Prague was the second trip when I took my niece and daughter, Vasu and Chhavi abroad. Together they are known as double trouble. The first time we went to Hong Kong, it was in 2014. I was the only adult on both the trips! In 2015 the kids didn’t go abroad, I was too busy quitting my job. In 2016 Seshadri took Chhavi to USA and Vasu went to USA on a school trip. In 2017 it was my turn again. That is how double trouble and I ended up in Prague. Other than facing some trouble in getting the visa, we had a lovely trip!
Traveling with kids is a lot of fun and at the same time so different from my usual blogging trips! And so much changes in 3 years with kids and yet so many things remain the same!
I Still Need to Keep their Stomachs Full
The cardinal rule of traveling with children is to keep their stomachs full! When they were smaller, it was enough to keep them happy. I still need to observe this golden rule but it is no longer enough! The girls are getting more demanding.
They Want to Order Everything and Eat Nothing
I hate to waste food, and I hate it even more when I paid for it in a foreign currency. On the first dinner we ended up ordering more food than we could eat. But after that we never wasted food. I would order one of something they wanted with a promise to order more if they finished the first helping.
They would give me a wounded look and then the three of us would struggle to finish it off! It happened without fail! They never asked for a second helping of anything! French fries I would order one each and they would finish it without any problem!
They Sulk Too!
The girls are growing up and they are getting into sulking mode, particularly the elder one! I end up saying no a lot of times! Like they were asking me, why don’t we fly business? And however much I explained, they would sulk! I told them they need to grow up and travel business on their own, I simply can’t afford it!
On our last day a elderly Australian couple was sitting next to us on the breakfast table. We started chatting and they said at one point, “I hope the girls realize how lucky they are!” I sincerely hope for the same!
My Girls Walk like Champions
Both the girls walk like champions! We would get outdoors right after breakfast and come back to the hotel only after dinner. We averaged 15K steps every day and yet they always had the energy for more. If there were stairs they would literally run away with me huffing and puffing behind them! It is so much easier to travel with kids when they can walk and enjoy it too!
They Love Parks
I think running around in the parks was their favorite activity. We went to two parks, Kampa which is an island right in the middle of the city and Lenta Park. At Lenta, Chhavi had a gala time throwing ball to a dog cute dog. Vasu would collect pine cones. Lenta Park has a fabulous viewpoint of the bridges of the city!
At Kampa we were literally by the edge of Vltava River. I am glad it was cold so the girls were content dipping just their hand and toes. They would demand to go to a park each evening.
My nephew posted the Calvin and Hobbes cartoon on their park picture where Calvin looks at a blazing sunset and says “I’ll bet I am missing some great TV shows!” The girls behaved a bit like that too, my nephew was dead right.
They Love Bath Tubs Even More!
We stayed at the Astoria Hotel and our bathroom had a bath tub. I think that was the highlight for both the girls. Vasu has stayed in rooms with bathtub earlier but she said she never got time to use them. I never had to ask them to take a bath, they would voluntarily get into the tub, my task was to get them out. For once, I kept my lecture about wasting water to myself. I assuaged my guilt by telling myself that we don’t have bathtubs at home so this is truly once in a blue moon behavior.
They Want to Shop Now!
The first thing that they paid any attention to in Prague was souvenirs! After a while I told them it would be their last trip with me if they do not take interest in anything else! I told them all the shopping would be done on the last day and they could buy one thing for them and one to carry back home for others! Of course they shopped much more, but this brought in some much needed sanity to our trip! After all it costs money to travel and I feel the pinch more after I left my job!
Chhavi Thinks her Mom has the Worst Sense of Direction
Chhavi is really afraid that we would get lost in a new place! Given my sense of direction her fear is not too unfounded. So, one of the first tasks after landing was to find data for my mobile so that I could use Google Maps. And we did fine. Only on one occasion we took a tram in the opposite direction because the kids insisted that was the correct way to go. After two station I realized the mistake. And we took the tram in opposite direction and safely got down near our hotel after 4 stations!
When we went to see the Astronomical clock, we took the long tram route, only to realize it was at a walking distance from our hotel. But given my sense of directions, these are truly minor incidents!
They Make me do Things I Won’t do Otherwise
We took an expensive car ride around the city because of the kids! We got our caricature made because they insisted.
I loved the caricature incident but I will surely pass on the car ride the next time. I would rather take the trams and walk, we enjoy much more that way. But the credit for the caricature entirely goes to the kids!
They Want to go on Another Trip
After a lot of sulking, some scolding and a lot of lectures I was not sure if they will want to go on another trip with me. But after a few hours of entering home they told me they are ready to go on another trip whenever I am ready! Looks like we did have some fun after all!
When it comes to family adventure holidays near Delhi we are spoiled for choices. We living in Delhi or National Capital Region (NCR) are just a hop away from Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan, all hot beds for family friendly adventure vacations.
