raveling with the whole family, especially with small children, is always fun, although it can also be quite challenging, especially for first-timers.
But there is no need to fret. If you are planning a family trip in Indonesia, check out these tips so you can enjoy a memorable no-fuss trip together.
Keep it light
The reality is, keeping it light when traveling with an infant or toddler is not easy for many parents as they need to take along belongings that their kids usually have or want at home to avoid tantrums. Hence, a weekend getaway with them can require several pieces of luggage that would seem enough to hold items for three adults for a week.
The trick is to take along only essentials, such as their comfy blanket or stuffed toys that always do the magic to calm them down.
If you are heading to a place where there are many supermarkets or convenience stores, you should consider packing only a few diapers and buying more at your destination.
It is also a good idea to leave your bulky stroller at home during the holiday as you won't use it much. An infant carrier works much better and can be handy while traveling in most parts of the country.
Rent a car
One of the luxurious things about traveling in Indonesia is that car rentals, especially in popular tourist destinations such as Bali or Bandung, are quite affordable, starting from Rp 300,000 (S$30) inclusive of driver per day for a seven-seater car.
With a car, traveling with little children will be much more comfortable for them and yourself and hence, in most cases, your bulky stroller won't be much of use because you won't walk much and many tourist destinations are not equipped to accommodate strollers.
Another reason to get a rental is that any items needed for your baby can easily be packed in the car.
With Indonesia being a tropical country, it is best to clothe your little ones in summer attire paired with open-toe footwear and hat, with the exception that if you are planning to catch sunrise in a mountainous area such as Mount Bromo, where the temperature can be as low as 5 degrees Celsius.
A light waterproof jacket with a hood may also come handy when it gets chilly or rains, plus it won't add much weight to your luggage.
Pack personal baby care products
Must-bring items for your children's personal care include paracetamol, thermometer and cold and cough syrup -- just to be on the safe side and for your own peace of mind.
Next, it is always a good idea to protect your little ones with insect repellent and sunscreen when traveling in Indonesia.
On second thought, since traveling is a great opportunity to learn about another culture and habits, while in Indonesia, why not use the opportunity to try out some of the local baby/children's products?
Many Indonesian mothers like myself like to massage telon oil on their child. Telon oil, or traditional Indonesian medicinal oil, has many benefits, according to research, such as repelling insects, keeping a child warm as well as having a calming effect. Massaging your baby with it is also great as bonding time and can make the baby's skin smoother and improve blood circulation.
As a recommendation, here are some noted and trustworthy brands, which are also my personal favorites: telon oil and mosquito repellent made by Zwitsal, minyak telon by Ny. Meneer brand and telon in cream in adorable packaging of Bebe Roosie brand by PT Industri Jamu Cap Jago.
These items also make great souvenirs for fellow mothers back at home. Zip lock and tropical fruit to the rescue
When my son was very young, I often took along plastic bags with zip locks, which came handy to store his favourite snacks or toys instead of regular containers.
Zip lock plastic bags are also handy to store bottles and utensils in, and it is easy to find the required items when needed.
In terms of your child's diet, pack favourite baby snacks and food because the items may not be easily available here unless you are traveling to popular tourist destinations such as Bali or big cities such as Jakarta, Bandung or Surabaya.
However, blessed with so many delicious tropical fruits, it is a great opportunity to introduce your baby to them while you are here. For example, papaya and avocado are among the popular fruits and are plentiful and very affordable in Indonesia.