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Offbeat travel with Kids - Necessary Precautions

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Exploring Offbeat destinations is a specialized travel activity which is utmost satisfying for a wanderer’s soul. Being located in not so visited areas, first-hand information about the place and facilities available, to be honest is not available. Generally everyone advise to not to travel to these remote places with family or with small children. They are not wrong, as even small issue in these places can become a big problem especially if you are travelling with small children. 

One needs to prepare well for exploring such places and Yes more than few precautions are required if you are travelling with small children. 
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We have been travelling with our kids (now, 7 year old and 2 year old) for last 6 years to all offbeat places. Trust our travels have got more wonderful and colorful in the company of our kids. 

Though at times we have run into some serious trouble as well. Would like to share personal experiences and a few tips which may come handy while exploring Offbeat destinations with small children: 

1.      Food – 
At some of the remotely located hotels, food is prepared depending on what is available in the market that day. God forbid due to some unforeseen situation when dinner has not been prepared. 

This is what happened with us. After an amazing day out in the hills when we reached our hotel, we found that there was no food. Though we have been asking the hotel staff to keep at least something for kid, but that day was different. Our 3 year kid was hungry and crying helplessly as we did not had even biscuits and shops were closed by then. 

I along with one of the hotel staff went out in the dark and started knocking at the doors of the locales for some food (at least milk) for the kid. Fortunately locales were helpful. 

From that day we always carry one food packet only for kids, equivalent to 2 times meal. That’s what I will advise to you all. You may go hungry for a day but for kids even sustaining few hours is difficult.

Along with food, fruits, keep items like biscuits which have longer shelf life (milk for infants). Hope you need not touch this packet.  

2.     Vehicle Breakdown (other than flat tyre )– 
We need to accept that most of us are not equipped do anything in such a situation. 
Prevention is the best option here. Before taking a long drive, get your car serviced/ checked, probably everyone does this. No need to mention this. 

But if you are travelling remote places/ hills there will be no helpline from your car company. Small settlements will come your way every 15-20 km. and mechanic shops are always on the highway. 
It might seem not necessary, but please take down mechanic’s number every 30- 40 odd miles apart. Mechanics display the mobile number in bold outside their shops, you need not come out of your vehicle, just click with your mobile. 

At least in case of any vehicle breakdown you will be able to call the nearest available mechanic.   

I have been a victim. Our rented Bike from Gokarna broke down near Vibhuti waterfall. Along with my 4 year kid, I had to spend 3 hours on the road waiting for the rescue. Keep your kids occupied, else they will feel scared and your problems will multiply.

3.      No connectivity – 
This is pretty common in remote places. What to do if you get struck and mobile connectivity is not there?

Keep your hotel informed about your itinerary on daily basis and your return time. It is very enticing to explore unknown roads, but please stick to the planned itinerary.


Request your hotel to take steps / inform police if you miss the return deadline.   

Can try following:
                                i.         Walk around 100-200 m. at times you may catch some odd connectivity signal. 
a.      Send SMS to concerned hotel staff/ family back home as soon as you get mobile network.
b.      Dial 100 – try to reach out to Police. In many hilly areas police runs helpline for stranded tourists and safely escort them to their accommodation place.

We have faced this as well during our Bike breakdown (point no. 2), thankfully a policemen lent his phone to call the renting agency. 
For advice – only BSNL connectivity was available. No other service. 

(Make sure your mobiles do not run out of battery.)  

4.     Mosquito – 
Kids need to be insulated from the dangers of mosquitoes. At times nets are not available in the hotels. 
You need not carry a gun to kill mosquitoes, but make sure you are carrying some mosquito repellent cream or patches. Usage is recommended even when you are going out in thick vegetation areas. 
I will not recommend Mosquito coils, as in mountains you have to close the windows to avoid chilling. In such a situation, smoke generated by coils may cause breathing problems or suffocation. 

5.      Water – 
Carry at least a spare bottle of water for hygiene. Washrooms are not available everywhere.
You may manage everything, nut running out of water can be a serious problem. If driving in the hills, you will come across at many places small water streams dripping down. This water can be used for hygiene.




In such places please understand situation might not be in your hands at all times. It is very easy to lose our balance when it comes to children. 

Please note that you cannot afford to lose your temper in any situation when travelling offbeat places with children.
1.      Stay calm; Think about safety at first. Try to reach out to police as soon as possible. Do not leave kids alone in the vehicle even for a second.
2.      Spread information about yourself in problem to your hotel, friends back home. 
3.      Use your judgement if need to ask for help from any passing by vehicle.
4.      Keep a tentative estimate of your location, so that you can inform about your whereabouts in case of any problem. Like approx. 200 km, from some landmark in the way in direction from x to y. 
5.   If you have to stop your vehicle on the incline, do not forget to put a stone to avoid your vehicle rolling down in case.
6.  Carry some books, games to keep your kids occupied because while driving for long in offbeat locations kame small kids getting bored and restless. You may appreciate the beauty of hills/ roads, but to kids they all appear same.

And Most Important
7.   Plan well but don’t change your itinerary too much once you are on the offbeat roads. Trust, getting lost is very easy in such places. You might find the way back, but your vehicle’s fuel tank may get exhausted. Mileage of your car is much less as in plains. 

Please ensure to not run out of fuel at least. For God’s Sake don’t think for next filling station, it might be beyond the range of your vehicle’s fuel tank.  

Use your good thinking / common sense in making judgement and enjoy Offbeat experience.
Happy travelling friends...


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