Bettina loves life, travelling and her family. Ideally all of these combined. One of the most impressive journeys she’s taken with her kids was to India. We spoke to Bettina to learn how her children experienced this trip, how she’s prepared and how travelling affects her family life.
What makes travelling with kids special for you?
Traveling with children to me means showing them the world with all its colors and facets. I am always touched by the way children look at things and how it makes them feel. To witness this just gives me an incredible feeling of joy.
What do you enjoy most when travelling with kids?
I’m so grateful that I can continue my passion for travelling, also when having children by now. To be able to discover new cultures and new places with my children, to try out new things and to be open to new things is such an important part of life for me. And not only the moment of travelling itself is special for us. Also to be back home, watching photo books and recollect memories of past trips – to talk again about the experience – is simply wonderful.
Give us three words/emotions that describe the feeling of exploring new places together
Goosebumps, joy, enrichment
What made India so outstanding to you and your children?
I have already experienced India without children and I knew that I must come back together with them. I will never forget this smell, which has already amazed me when arriving at the airport in Mumbai. The culture of the Indians is very, very special to me. The children immediately felt the kindness of the Indians and immediately felt very, very well. In Mumbai, walking through the streets, always listening to the loud horn of cars, tuk tuks, life was wonderful and has not deterred any of my children. India has made my children think. On the trip, they were old enough to reflect how well they were doing and to value their lives even more than before. The beauty and variety of the country has inspired everyone. We were aware that children will also see and feel poverty. We have already made this a topic before departure.
Another wonderful experience is always to get to know the country-typical cuisine. We have tasted different Indian delicacies every day. The children liked Dal – in all variants – with the typical Naan.
How does travelling affect your children and how did India affect your children?
Traveling means a lot of excitement and curiosity for children. India was something very special for all three children and is very much in their memory. They already know many countries and places, but India has been exceptional for them. The food, the people we met there, the smell in the hotels, on the street, the clothes and of course the henna painting were great experiences about which we still talk a lot.
Also the poverty has touched us all. Above all, the strong distinction – the visibility of poverty. As a family, it is important that the children also get to know this side while traveling. It’s important for us to not only move within a closed hotel complex without actually experiencing at all in which country you are at the moment.
What do people have to watch out for when travelling to India with children?
First you should get to know the entry requirements. Children need a passport and a visa. Vaccinations are also an important issue. You should therefore not plan at short notice, if you’re considering an India trip. Here you should simply talk with the pediatrician, depending on which area you want to travel.
Also hygiene is a particularly important issue. Never drink tap water. No ice cream from the street. Also ice cubes I wouldn’t recommend.
In Mumbai we have seen many, many beggars. One should not give money here, even when feeling sorry. Especially in the famous Colaba Causeway Market one should be careful.
Is there any recommendation you wanna give to parents who doubt to travel to places like India?
India is very, very large and certainly worth more than a trip. I would always recommend to slowly discover a destination. We have combined Mumbai and Goa. This was perfect for us as a family.
How did becoming a mother change the way you travel?
Traveling and discovering foreign cultures has and always will be a part of my life. Only a small change has occurred. With one child I spontaneously booked the accommodations on site. Only the first 2-3 nights were planned – then we just looked. With three children this becomes more difficult – so I book the accommodations when traveling long haul – USA, India etc. beforehand. The journey loses some flexibility, but you can recover more – the joy of the accommodation prevails!
You’ve got more questions for Bettina? Share them in the comments! Bettina is happy to reply to you.