When our son turned 18 months old, we realized that he was ready to travel abroad with us. We did not wanted his exposure to be limited only to India. So, we brainstormed various options for him. As Singapore has always been one of my favorite holiday destination,it was fairly easy to choose it as our first international holiday for our son. (Choosing the destination was easy but convincing my husband to take leave from work was a really tough job. But it was totally worth it.)
Top factors for choosing our first international holiday destination with the little one were:
- Flight time : What we thought – As it takes only 5-6 hours from Delhi to Singapore, it is convenient to travel. Moreover, we booked overnight flights overlapping our baby’s sleep time. What really happened – Though my baby sleeps by 9 pm in general but it was not until1 am that he slept in the flight. We had to play dough and show him different videos so that the other passengers were not disturbed. To make matters worse, he even vomited once. I don’t know what was I thinking. There can never be a leisure trip with a baby on board. But we reached Singapore.
- Status of the country : Singapore is considered to be one of the safest countries with very stable government and policies. You do not want any unplanned adventure with the baby. It was really a very safe place. We used to go for midnight strolls when our baby used to sleep. Taking him in his pram,of course.
- Weather : Close proximity to the Equator corresponds to the warm weather throughout the year in Singapore. We traveled when it was winter in India. So, the heat was welcomed in the beginning. But there were occasional showers everyday owing to its island topography.
- Infrastructure : What we thought – With state of the art transportation system , you can travel at any point of the day safely. What really happened – We did all the traveling through taxis as though MRT & buses were available, but carrying a pram and baby bag along with a camera bag; traveling by personal taxi was the best bet.
- Cultural exposure : With a balance between old and new, Singapore strikes the perfect harmony which gives tourists of all ages and class whatever they desire. It made for a perfect destination for my husband (as he amused himself in geek shopping), my child (with so many parks) & me (any thing is good for me as long as I am not at home).
- Places suitable for kids : With a long list of parks and museums, Singapore is a blessing for kids. There was not a single moment when we were out of plan.
- Food : Singapore is simply the paradise for foodies. You get delicious cuisines of food including Indian,Chinese, Japanese and Thai. Except for my child (who is a very fussy eater by the way), my husband and I are fond of food and drinks. We like to taste the local food whenever we travel.
- Shopping : With a number of malls at the orchard road, there are so many options to shop for the parents as well as the little ones.
I will write a copy of my Singapore trip in next posts. Goodbye for now !!
Continue reading “Trip to Singapore – Why Singapore?”
Sometimes doing the less obvious is fun. Therefore, after visiting the Taj Mahal and the Agra Fort,we decided to enjoy other activities. Mainly because we did not want our baby to be overly tired and we wanted him to have fun. So here is a short list of things which can be done apart from visiting the famous historical structures which Agra has:
- Engage in a puppet show. There were many traditional puppet shows in Agra. As these shows are not at a premium scale, they let us try our hand on the puppet too. It was fun for our little one as he was happily engaged in the puppets.
- Taking ride on the horse cart. Its super fun for the kids as they love watching the galloping horse. Also, it lets you imagine the historic set up which the city offers.
- Watching the musical love story of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal at the Kalakriti Cultural & Convention Center.
- Taking a boat ride in the Yamuna. But be sure to ascertain the condition of the boats as many seem to be broken.
- Shopping at the popular Sadar Bazar. You get extremely beautiful leather shoes at reasonable rates. We bought our son’s first leather shoes from here. Its best to go in the evening when there are no cars allowed.
- Your trip to Agra is not complete without indulging in the famous Agra ka petha. Petha is available all over Agra and the Panchi brand is particularly popular. It also makes for a great gift from Agra for your friends & family back home.
Horse Cart ride with the little one
Taj Mahal is beautiful to even an infant. The warmth in its surrounding and the iconic structure develops a sense of curiosity within us.
Going to Agra is convenient when you are traveling from Delhi/NCR. We drove in our own car stopping whenever required. Our little one also had fun during the road journey as he was able to notice different vehicles throughout.
We stayed at The GateWay Hotel Fatehabad Road Agra. Offering the best amenities alongside magnificent view of the TAJ MAHAL from its terrace, it made for a wonderful stay. The green lush garden adjacent to swimming pool was full with toddlers playing with balls. We were glad of our choice as our son was not the only one enjoying the sunny day in January weather.
We went to visit the Taj Mahal the next day. Given the prestigious position in the seven wonders of the world, Taj Mahal is one of the most populated tourist destination in India. Therefore, we went to visit it right after the breakfast. There were two good reasons to do so : a) beating the rush , and b) utilizing the energy of our little one who was fully charged with a good night sleep.
