Posted on Leave a comment

International Travel-Dubai Diaries

 

IMG_0088

We traveled to 4 countries covering 15+ cities when our son was 22 months old for almost 35 days. Love for travel didn’t stop us from traveling with a toddler. Traveling with kids can be frustrating at times so be prepared for that.
We first visited Dubai en-route Turkey, for 3 days.


Day 1: On the day of arrival we visited: > Dubai Mall > Aquarium and underwater zoo > Dubai fountain

Dubai Mall is one of the largest mall in UAE. Â The Aquarium and underwater zoo is located on the Ground Level of The Dubai Mall, is the largest suspended aquariums in the world.
It houses thousands of aquatic animals, comprising over 140 species.

The Dubai fountain is a choreographed fountain show, next to the Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa. We saw the evening show. The evening shows starts at 6.00 pm until 12.00 midnight ( shows in every 30 mins). These are kid friendly places and can be easily covered in 4-5 hours.

Day 2: Our friend took us to few important landmarks. Because the weather was hot and we just managed to get down from the car and click some pics. Little one was sleeping inside the car. Evening was spent spending time with friends and relatives.

The other places to visit are: Miracle Garden, Dubai Village, Butterfly Garden. We couldn’t visit those places as we didn’t have time and we wanted to come again when our son is little older, as now he will not remember anything, and it will be him who will enjoy the most.

  • It is very necessary to carry a stroller if you have a baby or toddler.
  • Our son suffered from loose motion for 2 days. So don’t forget to carry all the necessary medicines with prescription. Small children may fall sick due to change in weather and new place. Be prepared to face the unexpected and take necessary remedies/ precautions for the same.
Posted on 2 Comments

3 Days in Puducherry: My 1st Trip with my son

3 Days in Puducherry: My 1st Trip with my son

Diwali vacations were approaching and I wanted to utilise these two weeks rather than sitting at home, getting bored by doing household chores, and trying numerous ways to keep my little one engaged. When the little one is at home, I just can’t do any productive work like reading a book, working on my laptop, etc. As my husband was busy with work and traveling, I decided to take a 3 days trip to Puducherry, with my 3-year-old son. The thought of traveling with a kid is enough to make you sit at home and regret the days lost. I challenged myself to take this trip as it will be a kind of experiment with Agniv as I will know how to keep him entertained/occupied and the difficulties that come our way which will help me `in preparing for our next trip. The fear of what if they….will not let you travel.

Agniv has shown keen interest in traveling in whichever mode of transport we have taken. He observes his surroundings, enjoys watching what is happening around him. Kids at this age can`t be at one place even for a minute, so I keep him engaged by talking to him about everything and anything happening around us.

Pondicherry officially known as Puducherry is the capital and the most populous city of the Indian Union Territory. Though very small, it was the largest French colony in India and the city has a long and interesting history of trade and war. Did all the bookings well in advance.

Two weeks before traveling, I prepared a list of items to carry in my handbag and what to pack in the suitcase. Flying with kids could be disastrous if you don’t plan and prepare in advance and you can`t travel light with kids. The handbag mostly had Agniv`s stuff like a water bottle, a coloring book with crayon colors, few toys (1 or 2 new toys), cloth towel, an extra set of clothes, hand sanitizer, old newspaper, snacks in different small containers, tissue paper, paper bag, spoon, straw, stole, etc. (I prefer a backpack over shoulder bag) Planning and making a checklist of items to carry has always helped me in taking a trip. And here is how we spent 3 Days in Puducherry: My 1st Trip with my son.

 

 

3 Days in Puducherry: My 1st Trip with my son
Basic Essentials for the trip
3 Days in Puducherry: My 1st Trip with my son
What I carried to keep Agniv engaged

Day 1 of our 3 Days in Puducherry:Â

Our flight was at 7.25 in the morning from Mumbai to Chennai which would take around 2 hours. The day before traveling I didn’t let Agniv sleep in the afternoon (he sleeps in the afternoon after coming from school for about 1.5 -2 hours). As he didn’t sleep in the afternoon he went to sleep at around 7 in the evening. On the day of our journey, I got up early, took bath, made breakfast, packed some snacks.

Took some effort to wake up Agniv. His father had to wake up also who just came at night from Guwahati.

