Keep Calm And Travel On

Updated: Nov 11, 2019

I have a crush on the world. I am always curious to explore new places. Initially, it was my husband and me who loved road trips. Eventually, family vacations turned into expeditions with my two young explorers (9 years and 6 years). They are always eager to hear those five golden words ‘Pack Your Bags for Vacations'.

Today’s travel itineraries are more complex in planning and execution when travelling with kids.

I must admit, as compared to our childhood travel experiences, today’s travel itineraries are more complex in planning and execution when travelling with kids. When to travel, mode of transport, pre-bookings for hotels, activities to keep kids busy, snacks for the travel time, first aid kit and last but most important healthy hygiene when out of our comfort zones.

At times like these, the little voice within me echoes the Dettol ad ‘Maa mane Dettol ka dhula'. Actually right, we mothers are always making efforts to keep our kids' germs free. Especially when travelling we do not want the fun to be spoiled for us, or for our little bundles of joy.

As a mommy of two super naughty and super active kids, I have invested my trust in Dettol, hand sanitizer being my kid’s health partner. They carry the Dettol hand sanitizer in their bags, be it to school or a night stay at their grandparent’s house or family vacations and not to forget the movie hall. So here are a few tips to follow when travelling with a pre-schooler and/or a pre-teen. Hope it is helpful in keeping your kid's hygiene healthy.

Anti-bacterial wet wipes: I can lecture my kids on the topic of cleanliness till eternity. But remember, kids will be kids. As much as we can take measures to protect them from germs, so much so we cannot avoid the situations and places they can come in contact with germs. So I make sure to give kids antibacterial wet wipes to clean their hands after eating their snacks while travelling. Most of the times we travel to places where one can't find washing facilities easily, so always keep a pack of an anti-bacterial wet wipe in your handbag.

Portable Potty/Pee Safe: However clean the toilet of any restaurant or a hotel may be, unarguably it is used by all sorts of people. Kids are vulnerable and can catch urine infections. If possible, it is advisable to carry a portable potty for toddlers and pre-schoolers. Personally, I also keep Pee Safe toilet seat sanitizer spray handy.

Carry two extra set of clothes for kids: Children can be quite unpredictable at times. One minute they are playing peacefully and next you may see them in a splash of colours, soaked in water, smudged in sand or busy helping their clothes finish their food. Believe me, it's a state of emergency for any mom. More so when travelling, having kids hanging around you in soiled clothes is the last thing on your mind. So put your nerves to ease and carry two or three extra pairs of clothes, depending upon the time of your travel.

Liquid Hand Wash: I don’t know how many of you do the same but I fill my toiletry bag with small bottles of kid’s liquid soap, kid’s shampoo, kid’s clothes liquid wash and not to forget, Dettol liquid hand wash. Like when we travelled the Buddha Circuit with kids I remember for miles you just get to see the empty roads, no dwellings, no dhabas, no restaurants so obviously no toilets. Kids are not so good at controlling nature’s call. And I did not want my kids to be left out for an experience of a lifetime just because of no washroom facility on the route. So I did my bit to ensure healthy hygiene.

Medical Kit: It is advisable to consult your child’s paediatrician before any road journey. Kids can easily catch stomach infection or mountains can make them dizzy. I have a separate medical kit for my kids. Whenever I travel I carry along medicines for fever, stomach ache and vomiting and some band-aids and a small bottle of Dettol antiseptic. Like some other moms out there, I too have had a few episodes of my kids getting sick during road trips. The medical kit always comes as a rescue.

Hand Sanitizer: There's a saying ‘God could not be everywhere and therefore he made mothers'. As if the mommies possess some superhuman power and can see their kids even when they are not around. We all know this is crap. Mothers were made to love and protect their kids. And that's what we mommies excel at! Don't we.

If God made mothers because he could not be everywhere, I feel, Dettol made Hand Sanitizers for they knew mothers also could not be with their kids everywhere.

Out of 24 hours in a day, my kids spend 7 hours in school, 8 hours sleeping and, rest of the time divided into extra coaching classes, park playtime, food time, homework time.

On weekends they are off to their grandparents' house. So the best a mom can do is make an ally and trust that ally to protect their kids from germs. My efforts seem like paying me back when I see my kids packing all their essentials while travelling, including their personal bottles of hand sanitizer.   

Skin care - for rashes, bumps and scabs: My daughter's skin is very sensitive. A small mosquito bite or a rash if not treated immediately leaves her skin itchy and dry. So a rash crème is a must in my handbag.

Zip-lock bags for keeping food spills and dirty/wet clothing: Emergency does not announce and come. It just stares us in the eye when the time is not right. Being a mommy you must be aware, a toddler or a preschooler can turn any peaceful situation into an emergency. So for moments like these, carry zip-lock bags. They are useful to keep food spills, empty snack wrappers and most importantly, for keeping kids wet and dirty clothes. They are our favourite travel handbag saviour. 

When you travel with your children you are giving them something that can never be taken away, experience, exposure and a way of life. In the end, kids won’t remember the fancy toy or the game you bought for them. They will remember the time you spent with them. So keep calm and travel on with your kids. Explore new places and make some more family memories to cherish.

Share your experiences and/or hygiene tips that you follow when travelling with kids.

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About the Author: Born and raised in Gurgaon, the millennium city of India, Prachi Sachdev Mendiratta is a freelance blogger at various platforms. She is a graphic designer, a video editor and a painter by choice. A hippie at heart travelling has been her passion for ever since she remembers. She loves to read books that inspire. She also loves to read books depicting life of people from varied cultures across the globe. Her favourite authors are Robin Sharma, Paulo Coelho and now Jean Sasson, apart from others. Her favorite quote is, 'The Time is Now or Never'.