The reality of traveling with a kid!

Traveling with kid is fun. Its super fun indeed! Simple things that I never thought I'd enjoy, like just looking at a sheep eat hay, or making fire from flints, or her snuggling to me atop the windy peaks of forts atop hills, I enjoy now, coz I see them through Atyudarini's eyes and its a beautiful world and its fascinating! Most pictures in this blog depict that very emotion of ours!!!
However, another aspect of traveling with a child that pictures don't depict is the mental planning that goes behind traveling with kid and the physical exhaustion that sometimes happens on site!


We are very very happy to travel with Atyudarini and to see new destinations and expose her to the beauty of the world and help her appreciate what magic this planet has to offer. What we would like you to see now, is the unseen work that goes behind this! So next time you see a family traveling together, you can appreciate them and when you see a baby crying or toddler throwing tantrum, you can help or atleast ignore them and not snap at them!
Before: 1 backpack for 2 adults for a 2 day trip!
Now: 1 suitcase & 1 or 2 backpacks for 2 adults and 1 kid!

Before: Bad weather, storm coming in? -6 deg C? Brrrr.... Yup, I've got my jacket. Let's head out.
Now: 0 deg C? How many layers should I put on Atyudarini? Is it windy too? Is 1 jacket enough or should I add 1 sweater too? Do we need an umbrella too? Are her ears covered? What if Atyudarini catches a cold or a fever? Should we really go??? 

Before: 10 stops (places to see) in 1 day? No problem! We can literally run and skip lunch to save time!
Now: 3-4 stops at most, before little gal get's cranky! And if she get's tired and wants me to carry her (sometimes she only wants to be in the front!), I get tired in a couple hours!!!!

Before: Walking? Ofcourse, that's easy. What's complicated in walking????
Now: Walk??? Sure. Why not? Our destination is at left. Atyudarini: "No momma, I want to go right. Look... it a leaf (5 mins stop), look... it a bug (15 mins stop)."!!! Walk with stroller? Ok. Atyudarini: "Momma, lift me.... I don't want to sit in the stroller". Well, lift her with one hand and push stroller with another.... Another day - Forget the goddamn stroller, let's take just the babywearing... Atyudarini: "Momma, wear me in the front!". (If you don't understand... well, till about 1yr of age, baby's weight is low and is easy to wear in front. After that, it takes a toll on the wearer's (my) back. Its more ergonomic to wear on the back, like a backpack).... Btw, now you get the idea, why the previous point is valid about not able to have a tight itinerary.

Before: Super tight budget? Ha! Let's take the overnight coach!
Now: 4hrs bus/flight at max. Train could be longer as it has more space to run about! Long flight? Can we forget about limiting screen time pls!!!

Before: Hostels!!!! Yippeee. We can meet like-minded people.
Now: Decent hotels it is! Aparthotel or airbnb with kitchen, its better!!! What if she cries in the middle of the night? Will someone complain??? Fingers crossed....

Before: Street food? Sure. Let's try the local flavours...
Now: What if Atyudarini get's sick? No, let's go to restaurant or let's buy stuff from supermarket & cook...

Before: Let's party! Let's go bar-hopping! Its 1:00AM? The night is still young!
Now: Its 8:00PM. We should head back! Its time to put Atyudarini on bed.


Before: Impromptu trip tomorrow? Cool.........
Now: No ways... I need to pack a gazillion stuff including diapers, potty, extra clothes for the child, food & snacks for her, kerchiefs & napkins in case she pukes, a couple of books & toys in case she gets bored, her earphones for her music... I've also gotta research if the place is stroller friendly. Yes? Ok! Let's take both stroller & babywearing. No? Ok. Let's only carry the baby-wearing then. 

Before: Strangers ignore! (May be they notice when I'm wearing something unusual!)
Now: Atyu let's out a slightest cry. Strangers: "You shouldn't be bringing a baby to this place"!!!

Before: Theatre? Live performance? We do need to watch that too once in a while!!!
Now: Are you joking?????

Before: Solo travel? Hell yeah!!!
Now: Solo travel with kid? Hell no! It needs 2 people - 1 to take care of the baby and 1 to take care of the belongings. (Inspite of it, someone stole our backpack on a trip!)!!!

Before: Adventure rides? Giant wheel? Let's go, we'll get a nice panoramic shot.
Now: Is it safe to go with a toddler?


Before: My wish! My b**bs are hidden or not! My body, my clothing, my choice...
Now: with breastfeeding.... Hahahahahahaha...... 
Btw, the above pics are of me breastfeeding Atyudarini (1) At Texel, while cycling around the island; (2) At Jeronimos Monastery in Lisbon (3) While it was snowing, as we down from the tram and walked to the hotel in Prague.....

Before: I should pack something nice too, for a romantic evening!
Now: RoMaNcE? Oh, you mean Romans?? You love art-history too???

