Chaitali Mehendale’s first International holiday to Dubai with her 4 year-old son was a success. She followed few simple instructions, avoided a disastrous episode thanks to mindful thinking, and returned home wiser than before.
Here are the tips that helped her, and will certainly come handy on your first International holiday with kids!
The Air-Scare (Not Really!)
It was my first international trip to Dubai with my husband and son Rohan, aged 4, in the year 2014. Like any mother, I was anxious about how he would handle ‘the trip’ i.e. the flight and the long stop-overs. Thankfully, the games on the seat-back TV kept him engrossed throughout the flight. That was quite a relief!
Tip #1: Ideally your first flight with your child should be short-distanced. This will introduce them to flight travel, so that you’re both better equipped to handle longer flight journeys in the future. Also, drawing books and board games will come handy if they get bored of the inflight entertainment.
Clothing & Food; Do Not Overdo It
I chose to dress my son in loose cotton comfortable tees and shorts to help him cope with the sweltering climate of Dubai. When it comes to food, we all know that kids can be fussy eaters. They usually do not eat a heavy meal, and it’s better not to coax them, especially while travelling. There is nothing as bad as motion sickness to put off your trip.
Tip #2: Make sure you dress-up your child according to the climate of your destination, and keep all their medicines handy. Also, avoid too much of sweets; you certainly don’t want to enter a new city with children on a sugar rush.
Desert Safari: Eat Right, Eat Light
In Dubai, my family and I preferred to stick to a light brunch just before an adventurous day ahead to the Desert Safari. On the other hand, there was another Indian family with a kid who feasted their hearts out on the lavish buffet spread. Next moment, we were escorted to our plush Land Cruiser, for our desert safari ride. The driver flaunted his exceptional driving skills, dashed up and down the sand dunes and gave us all a brilliant adrenaline rush. There was one exception though.
Thanks to our sensible eating, we enjoyed our ride thoroughly. The kid from the other family, however, had been over-stuffed just before the ride and was seated ahead. Ten minutes into the ride, and the driver realized to his horror that the child had thrown up in the car. It was quite a task for the driver to clean the space, and the foul odour stayed with us on our way back to the hotel.
Tip #3: As parents we need to be sensitive to our child’s body capacity. In fact, due to numerous incidents like the bumpy desert safari, the tour escorts have now become extremely stringent. Travellers will be asked to cough up a hefty fine for the same, and in some extreme cases, they’ll expect you to clean up the car.
So parents, it’s indeed better to be safe than sorry.