Travelling with a toddler? 5 Essentials to pack...
Created by Divya Sreedharan Updated on Apr 28, 2020
My family and I have driven to Chikamagalur with Radhika and Avinash, our friends who have twin girls. Other guests are also here with their small children, so this beautiful plantation set beside majestic mountains, is currently playing host to a number of toddlers. All of us have driven here from Bengaluru, about 280 kms away. How have we travelled with a tribe of tiny tots? Take a look below:
Prep them right
Radhika and Avinash tell me they “prepped” their two-and-a-half-year-old twins for the roughly five-hour drive from Bengaluru. “We told the girls about the holiday a week ago. Then, we kept referring to the “long” car journey. Since we were going to be driving, the twins needed to know they had to sit in their car seats for the duration of the trip,” explains Radhika.
Travelling with twins is a different ball game, but it is a good idea to tell your toddler about a planned journey, so he or she knows what to expect and they don’t panic at suddenly being taken from familiar surroundings.
Food and water
Cater to every basic need—apart from soothing music to aid sleep, make sure you have plenty of water and snacks. Plain biscuits (not cream-filled ones), fruit (apple, banana, oranges), dates, dry fruits and nuts, bread, rotis or even curd or dahi rice. Sugar-filled packaged juice can crank up energy levels, and leave little people (and their parents!) peevish and petulant.
Pot-holed roads and hairpin bends can get small stomachs heaving. And when what goes in comes out in a rush, ensure you have diapers ready, and wet wipes to clean the mess up. My cousin Sandhya has a four-year-old who throws up a lot; she keeps a backpack ready at all times with sets of clothes, wipes, sanitiser, towels and so on.
Digital devices can induce headaches and eye-strain and leave toddlers cranky. A little person wailing for Nanny iPad is not a happy traveller! Instead, let her clutch her favourite cuddly toy, or give her wooden puzzles to play with. Or let your toddler choose what he or she wants.
Once you reach your destination, how do you keep your toddler busy and happy for the length of the stay? A pool with a shallow childrens’ section is ideal, so make sure you’ve packed swim wear. A nearby beach calls for sandcastles and sand-toys. Also, remember to pack warm clothes and socks for nippy nights and mornings. A first-aid kit—bandages, mosquito repellent cream/citronella oil, itch cream, and calamine lotion for insect bites, is also vital.
But what can toddlers do at Balur Estate, where coffee thrives alongside cardamom, vanilla and pepper? The twins love gamboling in the lawns of the main bungalow, but they are too young to appreciate the incredible natural beauty. They do have bouncy balls though—one each, in their favourite colour. And Radhika has also brought along many colourful books, magnetic puzzles, and a collection of animated movies on the iPad for the twins to watch when she and Avinash really need some alone-time. So far, it’s been a fun trip, for all of us.
What essentials do you pack when you’re taking your children on vacation? Let us know in the comments below!
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