Naga Chokkanathan

Travelling With Kids

Posted on: December 18, 2014

Club Mahindra has asked an interesting question in their website http://membership.clubmahindra.com/TeddyTravelogues/index.html: When you are travelling with your children on a vacation, how would you ensure that they have the best time, while ensuring you would also have a good time!

This is a tricky question. Choosing a right vacation spot which satisfies both kids and adults is the big challenge.

For example, I prefer cities which have historical significance. My wife prefers places where lots of temples are there. Kids want amusement parks or play areas where they can have fun for hours.

Fortunately, in India, it is not very difficult to find a city where these three circles intersect. Almost every city will have some historic place, few temples around and amusement parks.

But the point is how do you balance these places? If we keep visiting temple after temple, kids get bored. If we spend a whole day in an amusement park, I get bored 🙂

So, this can’t be an “OR” problem. It should be handled with the power of “AND”.

For example, if I am in a historically important place, it becomes my additional responsibility to ensure I find some interesting stories to tell or things to show the kids and explain to them why history can be fun too. Similarly, my wife ensures she reads all the stories about every temple we visit so that they are learning something new in every trip.

Another thing I have observed, Kids can find new ways to play in almost every area. For example, inside a fort, they can find one open space where they can run around. Inside a temple, they can find a platform where they can climb and slide.

But most parents don’t encourage this. They simply want their kids to behave the proper way. ‘Shut up and look at this painting’ they say. Such force fit won’t work. Either create genuine interest, or let them do what they want to!

One important factor we ensure during travels is food. Eating in hotels can’t be avoided, at the same time we should make sure that kids don’t eat something heavy that can make them sleepy or tired. Wherever possible, we take small breaks in between two tourist spots, without rushing. Because, if the kids lost motivation, most of the times, parents won’t be able to see the places with full interest as they need to take care of them, and they are constantly worried about ‘why they are so tired? We only saw 24 temples from morning while eating two heavy meals!’

It may also help if you let them chose what places they want to see. Their choice may not be perfect. But they are willing to listen. It is your duty to create interest. If you can genuinely co-create the travel schedule, I am sure it will be a fun filled vacation!

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The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Organization He works for / belongs to.

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