Traveling with a kid - The REALITY!

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! I have read several articles on how to travel with children or tips for traveling with toddlers and vacations with kids and more... But the reality is, children are little humans and they don't really have a manual!!!
 
Reality of traveling with kids

Traveling with children - Truth & reality
 
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??? 
 
Tips for traveling with a child - Babywearing

Traveling as a mom
 
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!!!
 
Motherhood and Traveling
 
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.
 
Toddler travel

Challenges of Motherhood - Traveling
 
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?
 
Breastfeeding in public - Motherhood challenges - Travel

Breastfeeding in public - Traveling mom
 
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???
 
Traveling with toddlers - temper tantrums
 
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! 

Why do children scream or cry in a flight/train? Does Atyudarini cry in flight/train? Not mostly. 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, sometimes the new food upset her stomach and yes, she cries. Can I do something about it? I can't. I'm not super rich to do a Trans-Europe road-trip 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 dearest 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 for being disturbed 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!!! 
 
Traveling mom - Toddler Travel - Photos Pinterest Traveling with a kid - Expectations vs Reality

Bhushavali

An ardent traveler by passion. Being an ex - Art History Teacher, my area of interest especially lies in Nature and Heritage. Visited 78 UNESCO World Heritage sites as of Sept 2020. I've been listed among the Top 7 Women Travel Bloggers of India, Top 50 in UK. I have been interviewed in a couple of TV Shows, Radio Channels and Events as well. Read more about me and read the testimonials of different brands