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Safe Travel with childrens?

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1. Posted by harry142 (Inactive 3 posts) 3y

harry142 has indicated that this thread is about India

Hello friends
Please give me suggetion

Thank you

2. Posted by sjthomas (Budding Member 2 posts) 3y

Hello Harry,

Our family has travelled extensively in India with children ranging in age from 3 years old on up. I would say India is one of the safer -- and more pleasant -- places to travel with children. Of course, one must use common sense, which I outline below.

What makes India so pleasant for travel with children is that Indians love children. It makes life so much more pleasant when you get on a bus or train, or walk into a restaurant or hotel and people's faces light up to see your kids. We've had waiters in restaurants bring special treats for our kids or want to entertain them. Lots of shopkeepers are so happy to see you with children. For a while we simply chalked this up to Indian's natural love of children, until we realized that most tourists to India don't bring their children -- many Indians have rarely or never seen foreign children!

Many cities and towns have special "children's parks" where you can only enter if you have a child with you. Aside from the common sense precautions below, the only difficulty may be adjusting to a very different sense of personal space than you may be used to. Most Indians don't think you will be at all worried about your children's interaction with them. It is common for total strangers to take children on their laps in trains or buses, and it is nearly universal for strangers to pull out a piece of candy and offer it to your child. These people are not out to kidnap or abuse your child -- it is common everyday practice.

Common Sense Precautions:
1. Health: Indians and foreigners alike when traveling within India are super-aware of health concerns. It is very easy to get sick, usually from lack of water for washing or unclean water. Get your kids used to checking with you before they eat or drink anything. Kids touch all sorts of things and put their hands in their mouths. Carry wet wipes to wash them up on a regular basis. Make sure hotels and restaurants have purified water before drinking it -- ask how the water is purified and look at the apparatus to make sure it is functioning. Otherwise buy bottled water to drink. Avoid foods that aren't freshly cooked. For raw foods, make sure it is something that can be peeled and wasn't rinsed off in water -- a banana for example is great!

2. Crowds: India is full of people. Keep track of your child!!! Nobody wants to kidnap your child, but it can be easy to lose sight of a small kid in a big crowd. Your travel will be so much more pleasant if you don't have the nightmare of searching for a lost child.

3. Personal Property: This is advice for travelling anywhere, but it is worth repeating. Watch your personal goods, especially things that really, really matter like your passport and your money. A friend of ours put a backpack on her son with the passports in the back pocket. Within minutes the passport had vanished!!! While my friend burst into tears an Indian gentleman stepped forward and asked what had happened. He offered her enough money to get to a US consulate and for a night in a hotel. "I am ashamed you had this experience in my country." The truth is this could happen anywhere in the world. We travel with valuables in a money belt under clothing. Do not entrust valuables to a child to carry. When on a train or bus, keep your bags where you can check on them and your valuables on your person.

4. Enjoy! Travelling with kids can help you have a better trip. Slow down the schedule. Travel in India can be exhausting, and even more so for kids. Heat, dust, crowds, long bus rides, new foods, etc. can take it out of a child even faster than an adult. Schedule in empty time to go to a park, hang out and play games, take a nap, go to bed early, check out the playground at a children's park, go to a museum, take longer to shop while shopkeepers fuss over your child, let strangers invite you into their houses . . . when you have a child with you most Indians will think you look a lot more like them and it gives them an entry point to interact with you. Enjoy.

Stewart Thomas
-snip-

[ Edit: Sorry, no personal details please. ]

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