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India anyone?

(30 Posts)
WanderlustSue Tue 15-Sep-15 15:54:00

Hello. Writing this on a whim. I am planning a trip to India with my two year old. Not sure this is the best place to post but this year hasn't been a good one for me as I split up with my ex and found myself as a single parent. Now I am used to it I would really like to plan something to look forward to which is a big trip abroad next year. I realise taking a 2 year old (3 early next year) has its challenges but think it would also be an amazing adventure. I would love to find travel companions so if you might be interested let me know smile

pallasathena Tue 15-Sep-15 18:13:31

Would advise against India with a two year old. Very, very strongly. Single women are at risk, serious risk over there. You need every jab under the sun to ensure you don't get some pretty grim diseases still prevalent. Street beggars can be hugely intimidating and its the sort of place you'd visit with another adult to share expenses as travelling on public transport as a single woman with a small child is dangerous. Very dangerous.

Read the Foreign Office guidelines and google crime against women in India. Its a bit shocking.

Cabrinha Tue 15-Sep-15 19:38:28

I'm torn between saying don't put your life on hold because you have a child, and - choose a more child friendly trip!

Long flight, and at 3 my daughter would have needed constant entertainment that would have detracted from my holiday.

I've just had a fabulous holiday in SE Asia, child free as my daughter (now 7) was with her father. How about planning a solo holiday?

She may be a bit young, but try looking at Explore Worldwide. They do specific family tours - so you may get a mix of the travel fix you want and something more suited to her.

As a baby I took mine to South Africa and all she needed was me chatting to her in the sling. But at 3 they just need so much more attention. Haven is your friend, at 3!

featherandblack Tue 15-Sep-15 19:52:08

There are many, many children in India and many safe tourist destinations also. I think we can become very suspicious in our UK bubble and assume vast countries are uniformly dangerous when this is not the case.

I just took my DD to South Africa at the age of three. It was fine. She slept, ate and watched movies. She needed a number of vaccinations to go, which was also fine. She had an amazing time.

flamingnoravera Tue 15-Sep-15 21:17:45

Your child will not remember India, it wont be an adventure for her and possibly will be the kind of adventure you wont want to remember. India is wonderful, but why take a two year old there? Why not take a 2 year old to a beach with buckets and spades and a paddling pool- nearer home and save the India trip until she is old enough to marvel at the colour, the smells and the mind boggling numbers of people?

It sounds like this trip is for you not her. And whilst doing things for you is fine, a trip to India might not be as much fun as you think. Have you been to India before? It is hard work for people from the UK without little kids, the culture shock should not be underestimated.

featherandblack Tue 15-Sep-15 21:27:18

We very nearly had to decamp to India for three months last year. We didn't particularly relish it actually but that was because we wouldn't have been going as tourists. If you go at the right time of year and stay in a lovely hotel, why not.

AmberFool Tue 15-Sep-15 22:30:38

My very good friend spent about 3 months in Goa with her toddler and baby when her relationship broke up. She had her ups and downs but enjoyed simple, relatively carefree days - the toddler loved going to the beach everyday, eating exotic fruit and all the sights, sounds and smells that is India. You can stay at a guesthouse on a long term let

WanderlustSue Wed 16-Sep-15 11:25:31

Hi all, thanks for the replies. If you read my original post I wasn't asking if I should go to India or not, I've made the decision and it was about finding travel buddies. I have been to India many times and it is a great place to take kids. My brother took his two when they were young (2 & 4) and they loved it. I agree with featherandblack that people have some strange views of far away places. I agree the flight will be long but it is to the US, Australia, Japan South Africa and plenty of other places - do you find the same views discouraging views in those threads or is it because India is poorer? Also no LO won't remember but if you go along those lines why do anything with kids at all if they won't remember? India will be a great adventure for both me and LO. I will avoid the cities and like AmberFool has said a place like Goa or Kerala would be ideal and it's true the sights, food, smells and people are like no other. I know my LO will love it.

bilbodog Wed 16-Sep-15 11:56:04

I love India and an jealous if you - I know someone who took their 1 year old. Sounds as if you know India so know what to expect. Have a fabulous time!!!

featherandblack Wed 16-Sep-15 12:29:42

Isn't it strange how sheep-like people are? It irks me that anything unusual is shot down in flames...
Yes I'm jealous too.

lushilaoshi Wed 16-Sep-15 12:37:19

Sue your trip sounds awesome and you should totally take your kid. But I think you should move this thread to another forum as putting it on AIBU is just going to get you a load of responses telling you what a dirty, horrible, scary place India is and that you are being irresponsible for taking your daughter.

lushilaoshi Wed 16-Sep-15 12:38:52

Sorry 'Relationships', not AIBU!

Cabrinha Wed 16-Sep-15 12:42:56

I don't think it was clear that you weren't soliciting opinions. This is a discussion site, and specifically Relationships is a section that invites comment confused And you referred yourself to 'challenges' which implies you may have concerns and therefore invite opinions or advice.

You didn't say that India was fixed, and in the context of a Relationships board, why are people supposed to realise you're only looking for travel companions?

If you had posted "I've been to India loads, love it, it's great for kids - am looking for travel companions!" you'd have had a different response. Probably along the lines of a friendly "repost in Travel or Chat", tbh.

