Recently a lot of moms messaged me, a few I am now close to have even Whatsapp-ed me at odd hours asking what to carry and what not while travelling with a toddler.
Firstly, I am so happy and indebted to those who trust my motherly instincts and ask for suggestions.
Secondly, I understand why they ask. My husband and I are very fond of travelling. There are destinations which we visit again and again because we love being there. I have traveled for holidays in my first , second and last trimester as well… as far as 300-400kms without having any issues. Thank you Lord for that… and My first short trip with the kiddo was when he was about 45days old while first big holiday trip was when he turned 6 months old… in between I was either attending weddings or too tired and sleeping on weekends .. lol !
And lastly, I socialize a lot and love to receive or pass on suggestions (not advises) to moms who believe I mean good for her and the little one. I take in suggestions as well, in a healthy way and it has always helped me except weight losing tips.. they never work and I don’t understand why !!
So lets make a list of major things required by moms:
in the mother-bag, diapers in the hand luggage, diapers in the car compartments! diapers everywhere… you may never know how handy they are apart from changing them every 4-5 hours. they can soak up anything that the child spilled in the car or your hands and you just don’t want to use up all the wet wipes and create a mess. They even act as an added padding around the kid while seated in a high chair at a restaurant. Mom-Pro tip: if you are travelling to a city area do not carry too many, carry a small pack and buy another one locally from supermarkets or even medical stores.
2. Busy fingers
keeping the young tribe busy for a car trip is difficult, specially when there isn’t much space for them. Carrying some stationary will always help. They scribble on papers or even color some stencils if you can print them cheap at home. My son is still too young so I invested in this Fisher-Price slate that kept him busy for many many hours in numerous trips.
this one is my absolute favorite for tiny creatures… took this photo on our 17 hour journey while on a holiday in Kashmir. This kept him busy on his seat and we drew various pictures, draw and guess, practiced the alphabets numerous times as well. Play and Learn
This is one more favorite of mine, comes in a big wooden box but I carry the linking pipes in a small zip lock bag; easier to stuff it in the corners of the luggage bag or car compartment.
Ask your kid to be as creative as they can! build a horse, a giraffe, a building, a snake! just anything and more importantly, appreciate their imaginations.
3. A travelling mosquito repellent
i won’t lie, i have used all kinds of mosquito repellents right from spray to lotion and even stickers but this one is my fave of all, since one portable machine is useful to all people in the room, handy, easy to travel with. And a brand I can trust anyday! Not so economical but looking at the fact that I have used it for 2 years already and still using it makes sense. It’s a one time investment for a carefree .. i mean mosquito free travelling nights.
I have used this in Kashmir and Rajasthan and Goa and Maharashtra… simply all places I have visited in last 2 years. It’s also very safe and doesn’t kill the mosquitoes, just keep them at bay!
you may use lotions and stickers too. But keeping a batch of it always is a must for moms. you may be staying in a 5 star or a 7 star yet you may need it at surprising places like restaurants or markets or safaris etc.
extra pair of socks, extra pair of boxers, extra rubber bands for girls, extra food packets, extra straws and disposable cutlery, extra burp clothes even for toddlers –they are extremely handy for wiping faces and muddy hands– an extra bar of chocolate, an extra pack of his favorite nuts/ trail bags , an extra plastic bag for dirty/wet clothes , an extra comb, and extra pack of sanitizer! small tiny things that may never come in use but on days when needed they pop out of the tiny space in the handbag as a blessing. Even an extra stole that can double up as a cover for the kid who falls asleep right when you spot a wild animal in the safari!
5. Locomotives / Dolls / Both
This only keeps them busy while you are relaxing in the room or a safe play area where kids can enjoy while you take a break and do nothing! absolutely nothing! Best if you can ask your husband to keep an eye at the kid and you can just close your eyes and relax! I normally keep a small toy in the backpack and always buy a cheaper toy –mostly off the roads– at the local tourist spots. Cheap because it means low quality plastic which also means it will break in a day or two which ideally means no carrying back extra luggage. We dump the broken cars or aeroplanes in the hotel or before we check in at the airport. Learnt this hard way when once we were held at Jammu Airport at security check because there was a plastic nerfgun with foam bullets in our luggage. I swore to myself from that day on there shall be no toys coming back home with us… whatever he buys off the roads gets dumped or given away before we pack and leave!!
6. Food Packets:
It may sound weird but even to this date I take along toddler food that’s safe and organic. I fear my kid falling ill due to food intakes from local deli’s … Majorly I prefer Ella’s Kitchen Organic or even Organix snacks and purees. They are filling and safe food. Moreover they are so handy and disposable packages that it creates space for moms to fill the bag with shopping haul after they are all used through the trip. 😀
Moreover, I feel there shouldn’t be a hitch in the trip due to unavailability of kid-friendly food. Majority places do have french fries and dosa/idli available which is always a blessing! Keeping a few packs only means no stopping over every hour on the way or buying expensive stuff at the airport or in flight!
Lemme know your top favorite “MUST HAVES” in the holiday luggage. Travelling with the toddler is extremely easy and this was just Part 1 of the blog, I shall write one more blog keeping in mind only the food.. I am not a very strict mother but I like it when things are just in order and always neat. I don’t like carrying extra luggage and I simply don’t believe in paying extra outdoors for things we forgot to carry or didn’t want to because we wanted to travel light.
Leave your precious comments and suggestions and I am sure the moms reading this will love it as well. It would be very kind of you readers all over the world to share your tips and experiences as well.