Family Trip to Ladakh
You already know that Ladakh has not really been a family place and was always about avid bikers and adventure lovers. Right? For decades, because of harsh weather conditions, rugged paths, and extreme altitudes, Ladakh never made its place into the travel bucket list of parents who wanted to take their kids and elders to Ladakh. But with modernization and easy transportation conveniences over the years, Ladakh finally marked its spot among the favorite family holiday destinations in India.
Here the question you need to ask before planning a trip to Ladakh with family: If we ask you what will be your preferred tourist destination for a family trip in India, would your answer include Ladakh?
Now for those who are curious to know if Ladakh is safe for families, when do they need to plan a trip to Ladakh with family, what to pack for Ladakh, and will their kids be okay in such weather conditions, we have got the answer to all these questions. To know all about how to plan a family trip to Ladakh, here’s a comprehensive guide for you.
Is Ladakh safe for families?
Yes and No. You may ask why? Well, Ladakh is for the most part safe but you cannot deny the fact that tourists and bikers face some problems here. To be safe, you have to follow all the rules and take extra precautions as you may have kids and elders with you. Don’t do anything out of the blue moon and you will be fine.
What is the best time to plan a Ladakh family trip?
To enjoy your Ladakh trip to the maximum, May to September is the best time to visit Leh Ladakh. It is the peak tourist season and you can enjoy all the activities during these months. Visiting here before May and after September may put your family in trouble as the region experiences extreme weather conditions and that they might get sick. If you don’t want that, we suggest you stick between May to September months for visiting Ladakh.
What is the age limit for Leh Ladakh?
As far as there is no medical history of elders and no lung or any type of infection in kids involved, then you can travel to Ladakh. So, to answer your question, NO, there is no age limit for visiting Ladakh. However, there are a few things you need to ask yourself -
- Is your kid under 3 months? If yes, then do not, in any case, travel to Ladakh. You may risk their health at such altitudes. Wait till they are at least 3 to 4 years old so that they can at least share the problem if they are facing some.
- Was your baby born premature? Or does the baby have any heart or lung condition? If yes, trash your Ladakh plan with kids.
- Are your elders/ parents free from ailments? If yes, you can travel, but make sure to take health advice from a professional.
Do we need to consult a doctor?
It is the top priority to consult a doctor especially if you are traveling with elders. After looking into their medical history, and ensuring they are not at risk for any health condition, you can plan a family holiday to Leh Ladakh. In case, carry their prescribed medicines and some other medicines for headache, vomiting, diarrhea, etc.
How to prevent Acute Motion Sickness in Ladakh?
To prevent AMS in Ladakh, we suggest you to not travel with a less than 3 months old baby. Wait till they are older than 18 months as the lungs of the baby of less than 3 months cannot handle the altitude sickness. And similarly, for senior people, we cannot stress enough. Get them a thorough checkup with a doctor and travel only after the doctor’s approval.
At such extreme altitudes, from adults to kids, everyone can get sick. But the main problem is that AMS symptoms in kids are hard to identify. So, make sure you travel slow and get acclimatized properly before you continue your journey to higher altitudes. And keep looking for symptoms in kids at all times.
If your elders are feeling sick, then cancel the further journey and get back to lower altitudes immediately. This can help them to recover soon and will not put their health at any further risks.
What to pack for a family trip to Ladakh?
Ladakh’s temperature is very unpredictable. So whatever season you are planning a trip in, you must always prepare for the cold weather. Apart from carrying diapers, snacks, an electric kettle (if possible), and powdered milk. Some common things to pack include precautionary medicines, woolen wear, water, windcheaters, dry fruits, and chocolates.
Where to stay in Ladakh with family?
When you are traveling to Ladakh with family, you do not have to be all adventurous and venture out to remote places. A STRICT NO. Book your stays in more touristy areas like Pangong and Nubra Valley. This ensures your and your family’s safety.
Hotels in Leh
Hotels on Manli-Leh Highway
Hotels on Srinagar-leh Highway
Hotels near Pangong Lake
Hotel in Nubra Valley
Things to carry during Ladakh trip with Family
The packing and things to carry during the Ladakh trip are not the same as other trips. If you are traveling with family then you need to take care of a few extra things as you are going to a high altitude region with elders and kids. So make sure you keep everything while packing for the Ladakh trip with family. Here are a few things which you should pack while traveling to Leh Ladakh.
Ladakh experiences cold throughout the year irrespective of the season and month. The mountain passes are covered with snow and experience chilly weather. It is advisable to carry clothes in layers so that you can wear or take off the jacket whenever required. The temperature in the afternoon remains comfortable in summer, however, in the evening it started to dip. So it is better to have extra layers on to combat the unpredictable climate here.
