By Prachi Kagzi,
With the advent of summer and school holidays just round the corner , I noticed a sudden spurt of this question on various mommy groups on facebook and discussion on many parenting blogs. The perennial travel question for mothers, ‘Where should I go with my little one?’ by first time mommies, moms of toddlers, seasoned mums of teenagers and so forth. Here are some questions, which will help the mommies answer, what they should look for on their next trip!
1.Do you want to go ‘all that way’?
If your little one will be on a long haul flight for the first time keep in mind the travel time involved. For newbie parents, it is often advisable to take 3 hour flights at the most. The distance involved is crucial as the start of the journey should be on a happy note, and the short flight would be manageable for most moms. Travel tip for first time baby flyers: check out airlines with a ‘flying nanny’.
Suggested places : Singapore, UAE , Hong Kong/China
2. I need a holiday or does the child need a holiday?
At the onset of your travel planning, it must be clear in your mind if you would like the holiday for yourself or for the child. If it’s tipping towards yourself (because you are fatigued being a new mom) or just want some peace and quiet (being the second time mom) , I highly suggest a relaxing holiday. Choose a resort based holiday which keeps the kids busy and you can catch those winks you have missed or just laze by the pool. Since there is no offsite travel involved , your days can be leisurely paced , with no schedule to adhere to purely enjoy those moments with your kids.
Suggested Places: Child Friendly Resorts in Goa, Kerala, Mauritius, Thailand, Bali, Seychelles , Maldives
Alternatively, for seasoned mums whose kids are looking for a holiday, I suggest a destination which will entice an all-round experience. A city usually has some cultural aspects and city life experiences , while the countryside offers more adventure and nature. Choose your destination wisely to include both as they can get a taste of each aspect. This in turn also behaves as neutraliser for the parents , as they also get a fulfilling holiday which is not child-centric.
Suggested Places: Greece, Slovakia , Spain, Manali , Nainital , Coorg , Sikkim
3.Don’t I have enough sunshine back home?
Depending on your month of travel,the weather can greatly vary even in one hemisphere. As a family decide which weather you are more susceptible towards. If you like the cooler temperatures , don’t make the mistakes of heading to Asia. The weather although not really a deciding factor many a times , is what actually makes or breaks the holiday! Wait another time to go to your bucket list destination if the weather isn’t right!
Suggested Places: Kashmir, Ladakh, Norway, Iceland for cooler temperatures ; Hampi , Jordan , Tanzania ,Kenya for sunshine! Don’t forget Australia has the opposite weather.
4. Is this holiday exciting for my kids?
Some times what you would like to experience at this stage in your life is not age appropriate for your child.Discuss with your kids what type of holiday they would like and come to a consensus as it’s easier to be adaptable to their likings at the planning stage than after reaching your destination!
Don’t bore the pre- teens on a museum tour through Europe as their active energy levels are best encompassed at an amusement park. Don’t take the tiny tots on cruises as they aren’t independent enough to be at the kid zone and want the parents around. These are some commandments by experienced parents , and who better to understand what our child wants than us!
Suggested Places: Parks and Zoos for toddlers , Amusement Parks in Americas or Safari in India/Africa for pre teens , culture & adventure sports for Teenagers
5.Is too early to introduce them to ….?
Be adventurous with your kids , they understand and learn much more faster than you can imagine. They are open minded and embrace new experiences without fear. Be it a new interest , or a new cuisine , don’t hesitate to try it out with them as they might surprise you!
Suggested : Introduction of new foods for the toddlers ; Skill based trips such as Scuba/Ski for pre teens and South America for older kids
Hope these questions will give you some answers to decide your next trip ! Wherever you go always remember to carry some humour along , and capture every moment in photographs to create memories! Happy Exploring !
Prachi Kagzi (founder of Little Passports) , is a travel evangelist and mother of a three year old. She is a MBA who has been in the corporate world for over 8 years and has now decided to follow her passion of Kids and Edutravel.