4 Things Critical for Family Vacations
Indians are spending more on domestic & global travel. Travel & tourism industry is expected to reach $136 billion in 2021 – 7th highest contributor to national GDP. Online travel companies clocked bookings near $10 billion in FY19 April to September
The numbers don’t lie! Indians are traveling a lot more and the locations and vacationing mindset is undergoing a transformation. Consider Bendigo in Australia – outside the boundaries of Melbourne, Bendigo is nothing like the metropolis of Australian cities. It is now getting famous for its wild goldmining locales and for the rich wine scene. Typical Australian itineraries that were high on wildlife safaris are now giving way to such alternatives where glamping and more opportunities to explore the local culinary options are being preferred by Indians. What was once freaky and weird now seems like a tourism attraction for Indian travellers—for families and solo holiday-makers.
Why this sense of ‘critical’ preparedness?
Report titled, ‘How Does India Travel by Bain & Company and Google India Today’ expects the industry to grow at 13% with nearly $24 billion of transactions across online travel bookings over the next 3 years
While the industry blooms, there is little being said about the level of preparedness. The global Indian traveller is quickly realizing that every region has different people, languages, cultures, traditions, and healthcare aid setups. World-famous tourist destinations have locales that can be challenging for family travellers, particularly first-time visitors. What seems like geographies with mystic rivers might put-up a challenge with flood seasons where campers need to trust their own supplies. Sandy beach locations often don’t talk about the local cuisine where seafood might challenge the gastronomic profile of most Indians. Pilgrimage locations across India and the Asian subcontinent are a retreat to rich heritage and architecture but tropical climate locations are also challenging in terms of humidity and heat that often leads to breeding insect populations beyond control. The majestic mountain peaks might not speak about the threat of wet, slippery conditions that need a back-up that goes beyond first aid kits. These popular tourist spots are easier to navigate when you are prepared as a vacationer. If you are the parent or the guardian in a family group, you need to consider what else in terms of expanding your survival and self-preservation means. Just consider the costs – traveller medical insurance is recommended to all Indians sailing overseas. A regular scan or test like an MRI that costs up to INR 25,000 in most parts of India can cost up to $1119 (more than INR 77,000) in the United States and healthcare continues to be expensive across different parts of the world. Along with getting the medical-care coverage, it also makes sense to invest in precautions and prepare better.
Read ahead as we build-up this discussion towards packing & preparing better when you venture overseas, outdoors and into unfamiliar regions…
1. The Fundamentals
Traveling at Home, across the Country: Bags You Take Along Matter!
The type of bag you select for your journey while visiting different destinations in India has a huge impact on what you can carry or not. More unconventional the destination, more the degree of preparedness! Consider this example – it is often seen that each member has their own bag when a family travels together, including kids, but research and case studies have proven that children should not wear shoulder bags or backpacks for extended periods. You need to organize better as the cargo-movement and management can get risky across India.
The same travel gear can be packed in a better way by using organizers. Bag carrying can get better by opting for bags with more handles/straps. Choose more multi-utility bags that come with more outdoor and weather protection. This means no anxieties when traveling in highly unsupervised modes of transportation – very familiar across India and many Asian tourist spots.
2. Layer-up & Gadget-upgrade
Even When Visiting Familiar Locations
Gadgets are an essential part of travel, particularly when you are traveling to a country as diverse as India. They help you in navigating locations that you cannot find manually, book accommodation along the way, help you find restaurants/cafes and call for help in case you get stuck into something unpredictable – these are real challenges even if you have some sense of familiarity with the destination because the landscape is changing quickly across the nation. The urban development and the chaos of city-life is affecting how once quaint villages and rural but beautiful farmlands look now. You can have a tough time if you are unaware about the type of challenges these locations present. There might be a serious need to layer-up depending upon how the climatic conditions are changing, often with more-than-anticipated rains or a longer winter season. It is always better to carry a few more clothes than to be found wanting in situations that don’t have an immediate resolution. Preparation also lies in carrying the right type of weather-monitoring gear or gadgets that can help to locate the nearest clinical setting for unwanted but realistic chances of an emergency.
3. Stay Hydrated but with the RIGHT type of water
No matter where you are headed, even when traveling with kids, even when the destination is truly global!
When you are traveling, your normal routine gets hampered. This is true for kids too. While you might feel lazy due to skipping workouts, kids can seem less-than-enthusiastic or detached. While small snack bites throughout the day really helps, staying hydrated takes precedence. This is the best way to beat fatigue, muscle cramps, headaches, and constipation. Many Asian destinations also present a serious threat of drinking water contamination. Even the luxurious destinations across Europe might carry some sort of industrial or soil-level pollutants. The idea is to eliminate the risk by always carrying trusted, well-packed drinking water. When carrying water bottles is not possible, carry water-treatment tablets that quickly turn campsite water into regular, drinkable water.
4. Don’t Forget Bug Repellents!
Easiest way to skip Emergency Room visits…
Some non-negotiable items can keep you safe, away from using first aid kits. This includes high SPF sunscreen and Insect Repellents. Walking minor distances under the scorching sun can affect your skin easily. Among kids this can lead to a breakout of hives or rashes too. So, it becomes crucial to carry a good sunscreen. Another troubling factor can be bugs and mosquitoes associated with the outdoors at campsites and the wilderness. Mosquitoes can be a real nuisance, leaving itching bite marks and sometimes leading to diseases such as malaria, dengue, and Chikungunya or encephalitis. Thus, mosquito repellent clothing that is trending big should find a space in your travel gear. Kids, who are more vulnerable to such diseases, can be better protected by using bug-repellent clothing like BugShield line of apparel.
It is difficult to think of all the possible health or safety concerns if you are planning a trip for Eastern Europe – nations like the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania have been getting a lot of traction but in terms of traveller reality-checks, they present a real danger of many things skipping the radar. Discerning Indian travellers are expected to be prepared as the travel trends underway are diverse, very difficult to monitor with 100% assurance. A checklist about the travel necessities should be comprehensively put together. Some research can really help, making the entire vacation more enjoyable, more worry-free. If you are serious about meaningful travel experiences, if you value the time spent with your family, packing and preparing better rather than blindly following highly advertised, cookie-cutter tours makes sense. Your travel gear should be flexible and scalable. Whether you want pre-screened destinations or highly curated experiences, carrying insect-protection apparel like BugShield Clothing is recommended!
She is adored for her witty comebacks and undying commitment towards sarcasm. Dark humor comes easy to her and so does interactive writing. She is acing life and adulting the same way everyone else is—by relying on caffeine, science fiction movies and sitcoms. PS: She loves Japanese Manga and Classic Literature.