Category Archives: Travel Tips

Travelling Abroad With Kids: What To Keep In Mind

travel abroad with kidsTravelling abroad with children can become a nightmare for some. Preparations must be made well in advance to avoid the occurrence of any problems during the trip.

If you are a parent who is planning a trip with kids abroad and are feeling uneasy about it, read on. This article lists some useful tips that would help make the trip easier.

1. Select the Right Season:

Primarily for a comfortable journey, choose a season that is not overly hot or cold. A moderate season would keep children comfortable and less cranky.

2. Managing Jet Lag:

The importance of good sleep at a schedule must not be ignored. As kids do not understand time zones and jet lag, it may be difficult for them to adjust to the new timings. Consider having a rest day on your itinerary after you get to the destination for the child to be adjusted with the jet lag.

You need to get your children to adjust to the new timing by trying to get their bodies adjusted to the new routine as soon as possible. Getting your child to sleep for some extra hours will definitely help them reset their internal clocks.

2. Avoid Long Flights:

Try to avoid long flights as it might make the kids behave in an unruly manner. Stopovers can be a relief for kids who hate sitting still for hours. If you can’t avoid long flights, make sure the kids get to walk around every few hours and let them take advantage of the airline treats and entertainment.

3. Medicines:

Whether you are away for a few days or for a month, always keep a first aid kit handy with you, especially if your child is already on medication. You never know when your child might need medical attention.

4. Food:

Pack all the food items that your child enjoys. Before booking your accommodation, make sure to make special arrangements for you kid’s meals, as this will keep them happy, satisfied and less cranky.

5. Stroller:

If you have a small child, do carry a pram or stroller with you during your holiday, as it would be easier for your child to rest whenever they want to, allowing you to explore more of the city while your little one naps.

6. Accommodation:

It might be difficult to find accommodation with children if you have not done so in advance. So do not forget to make bookings for your trip before leaving for the trip.

7. Health Check-Up:

Visit your doctor at least a month before you leave for the trip. Take your children’s vaccination records and check with the doctor whether they need to visit him again before the trip.

8. Luggage:

Pack light but smart. Carry only that which you really need during the trip. With kids, one needs to carry all manner of sundry items. We also tend to buy more stuff when travelling with kids. Keep space for stuff you purchase on your return journey home.

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Vacationing With Kids – How To Enjoy More And Worry Less

vacation with kidsGetting a chance to travel with your children can turn out to be one of the most memorable experiences for both you and the child.

Though you may miss your European backpacking days or Caribbean cruising days, vacationing with kids can be different but fun.

With all the additional gear to pack and extra safety factors to consider, there may be times when you wished you’d just stayed home.

There may be times when you might have to deal with kids getting on your nerves with their cranky behavior and tantrums.

Read on for a short guide with some tips to help you reduce the stress and keep the fun alive on the vacation for everyone.

1. Allow Them to Pack By Themselves: Let the children do their own packing. Give them a little direction by giving them a packing list with instructions. By letting them do so, they would feel more involved and would look forward to the vacation.

2. Do Things that Kids Enjoy: While you may not enjoy a hotel with water slides and other rides, chances are your kids would. As such, hotels would keep the engaged and happy with something enjoyable to do. Surely, your little one would not enjoy being tagged around at museums. Do what they like and what they enjoy. Try making the vacation educational (to some extent), yet fun.

3. Maintain a Routine: Children love routine and tend to get cranky when it is interrupted. Try to organize your travel at times that will not disrupt their sleep or other usual routines. Also, consider vacationing somewhere close to hime. A child really does not care whether it is a beach in Goa or Pattaya. For them it is just a beach.

4. Dining Out: With young kids, you might want to consider saying a no to formal restaurants. However, if you do plan to indulge, ensure your child has a fun time so that they are content and less likely to be cranky in a formal setting.

5. Illness and Emergencies: Always carry a first aid kit and basic medication that your little one might possibly need in times of emergencies. You never know if essential medicines are available where you are going.

6. Keep them Entertained: If you plan to do a road trip or take a long flight, consider carrying some toys or gadgets the kids would enjoy playing with. A Sony PSP or card games like Uno, that they can play on the flight, might be ideal.

7. Expect the Unexpected: To cater to unexpected illness or mood swings, always consider putting in a free day into your itinerary, just in case you miss out on some sightseeing or shopping. Try to go with the flow and treat it like an adventure to be conquered.

8. Slow Down the Pace: Do not pressure your child to do too many things in too little time. Consider visiting few sights to make them more enjoyable and less stressed. Also, take a few breaks every now and then.

9. Alone Time: If you would like some alone time with your spouse, you might want to consider arranging for some babysitting facilities with the hotel. This will allow you to spend some quality time with your partner, while your children are kept busy elsewhere and taken proper care of.

Now that you have these tips for your vacation, do share where you are planning to go this summer. Bon voyage.

 

Image courtesy of Sura Nualpradid / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Handling Cabin Pressure In Flight With Baby: SOS Moms

ku-xlargeMommy Nidhi Mehta faces a lot of problems while traveling by flight as her 13 month old baby cries due to the air pressure.  We asked mums and dads to share their tips and advices with us to help her out. She’s planned a holiday and is worried about the journey!

