Trip to India

My Nana (mum’s mum) is turning 80 years old this July and the planned happy occasion has completely snowballed into a family reunion. The last time the entire family (mum’s side) got together was at my grandparents 50th wedding anniversary – I was still in high school then if that give you any inclination of how long ago it happened.

So, we are trying to make it for the celebration; I’m dying to introduce the boys to my family and realize this may be the best chance we have to see everyone since they’re usually scattered across the globe. Family will be coming from California, New York, Texas, DC (us), Doha and Bahrain to meet on the sunny beaches of Goa for two weeks (you know I say sunny, but July/August is peak monsoon season in India and it’s likely we’ll spend the majority of the trip soaked to our underwear standing in puddles up to our ankles. Good thing we all love card games…).

Under normal circumstances, my traveling to India would be a breeze; I have a current passport and hold a Person of Indian Origin (PIO) card, meaning I can travel to and from Indian as often as I’d like. Even adding E would be pretty simple – just renew his passport and sign him up for a PIO (he’s eligible as my spouse).

BUT WE HAVE KIDS. I’m currently filling out dual applications for passports and PIO’s (they also qualify since their great-grandparent lives in India), and wondering how the hell we’re going to fly halfway across the world with two 14 month old boys. If anyone out there wants to do the math: two parents + two babies + 16 hours in an enclosed space hurtling a mile off the ground = likely intense screaming and hair pulling.

We haven’t taken the boys anywhere outside the DC metro region yet and they will not have flown before this trip *groan*. I’ve been posting messages on our multiples group forum and calling anyone I know who has traveled with infants to India recently just to get slight idea of what we’re getting ourselves into. Our options are to take two 8/9 hour flights with a layover in Frankfurt, or go to NY and hop on one 16/17 hour flight with an hour connector flight. Lesser of two evils? Not sure there is one.

Then the question of what to do when we get there comes up. Hopefully, if we continue on schedule, the boys will be off formula and able to eat ‘human’ food. I’m crossing all fingers and toes that we accomplish this, since I can’t fathom carrying boxes of formula and crates of jarred food in addition to mountains of diapers and wipes.

There are no such things as car seat clips in rickshaws so there’s no point in bringing them and since the sidewalks are virtually non-existent we might as well forget the stroller too. Although the issue of how to get around is the only one we may have conquered so far. Behold, the Kelty TC 2.0 Backpack Carriers (which we tested out on a walk around the neighborhood Saturday):

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I’m not sure how everything else will shake out, but I’ll keep posting along the way with tips/tricks we learn and epic fails we endure. If anyone has advice for us or extra fingers to cross, I’d greatly appreciate it. Hope to have some semblance of sanity by the time we return.

Penny for your thoughts?