 

 

On our way to Chennai
Inside the Aircraft



3 days trip to Puducherry
Sleeping peacefully inside the aircraft

I have been telling this Agniv for quite a few days that we will be traveling on a plane soon. Agniv already had the experience of flying and was excited to get into a plane. Few minutes after takeoff he went off to sleep and got up just before landing. And I was sooo…..happy, what else do u need? After reaching Chennai airport we took a cab to PMBT(bus station)and from there we took a bus to Pondicherry. The bus ride took almost 4 hours. Agniv enjoyed his bus ride, looking out of the window, munching on some snacks. He slept for an hour also then he kept popping through the window and would ask me every 15 minutes if the bus ride over?

 

3 days trip to Puducherry
At Chennai Airport

We reached Chennai at around 3.30 in the afternoon, checked into the hotel, freshened up, had our food, and after that, we stepped out to explore the nearby places. Google map was our constant companion. Our first visit was to a nearby café called ZUKA CakeShop.

Before commencing this journey, I checked where is the hotel located, which are the nearby cafes and restaurants, how far are the tourist places from the hotel with reviews online. I ordered one Hot-chocolate after reading the reviews online. They served in a tiny cup of coffee with 2 pieces of chocolate block and one spoon made from chocolate. Never seen or had a chocolate spoon before. Agniv was looking at me with amazement when I took a bite of the spoon.

 

Hot chocolate at Zuka Cake Shop

From there we went to the Sunday bazaar, which was within walking distance. It is flocked by locals and tourists who come here to buy the wide range of products which are available at very affordable rates. Didn’t spend much time here as there was nothing of interest and the market was very crowded. We hardly spent around 30 minutes and from there we headed towards Xtasi café. Heard so much about this place online. Can’t afford to miss visiting this place. Ordered one wood-fire pizza. After a long time, I had an amazing pizza. Agniv also enjoyed his share of Pizza. It was an early dinner for us as I was tired and sleepy and I wanted Agniv to get proper sleep and rest so that he won`t get cranky the next day. It is very important to get proper rest for children and better to sleep early and set out early the next day. Walked down to the hotel and went to sleep at 8 o`clock.

 

3 days in Puducherry
Waiting for our Pizza
3 days in Puducherry
A Slice of Pizza for the boy

Day 2 of our 3 Days in Puducherry:

I got up before Agniv, had some tea, took bath, packed the bag for the day, which had some snacks like biscuits, dry fruits, cake, 2 water bottles, 2 stainless straw, one empty tiffin(to pack any leftovers), cash & card, sunscreen, a set of clothes for Agniv, tissue/towels, antiseptic cream for minor bruises.

 

Breakfast at a local joint with the locals

After Agniv got up, took him for a bath, got dressed, and we were all set for the day. Agniv was very excited and I was praying everything to move smoothly. After breakfast at a local roadside restaurant, we took an Auto for the day, which was waiting outside the tourist information center.

Our first stop was at Aruimigu Manakula Vinayagar Temple, a traditional Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Ganapati. My auto rickshawala Mr.Murugan guided me through the temple, explaining to me about all the deities placed there.

From there I went to Aurobindo Ashram which was nearby only, the favorite tourist destination. Though Agniv was about to turn 3 they didn’t allow him inside as kids below 3 years are not allowed. I left Agniv with Mr.Murugan (I took a risk here) and quickly finished off. I wanted to spend more time here but, maybe next time. I was worried for Agniv and came out in 10 mins. And there he was with Mr. Murugan, such a relief.

From there we headed towards Auroville. The main attraction here is the “Matrimandir”. After reaching Matrimandir a shaded 10-12 minute walk leads from the Visitors’ Center to the Viewing Point. A free electric shuttle service is available for those who may find it difficult to walk the approx. 1 km distance each way. Free bus service is available for the return journey from the Viewing Point to the Visitors Center for all those who wish to avail of it. We took the shuttle services. We spent about 45 minutes there looking at the dome covered by golden discs, reflecting sunlight. Clicked some pics, went to the washroom, and refilled our water bottles.

3 days trip to Puducherry
At MatriMandir

From here we went to a local restaurant for lunch and then to paradise beach. Agniv went off to sleep after lunch and I had to carry him to the booking counter for a boat ride. He woke up before getting on the boat.

At the beach

Paradise Beach is situated in Chunnambar, close to Pondicherry town. The beach is very clean with a beautiful view. The boathouse Is the entry point to the beach. The tourism department runs the cruise with a capacity of about 15-20 passengers with an interval of 30 minutes. It takes about 15-20 minutes to reach the beach from the boathouse. The cost per person both ways is Rs 300. Agniv was enjoying this ride with beautiful backwater all along.

