We all love travelling, don't we? But when it comes to travel with little kids either by choice or requirement, it becomes really tough, especially for the mommies. The first question that comes in a mother's mind is what shall a child eat throughout the journey. When I became a mother, I sealed all my travel plans and had decided to travel only when my daughter will be 10 years old. I promised to myself that I shall not travel anywhere while she is small. But destiny always has some other plans for us, right?
When my daughter was 3 years old, my youngest sister's marriage was fixed and we had to visit Deoghar (famously known as Babadham, abode of Lord Shiva in Bihar, India). Initially, I was not willing to go, but everyone in the family convinced me. After all, it was my own sister's marriage, so I had to go. This was going to be mine first flight with my toddler and I was literally getting goosebumps. We were supposed to stay in the hotel and carry out all the ceremonies, this doubled my worries. I took a charge of booking a hotel as I was very much concerned about the food for my little one. I had to be careful while choosing the hotel and the services. Here my professional experience was of great help to me. I was in Delhi at that time and all the arrangements had to be done over the phone. So the process I followed was first of all an extensive online search for the hotels that were near the venue, and then jotting all the prices and names on a paper. After checking the ratings, I started to call all the hotels. My negotiation skills are really good (not boasting though), hence I negotiated with the hotel person comparing the rates and what they were offering. I was very firm on free breakfast, kids food, water, service, coffee machines. It is very necessary to make all the arrangements over phone with the hotel management, if you are travelling with a toddler, it helps a lot and also leaves you tension free.
Once I finalised the hotel, travel to the place was again a big thing for me as my husband was not present at that time and I had to travel to Kolkata alone. I had heard stories of kids how they behave in the flight. I was very scared that how shall I manage her if she starts getting cranky. So I chose an afternoon flight as per her nap time schedule. Duration from Delhi to Kolkata is approximately 2h. After a lot of struggle on the internet, I could get the best offer. I kept two small bags as cabin baggage, one was with all dry foods for her such as chips (I give during emergency needs only), cake, biscuits, wafers, candies, all her favourite food. Other bag was full of her favourite toys and some colouring books and a packet of tissue and wipes (very very necessary as everytime you can't get up to wash hands). My daughter faces problem while landing, her ears pain a lot and hence I had chosen such a flight that is during her nap time so that she sleeps while landing and doesn't become cranky. I suggest to reach the airport at least 2 hours before the scheduled departure. Having a web check-in done will make the process more comfortable. In the taxi I gave my daughter a lollipop and my mobile (tip: keep it fully charged and also carry a power bank, mobile is a big saver during such journeys with a kiddo, also load it with your kid's favourite videos :)
Everything went on well and we were inside the plane, she all of a sudden said "Mama, let's go home, please!". I was about to panic, but then tried to control and said "Baby, you are going to touch the clouds, don't you?". I knew it was her nap time and as soon as the plane took off I made her sleep. By the time it landed, she was awake. Do not resign of travel opportunities, important celebrations and do not put your travel dreams back. Traveling with a kid is possible and can bring happiness for the baby and parents as well. I hope my post will help moms who travel with small kids. Rohini Prajapati