When I say family it means my husband, my daughter and me. We take our niece and nephews on vacations as well. However, as both my husband and I were full time family adventure holidays often meant traveling with my daughter only. It has been rare when the three of us went on a trip together! Now that I have quit my job, I hope our record improves! For me, the top family holidays have been the following.
Trekking to Jamadi in Himachal Pradesh
A lot of people travel to Manali but not beyond. There is a different world out there just a little beyond Manali. My daughter Chhavi and I started our adventure from Jagatsukh which is just six kilometers away from Manali. Our favorite guide Ramakant Sharma lives there. He is a brave soul. He took two moms and two kids on a baby trek to Jamadi along with his team. We kept things easy, as far as walking was concerned. We walked for three days in all. The kids found the going tough only on day two. Chhavi loved collecting wild flowers the most and she liked the rains the least! That was her feedback about our Jamadi Trek!
Hiking to Deoria Tal in Uttarakhand
Deoria Tal is a beautiful lake near Ukhimath in Uttarakhand. The nearest village head is Saari. The lake is a 3km uphill walk from there. Chhavi was way too small when we went there. She went up sitting on a pony and she came down walking all the way. The lake gets gorgeous reflections of the Himalayan range, particularly Chaukhamba but all we got was clouds. I was disappointed but the kid was not. She was busy making parathas at the dhabha and talking to the local lady who gave her wild walnuts to eat. Chhavi shared her biscuits with her in return.
Hiking to Triund with Papa in Himachal Pradesh
Chhavi trekked to Triund with Seshadri last year. She was supposed to go on a horse back but the pony guy ditched them midway. The girl walked the rest of the way on her own steam! But it was too tiring for her. The altitude was also high for her. They ran away to Kareri Lake the next day for some relaxing times ahead.
Kareri Lake in Himachal Pradesh
Kareri is a small village near Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh. The lake by the same name is about 10 km away from the village. Chhavi and Seshadri visited Kareri Lake together, I could not manage leaves then. Chhavi once again went on a pony to the lake. That is where she saw the snow for the first time and tried making a snowman too! At the village homestay is your only option.
Camping by the Ganges, Uttarakhand
Chhavi is too small for rafting as of now. But she had a gala time camping by the river Ganges near Shivpuri. Shivpuri is close to Rishikesh. Her hot favorite activity was playing with the sand. She is way past the age of crawling. But she was so excited to live by the sand that most of the time she was crawling on all fours! She had a gala time trying her hands at kayaking too.
Sariska Wildlife Sanctuary, Rajasthan
I would say take your child to a wild life sanctuary instead of a zoo! They would appreciate the animal kingdom better. Chhavi has been to Sariska at least 4 times now. Sariska is close to Delhi, even closer from Gurgaon. If you are fond of driving you can take your car. If not taking the Shatabdi Express train makes perfect sense. Get down at Alwar and take a local bus to Sariska.
All three of us managed to go there together last year. But Seshadri refused to go on a safari! Chhavi and I quite like doing the safari. This was her second safari into the wild. She was proudly telling a bunch of grownups on their first safari- “I know because I came here before!”
I hope my post gives you some adventure family holiday ideas that you can enjoy as well!
It is time to head out to Hong Kong with children, my daughter and my niece (my sister’s daughter), better known as Brat 3 and Brat 4. Brat 4 is my daughter by the way, she is the youngest of the lot. If you are wondering about Brat 1 and 2, they are my nephews and this brattiness is assigned simply in a chronological order!
This is a personal trip that I booked with Make My Trip long before they invited me for Bhutan. With two young kids (brats actually) I chickened out and did a package! Everyone else in the family is wise, they simply stayed away from handling the two packets of dynamites but what to do … meine tou aab okhli mein sir daal diya hai …. Hong Kong was the destination of choice because of the Disneyland and the age of the kids! I hope traveling will not turn them simply into bigger brats!
It was a particular type of war this time, I could not even blog for a few days before leaving the station, I had so much work to finish. Then as usual the packing is not complete but this time my sister offered that she will complete my packing. Now that is why sisters are priceless!
I have never felt more uncertain before the start of a trip, I mean traveling with two kids is no joke. I hope they will not turn all my hairs grey! Depending on the outcome of this trip, I may plan to travel more with both the brats! Now that has to be offered as a carrot to them, that and keeping their stomachs full all the time.
I am sure both of them would like to have the window seat. If they fight too much, I will simply take the window seat! On that note I close this post. And I promise that once I come back there will be a lot of updates from my three recent trips, Thailand, Bhutan and of course Hong Kong.
I started my India travel blog, Travel Tales from India in 2005. In 2016 I realized Travel Tales from India and Abroad better reflected my writings. I love to walk and ride in metros around the world. I have not been everywhere, I am not even close, but it is on my list. I also quit my job as a professor in 2015, it was a happening year! I did a Ph.D. from IIT Kanpur ages ago!
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