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Travelling with toddlers, is pretty tough. But, it’s tougher during a pandemic lockdown. Here’s everything you need to know about travelling with your kids!
We travel not to escape life but for life not to escape us.”
Last weekend my first air travel during lockdown was a bit of both, life not escaping us and us not escaping life.
It was kind of urgency to return back to where you and your children belong. Though I was in my home town with my parents and my in-laws, shuttling between both the places, we still missed our home.
I was missing my better half and kids were missing their daddy- the great. One who pampers them with toys and car rides.
Travelling with toddlers and twins at that, all alone is painstakingly troublesome. And to add to your woes were the guidelines to be followed for COVID-19.
We started our journey Sunday last week, giving up our precious sleep just for the excitement of travelling back to our destination. The humdrum began 5 am at sharp in order to quickly finish the chores since we were to travel the entire day. Finally, in “bhaga, bhaga sa douda, douda sa” mode, I managed to finish all my chores along with kids.
Now, the time had come to tick the long checklist that hubby dear had sent for precautionary measures for travelling with toddlers by air.
Just before heading to the airport our COVID special dressing also began. I made my kids wear masks and then there was a big-time struggle making them wear surgical gloves.
Not only I, but my parents and my aunt too struggled. So they were four adults trying hard to make two kids wear their gloves. Finally, our sweat paid off and we headed to the airport to be on time. The moment we arrived there the weather seemed to be gloomy. It was hot and humid and we all were sweating badly.
The first sight was that of a long queue before us, with yellow circles to maintain social distancing. We quickly joined in to be inside the airport as that could be our only escape from the sweltering heat. Imagine that was just 7.30 a.m in the morning and we all were sweating profusely.
Before I could settle down with my toddlers, my girl quietly said: “Mumma, I am not feeling well and I want to puke.”
My goodness, I could not think of what to do, where to take her. In that panic, before I could act, she had already started puking. The reflex was to immediately remove the mask from her face and help her to calm down. I always have a pair of clothes in my backpack bag for such unprecedented times.
Luckily, my mom was still waiting in the car and I was so relieved to see her when I turned back. I waved her frantically to come to me.
Mom came and helped me out and we wrapped up things pretty fast. The security guards were kind enough to direct our way to the gate as one of them sensed that we were in a mess.
Our luggage was sprayed with a liquid, to sanitise it. After measuring our body temperatures and checking status on AarogyaSetu app we were allowed to enter inside the airport.
My journey started with a hiccup and I had learnt many lessons on my two hours flight to Delhi.
So, here are my do’s and don’ts if you are travelling with toddlers during the Lockdown.
Wearing gloves is a farce more so if you are travelling with not one but two toddlers. The whole purpose of wearing gloves is defeated as we don’t know the proper way of wearing or disposing it.
If adults don’t know how can one expect toddlers who are going through the most active phase of life. My tiny tots did quite a good job by not letting their hands down as the gloves would come out of their hands.
I felt it was more of a punishment than protection. Though airlines have issued guidelines regarding wearing gloves, it’s not mandatory at all.
Recently, an article was also published by the Cleveland Clinic under Health Essentials. The crux of the article is, it’s more effective to wash your hands and sanitize it frequently rather wearing gloves.
If you are travelling with toddlers, keep your hands as free as possible. It helps you to manage things more efficiently as time and again you have to show your identity card for clearance.
Try showing the web check-in screenshot from your phone rather paper prints. I was a complete mess holding three paper printouts, a phone, a backpack bag and two toddlers.
Another myth that I grappled with. There was a rumour that airlines won’t provide any food items and eating inside the flight is forbidden. Yes, eating was forbidden but not drinking. Airlines are providing water bottles the moment you board.
So don’t burden yourself carrying one. If you think it’s hygienic to have your own then you are most welcome. But with kids, it becomes difficult if you are carrying too many things.
If your child is an infant or a toddler don’t feed any liquid food. They tend to puke because of the moving vehicle. Motion sickness happens even in short distances.
As the they grow up, this reduces and not necessarily every child suffers from this. Preferably, feed them much before you start. A big ‘NO’ to a liquid diet, give a semi-solid diet or dry food. Make them drink little water if required.
The dos of travelling with toddlers
It is hot and often humid, and the N-95 mask will only make you feel suffocated. So, spare them for frontline workers who need them more than us.
Try buying breathable cloth mask. I had washed them before use and checked them with the kids. Even though you specifically buy these for the kids, they may be loose, defying their whole purpose. Checking the size before can save you from last moment panic as the mask keeps dropping.
Take spare masks if travelling with kids. As I have got twins I took 4 pairs of the mask as spare. Do I need to say why?
You would be getting your protection kit by the airlines which contains a head shield, hand sanitiser and a sanitised mask. But it’s good to take one for yourself too as you would be spending more than two hours at the airport before boarding.
I had both gel-based as well as spray bottle hand sanitiser. My experience will vouch for spray bottles it’s easy to use and you don’t keep dropping the cap.
Maintain social distancing of at least 6 ft
Wear a fabric/cloth mask
Avoid touching surfaces
Don’t touch your nose, eyes and mouth
Keep your Identity card handy- Having your ID cards handy is a good idea as you need to keep flashing them every now and then.
Keep dry munchies and a set of spare clothes handy- I definitely carry these in my backpack bag without a miss. The moment we stepped into the airport my girl puked and spare clothes saved my life from getting messier.
These above measures will keep you safer as you travel with your toddlers. Keeping yourself hassle-free while travelling is important.
Being hassle-free is a bit exaggerated when it comes to travelling along with twins. But these practical tips would definitely make your life less messy.
A version of this was first published here.
Picture credits: Pexels
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Mommy of two tiny tots, an ex Banker by profession. Passionate Odissi and Kathak dancer.
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