We have been practising a sustainable lifestyle at home for some time now and this time I adopted the same while travelling to Pondicherry with my 3 years old son. We have been trying to lead a sustainable lifestyle by adopting green methods like composting wet waste at home, buying plastic-free packaging materials, making our own cosmetics/toiletries, and floor cleaner, using reusable straws, cups, cutlery, etc. giving away all kinds of plastic items and food pouches for recycling.
One of the most important things, we can do to protect our environment is, to find ways to reduce waste. There is not a perfect zero-waste solution, but there are some little sustainable travel tip things we can each do. It just requires some advance planning.
Single-use items like- water bottles, cups, and straws, have an impact not only on the environment but also on us.
Here are the sustainable travel tips that I followed:
Packed our own food in reusable containers (or reusable food wrap) instead of buying that are wrapped in plastics
Carried our own water bottles and refilled them after security check-in. Refilled at regular intervals from drinking water station
Steel straws, spoons, and snacks in small containers for the little one
Requested the hotel staff to provide drinking water in a jar instead of water bottles
As a result, I could save 10 single-use straws from going to the trash. No unnecessary buying of water bottles.
Trash that we generated:
One water bottle was kept in the hotel room and my little one was feeling thirsty
2 chocolate wraps someone gave it (which I got back with me)
I am most guilty about the carbon footprints that I contribute while taking a flight. I know flying is bad for the environment and all, but unfortunately, it was my only option. Otherwise, we mostly travel by public transport or on foot once we are at our destination.
Planning ahead for the trip will not only help you lessen your environmental impact, but it will also make your whole travelling experience more enjoyable. It was my first attempt at making a sustainable trip and I am glad I could attain it to some extent.
My husband and I love to travel on any given day. After travelling to different places in India and the US between Nov to Feb(4 months) including visits to our native places in Assam (including some solo trips ), it was time to take a rest.
And within a month I conceived. I guess travelling helped my mind and body to relax, as we’re trying hard for the last year for a baby, followed by a miscarriage.
My pregnancy went smoothly and we had a lovely baby boy. Life became a roller-coaster ride for us. But the travel bug was crawling inside me and pinching me from time to time. Travel bug doesn’t come and go, it resides permanently inside you.
I desperately needed a break from the daily routine. Oops did I say daily routine? The daily routine doesn’t change whether you are home or on a vacation when you have a baby.
Our son was approaching his 1st birthday, and 10 days after that we had to leave for our native place in Assam. Before going home, we took a short 3 Days Trip to Goa with our 1-Year-Old.
One week before our trip, I introduced my son to formula milk (he didn’t have outside milk before). So in public places, I don’t have to cover him or look for a secluded place to breastfeed him.
I even made a checklist of items like his daily essentials and food items to carry for this 3 Days Trip to Goa with a 1-Year-Old. This helped me with what to pack and when to feed him what.
What to pack for 3 Days Trip to Goa with a 1-Year-Old? Below is the list of items to pack for a short trip:
1. Diapers and Changing Mat:
I guess it is the first things that come to our mind while packing a baby`s bag are diapers and a changing mat. Take only the required number of diapers or carry a few and buy the rest at the destination as disposable diapers are easily available. And if you only use cloth diapers then I would suggest taking flats and diaper covers as they are easier to wash and dries real fast. Travelling with cloth diapers is not at all messy. All you need is little planning and patience.
Do remember to give some diaper-free time to your child, it can be early in the morning after the child wakes up and after reaching your hotel/resort. Training/Potty pants and nappy are best.
2. Diaper Bag:
Choose a backpack instead of a shoulder or sling bag as a backpack will keep your hands free. You can use your regular backpack instead of a separate bag for the baby.
3. Extra sets of clothes:
Always carry 2-3 extra sets of clothes when you travel with babies
Don’t forget to apply sunscreen before you step out in Goa. The one from Mother Sprash is my personal favourite.
5. Toys and Board Books:
Keep 2-3 small toys to keep them engaged for some time like during a train/flight journey or while waiting for your food at the restaurant or at the hotel. Small board books or flipflop have been very helpful to me.
Carry a few snacks with you like Cookies, makhana, fruits, and cake that can be made at home. If that is not possible here are a few options:
Take 2-3 bottles if your baby is on formula milk only or takes bottle feed 2-3 times a day. Wash and Sterilize them once you are back at the hotel
9. Electric Kettle:
All hotels and Resorts usually have an Electric Kettle but do check with them before leaving as you may need them to make baby food or milk or even to sterilize baby`s utensils.
For keeping water for making formula milk or food.
Do carry all the medicines along with the doctor’s prescription, because you just never know when you will need them.
Carry your regular toiletries like soap, and shampoo detergents in small bottles instead of those full-size bottles. Comb and face cream.
13. Baby Carrier/Stroller:
Do carry a kangaroo bag cum adjustable baby carrier. The baby is not only comfortable in that but will be very helpful when the baby is sleeping and you are out exploring places or riding a bike or car. A stroller will be helpful at airports or hotels. You cannot take a stroller to the beach, so check if you require them. We didn’t take them as it is difficult to move around in India as the tourist places are always crowded.
