We took and incredible trip to India with our kids over the summer for our tour business, Knutson Travels. It was our girls, 7 and 4, first trip to India and we were there for almost a month. Since we went to India in summer break, we were a little apprehensive about the heat. Coming from Florida, we had a little advantage over the heat but it still took us by surprise. Luckily, we came prepared. Some of the things we had planned for before we left were the heat, safety, health, food and entertainment. Here are some must have things if you are travelling to India or any other country with kids:
9 Things to bring to India on a trip with kids
1) Hand sanitizers and disinfectant wipes: We used the hand sanitizers quite a bit when we used public transport and before handling food when hand washing wasn’t an option. The wipes were used to clean trains seats and airplane tray tables or whenever we thought we were in a particularly germy location (full disclosure on using them to clean on public transport, only use them if you are ready to see how your wipes look after you are done, it is not pretty). I am glad we brought these since our focus was to make sure no one got sick on this trip. You might look like a germaphobe but bring them anyways. We had multiple different little bottles of hand sanitizers and disinfectant wipes in our bags all the time.
2) Bug spray and bug bands: These are a must have if travelling in the warm summer months. Our girls wore the bug bands a lot. These work so well that I thought there weren’t any bugs around. We decided to not put them on the girls one day and it turned out to be a bad idea. They both got bit multiple times so the bands went back on and stayed on. For the grown ups we used bug spray as needed. These are the bug bands we used and they were very effective.
3) Motion sickness, belly sickness meds: Trust us on this one. You will need these at some point on your trip so make sure you have them handy. You can get stuff in India too but its best to bring medicines you are familiar with, specially for the little ones. We brought along Dramamine for kids travel packs, Pepto for kids and Nauzene kids. Also brought along a big bottle of Pepto for us. Smartest idea.
4) Visine: We got caught in a dust storm one day and we were so glad to have Visine. This is one of those, you might not need it but good to have . As a side note about Indian pharmacies you don’t need a prescription for a lot of the medicines. The pharmacists are also very helpful in finding the right medicine for you.
5) Nutella/Peanut butter individual packs: Our kids are the pickiest eaters in our household and while we did want them to experience all the amazing food in India, we needed a backup for times they weren’t in the mood to try new things. These packs are so easy to carry as you can just stick a couple in your bag. We brought 3 boxes of these and used most of them. You can bring individual packs of peanut butter or almond butter, whatever your family prefers.
6) Electrolytes: Tummy issues is a problem that you could face while travelling coupled with extreme heat, dehydration becomes a real issue. There are quite a few options available for dehydration salts and packs. We picked the Propel individual packs because although they are milder than others our kids are familiar with the taste and enjoy it. We did use these everyday because we were in the sun quite a bit and were trying to avoid dehydration at all costs.
7) Cooling towels: Since we were in India in the summer, a lot of my suggestions are from our experience with the heat. We tried to minimize our time in the sun but if you are in India in the summer it is kind of unavoidable. If you are going to be out sightseeing, grab a few of these cooling towels and stick them in your bag. Just wet them when you are ready and put around your neck (in our case, we used them on our kids bright red cheeks) and they start working right away. We only brought one and lost it pretty early during the trip so we we’d recommend at least bringing a couple. I like these ones because they come in individual bags and you can attach them to your bag.
8) Car seats: We used Uber and Ola a lot in India and while there were some cars that did not have seat belts (mostly because they had seat covers on) we still used our BubbleBum car seats quite a bit. Honestly, these are excellent for travel if your kids are old enough for a booster. We used to lug around two big car seats on all our travels and that was not much fun. These are inflatable and roll up relatively small to fit in a backpack. We had the kids carry them in their own small backpacks. They inflate super quick and we used them enough for me to recommend bringing them.
9) Tablets: Hear me out on this one, although we don’t like kids being on their tablets much while we are travelling because I don’t want them to miss out, there is also a lot of down time when kids need something to do. I like the Kindle for kids because they are relatively cheap so you are not out a bunch of money if they are lost or damaged, it is easier to manage the time kids spend on it and kids can read books on it . Our kids used them when we were in hotels and plane/train rides. Don’t make it too hard for yourself and bring some electronic entertainment for the littles. There will be times when you will be too exhausted to provide them any entertainment.