I recently hopped over to Hong Kong (booked the holiday with Makemytrip, their Simply Hong Kong package) with my niece aged 9 and my daughter aged 6. I was the only adult on this trip, I am the only one who is mad enough in the family! I have taken out my daughter alone and my niece has stayed with us in her school holidays. Before the start of the trip there were jitters all around.I heard that my brother-in-law wanted Vasu (my niece) back just before the start of the trip, but then he somehow managed to let go. Some of the lessons I learnt after traveling with kids:
Keeping their stomachs full: If you have raised a child, you already know this. They are at their crankiest when they are either hungry or sleepy. Having two kids meant they would fight with each-other as well in such scenarios. I knew this from my previous trips. But on the trip to Hong Kong, there was an added issue. We didn’t try too much to get Indian food. I want them to experiment with different food. I had a stock of chips (which my sister supplied) and in addition to that we had a lot of fast food. We tried Starbucks (my niece wanted to go there), we tried Burger King but in the end the kids did miss familiar food that they are used to. At home they take it so much for granted. They enjoyed dragon fruit a lot. Pizza was the biggest hit with them.
Kids are perceptive: Within a few hours of landing in Hong Kong, the kids declared that the country was much less crowded and it was quite clean! They also said people were not honking. I never expected such wisdom in first few hours!
Standing in a queue: I guess we imbibe it from childhood. In Hong Kong we have to queue at so many places. Both the girls wanted to go and stand just a little ahead in the line, they were not jumping the queue but they would just stand a fraction ahead of me in the line! It was quite a task to make them stand in a straight line!
It is easy to teach not to litter when no one is doing it: I found that as Hong Kong was quite clean, the kids automatically started throwing everything in the dustbins. Both the families have a strict no littering policy but the kids try to test our patience in India. But when they felt that no one else did it, they automatically starting throwing things in the dustbin.
When to play and when not to: For the kids everything was an occasion to play, be it the sensor activated water taps or soap dispensers. I had to continuously tell them not to treat everything as an object of play!
Kids love simple things: If I was on my own, I would hardly spend anytime inside the hotel room. But the kids loved to play inside the two bedroom suite we had at the Royal View Hotel. They would invent games on their own and spend quite sometime playing it!
No TV was a good thing: There were not many cartoon channels on the TV and after an initial token protest, they didn’t even ask for TV! At home they do watch a lot of cartoons.
Deciphering advertising: As the kids watch a lot of cartoons they were quite excited about the visit to the Hong Kong Disneyland. In reality we went there on hot Sunday with every other ride having a wait time of 60 minutes. By 4.00 pm they had enough and they demanded to be taken back to the hotel! Later they said they would give only 5 out of 10 stars to Disneyland!
When photography took a back seat: I consider it was quite an achievement that even when I was standing at the Central Harbor at Hong Kong during the golden hour, I was more glued to the kids than to clicking pictures. Vasu and Chhavi wanted to jump into the water from the platform as it looked attractive. With such ideas being floated and voted for regularly, photography took a severe beating.
We had a lot of fun: We actually had so much fun! On the last day my daughter came and asked if we could stay for a few more days! Now if only they study well, I am quite willing to take them out next year again to another country.
46 thoughts on “Traveling with Kids- Some Lessons Learnt”
This made for nice reading.Quite sweet.
Thank you Abhimanyu.
Over all traveling with kids is fun, though I have never dared to take them alone with me except for short jaunts to the mall or cinema hall. But taking two hyperactive kids to a foreign country all alone is an act of faith and bravery together…. Respect !
Which just turned out to be alright, I too was scared before the trip and I am sure so was everyone else Prasad. And thank you.
Such a sweet article. I have a 8 month old son. I am just waiting for the day he is old enough to take him around the world and Trip to disneyland is on the top of the list
Gitanjali just wait and see, time will fly. 😀
This is completely sweet, Both your writings and photographs
Thank you Raghavendra.
Is the first pic on Stanley Beach ?
Avinash it was the Lido Beach near our hotel.
So much of wisdom, I think you gained more of it as a mother in this trip. 🙂
True Indrani 😀
They showed great wisdom and you’ve learnt a lot as a parent… :-D…they’ve enjoyed immensely , quite clear from their expression and that is why you look so contented… 🙂
Maniparna we all had fun 😀
Mridula I have always marveled at your ability to take along kids on holidays. And often with you being the only adult. I have read a previous post from your blog where you and chhavi went and now this. Kudos! Honestly the true travel spirit comes with complications 😀 PS kids being taken as complications in this comment 😀
Richa we all ahd fun and my confidence grows with each trip! 😀
liked each n every word of the post !
Thank you Mahesh.
Traveling with kids is an altogether different experience….looks like Chhavi and Vasu had great time but why only 5 stars to Disneyland?!!
Bushra thank you. They gave it 5 stars only because the day was too hot and the lines at every ride sooo long. 😀
Presence of children makes trip difficult also ? but in your case it is being easier , happy and comfortable. your pics with your NOKIA 1020 producing a remarkable work .
Yogi I was the only adult on this trip, so a little scared initially. Lumia 1020 has a great camera!
love the comment double trouble:)lovely pics …
That is what I call them Remya 😀
Managing kids sure is difficult. What I would suggest is let them see India first, appreciate and understand the places first and then the world.(just a suggestion)
Datta they will see plenty of India too! 😀
Very interesting. Amazing guts to do what you did. Appreciate it!
Thank you 😀
Wonderful post with a lot of insights into child psychology.The last picture with you hugging the kids and all smiling is beautiful.This trip is also such a great educative trip for the kids. Fabulous.
The kids did like it Rama and that was a reward for me!
It is always a pleasure reading your lines.. Now all the more since it is about kids!
Thank you so much Rajeev.
Great trip, Mridula. I am amazed how you pack so many trips so often. You also have energy to take photo, write notes and put them on a blog. You are one super human.
Abhijit I am not 🙁 I wish I were, or maybe not. This is good, the way it is.
Beautiful post, So nice photos 🙂
Thank you Rupam.
I was eagerly waiting for this double trouble post. Lucky kids, they had such a veteran traveller to guide them on their maiden trip.
Glad they taught you some lessons..:P
Preethi I made sure they start young, by my age I hope they have seen a lot and enjoyed it too.
Nice trip with kids. How much was airfare for kids from delhi to Hong Kong?
Ran I booked it as a package and not separately with Makemytrip
I enjoy travelling with kids .. my niece and nephew visited me and it was such fun we had ..
kids teach us a lot .. even telling me “MAMU THE SPEED LIMIT IS 70.. why am i going on 90” 🙂
I agree traveling with kids is fun!
Hi Mridula, loved your post. Next time you come to Hong Kong with a kid you should check out our Leap & Hop series of traveling books for kids. The idea of the series is to help families enjoy a cultural trip together by engaging the kids in fun activities related to the country/city. I also have one for Rajasthan! Happy traveling!
Thank you Isabelle, next time!
You are a very brave woman and those 2 are extremely lucky children! 🙂
Some similar lessons learnt when we went on family road trip to kasauli with the infant but yeah in the end like you, we all had lots of fun including the baby 🙂