Many a time, we meet people on the web, some become our acquaintances, some become our friends and some people make a lasting impression while adding a hint of a smile in your life…..It was just a few days ago that I started chatting with Meghna and some part of me felt as if, we have known each other for long…..
Meghna is someone who is a real SuperMOM because she exactly knows where she wants to go and enjoys life each day at a time…She is also an avid Traveller and we are so happy to be publishing her story….Do read on to get inspired….
Tell us something about yourself, mommy….I used to be a lot of things, but now I am a mother and that has become my name, my role and even a life purpose if you will. My name is Meghna Dixit. I am an Indian who lives an Expat-wife life in Dubai, UAE. When I got pregnant, I very knowingly kept my career on a back burner and dived into the deep end of motherhood completely and naturally. My husband became my biggest strength and even though raising a little one in the foreign land away from friend s and family was extra hard, we did very well as a team.When my baby turned 1, I started publishing my thoughts on a Facebook page. When she turned 2, I began blogging more seriously and now as she turns 3, I am an active lifestyle blogger in Dubai.
How old are you? And your kid too! I am 35 years old. My daughter will turn 3, by the time this interview gets published.
Which countries and places have you travelled till now? Both with and without kids. I have travelled extensively within India and pretty much abroad too. I did my schooling from 13 different schools in different cities so you can imagine my nomadic childhood. I have worked in India and Oman as a base. I have directly managed teams based in Philippines, Japan, Hongkong, Australia, New Zealand, as the Vice president of HR (International) for a USA based MNC. I have also travelled to Hongkong, Macau, Singapore, Bahrain, 4-5 states in the USA, Mauritius, Italy, Switzerland, Georgia and UK. As for my daughter, she had already been on 22 flights before she turned 21 months old. Right from my baby-moon in London to our various trips to India, holidays in Italy, road trips to Switzerland, weekend trips to Bahrain, road trips within the GCC region, she did it all before she turned 2.
Tell us something about your trip with your kid? I have taken my daughter on solo holidays, just mommy and baby to Goa, we have travelled as a family to Europe and I have also done quite a few solo travels with a baby in my arms to India. Fortunately, barring just one lag of our trip back from Milan to Muscat, we have mostly travelled business class and that has really helped. In my opinion, it was quite a value-for money proposition especially if you are travelling alone with your child. My daughter has always loved her travel. I think she is born with an inherent wanderlust just like her Mom and so barring just 1 trip where we were coming back from Mumbai to Dubai, soon after she turned 2, where she cried her lungs out, all through the flight, she has been a darling co-passenger.
Any specific set of things that you follow when you travel?
Here are few things I recommend when you travel with a baby:
- Choose a flight conducive to their nap schedule if possible.
- Always dress them up in very comfortable clothing. I preferred sleep suits or onesies that cover their little feet too. Don’t forget the hat, bibs and pacifiers.
- Keep extra clothes, extra diaper, extra toys, extra munchies for the flight.
- Breastfeeding is a boon. I never had to worry about making formula on air or giving her pacifier during the take-off and landing. She was given the feed from the source, right when the captain announces the take-off and she mostly sucked and dozed off before the seat belt signs get switched off.
- I used to baby- wear and so I mostly left the stroller with my luggage. It was more convenient for me this way
- I always travel with a backpack, so my hands are always free, very comfortable leggings and a loose top, always an extra shirt for me in the backpack too with the baby items and most importantly very comfortable walking shoes.
- I make the full use of the business class lounge and mostly eat and drink before we reach the aircraft. It can get messy with a child in hand and not great for digestion anyway.
- Stay in good mood. Don’t panic. Keep talking to your baby. Your excitement keeps them happy and trust me, your vibes affect your entire travel experience
- Do not hesitate to ask for help
- Keep all the documents, organized safely in a folder in your backpack. Put some loose change in your pockets. It will save you ‘rummaging in your bag, to answer the officer, while your baby cries’ moment.
When did you start travelling with kids?Right after she was 60 days old and a week after she got her 2-month vaccine
Can you tell us 2 destinations that you would recommend other fellow mums to travel? Also, how was your experience of that place and what all places can parents explore there with kids? I highly recommend Dubai and any destination in Italy. These two places are kid friendly and very convenient to travel with baby, toddler or even older kids. There is something for every age-group. Dubai is one of the top few cities in the world where the tourist population exceeds the residents so it’s obviously a very family friendly destination
How do you pack for the travel?It is very different now that she is 3 versus when she was an infant. I am one of those prepared for the emergency type of moms, so I was the one with everything extra, whether it’s clothes, food, medicines or diapers. I am methodical too. I keep a checklist of items that my child and I will need and I cross them off my list once it gets packed. In short, don’t forget to pack the following….
- Baby food/ khakra/snacks box
- Diapers enough and more
- Extra clothes, socks and hat
- Baby lotion & Wipes
- Baby comforter, blanket, and favourite toy or lovies + pacifiers
- Medicines also band-aid, calendula cream, fever medicine etc.
Dos and don’ts of travelling with kids?Biggest Do- Stay Positive, in control of your emotions. You really need to be alert, happy and entertaining enough for your kids. You can’t achieve a good travel if you are running late, panicking and hating the journey ahead.
Don’t be embarrassed by your crying baby or feeding the baby in a crowded train station or plane. People may give you looks but that’s their problem, not yours. Your kids have a right to expressing their emotions and they are yet not trained to please the public, right?
Be organized. Have separate pockets or zip-locks in your bag for separate things. Like I put all our passports and travel doc in one zip-lock, easy to find and show. I buy and keep some local currency in anticipation of immediate expenses.
Choose an easy & convenient mode of travel, of course, your budget permitting. Like I almost call an airport pickup because looking for a taxi with a sleeping child.
Ask for help. Do not hesitate to ask for help from a fellow passenger or the steward or random people if you must. I have noticed that most people are kind in this world and they almost always help a woman with a child. There is no competition here, so take it easy and enjoy your travels.
What are the best & worst parts of travelling with kids? The best part is their curious eyes and excitement. I am lucky to have a child who loves to travel so, it’s pretty exciting even when I answer 20 questions every 10 minutes. The worst part, it’s not about you, your comfort. You don’t have the luxury to sip champagne and read a book in flight
How do you manage your kid’s food items while on vacation or any crazy for incidences? My daughter is a picky eater. I mostly email the hotel where I am staying to check on the few food items that I will need for my daughter at the breakfast time. Like Yogurt, Banana, Croissant, cereals, and hash browns that she eats. It’s mostly available on all decent breakfast buffet anyway. I carry an insane amount of organic squeezes for her in-between snacking. I carry her favourite brand of biscuits, some paratha/khakhra/thepla from home that lasts a few days into the travel. No horror stories about food as yet, and thank God for it.
Also, Meghna is a freelance writer, lifestyle blogger, and an influencer. Her blog page is called, “Love, Life & the Little one” do not miss following her there!
I am sure you have loved reading this piece…
Keep on rocking and Travelling guys….
& Do not forget to share your Travel Tales with us.