You may need to walk a lot in Ladakh so it is important to wear comfortable shoes as they can save you from blisters and injuries, which are the last thing you want when you are traveling. Carry sports shoes and sneakers as they are sturdy and comfortable for kids and elders.
Make sure you will carry your original photo identity proof, itineraries, and tickets of hotel booking as well as pre-booked traveling tickets with you and it is advisable to keep them handy. Do not forget to apply for the Inner Line Permits (ILPs) as they are mandatory to visit the protected and restricted areas of Ladakh including Pangong Lake, Nubra Valley, Khardung La Pass, Tso Moriri, Panamik, and Shyok Valley.
You cannot find ATMs at every corner of Ladakh like other tourist places. The availability of ATMs is restricted to Leh and Kargil only in Ladakh. There are few places where you can swipe credit or debit cards. So, it is important to carry sufficient cash with you as hotels in Nubra Valley, Pangong Lake, and other tourist places mostly accept cash. The fuel pumps and restaurants also accept cash in Ladakh.
Medicines and First-aid Kit
Do not forget to carry prescribed medicines and first aid kits. Make sure you will pack basic medicines for headache, vomiting, cold cough, fever, pain reliever, and mountain sickness. Antiseptic ointment, glucose, and iodine based water purification tablets are important to carry during the trip as you cannot find them everywhere in Ladakh.
Toiletries and other items
Carry toiletries, brush, tooth paste, and paper soap with you. However, you can find them in hotels but while traveling you may require these basic things. Cold cream, moisturizing cream, vaseline, and lip guard are also important things that you should carry while traveling with your family.
Sunscreen and Sunglasses
This is a high altitude region due to which chances of sunburn is very high. Carry sunscreen to save yourself from sunburn and tanning. Sunglasses will block the UV rays which reflect from the snow and can damage your cornea.
Oxygen Cylinder for Ladakh Trip
It is strongly recommended to carry an Oxygen cylinder if you or your family member have any kind of medical situation of Asthma. In airplanes, oxygen cylinders are not allowed so you can rent them from Leh. If you are traveling by car then you can carry all the way from your hometown.
Permits for Ladakh Tour
There are two ways to apply for Inner Line Permit (ILP) that is online and offline mode. You can apply for them online on the official website of LAHDC (Leh Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council) http://lahdclehpermit.in/. Fill in the details, the route on which you wish to travel, pay the fees, take the printout of the online application, and then visit the DC Office in Leh to get the permits stamped in person. For offline mode, you can directly visit the DC Office in Leh where you have to fill the form, pay the fees, and get the permit stamped. You are required to show valid photo identity proof issued by the government to get your permit stamped. Also, make sure you will keep the extra copies of the Inner Line Permit as you are required to submit the copies at several checkpoints before visiting Nubra Valley and Pangong Tso.
Tips for traveling to Ladakh with kids
- Keep a watch on your child’s behavior. If you see any little symptoms, make sure to descend to lower altitudes immediately.
- Carry enough snacks and water with you. After Leh, you will not get many places to halt and enjoy snacks.
- Consult a pediatrician at Leh only as there is no medical care after that.
- If your kid is running around and enjoys, do not run after them at all times. Ensuring their safety is a must but by being involved so much, you might ruin your and your kid’s fun time.
- If you have an infant with you, an electric kettle will come in handy. You cannot feed them cold water at night and also you cannot
- wake up hotel staff every time the baby feels thirsty.
- Communicate with your 4 and 5-year-olds, to not run too far from you. Or they might meet an unfortunate accident.
Tips for traveling to Ladakh with Senior Citizens
- Travel slow. Plan to visit places like Leh and Nubra Valley first, and if they feel any AMS symptoms, avoid visiting Pangong Lake and Tso Moriri.
- Before traveling, get a thorough checkup to look for any ongoing ailments.
- Do not cover more than 150 to 200 km in a single day.
- Book the hotels in advance so that elders do not have to wait.
- Carry lots of water, dry eatables, biscuits, or chocolates with you.
- Avoid giving them unhealthy food. This can worsen their health.
- In case of emergency, visit Leh Memorial hospital, which is also known as Sonam Norbu Memorial Hospital.
- Acclimatization: You need to get your bodies properly acclimatized there as it is a high altitude region.
- Consult with your doctor: Before planning a trip, consult with your doctor if children and elders can travel to Ladakh or not. Ensure that your child or elder is in good health.
- Check the weather: Make sure you will check the weather and pack accordingly.
- Keep yourself hydrated: Drink a lot of water and keep yourself hydrated as it helps acclimatize better.
There you have it! Hope this information on the family trip to Ladakh travel guide will come in handy while planning your trip. Make sure to follow all the necessary precautions and you will be fine. Travel to Ladakh with family hassle-free and keep in mind the tips that we suggested. Happy Journey!
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