere for the night (especially if you are traveling in winters). We left Guwahati pretty late so, didn't took any breaks in between as we wanted to reach our destination before it becomes difficult to drive due to fog.
Make sure you are carrying enough food items. Fruits like bananas are best to carry during traveling as they are easy to eat and they are filling also. Fruits puree from Happa foods and melts from Timios can be very useful for infants. Carry reusable cutlery as I prefer to use reusable cutlery instead of disposable ones.
Diapers, diaper changing mats, and wipes are a must and it's always better to carry extra than you think you would require. Wet bags to keep soiled diapers if you use only cloth diapers.
An extra set of clothes in case you need to change one.
Feeding dresses are best if you are breastfeeding, or any stole or dupatta will also work.
Car seats are very helpful. They not only keep the child safe but will also keep the parent tension-free.
Trash bag and newspaper to wrap your fruit peels or that empty chips packet.
The first aid kit with all the necessary medicines. (Keep them out of reach for the kids)
By this age, parents are well-accustomed to how their child will behave during traveling and what are their needs. Accordingly one can plan what to carry and other things to keep in mind while taking a road trip with a 5-year-old/older kid. Still would love to share few points which might be helpful if you are traveling long distance for the first time.
1) Show them the outside world, as different trees, birds, etc. Explain to them the events happening outside.
2) Keep some toys(according to age and one new) picture books, activity kits, and drawing/colouring books.
3) Colouring books can keep toddlers engaged for a long time(works great during flight journey) recently I found puzzles to be a great travel companion.
4) Their favourite snacks, water, juice, and cutlery set.
5) A list of their favourite music.
6) Car seat or booster seat
7) First aid kit with the necessary medicines
We retook few road trips, and she was much better every time. And when traveling back from Jorhat to Guwahati, we took a break in between and didn't face any issues like the first trip. Looking forward to taking a road trip with my baby again. Would love to hear about your experience too in the comment section.
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