Earlier, If I saw a crying baby. I used to think, 'Why won't that kid just shut-up? What the hell are the parents doing? That kid is too young to remember anything, so why the hell are they traveling'. I know the answer now - they're not traveling for the kid; they're traveling for themselves. My last trip before I took 'maternity leave' was to Ghent and the first trip after Atyudarini was born, was to Brugge. Both were just for 2 days and both are in Belgium, just 1 hr from Brussels. The gap between these was 5 months and I was getting crazy already. 2 month after Atyudarini's birth I started visiting museums and attractions within Brussels. 
According to earlier me, I would have to wait for 4 years or so, till she knows to behave in public, till which I shouldn't travel! Well..... That's more than 4 years of house arrest for me, coz she's too young to be left with her dad for more than a few hours together! I'm not traveling for Atyu but for myself. I'm super happy that she's traveling with me as well! 
Does she cry in flight/train? Not always. But sometimes, yes. Sometimes her sleep is disrupted, sometimes she's bored, sometimes there's no space to move around, sometimes it's all too new and too much to handle and yes, she cries. Can I do something about it? I can't. I'm not super rich to hire car everywhere or buy private jet. She's more uncomfortable than me and that's why she cries and I'm more uncomfortable than you coz it's my child who's crying!!!

I'm sorry, not sorry, on behalf of all families that travel with a baby/toddler, if we've troubled you on your travel. I empathize with you and I hope I've answered your questions. Please don't envy us or snap at us!!! I hope you can empathize with us too!!! 

Bhushavali

An ardent traveler by passion. I am a wanderlust.. Read more about me here.

10 comments:

  1. I'm sure traveling with your daughter has really changed how you are able to see things, but it is so great that she is experiencing so much travel at a young age. I am sure it makes her much more culturally aware. It's definitely hard because children get tired so easily and they are so routine-oriented if it is disrupted it upsets them. However, I'm sure one day she will be extremely grateful that she got to tag along on so many adventures!

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  2. Definitely empathizing with you. I only have furry kids , but I go on holiday with my 4 -year old niece. We always plan for the unexpected with her. It also enriches as you mentioned to see it from a child's perspective and everything is fresh again. So I am happy to have her along (sometimes). I am sure your daughter is a joy to have on your travels, although it is more challenging these days.

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  3. As a non-parent I can’t imagine all the extra planning that goes into a trip. I’m still in the ‘before’ phase where I only have myself to worry about. On the plus side, you are showing your daughter that ere is a big world world out there, adventures give great memories.

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  4. I remember my days of travelling with my kids when they were younger. It was always fun to see things from younger less jaded eyes. It certainly made me look at things a little different. And it is indeed a great thing to share with your kids. But I will tell you, it is amazing how much they don’t remember as they grow older. Although they do enjoy looking back at pictures. It does change how you travel. But the tradeoff was always worth it to create the shared experience.

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  5. I think it would be so lovely to travel with a kid. I know many people (solo/ couples) who travel with their children and they grow and learn faster and more important things than other kids of their age. Your post was an interesting read and I love seeing happy parents who invest in their children's life so much. Thanks for sharing this with us

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  6. I can’t imagine how many changes to your routine there were that you didn’t include in your list! I’m thrilled to see that your not just staying home, but taking it in stride and including your child in your adventures! Keep on introducing your kids to new and exciting things and they will be better for it!

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  7. Yes I can relate so much. How life changes when you are traveling with your kid.The holidays seem totally different in these two cases. It was fun reading the befores and nows. But apart from the focus on the kid's need which is primary, we also get the opportunity to relive our childhood once we have kids around. Start enjoying the simple things of life.

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  8. Firstly, I love your daughter's name. Next , I can so relate to the meticulous planning that goes into travelling with a toddler..phew! Reading this post made me nostalgic when we went on road-trips, visited museums and travelled around with the kiddo more than a decade back. It surely is an enriching experience although most part of the travels the kids will never remember, except for browsing through the photgraphs later.

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  9. Traveling with kids is a joy but you are right, definitely requires a lot of planning- also flexibility! My kids are teens now but I can still recall and relate to pretty much all of the things you mentioned - be it food concerns, travel accommodations or travel packing. Overpacking was always something I was guilty of but I don't think I ever regretted it. It’s not easy to travel with a little one but there's so much joy in traveling with kids - seeing the world from their eyes all over again and introducing them so many beautiful places and experiences. Glad you are making precious travel memories with your little one - both of you will cherish these in the years to come for sure.

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  10. This is so interesting to read! I love to travel and cannot imagine giving it up once I have children. Especially because when they are a little older, it is such an important part of their developement. I love how honest and funny your post is. I can tell that it is not easy to travel with children and you have to change the way you travel, but after reading your post, I know it is possible.

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