  • Here’s what the many mums and dads on our SOS Mom forum had to say:
  • Give a bottle of milk/juice/water just before takeoff and landing. The sucking helps to ease the pressure in the ears.
  • Feed baby DURING take off AND landing.
  • If there is an empty seat next to you put the baby in it during the flight. Let baby lie flat on the back and keep patting slowly. Continue reading →

Top 10 Finger Foods For Kids

Whether you’re going on a road trip with baby, a small journey, throwing a party for the little ones, or simply want to give your kid something healthy to eat in between meals, finger foods are always quite a hit with parents, as they are non-messy, easy to eat and can also be used to include added nutrition to your kid’s diet.

We prepared a list of the top 10 finger foods that will not only make munching time less complicated, but will also try and pack in some nutrition, while being yummy:

  1. Baked potatoes: these are really easy to make. You can choose to put them in the oven for a few minutes and add some butter, black pepper and salt to it. tasty and healthy.
  2. Cheese slices: no extra effort, just get them out of the refrigerator and hand to your child on a plate. Delicious and healthy all at once.
  3. Rajma salad: if you’re cooking rajma (kidney beans) at home, just take out a portion of salted boiled rajma and add some chopped onions, lime juice and black pepper to it. this will not only taste delicious, it will also give your child some much needed energy.
  4. Grated carrots: Hand over a bowl of grated carrots to your little one as they play and munch.
  5. Open Sandwich: Just place some grated/chopped veggies on a piece of bread, add a slice of cheese and some ketchup and sprinkle a bit of salt. Toast one side slightly on the pan with butter. To make it easier, cut into smaller bite-sized pieces.
  6. Frozen green peas: Get them off the freezer, thaw and put in warm water. Drain, add salt and black pepper, and a dash of butter. Healthy tasty and quick.
  7. Biscuits with toppings: Unleash your creativity and turn those cookies and biscuits into healthy tastier bites. You can choose from a variety of healthy toppings.
  8. Spinach and Corn Sandwich: These are quick and easy to make, and almost all homes with a kid have a pack of corn in the fridge. So make good use of it and add a power-packed sandwich bite for your little one.
  9. Roti Rolls: Easy to make and to make it less messy, cut them up in smaller bite size portions.
  10. Fruit Salad: Toss up a salad with various fruits and add a dash of chaat masala and lime juice.

Photographing a Baby

I was about two months away from my delivery when I got my Nikon D30 and I went on and on, how this would mean that we would have terrific pictures with the baby. In my head, I was convinced that a SLR would make my baby more photogenic! Yeah, right! And I promised that by the time the baby arrived I would have brushed up my photography skills. At least I met some of it. I indulged in some experimental clicks and then the camera was liberally used during one of my baby showers where my brother turned photographer.

The SLR met my son when he was two days old and from then till now, they’ve fallen in love with each other. It is my theory that photographing children makes a parent more patient and observant. On the other hand, it makes a star out of the kid. I started photographing my son when he was barely a week old. Those wrinkled eyelids barely opened at the click of the shutter. He didn’t understand what all the fuss was about a pose. He didn’t care that his mother was trying to store forever the early days of his life in a picture. He didn’t know he had to learn to emote, respond and communicate with the lens to make himself the perfect subject. But he learnt!

And as a parent-turned-excited-photographer, here are a few things that I have learnt along the way:

a)      The New Baby: A new born is hardly responsive. So don’t expect your day old baby to turn and say cheese! Instead, wait for those fully awake and alert moments of the day. New babies need a lot of light, and it’s a good practice to expose them to natural surroundings. Needless to say, as much as Vitamin C is beneficial to them, it is as good for photography. Babies at this early stage have slow movements. However, they twitch, curl and like with photography elsewhere, talking to the subject always helps. Speak to your baby and look for signs of connection. Most of the pictures will have your baby lying down; feel free to let him/her have a feel of your face…at this time they love the feel of your skin and trust me, so will you!  At the same time, the cheek to cheek pictures come out beautiful. Tiny feet and curled fingers make for great pictures too.

b)      The Infant: A baby moves into infancy after the 3rd month. Chances are that your baby by now has learnt to hold his head up straight. Once the baby learns to hold his head up, he’d like to see more of the world. Try resting the baby’s back on your lap, and let him see the world around. The gleam in his eye as something catches his eye, or a toy that he’s just learnt to hold in his tiny fingers, or a sound that he has learnt to respond to, make for great reaction shots. Encourage him to interact with new toys. Around the same time, they will learn to turn over…make sure you don’t miss out this landmark. Play games with them; they’ll soon learn to smile, make noises and yes even laugh out loud. While you playact and make your babies smile, these games make for great pictures! I enjoyed photographing my son during massage and bath times.

c)       The Toddler: This is the most fun stage and in fact by now chances are that your baby would have learnt to interact with the camera. I started showing my son his pictures from when he was around 4 months old. As he grew to recognise himself, he waited for our photography sessions. He’s learnt to pout, flash his dimples, pose, turn and hold a moment till I click. By the time he learnt to crawl he’d quickly scamper towards me to see how the picture turned out! He enjoys the camera and he knows it’s there for a reason.