Wipes not only clean your baby`s bum but for cleaning their little hands or face also. You can make your own wipes. Just carry a few small cotton clothes or old leftover cotton fabric or bamboo sheets with the solution. Check this video on how to make Wipes Solution.
Carry their shoes/slippers/crocs. Don’t take any new shoes or make them wear them a few times as they might not want to wear them or may get shoe bites.
I tried to maintain his schedule, which includes his meal time and nap time.
One day of our journey the flight was scheduled to depart at 4.30 in the evening from Mumbai airport. Our son got up at his usual time in the morning, had breakfast, played for some time, took a bath, and went to sleep. While he was sleeping we had our lunch, washed the utensils, got ready and everything was done. In the meantime, he also got up, dressed him, breastfeed-ed him and we were ready to leave for the airport.
After checking in he had a banana. At this age, they need to eat something at a gap of 2-3 hours. We still had time for boarding. Before boarding the flight I prepared his formula milk which he had during takeoff. And he slept and got up just before we landed.
Things to do in Goa with kids: 3 Days Trip to Goa with a 1-Year-Old.
As goa is famous for its beaches it is worth spending a whole day by the sea. Bring in some toys for the kids to play in the sand, while you relax with your favourite drink.
Other than that there are things that can be enjoyed both by kids and adults:
Go for a Dolphin tour at Baga beach or at Candolim Beach as both Kids and adults are gonna love this trip. At Candolim beach, an hour-long tour on the boat to witness the stunning dolphins is one of the best activities to do in Goa.
2) Aguada and Chapora Fort:
Both the forts have a long and fascinating history attached to them and both offers beautiful views of the sea. With open spaces, they are ideal for visiting with kids.
3) Basilica of Bom Jesus:
Basilica of Bom Jesus is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Goa. The mummified body of St. Francis Xavier that remains encased in a silver casket is the key highlight of this church.
4) Mandovi River Cruise:
Enjoy the beautiful surrounding and scenic views of the sunset while cruising the river Mandovi. The cruise lasts for 1 hour and is accompanied by Music, Dance, Live Dj and cultural activities.
5) Water Sports:
For older kids (Above 10-12 years) and adults there are plenty of water sports like paragliding, parasailing, water bike etc that one can enjoy.
6) Flea Market:
Anjuna Flea Market on Wednesday and Saturday Night Market in Arpora are two markets that one must visit if you are in Goa. From jewellery to local handicrafts, and clothes these places are shoppers’ paradise. Don’t forget to carry a baby carrier if you are taking babies or younger kids as walking around here can be tiring for them.
Preparations for the carnival celebrations begin early on in December and are usually celebrated during the months of either February or March before the onset of Lent. People of all age groups can enjoy this festival. It includes revellers wearing masks and costumes usually, dancing troupes, electrifying music which is generally performed live, great food and drinking.
Where to stay in Goa?
From budget travellers to luxury ones Goa has very good options to choose from. But with kids, I would prefer a place that offers safety, hygiene, spaciousness and close proximity to the beach. Here are some options that you can check:
Going out with your toddler for a full day or half day also requires planning and packing your bag accordingly. Keeping a checklist of items on what to pack will make packing hassle-free. I prefer to pack my bag a day earlier or the first thing in the morning, to avoid the last-minute rush. Kids’ packing list differs from person to person. A packing list for the day might be different from one for a road trip or when travelling by flight or train. But there are a few things which you will always require no matter where you go.
2 things to keep in mind before packing kids’ bags are:
1. The Destination:
If you have not been to the place do try to find out about the place. Are you going to a friend’s or relative’s place or for a fun outing, to attend some event, going out shopping, or going to the beach? One needs to pack your kid’s bag accordingly.
2. The Bag:
What type of bag to carry? A large tote bag, diaper bag, or two separate bags, one for your toddler and one for yourself. I prefer to carry one large bag which will fit everything, instead of two separate bags. Have a look at Tote bags: tote bags and diaper bag
Kids packing list: Checklist of items to carry
Always carry an extra set of clothes keeping in mind the weather conditions and the destination. 2-3 hand towels or cloth- napkins/paper napkins or wet- wipes. Buy wipes here: wipes
I always prefer to carry water from home. I found this leak-proof water bottle very handy. This insulated water bottle can be used to store hot/ warm water and it will be very useful during winters.
Even if your child is big enough to eat outside food, do carry some snacks with you because you never know when they will feel hungry or in case they refuse to have the food served at the venue. Snacks like protein biscuits, dry fruits, cakes can be easily carried in a small container with lids. And they easily fit into your bags also. Have a look at containers with lid: Tupperware Tropical Plastic Container Set, 230ml, Set of 2, Multicolour
Carry a few diapers if your little one is still using one. My son was well potty trained by 18 months, so I didn’t carry any diapers. I made him eat papaya in the morning and he cleared his bowel very leaving the house( I was so relaxed). One can even carry this portable baby child potty urinal emergency toilet. This will fit into a large tote bag.
Carry one or two small toys in case they get bored or you are stuck in traffic.
Other Essentials to include in kid`s packing list
These are some other essentials that you might require: Face Cream, Mosquito repellent, Umbrella, Hand sanitizer, Mask and Trash bag