Traveling with kids

Tips, cautions and bright ideas for keeping children safe and happy during travel in Turkey.
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mansoornasir
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Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2008 4:35 pm

Traveling with kids

Post by mansoornasir » Mon May 12, 2008 6:18 am

Okay so I posted a couple of other things on the forum and I thought that I would put something here as well. I just got back from a trip to Turkey with my wife and two daughters (ages 5 and 2). We had a wonderful time but I wanted to leave a couple of helpful comments for anyone considering to do the same.

First of all many of the small roads around Sultanahmet area are old cobblestone style which means that taking an ordinary stroller on them with a child inside is quite hard to maneuver and push. A jogger stroller works much better ofcourse but then again many of the sites are old and do not have 'wheel chair' access meaning that you would have to constantly pick up the stroller or take the child out of it. Instead I would recommend a hiker style baby carrier. My two year old is about 30lbs and it took some getting used to for both of us (her sitting in it and me carrying her on my back) but I think that without our carrier we probably would not have done half the things we were able to do. We hardly used the stroller during the whole trip. She had a good time too being higher up then most people :) . A carrier is also great since most of the sites are extremely crowded and this way the child is not only secure but also rested as we waited in lines etc.

Secondly, I think I read it somewhere on this forum but probably the most important thing is to have a good supply of knick knacks and edibles for kids in places like Museums and mosques. We had cereal bars, juice/water, raisens, fresh fruit. Naturally with kids the whole experience will be different. In some cases shortened viewing of artifacts etc. but overall I think there are enough interesting things to keep kids occupied even as young as ours. (We were able to do Ephesus in pouring rain). Turkish people were extremely kind and generous to us in great part because of our kids. I can't even count the number of times my kids were given the 'nazr' pin to help protect them form the 'evil eye' or the chocolates and candies and once even tea :) This inviting attitude towards kids made us much more comfortable in taking them to all the places.

Although we had taken basic medicines with us, we were lucky in not having the need to use any during the trip but I would recommend taking sunscreen and especially some unscented vaseline/lotions with you as it was almost impossible to find the latter items in Sultanahmet.


carrie
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Re: Traveling with kids

Post by carrie » Tue May 13, 2008 7:42 pm

Excellent post and thanks for sharing :D
Carrie Akkelle
Canada Hotel
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Jay
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Re: Traveling with kids

Post by Jay » Tue Sep 09, 2008 10:39 am

Let me share a somewhat different experience.

In our visit to Istanbul, we were accompanied by an 18 months kid in a stroller and despite the (factual) issues mentioned in the original article managed to stroll with him for most of the time. Moving with the kid in the stroller, getting in/out of the tram, crossing the road, taking the ferry etc. are all the things that you can manage with the baby in stroller. The biggest problems were in museums where strollers were not allowed and at the hotel's entrance which had a revolving door and a couple of steps :D Moving In/Out with the stroller and baby was quite an adventure.

The other adventure happened at Aya Sophia when we decided to go upstairs through the steep and long winding ramp. After a while, I found the stroller to get stuck on the uneven tiles. Not knowing how much more to climb, I carried the kid on one side, packed and lifted the stroller on the other hand (wife was carrying the bulky baby bag) and climbed all the way up. Those of you who have been there will realize what I up to. A baby carrier would have been a big help here but for most other places we managed to somehow use the stroller. I am just hoping that it was not too much of a discomfort for the nearby fellow tourists :P

To those planning to travel with kid(s) of similar ages, I'd suggest that if you have a stroller that is rugged and easy to maneuver, you may want to take a chance like me. Otherwise stick with the baby carrier bag option as presented by thread starter.

carrie
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Re: Traveling with kids

Post by carrie » Tue Sep 09, 2008 1:17 pm

excellent tips and yes in some places a baby carrier..either pouch or back pack sytle is necessary....especially in areas outside of Istanbul...Cappadocia, Ephesus and most popular historical sights are not all that accessable with strollers...
Carrie Akkelle
Canada Hotel
Cirali / Olympos
Turkey

http://www.canadahotel.net/en/index.htm

my photo site;
http://www.flickr.com/photos/canmom


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