Ended the day`s tour after visiting The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Eglise de Notre Dame des Anges, and Immaculate Conception Cathedral. Mr.Murugan dropped us near Rock beach. Did some shopping at Handicraft Emporium.

Agniv with Mr.Murugan

For some quick snacks, we stopped at Lecafe which is located overlooking the beach. Great location with options to sit outside and inside. After spending an hour around rock beach we headed back to our hotel.

Happy Agniv

What an eventful day it was and I am surprised to see that Agniv enjoyed more than me and he didn’t trouble me at all.

 

 

Day 3 of our trip to Puducherry:

Breakfast At New Banana Cafe & Restaurant
New Banana Cafe & Restaurant

After having breakfast at a local restaurant, we went to see the museum which was closed yesterday. The museum is especially noted for its collection of fine lost-wax bronzes from the period of the Chola Empire.

The Museum’s collection includes 81 Chola bronze sculptures, ranking as one of the largest collections of Chola bronzes. We spent around 15 minutes there and from there went to Bharti park. Bharti govt. park is within walking distance from the museum in white town. A good place to sit and relax in the midst of mother nature. This park is surrounded by Government Hospital, Pondicherry Private Club, the Legislative Assembly, and Lt. Governor’s Palace. From there we walked down, exploring the by-lanes of white town, visited 2-3 shops, enjoying a stroll.

 

Indian Coffee House

We slept for some time then in the evening I decided to visit the Indian coffee house for some quick snacks. The place was packed, but we managed to find one table at a corner. It’s a restaurant chain in India, run by a series of worker co-operative societies. It has a strong presence across India with nearly 400 coffee houses. Our day ended with an evening stroll along the wide pavement of rocky beach, followed by dinner at Café Xtchi.

 

Dinner At Cafe Xtchi
Dinner At Cafe Xtchi
Cafe Xtchi

The next day we took a bus back to Chennai and from Chennai to Mumbai we flew down With that our 3 days in Puducherry came to end and I am so glad I took this trip with Agniv.

What I learned from this trip is that the key ingredients to a smooth vacation when traveling with your little ones are to pay attention to their needs. Kids can adjust to any situation very easily provided there is the right balance between rest time and activities. Now I am very confident to take up any trip with just two of us.

At Rock Beach


Also Read: Traveling with Cloth Diapers: My Experience
Posted on Leave a comment

3 Days Trip to Goa with a 1 Year Old.

3 Days Trip to Goa with a 1 Year Old.
                            Â
3 Days Trip to Goa with a 1 Year Old.
At a Beach with my 1-Year-Old

My husband and I love to travel on any given day. After traveling 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 traveling 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 1 st 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.

Â

Day 1:

  • Breakfast: Bread dipped in milk/warm water or cerelac or oats or powered cornflakes
  • Mid-morning: Milk
  • Lunch: Little Moppets FoodsÂ
  • Afternoon: Breastmilk/ Formula milk
  • Dinner: Dal rice/ Khichdi

Â

Day 2:

  • Breakfast: Same as day 1 or fruits
  • Mid-morning: Milk
  • Lunch: Little Moppets FoodsÂ
  • Afternoon: Breastmilk/ Formula milk
  • Evening: Banana or any other fruits

 

Day 3:

  • Breakfast: Same as day 1and 2 or another alternative
  • Mid-morning: Milk
  • Lunch: Little Moppet FoodsÂ
  • Afternoon: Beastmilk/ Formula milk
  • Evening: Cakes, biscuits, fruits
  • Dinner: khichdi or dal rice or roti

You can also read: 5 Best organic baby food brands in India 2020

What to pack for goa with a baby? Below is the list of items to pack for a short trip:Â

  • Diapers,
  • Extra set of clothes,
  • Toys and books
  • Formula milk powder
  • 2-3 feeding bottles
  • Electric kettle
  • Cloth bag

Below is the list of items to carry when out for the whole day:

  • Diapers,
  • Extra set of clothes,
  • 2-3 toys,
  • Food,
  • Fruits,
  • Formula milk powder,
  • Water,
  • Hot water in a flask

I tried to maintain his schedule, which includes his meal time and nap time.

One the day our journey our 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.

We had a nice time together, though most of the time my concern was, whether he is enjoying or not, is he hungry or sleepy?

What I understood from this trip at this age is that we need to maintain his meal and nap time, so that they don’t become cranky and we all have a memorable vacation.

3 Days Trip to Goa with a 1 Year Old.
With his father at the beach

Also, Read Travel During Pregnancy