In July, we traveled to Bali with our nine-month-old baby! While people from western countries don’t seem to find it surprising, our Indian counterparts were quite surprised and considered the journey quite a bold step! Most of our friends and relatives were worried that traveling with a baby would be quite a hassle and that not only our baby but even we would not be able to enjoy our journey.
Now that we are back from the trip, we felt that it was about time I busted the myths surrounding the troubles of traveling with a baby. Yes, it is absolutely untrue that traveling with a baby is troublesome.
We faced absolutely no issues and our baby coped with the trip like an absolute pro. In fact, we were pleasantly surprised by the crazy amount of perks that come with traveling with a baby that nobody seems to be talking about.
Therefore, in this article, I am going to share with you the benefits of traveling with a baby that will encourage you to take the trip with your baby that you have long been worrying about!
Quick Visa Appointment
Now, technically, this bit has nothing to do with Bali. But it is nevertheless a perk that you could enjoy if you are traveling to a country that requires you to secure a visa beforehand. Most visa centers (such as the USA visa center) allow priority to applicants with an infant. Thus, where most people have to wait for at least a couple of hours at the embassy for their visa appointment, our interview got done in five minutes.
Most airlines provide passengers with infants priority check-in services. In fact, the list of airport privileges you enjoy extends to walking in straight to the airline counter to hand over your check-in luggage to riding in the airport buggy, all the way to being the first ones to board the plane. You almost don’t have to wait in a queue anywhere!
The legroom in the economy class of flight is negligible. However, since the bassinet is positioned on the airplane bulkhead wall, if you book a bassinet for your baby, you get seats with ample legroom. Plus the bassinet blocks random passengers from crossing across your seats to access the lavatories. Thus, you essentially enjoy a private corner in the plane all for yourself.
Quality service from airline staff
Has it ever happened to you that you requested your air hostess for an extra blanket and she simply forgot about it? That has happened to me in the past and I have been quite frustrated with the general lack of hospitality shown by air-hostesses of some airlines.
However, when you travel with a baby you receive quality services from the staff on-board. They are prompt with attending to your demands. They gladly heat your baby’s food, serve your on priority before the other passengers and always ensure that you and your baby are not inconvenienced at any point in your journey!
How’s that for a perk? Great, right!
Happy people everywhere
A baby wins a million hearts and puts a smile on the dullest of faces! That is exactly why we always found ourselves surrounded by happy people. At restaurants, the staff would greet us with smiles. At tourist attractions, people would stop to pull my little one’s cheeks and at markets, grumpy shopkeepers would transform into friendly folk!
In fact, the mere presence of a baby is often such a great conversation starter that we ended up interacting with a great variety of people coming from various different countries and backgrounds – an opportunity that we had often missed out on when traveling without a baby.
Traveling with a baby makes you a better traveler – a slow traveler. You stop being a regular tourist who wants to stuff his itinerary with every attraction in the guide and you instead plan your day wisely.
On our recent trip to Bali, since we were not rushing from one place to another like a regular tourist, we could absorb the vibe of the places we visited far better than what we would have otherwise.
It completely changed our perspective about travel and we learned that just being in a new place and interacting with the local people is far more enriching than merely ticking off the touristic attractions of that place.
Baby’s personality development
The trip exposed our baby to so many new experiences that we realized that her personality changed for the better in many ways.
She learned to wave to people seeing all the strangers wave at her. She learned the ‘Namaste’ gesture and surprised many by greeting people with a ‘Namaste’ when we came back.
Since every day would bring in a new experience for her – whether it was in the form of her first flight, her first time in the swimming pool, her first time at a zoo, her first time on a beach, etc. – we noticed that our baby girl became more confident and adapted better to new environments!
Memories of a lifetime
Why does no one talk about how the memories of traveling with a baby are the best memories ever?
When we came back from our trip, we were not only talking about the places that we visited but also smiling about how our baby girl reacted to those places.
The memories of our baby girl splashing water in the swimming pool not wanting to get out of it, of crawling in the sand at Kuta beach, of trying to jump on a deer at the Bali Zoo, of smiling sweetly at random strangers, of jumping with excitement seeing a tiger and of taking bites of the Balinese food and enjoying it are ones that will stay with us forever.
No amount of hardship will ever stop us from taking a trip with our baby if the returns are going to reward us with such wonderful memories!
So, what are you waiting for? Just take that trip! It’s absolutely worth it! Don’t forget to share the perks you enjoyed when traveling with a baby!