You don’t need a super quick and high-end camera for your baby. I used my phone camera to the hilt and since it’s the most handy at most times, I’ve learnt to get some great shots! I shoot a lot with my son when is with his father. They are the best play buddies I have seen. To watch a 30 year old play with his year old son and quite become his age, is something beyond this world. They make faces, throw pillows at each other, play hide and seek, pretend to eat each other’s noses and catch imaginary lizards with aplomb! Much of this makes for great photography.

I have learnt to observe my child’s moods. There are those times in the day when he is watchful and quiet. These moments make for great mood shots. He is often busy playing with his toys and he’d not bother about the lens looking at him. Then there are those times when he is at his naughtiest, trying a new prank or trick with his father – the baap-beta pictures are my favourite. I’ve also taken a lot many pictures of my son with other family members – both sets of grandparents, his uncles and aunts, etc. Each of them is really special.

By our guest mommy blogger – Rituparna Ghosh

Books That Help Young Parents

As young parents, there are many questions that will come up million times as you begin the new phase of life with your little one. Sometimes, you may have family and friends around who can help with practical and real advice, but most of the times, you’re pretty much on your own.

While it’s true that parenting doesn’t come from a book, it’s also true that these days, you can read about and understand almost everything related to babies and parenting. We decided to tell you about a few books that we feel might help you and your partner as a parent:

1. What To Expect Before You’re Expecting: If you are still a couple who is looking forward to begin a family, it’s a good idea to read this one together. From the author of the world’s bible in pregnancy and childcare, this books helps you plan a healthy pregnancy for a healthy baby, with advice on how to conceive, practical tips and reassuring advice – a must-have guide for all parents-to-be.

2. What To Expect BabySitter and Nanny Handbook:If you are trying to make time as a couple while having a little one at home, chances are, you may be taking the help of a babysitter or a carer. The book provides information for anyone who is looking after a baby/child, from birth till 6 years of age. With information from why babies cry, how to talk to a baby and how and what to do for baby in an emergency, this is one book that every baby home should have.

3. 101 Most Important Things You Need To Know Before You Have A Baby:Ready to embark on this exciting journey? Then read this book together with your partner to read about topics like time management, patience, faith, memories, laughter, hope and gives you simple tips and tricks that help you create a balance in life.

4. 365 Days of Baby Love:Wonderful ways to help parents and babies enrich each others’ lives – playing, growing and exploring with babies from birth till 2 years of age.

5. The Secret Language of Babies:Understand what your baby is trying to tell you and make parenting a little more easier and fun!

6. Smile Baby Smile:A cute book that gives you useful thoughts and ideas to stop baby crying and bring back those smiles, for your little one and you!

7. Trouble-Free Travel With Children:Packed with over 700 helpful hints for parents on the go.From fussy newborns to demanding toddlers, this book gives ideas to make your family trip a fun and memorable one!

8. Siblings Without Rivalry:Not a new parent but concerned about how the new baby will affect your older one! This book offers practical and sensitive advice on how to make your siblings grow together with love, making you smile each day.

9. Games Babies Play From Birth To Twelve Months:Tells you about games and structured activities designed to stimulate the intellectual development and motor skills of infants.

10. Juggling Twins:Practical advice and a healthy dose of humour – this book has exactly what parents need to help them survive and thrive with multiples.

Essentials to carry when you are travelling with your baby

What Toys To Carry While Traveling With Your Little One

Planning that big trip with your little one? Well, having a baby in the car will be quite a lot of fun, we can assure you that, but as with a little one, there will be many instances when your baby may be uncomfortable, bored, or plain cranky, and these are the times you need to be prepared for, to make the trip fun and memorable. Here are the top ten toys you can easily carry along while traveling by road/air with your little one. Read on:

  1. The first thing to keep in mind is to carry toys that you know baby already loves and spends a lot of time with, especially those with which baby has an emotional attachment
  2. Carry a comfort toy. If your baby has a toy which is a sleep toy, ex. a sleep-time teddy, make sure you carry that along
  3. Get some new toys to surprise baby and make them excited
  4. If traveling by car, carry lots of buckle-up toys, ones that you can attach to baby’s car seat, or at the hold-rail of the car door
  5. A doodle-draw pad is something that most babies and even toddlers love. Get one that is small and portable, and can easily fit in the baby bag. This is an ideal toy for road/air travel
  6. Rattles for your little baby.
  7. Carry a few board books / voice books/musical books that your little one as well as toddler can read along easily.
  8. Travel jigsaw puzzles are ideal for babies of all ages. Get one that is appropriate for your little one. For younger babies, get ones with fewer pieces and ones that are easy to grasp. For toddlers and a little older babies, get ones that come in different fun and educational modes.
  9. Sticker activity books are great for a little older babies
  10. Carry along a small battery-operated toy, like a toy phone, educational laptop, or some fun toy that lights up and has features like sound, rhymes, voice alphabets and all. This is an ideal toy to carry in the car, but may not be suitable if traveling by air, as you will need to remove the batteries before boarding.
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