Three weeks over Christmas with a six year old child

#1 May 11th, 2005, 22:54
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  • LaContessa is offline
#1
Righto. My partner and I have decided we would like three weeks away over the Christmas/New Year 2005 period, and we will be taking our six year old daughter.

This will be her first major trip outside of europe, and we cannot yet decide on whether it should be India or Thailand...?

My partner and I have travelled around both countries before, and whilst India is definitely my first choice, naturally with a child the situation is slightly different. I'm concerned especially about the health issues for a "thumb-sucking" 6 year old, and also the distances that would need to be travelled between places - fine for adults, maybe not so great for a child.

Does anyone have any experience of a travelling with a 6 year old to India, for this limited duration, and which places would be exciting and interesting and safe for my daughter. We were thinking of Goa and the surrounding area.

Any ideas and information will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
Last edited by LaContessa; May 12th, 2005 at 19:24..
#2 May 11th, 2005, 23:16
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  • ddevadatta is offline
#2

Thumbs up my biased recommendation

LaContessa:
Here is my bias to start it off. Goa would seem to me more of an adult destination rather than a place for a six year old. Perhaps when she grows up.

I also think she is young to do the Taj Mahal. I have travelled twice in India, the first with a one year old and second time we had two at 4 yrs and 7 yrs old. We paced ourselves, one cannot do it and see it all. We also rented an a/c car and covered lots more ground using the car.

I would encourage the Bangalore/Mysore area. The climate there is fabalous. Bangalore used to be the British Get Away place when they ruled India. It won't overwhelm you like other spots in India might.

At age six I would surly recommend wildlife viewing. My kids still talk about their experiences at the Jungle Inn to this very day. Spome 4 years later. That is so appropriate for the age of your child and a memory that will last a very long time for her.

If you need assistance in Banglaore/Mysore area, let me know since I know lots of folks there. Actually my mon is visiting there, avoiding her New Zealand winter as we speak. Also have strong ties with Jungle Inn, since I know the area. Also some fine Bangalore IMER"S here as well.

My main point is even though your fears are legitimate, I wouldn't worry about it. Be positive, take necessary precautions, and you and your family will have a grand ole and safe time in India. We did it and loved it.

More can be said but I am sure you will get other worthy recommendations. I would dump Thailand from your plans. India will have a greater impact on your six year old. Sorry my thai friends.

Ayurvedic cure for an Indian headache
#3 May 12th, 2005, 00:22
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  • turlapati is offline
#3

travelling with little ones

We have traveled all over India with our three girls of varying ages from 1 month to 7 yrs. We went to Goa when one was still gestationala nd the other two were 4 and 2. They had the time of their lives. The other wonderful place to go is Kerala. The backwaters are beautiful and Kochin is a neat city, different from anything else in India.
Regarding the thumb sucking, if it must go on, I would make sure taht she has her Hep A immunizations on top of all of the other up-to-date vaccines.
susan turlapati
#4 May 12th, 2005, 02:30
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  • Gayamom is offline
#4
LaContessa:

We're also planning our first trip back to India with 3-1/2 year old daughter in tow. So, I really can't speak from experience, but I can tell you what we're prioritizing. In contrast to previous trips, we're planning to use air travel and car-with-driver to minimize transit time and maximize flexibility. Also, we're paying more to stay in nice guest houses/ hotels. If we were sensible, we'd plan a modest itinerary focused on a relatively small area and avoid big cities. Kerala or the southern hill stations would be nice -- some place green and slow, with lots of homestays planned. But we're not sensible -- will let you know how our rocket trip around urban Tamil Nadu goes after we get back.

I agree about taking the health issues seriously. Febrile illness can take a rapid toll on little ones. A good travel health clinic should be able to provide a list of first aid items (including antibiotics -- different for kids than adults), vaccines, and dos-and-donts. While I'm not so orthodox when travelling without darling daughter, I do plan to follow their advice to the dot this time around. Also, I plan to have the name and phone number of a good private child specialist (physician) in each of our major destinations.

When I was four and taken to India for the first time, my mother was extremely cautious about avoiding mosquito bites for me -- I was stuck under a bednet the minute the skeeters came out. She was also religious about boiling water (this was before bottled water was widely available) and only fed me hot, just-cooked food. This meant I got freshly boiled rassagullah (an irresistably gooey sweet treat for a four year old) every day, just as they were pulled out of the cauldron.

I was taken on river boat rides, picnics, to the beach, given small amounts of money to spend in the market, taken to children's theater and dance recitals, and everywhere, found interesting playmates to get into trouble with. Some times were unstructured -- I filled them by watching monstrously huge ants build a nest, birds take dust baths in the footpath, and vendors hawk their wares as they went by. Some of my best childhood memories are from those early trips. So go!

As for Thailand versus India, I'm sure other posters can help you with that decision -- you're stuck with a choice of two great destinations.

Best wishes -- GM
#5 May 12th, 2005, 08:05
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  • raos is offline
#5
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaContessa Righto. My partner and I have decided we would like three weeks away over the Christmas/New Year 2005 period, and we will be taking our six year old daughter.

This will be her first major trip outside of europe, and we cannot yet decide on whether it should be India or Thailand...?

My partner and I have travelled around both countries before, and whilst India is definitely my first choice, naturally with a child the situation is slightly different. I'm concerned especially about the health issues for a "thumb-sucking" 6 year old, and also the distances that would need to be travelled between places - fine for adults, maybe not so great for a child.

Does anyone have any experience of a travelling with a 6 year old to India, for this limited duration, and which places would be exciting and interesting and safe for my daughter. We were thinking of Goa and the surrounding area.

Any ideas and information will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
Have traveled and otherwise spent a lot of time in India with a 2 y.o (who was almost 3 y.o. by the time we left). Went on long trips in the himalayas, south, shorter trip to Rajasthan, many trips between Delhi and places in the Punjab, as well as other places. Went by car, place, train, and obviously at times auto-rickshaw. I think a 6 y.o. would find your average Indian street interesting for a while! Also, maybe Goa isn't the best option, but if you want to hit the coast travel through Kerala and also take a backwater trip.

I wouldn't not go because of health concerns. Overall risk is low and there are more than enough doctors. If you're concerned make sure you are within a day's travel to a city.

We also spent 2 weeks in Thailand, which was great.

If I were choosing, I would pick Thailand.
#6 May 12th, 2005, 15:29
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#6
Wow. Thank you all very much for your great help and advice.

We thought about Goa being our initial destination because we can get direct flights from the UK there, and my daughter loves and is happy on a beach anywhere. We have there twice before, I considered some of the quieter southern places suitable and maybe a nice way to start the trip and an easier introduction for her than say landing in Bombay or Delhi.

We were planning about 5 at the seaside, then moving onto other destinations within a reasonable travelling distance; and hopefully taking in a wildlife santuary en route. When I say "reasonable" travelling distance I mean no more than about 8 hours on a train in one go, she's patient and good on long journeys but.....

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