There is no word to describe the beauty of the Taj Mahal. Maybe its the reason for its construction or the love in the heart of millions of people who come to visit it, the whole ambience around Taj is full of warmth & affection. We enjoyed the view and sat there for a couple of hours. Clicking pictures and showing different objects to our little one, we enjoyed sitting under the sun. River Yamuna which flows right across the Taj adds to the exquisite beauty in its own natural form. The warmth in its surrounding and the iconic structure develops a sense of comfort within us. Its rightly said that Travel is the comfort food of the soul. 🙂
TAJ MAHAL WITH OUR SON
TAJ GATEWAY HOTEL AGRA
Indian society is graced with oodles of customs and cultural significance. None of which defines how traveling is bad. However, whenever an Indian couple or solo traveler thinks about his plan, the first thing that comes up in the mind is how they will get permission from their parents. In many cases such is not the scenario.People may simply state that they are planning to travel somewhere without asking their family members (the repercussions of which follow even after the whole trip is finished). Indian household regards travel as a luxury. Though this concept is changing slowly but the major population still have the prior view. Its irrespective of the fact whether you are single or married or 30 or 40. Indian parents and the society both are equally concerned about you (however old you may be or however financially independent you may be).
So having a wanderer soul and being mommy at the same time is not easy. The society might regard you as a careless and selfish person who just wants to have fun. Or someone who do not prioritize their child (even when you take care of your child single-handedly 24x7x365 days in a year). So, what I am trying to say is that people will always have their own opinion. So isn’t it better for you to do the same. If travel makes you happy, why feel guilty? Ultimately you are the pillar of the family. Your happiness is directly proportional to the happiness of your spouse and your child. Not only that, travel is a course of learning in itself. It makes your child an observer and patron of varsity. Travel enhances the creative side of your child as they are able to see unconventional approach to the same thing in different cultures. Most importantly, traveling gives your family time to reconnect. There are scientific researches which show that the average number of words spoken to your child is much more when you are on a trip/vacation. And to add some spice to the list, an escape from the cunning aunt around the corner is always welcome 😉
The best experience one derives in the form of luxury is at a five or seven star resort. Making use of the savings (as we did not go anywhere in the prior years), my partner and I decided to have a luxurious vacation. That is when we planned for Vivanta by Taj – Holiday Village, Goa. Situated in the Bardez area, the location is best for all kind of travelers. You get the chaos of party life once you step out of the resort in the neighboring area of Baga beach. At the same time, you have the advantage of enjoying serenity along with luxury in the resort or in its private beach. We took a whole package along with food for the whole trip since we had planned that we will enjoy the resort fully. The tropical weather added to the lush greenery of the whole property. We took morning and evening strolls on the beach. Our little one spent the days giggling and observing the waves of the sea. The beauty of waves tossing over the sand was unparalleled and so soothing that the idea of the whole holiday made sense. Those tiny happy moments instigated a feeling of greed in me. Greed for more such moments and holidays 😉
Benefit of resort holiday with baby :
- Very co-operative and humble staff willing to help you at all times
- You get different healthy options for baby food
- Safe and Clean
- You are able to enjoy the property at least in case the baby is not feeling very happy
- Various child-centered amenities like babysitting services, bottle sterilization services , etc
- AWESOME PHOTOGRAPHS
Excited and nervous while boarding our first flight together, both my baby and me exchanged baffled looks. While adjusting his pram and moving towards the check in queue, a fear of failure crept all over me when i saw the huge rush. As I was contemplating my thoughts whether I had done the right thing to go on a vacation specially since i was still on medicines, a sudden ray of hope dawned upon me making me realize that all is good. It was no angel but a ground staff of the flight which we were about to board telling us to check in through priority counters as we were with an infant. This moment was not only a moment of escape from my husband’s annoyance over our trip but this moment was also the antecedent of many more trips which I was going to embark upon. The flight was convenient. The pram was taken by the staff right before we boarded the plane. There were lot of prior preparations in making sure that we have a sound 3 hours flight. Some pointers are :
- Colourful teethers
- Cotton for ear (to avoid engine noise)
- Make sure to make the baby suck while take of and landing
- Sound games
- Layers of clothing
- Handy disposable sick bags and tissues
- Milk and food
- The flight we chose was in accordance with the nap time of our baby so he dozed off quickly
Remember the flight or any other experience derived while travelling is meant to be fun both for the parents and the baby. So just have fun (no matter how the situation goes, ultimately you will have a holiday)