Friday, 8 March 2019

Preparing for a trip to India with Kids



Travelling to India - what I did to prepare in the weeks beforehand.

1.Vaccinations

You will need to attend a travel clinic either on the NHS or privately to asses which vaccinations you need and it will be on a case by case basis. For example 👦🏽 needed Hep B but 👧🏽 had this included in her childhood vaccinations so did not.

Also worth checking if the area in india you are travelling too is a malaria risk.

We ended up going privately as there were no NHS appointments available and both kids handled the vaccines really well, with no side effects. 

2.Visa

This is a bit of pain but there are a few options:
1.OCI - overseas citizens of india - kids are able to apply for this if their parents have one however it has to be renewed every 5 years in line with their passport - and renewing it is not an easy task.
2.Traditional visa valid for between 6m - 5 years - similar to an OCI you will need to visit the Visa office for this, for example Goswell Road in London to apply and the revisit again once granted for it to be put into your passport. 
3.E-visa - apply online with the biggest pain points being getting the pictures in a specific pixel size and passport in pdf format. However after these hurdles it is a straightforward form (with lots of random qs) with a quick response that can be printed out and carried with you for entry.

I applied for an Evisa forthe kids, each one cost $100 if you wish to factor it into the cost of your holiday before travelling.

3.Insect repellant

In terms of precautionary measures I always travel with insect repellent to any warm country but for India this is highly recommended.
I have always used Vie both as a repellent and roll on.

In addition I also have a pushchair mosquito cover in case the kids falls asleep in the evening and this time around I also brought some mosquito patches.

4.Milk

I am still breastfeeding so I did not need to carry any formula however the kids do have milk in their cereal and sometimes with their afternoon snack.
I purchased a few long life cartoons which I always find hotels either let you keep in the mini bar or the main kitchen fridges and also individual smaller cartoons of long life milk.


Finally as a snack I also got these chocolate milkshakes.

I have travelled with all of these in the past and they are great for when you are out and about. Milk is also one of the things that can contribute in a big way to ‘Delhi belly’ when in india so approach milk and milk based products with caution.


5.Nappies


I travel with nappies from here, I just pack up small ziplock bags of around 10/15 nappies that I take out every few days, it also means I can replace the space they took up on the journey out with shopping for the return home.


Also when travelling I take more of the pull up nappies as you never know where you may have to change a nappy and these are so much faster especially with toddlers.


6.Food

The holy word when it comes to food and kids is SNACKS. I carry lots, lots and lots of these.Not only for the plane ride and car journeys but also for when they fall asleep at odd times and miss meals, to entertain them while you get ready in the mornings, to provide them with something familiar when everything else in their world is suddenly new. 


Some examples of snacks I always take include -fruit squishes, cereal boxes, popcorn, crisps, individually packed biscuits, rice cakes, nuts, cereal bars, protein balls, custard pots and dried fruit packs.


For this trip we are staying both in hotels and also at my parents place in Mumbai so we have access to a kitchen only for a few days. I will also take along some baked beans, pasta and noodles to whiz up a quick meal for the kids if I need to. They love indian food too, so hopefully it won’t be too spicy and they get to enjoy some.


Eating out is obviously my favourite thing to do. Some rules to stick by - always eat at busy places with a high turn over, stick to grilled options rather than curries( you never know when they were cooked), try to limit your dairy intake including yoghurts, milk based drinks and coffees, paneer(which is everyone in india) and ice cream and finally make sure every bite is delicious. Just in case it does make you ill at least the taste would have been worth it.


When travelling with the kids the magnitude of having any tummy  problems increase for all the family.


7.Travel systems 


We travel with our GB pockit stroller which is great for Mumbai as it’s small enough to fit into taxi boots and even fold up and take on a rickshaw. We did previously use the traditional umbrella stroller but I think the is much more suited to a city break.

For the occasions when a pushchair is not suitable we will use a carrier with her.

I follow several mums from india on Instagram who are big pro baby carriers which was reassuring to see. We use two types the Tula which I find great for plane journeys and the baby Bjorn for when out, about and exploring.

On our last trip it also came in handy when my oldest got tired and wanted a turn in the buggy or when both kids fall asleep at the same time. 


8.Medication and Hygiene


Weather we go on a European city break or an African safari I always carry a medicine bag in addition to the medicine I keep in my hand luggage.

It includes calpol, neurofen, priton, inhalers, antiseptic cream, snuffle baby, saline spray, plasters, thermometer, teething liquid, insect bite relief, sudocream, diaroylte and anti bacterial.


The usual applies whenever you travel, I love Milton including the wipes and hand sanitiser. 


9.Water


I’m planning on boiling the mineral water and using this for drinking and brushing their teeth. All the usual holiday rules apply, no ice, no salad, no fruit you haven’t peeled yourself etc. My kids are bit water drinkers and don’t like juice or squash but it’s always handy to carry the small squash shots as I fine the mineral water in india does have a very unique strong taste. 


10.Activities  


It may require a little bit of extra planning but a trip to india with kids should be an amazing adventure to so don’t let any of the above out you off.


Mumbai is one of my favourite cities so I am hoping my kids love it to. 

The vibrancy, the bustling at the seams, the organised chaos, the world class service, and omg the food. It’s a city that for me I’ve seen grow over the last 20 years and to now be able to see what it has to offer through the eyes of my children is such a wonderful opportunity.

Stay tuned to see what we get upto to in this city of dreams!


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