Over a month ago, I had the chance to visit the beautiful Himalayan country, Bhutan, with my family. While my toddler made the most of it in every way and we came back with great memories and lungs full of oxygen, I realized certain preparatory measures help when it comes to travelling with a toddler in the hills. Thanks to our awesome guide who gave us some smart tips as we travelled!
I thought it will be nice to share with you too, as many of you may be travelling to the hills during this summer break.
Here are some of those tips:
1. If you are driving uphill, always keep something handy to chew. The jaw movements help easing out the difference in air pressure and reduce chances of altitude sickness. You could also carry cotton ear plugs if the attitudinal differences are very steep.
2. If you are headed to a pass or some high peaks, do keep jackets and really warm clothing handy. The weather changes rather abruptly and it even snowed at a pass 4000 meters above, which took all of us by surprise. (even though it was a spectacular sight!)
3. Plan your road travel around your toddler’s nap time, if possible. So if you have walked around at a couple of places in the first half of the day or done some sightseeing in the lower altitudes, your toddler might naturally get tired and doze off while you are on the road, making it much easier for both of you!
4. Try carrying an activity (a magnetic book or so) or flash cards, or a busy book which your child can be self-occupied with as it’s really boring for these ‘energy-packed human containers’ to idle for so long as after a point, the views too may repeat itself.
5. Carry running shoes all along – you can then fearlessly allow them to run around even on uneven terrain.
6. Like in any other road trip, carry drinking water all along and preferably only bottled drinking water. The otherwise mineral – rich water of the hills may not suit people from the plains and you certainly don’t want a diarrhoea on your vacation!
7. It’s better to take it easy in the evenings, especially if you have a long day of travel the following day. Let the little one run around at your hotel or resort, eat and drink properly and rest ample. Road travel in the hills can be more tiring for adults and kids alike, as compared to a journey in the plains undertaken for a similar duration.
8. Don’t ignore early signs of nausea in your child while on an uphill drive. They might be feeling dizzy for the first time and maybe unable to express. Crankiness, restlessness, uneasiness, saying things like ‘want to go home’, or absolutely unwilling to sip even water after a long time may mean you need to stop the vehicle, get fresh air for a few minutes, ensure the child is feeling normal again and then resume your travel. It’s ok if the little one throws up too! That’s just out of altitude sickness and not out of indigestion… so don’t be anxious that his/her stomach is empty. They will eat when they feel normal again. Just ensure they sip some water.
With these, you should be all set to make ‘cool’ memories in a ‘high’ and ‘cold’ destination! Have a great vacation ahead and don’t miss to share photos here once you are back!