Vacation to Kashmir for the summer break . Sounds awesome right!
The Real Story about the Kashmir trip!
Before my hubby took over the charges.I was having a full-blown panic attack. Now that it’s done,I thought this needs sharing to help other parents travel calmer (maybe..no harm trying) I travel with family. This includes my baby daughter and my mommy who is a senior citizen.So no mad dashing around .That’s definite!
For Holiday planning I am strictly focusing on
So after my hubby had the glorious idea of Kashmir, we got down to breaking down the journey . (This is part 1 of a 3 part post series Stress-free travel with a Child) Stay tuned for a thoughtful shopping list for your baby while traveling.
(I traveled to Kashmir in 2017 )
#MAJOR DECISION 1
Flying, Train or by Road? If there’s a plane.. catch it! That’s my motto.The quicker I reach my destination, the happier we all are. Other than the baby I create the most ruckus about less than perfect situations.
The current scenario:
Travelling from Kolkata to Delhi to Srinagar.. with a child. Decisions as parents are never easy. More like hair tearingly frustrating. I wish I hadn’t misplaced my magic wand.Just a swish of it and all problems solved. Now to the serious business of choosing the right way to travel. Pro tip: Expedia coupons.
Pros of Flying for me:
Same day journey
Cons of Flying :
Pros of Train:
Just get on it and enjoy the scenery!A train trip is an adventure by itself.
Pocket-friendly even when traveling first class.
Children have more space to play.
Cons of train travel:
The time it takes
The unpredictability of the railways
With a child long train journeys are really tiring.
Best option for you is flying by Domestic Airlines . If there’s a flight just fly!
There’s hardly any direct flight, from Kolkata to Srinagar. Solution: Hubby designed our own 1 stop flight. Being a serious fan of indigo Airlines we bought Air tickets from Kolkata to Delhi Indigo flights. I really like , how helpful the Indigo staff is! Good service is very important for travelers, to choose one airline over the other.
A morning Indigo flight, from Kolkata to Delhi : We will reach Delhi by 9 am on the morning of 2nd June.
When traveling with children try to catch the most comfortable early flights. These are easily available.There’s less crowd at the airport and definitely less hassle. For connecting flights, the time in between the two flights is important!Getting your luggage, and boarding pass, for the other flight, takes some time and I really didn’t want the horrible rushing around with Rai (the little one) Plus I love browsing books at airport lounges!Yes, I know they are overpriced. But there’s something magical about having a book as a memory marker.
Flight from Delhi to Srinagar at 1.20pm.Plenty of time to check out the Delhi Airport bookshops and grab a bite.
The return flight is from Srinagar to Delhi by Go Air.
I have traveled once with them before. But not with a child!
The return to Kolkata is through the favorite Indigo again.
From Srinagar to Pahalgam: Road trip
We have hired a car for traveling from the Srinagar Airport, directly to Pahalgam. Our plan is to relax at the Himalaya hotel for the first 3 days. Travel doesn’t just broaden the mind.It provides you with the much-needed disconnect, from everyday irritations.I love holidays which are relaxing!
This is a much-needed break to rejuvenate the mind.I am a mountain lover.I love staring at snowy peaks and breathing the cold, crisp mountain air. Not sure about trekking and hiking.But definitely, love walks in the cold crisp weather! All the walking uphill will also keep us fit , while we gorge on delicious food.
I am planning to soak in the awesome natural beauty of Pahalgam. Get loads of beautiful pics on the Blog. Taste authentic local cuisine and just relax! We will be traveling back to Srinagar on the 5th of June At Srinagar, we will be staying at a wonderful heritage hotel near Nagin lake.
It’s little away from the Dal lake and city center. But the resort promises abundant space and natural beauty for a perfect getaway. (It’s a family-friendly hotel with loads of awesome reviews) It’s from Srinagar that we will be visiting Gulmarg, Sonmarg, and the local attractions. I am a passionate urban gardener and I have serious plans to visit the beautiful gardens that decorate the city.
By now you must have realized I am quite obsessed with eliminating all possible ,predictable stress factors. When you are traveling with a baby you can’t take chances. That was the main intention behind choosing the flights,the hotels and deciding on the touring options!Now planning beforehand has helped me cut out 2 major stress factors.
1)Flight Costs: Plan and book tickets in time to get best deals.Saves you money for other things.
2)Hotel availability and their quality. The hotels we have chosen have been selected based on their child-friendly qualities, service and location. The main purpose of holidays is to take a break from the daily madness. We enjoy visiting new places and tasting the local food and experiencing the culture closely. Kashmir with its pristine mountains faces a lot of strife and is still struggling with normalcy. But one thing I have read everywhere on travel forums, is they truly care for the tourists. They care deeply about their heritage and want the world to know about the rich culture of Kashmir. Unlike many, city – center hotels were not what we were looking for.We just wanted to be away from the hustle and bustle and still be quite close to essential services. Planning your travel with your top priority in mind is most important. Our top priority: No stress!
3) Use Web check in when possible.Web check-in facility will hopefully help me save a lot of headaches.
4)Have an airport drop and pickup pre-booked if possible. Absolutely important if you have plenty of luggage and a child in tow. Everyone tries to scam you with the most exorbitant rates.
5)Travel light.The biggest challenge with a child. What we do.. Carry only essentials for us. Anything we need extra we buy. When we had traveled to Rohtang Pass our woolens were grossly inadequate.But we got the fur coats gloves and snowshoes for hire at a nominal rate. That’s easily available in tourist places
6)Avoid a crazy travel plan . Travelling too much during holidays makes me wish for a break to relax ..after a holiday. So relax +fun. No mad rushing!
We have plans of visiting Kashmir several more times So this is a starter plan only.We just want to relax.
7)Carry all emergency medicines. Travel with a child can be tricky.While we pray to God and take care, one has to have a backup plan. Medicines we carry: Paracetamol Anti -emetic Anti -diarrhoeal OR Wet wipes Band-Aid Antibiotic ointment Anything else…again we buy Our vitamins (For details on this you can check out Travel Health India)Read my post Travel HealthIndia
8)Look at your diet and exercise routine to stay fit. Don’t forget your fruits and green veggies to boost up your immunity.This is for before travel and during travel, as far as possible.
9)Carry a few toys, coloring book, crayons, your tablet.Maybe a new toy too!
10.Dress in layers.The little ones should have easily removable lowers.Avoid hooks, zips, buttons, belts. Drawstring and elastic waists are best for quick loo visits. 11.Make your little one sit away from the aisle. Food carts with hot beverages while passing are a hazard with little passengers in the aisle seat. 12.Give them something to chew or water to drink during takeoff and descent.This prevents Aeroplane Ear due to pressure change. 13.Snacks for the little one to munch. It’s unlikely the food cart will have food appropriate for children.So definitely pack something for him/her. 14.Carry plastic bags to collect any wrappers and other items you may have to dispose of during flight. 15.If children are carrying their own little backpacks, give them the hotel address, phone number, your numbers all written down on a paper to be kept in an inner pocket.
Travelling with children is definitely stressful. Small hiccups are inevitable. But don’t let it spoil your mood.
Take a deep breath and pray and smile.After all, you are on a holiday!