Thursday, December 18, 2014

Vacations - With children in tow

Nothing for me can be better than seeing the world with my family. Travel gives us new perspective and it’s my strong belief that it is the same with children. We have always wanted our children not to learn just from school books and what offers more to learn than classroom is travel. Life beyond the warm confines of our home and class rooms has to be seen to be believed. Although, as a family, we hav’nt travelled far and wide, there are only couple of  vacations we have missed. We often travel as a family if not to exotic destinations  at least to  interesting places closeby.

Packing for family travels is a major chore especially with a husband who would reach at the nth hour from work on travel day. It was at this time, I realized my children could pack their own things. They were already 8 and 6.5 by then. I would give them their travel bag( which was a jetair kids bag). They would draw a check list of items that had to be packed and put their things in that bag. I only had to supervise. While this was more like a play for them, my job was done and it also instilled in them a responsibility of carrying and organizing their things during travel.

Most of our day travels were car or train travels, while during the car trips they would enjoy the countryside scenery or sleep, we would hoard travel games, puzzles and comic books for train travel. Both of them were not demanding or fussy kids and were great company even when they were kids.

Temples, tombs, museums, farm estates, hill stations, valleys, beach, resorts, relatives place and many more…..these are some of the places  we have visited on vacations. While travelling on vacations, we have tried to balance our travel aims with their interests and age in mind.

 It was at Pondicherry, while we were ambling along the beach promenade, we found our daughter studying in class 8 then, describing the Bastille’s day on seeing the statue dedicated to “The French Revolution". Till then we were just enjoying the sea breeze and view   totally unaware that such destinations can unfold your history texts and open or reopen our eyes to which you’d become used to over time. The very fact that we were standing on a place where the Carnatic-anglo-French war was fought gave a new experience. With children in tow, you suddenly become a new being, not just another tourist.

We even underestimate our children many a times. The child who would refuse to walk over to the neighborhood store will clearly trek down the 350 steps much ahead of you.  We had  almost collapsed after the the 700 steps(Up and down) to patalganga @ Srisailam but not our kids, they were off to the bonfire camp site during our office team outing. 
To be honest, many a times they had more energy than us the adults while trekking steep climbs and walking the wild paths.

During our  routine at home, Children who never wake up at even 6.30 in the morning after several wake-up calls surprise us during vacations when they are up without any alarm at 4 in the morning . The early morning safari at Farahabad( an eco-wildlife resort) to watch the wild life was the bait.

Kids are  such great tools for connecting with new people too. Often, we need’nt put any efforts to befriend people, many a times people would walk over to our children and talk to them before they even notice us. At a resort in Munnar, It was because of them we found many contacts and even before we knew we joined another family on our trip to the nearby Parambikulam  sanctuary and mattupetty dam. Their interaction with many new people at the various   resort get togethers have helped foster many friendships.

But i believe, We have to balance our travel aims, while travelling with children. If we go only to holy places, museums and tombs, we have to balance it with the sort of experiences they get really excited about it. So while they were still young, our itinerary has had many theme parks and zoos although many were not on our “Must do” list.

Today , as  teens, they  heart travelling and they were helpful and made great  travel companions during our last vacation.


  1. Wonderful to read about the travel fun you are having. Kids have so much energy (read: envy)

    Keep writing

    1. Kids seem to have lot of energy especially when it comes to outdoors. Yes, i envy them too. Thank you, dear Swapna:)

  2. Very interesting write up about travel and your children. I don't know, how, even I am up before the alarm rings when going on holidays especially when we are supposed to leave early by car or train or by plane.

    1. you get up early too? That's nice.., thank you Rama:)

  3. True, children are responsible and capable of doing so many tasks from a very young age, it's just that we underestimate them. It's so nice that your kids are responsible and enthusiastic too. And because of them you have had such wonderful trips. Very cool! :)