Cabrinha Wed 16-Sep-15 12:49:11

featherandblack OP was hardly shot down in flames! And if you think it would be better if people considered more unusual options, then I think it would help if OP had shared some of her knowledge and positivity for India in her post.

I've just come back from Cambodia. Parts of it I desperately wished my 6yo had been with me - we'd have both loved talking about the stories carved onto the temple walls at Angkor. But - I got to do 100km bike rides that she can't yet. And she flipping loved Disney with her father.

India: sights and sounds in Kerala, hanging out and chilling - brilliant for a little one. But no more exciting for them than Haven and the beach! India if the adult is focused on sightseeing for themselves - adaptable with a 3yo, but not as good as going alone, IMO.

It's not about me being a sheep. It's about my personal opinion on what works well based on my experience of my child.

Thefitfatty Wed 16-Sep-15 12:49:14

What time of year are you thinking of going? I made the mistake of going to Goa in August when I was 6 months pregnant and unfortunately almost everything was closed, especially restaurants. Hell when you're pregnant and can't stomach spicy food! (Normally I love it, but not then!) Just a tip in case your little one is picky. Haven't been to Kerala yet, but I imagine it's similar. Otherwise beautiful place, I'm sure you'll both enjoy. smile

fuzzywuzzy Wed 16-Sep-15 12:54:02

could you go wit a tour company? That way you would have travel buddies and hit all the interesting spots.

featherandblack Wed 16-Sep-15 12:54:20

I am planning a trip to India with my two year old.... I would love to find travel companions so if you might be interested let me know

That is not a request for advice about whether she should go, if it would be safe, whether it would be good for her child. That was an advertisement for travel companions! Instead of saying 'no, I don't want to go', posters ensured that the idea was shot down because they, on what would appear to be very limited knowledge, did not think it was a good idea.

featherandblack Wed 16-Sep-15 12:56:37

And you are so wrong about younger children not benefiting from real travel. My DD, at three, so benefited from her time in South Africa. Though she may not consciously remember a great deal in years to come, I was able to see how the experience broadened her outlook and stimulated development in so many areas.

Thefitfatty Wed 16-Sep-15 12:58:59

To be fair featherandblack when she said she was planning on taking her 2 year old to India by herself, I pictured a young woman in a VERY crowded city like New Delhi or Mumbai, for the first time, with a three year old in tow. I I would hesitate to do that and was a bit shock, and I consider myself fairly well traveled. However, she's now said she'll be going to the quieter parts of the country and she's been before, so no worries.

Cabrinha Wed 16-Sep-15 14:42:15

Where have I said they don't benefit from real travel?
I think children benefit from any exposure to new things, even if they're tiny really and it's just sound and smell and colour that's different.

It's a balance though - what I have said is that though they'll have a brilliant time, they'll also have a brilliant time on a beach in the UK. I don't think that only "real" travel (real?) is beneficial for development. Anything new, is.

The OP did invite companions. But I don't think it's unreasonable to think that as that was at the end, and it was posted in a discussion site, that she also wanted opinions.
I'm not saying it in a thread police way - only to point out that it's hardly unreasonable that on an advice area, people like me wouldn't just think it was simply a shout out for a travel partner.

Cabrinha Wed 16-Sep-15 14:49:07

The balance thing - I don't mean that it's ever bad for a child to go to India, South Africa, Cambodia etc.

I mean that (1) they can have a fun and developmentally beneficial trip somewhere closer to home and (2) they might detract from the adult's holiday plans. Like I said, I'd have loved to have had my daughter in Cambodia with me in August, she'd have got loads out of it. But I have 5 weeks holiday a year and limited funds, so I didn't take her. If I were wealthy and didn't work, I'd love to have the chance not to make the call between those types of holiday.

That was my only advice to the OP - that taking a small child to India might not give her the trip she wanted. That's not about being a sheep or thinking kids don't benefit from foreign travel. I guess I read a lot into the words "big trip" and "adventure" - I pictured something more active than the OP later described. If she'd posted that she fancied chilling in Kerala, I wouldn't have seen the same potential for her child "getting in the way". Love my girl to bits, would have had a fab time in Cambodia with her - but I'm glad I didn't have "are we finished with temples yet?" from her grin

MsTargaryen Wed 16-Sep-15 15:42:07

Yeah, I think getting arsey because people didn't realise you were using an advice forum as a personals ad is a bit unfair.

flamingnoravera Wed 16-Sep-15 19:58:25

^^ what the other posters said.

I too have travelled widely and for a long time in India and my comments were based on you seeming a bit niave about India with a child. As it is not and you know what you are doing OP then good luck and bon voyage!

I would be more worried about who I might meet on here from your post now, we are quite a mad bunch of vipers and those that sound great online might not be quite so when travelling, for a LONG TIME, WITH A CHILD. But there you go. What do I know?

PollyIndia Wed 16-Sep-15 22:04:17

I took 15 month old DS to India as a single mum and was fine. Took him 5 days to get used to food/heat and want to eat but he loved it and got loads from it. We were there for 3 weeks in different bits of Goa - agonda and aswem. I've travelled in India a lot before, including when pregnant.
Actually I might be interested in coming again next year. DS is 3 in oct. work commitments mean I couldn't go pre march, but I might be able to get away then. Might be a bit late though as is really hot by march... Anyway, it is a thought!

featherandblack Wed 16-Sep-15 22:35:47

My DD got a lot more out of her time in SA than she would have out of a beach in Brighton. Just saying wink

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