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.
3 Days Pondicherry trip. Yesssss! 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 travelling, I decided to take a 3 days Pondicherry Trip, with my 3-year-old son. The thought of travelling 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 will not let you travel.
Agniv has shown keen interest in travelling in whichever mode of transport we have taken. He observes his surroundings and enjoys watching what is happening around him. Kids at this age can`t be in 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 travelling, 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 colouring book with crayon colours, a few toys (1 or 2 new toys), a 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.
Tourist Places to Visit in Pondicherry in 3 Days:
Aruimigu Manakula Vinayagar Temple
The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Eglise de Notre Dame des Anges
Immaculate Conception Cathedral.
Indian coffee house
And this is what our 3 Days Pondicherry Trip (My 1st Solo Mom Trip) look like:
Day 1 of our 3 Days Pondicherry Trip:
Our flight was at 7.25 in the morning from Mumbai to Chennai which would take around 2 hours. The day before travelling 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, and packed some snacks.
Took some effort to wake up Agniv. His father had to wake up also who had just come at night from Guwahati.
I have been telling this Agniv for quite a few days that we will be travelling on a plane soon. Agniv already had the experience of flying and was excited to get into a plane. A 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, and 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.
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 cafe called ZUKA CakeShop.
Before commencing this journey, I checked where is the hotel located, which are the nearby cafes and restaurants, and how far are the tourist places from the hotel with reviews online. I ordered one Hot-chocolate after reading the reviews online. They are 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.
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 cafe. Heard so much about this place online. Can’t afford to miss visiting this place. Ordered one wood-fired 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.
Day 2 of our 3 Days Pondicherry Trip:
I got up before Agniv, had some tea, took bath, and packed the bag for the day, which had some snacks like biscuits, dry fruits, cake, 2 water bottles, 2 stainless straws, one empty tiffin(to pack any leftovers), cash & card, sunscreen, a set of clothes for Agniv, tissue/towels, antiseptic cream for minor bruises.
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 centre.
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 favourite 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.
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.
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.
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.
What an eventful day it was and I am surprised to see that Agniv enjoyed it more than me and he didn`t trouble me at all.
Day 3 of our Pondicherry Trip:
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 the white town, visited 2-3 shops, enjoying a stroll.
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 in 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 Cafe Xtchi.
The next day we took a bus back to Chennai and from Chennai to Mumbai we flew down and 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 Pondicherry Trip is that the key ingredients to a smooth vacation when travelling 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.
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: