Travel blog of an Indian family as they journey the world.

Worldyatri baby friendly Index of countries

May 30, 2014  //   by Lily   //   comments(0)  //  Featured_Post

Worldyatri baby friendly Index of countries

We started our journey when Raiyaan had just turned one. There was some anxiety on long term travel with an infant. As we enter our third phase of our travel, we found that Raiyaan has adapted to long term travel perhaps more than us. It has been a learning experience for us and we had to make some adjustments based on different countries. We are starting the Worldyatri index of baby friendliness of countries based on our own experiences. Here are the six criteria that will determine the index.

Visa and passport controls: Our first criterion is visa and passport controls. We found out from our visa experiences, there are several countries that waive visa fees for babies, while some other countries charge the same adult fees for baby visas. Many countries have special access at passport controls for families with babies. Some countries like India make them stand in the line like everybody else.

Transport: We took a variety of transport in all the countries – trains, buses, boats, airplanes, cars. We came across several occasions where the transport company especially airlines took special steps to ensure baby’s comfort and safety. We also had instances, where we took boat rides where life jackets for babies were not available. We will rate transport options in countries based on this parameter.

Stroller friendliness: The Baby stroller or pram is an inseparable companion for travelling with a baby. As you spend long hours walking the streets or spending hours in the museum, you need a stroller so that an overactive baby does not get cranky or adventurous. The stroller also enables babies to sleep whenever they feel like. Stroller accessibility is a big factor for us. How accessible are roads, pavements, buildings, transport stations for prams – we will rate countries as we travel along.

People: Babies naturally attract lot of warmth and affection from people cutting across countries. In many countries, we found perfect strangers going out of their way to help us because we had a baby. Many helped get the stroller down from a staircase or a train. In this measure, we will rate the baby friendliness of people.

Availability of quality affordable baby products: If you are a long term travelling family, you cannot just stock up on baby products in your suitcase. One needs to shop for diapers, wipes, baby food, toys and other products. As we found out from our travels, even a global brand like Pampers has different quality products for different countries. In this criterion, we will rank countries based on availability of quality as well as affordable baby products.

Baby friendly public facilities: Many cities that we travelled to had several children’s parks and children’s section in public parks. Some had baby changing facilities and feeding room in public places. Some airports had play areas for kids. In this part of the index, we will look at countries that took special care to ensure facilities for babies and children.

As most indices go, this is by no means an objective index, it is a subjective one based on our experiences. We hope that this index will help families as they plan their travels with their baby.

Tags: travelling with a baby, Worldyatri baby friendly index,

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