Traveling to Ladakh with Kids or Babies

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Traveling to Ladakh or High Altitude with Kids or Babies

First and the foremost, its highly recommended that you do not plan and avoid ANY kind of travel (be it high altitude or low altitude or in plains) if your baby or infant* is less than 3+ months old strictly (my personal choice would be only taking a 12+ months old baby). Kids or infants* or Babies* more than 3+ months old, may react to high altitude in a similar manner as an adult and has similar tolerance to high altitude because I guess after three months all the organs of the normally born healthy babies (EXCLUDING premature babies or babies with some health problems) are properly grown including lungs which helps in the respiration. However, always keep in mind that it will be difficult to identify signs of AMS in babies* or infants* or kids due to lack of communication. Hence, you need to be vigilant of your baby’s or kid’s behavior all the time while traveling to high altitude. Although the guidelines or tips for acclimatization mentioned in the link Acute Mountain Sickness and Importance of Acclimatization are applicable for kids or infants* as well but in addition to them you can further follow below guidelines when you take your baby or kid to a high altitude –

Tips for Traveling to Ladakh or High Altitude Places with Kids or Infants* or Babies*
  • 1. You must ascend or gain altitude slowly to allow proper acclimatization. Example, while going to Rohtang Pass (3990 Mtrs) you can have proper acclimatization by staying one or more days at Manali and then one or more days at Solang Valley as well before visiting Rohtang Pass and further regions of Lahaul and Spiti Valleys. It will help acclimatize your as well as your baby’s or kid’s body.

    For first few days the night stays must be between the 8000-9000 feet mark, then a couple of days at 10000 feet and then gradually increasing the night stays about 1000 feet each alternate day.

  • 2. You must keep him/her properly hydrated (not over hydrated in any case) by taking care of proper liquid intake and feeding including water. Hydrated body is key to acclimatization for both adult as well as kid’s or infant’s* body. Do not over hydrate, read below.
  • 3. You must keep him/her protected from cold by sufficient amount of warm or woolen clothes. The kids or infants* must be protected from the cold by enough warm clothes as many of them tends to catch cold easily. If they catch even minor cold then you may (repeat may) find yourself in a difficulty to find proper cure and care for him/her at high altitudes. It may be cause of limited medical facilities or options at such high altitudes. Hence, its always best to protect babies or kids from cold by getting them dressed in extra warm or woolen clothes. Do not take cold of your baby or kid lightly at high altitudes.
  • 4. You must cover him well enough from rounded hat to protect his/her soft skin from the sun rays which may cause skin burns. Eyes too must be protected from the reflection of sunrays from snow using the shades because the reflection may cause some irritation in kids or infant’s* eyes. Similarly, the arms must be covered with full sleeves, feet with warm socks and shoes, hands with gloves. In any case, you need to protect the kid or infant* from the sun rays which are strong at high altitudes.
  • 5. Keep the visit or stay at very high altitude as short as possible. Example, while going to Rohtang Pass with a kid or infant* you must stay at Rohtang Pass for let’s say about 2-3 hours keeping the stay to bare minimum. Do not forget the time period that may get wasted in traffic jams at such high altitude tourist places. The idea is to keep the stay as short as possible to minimize any chances of altitude sickness.
  • This clearly WARNS that Manali-Leh Highway is definitely not a place to be with a baby or infant* or a kid. Same applies to many other high altitude desolated places including sleeping at Pangong Tso or Tso Moriri, if the body is not thoroughly acclimatized.
  • 6. If the weather seems bad on a particular day, when you plan to visit high altitude (above 10000 feet) then please avoid the travel on that day and stay at the current altitude only. Take extra care to keep the baby or kid warm with woolen clothes.
  • 7. If you notice baby or kid is crying too much or having breathing distress or vomiting or his/her color is changing then immediately descend or get medical help as soon as it is available. This is why it is important to always consult your kid’s or baby’s concerned doctor at home for medication in such cases, before you start the trip with your kid or baby. Carry those medicines from the home town itself and keep them always with you while exploring the region of high altitudes even on day hikes, day visits etc

As long as you follow these guidelines and general guidelines or tips for adults mentioned here, you minimize the chances of altitude sickness getting hit your kid or infant* (above 3+ months age)… Still do consult a doctor before going on the trip with your kid or infant* to high altitude regions

Hydrated body is of utmost importance not over Hydrated (read below) I guess, up to 8000 feet (like up to Manali) there aren’t any major or apparent issues that can be seen with regard to altitude sickness but beyond that altitude (>8000 feet) it is always advised that the body should under go proper acclimatization be it adult or kid or infant.

Corrections made after valuable suggestions from the pioneer, Vistet linked here(post #12):

I have a number of reservations on the advice in the linked post at # 8 , starting with the dangerous idea of forcing children to drink when they are not thirsty : at best they will vomit ( which will force you to descend ) , at worst they´ll start to develop cerebral edema – either only from water intoxication , or as a mixed result from this and altitude sickness. See for example Peter Hackett ( Everest-climbing doctor and co-author of the CDC altitude advisory ) on this : ” Too much water is harmful and can dilute your body’s sodium levels (hyponatremia) causing weakness, confusion, seizures, and coma.”
Last note on oxygen : small tanks of even medical grade oxygen provides a false sense of security : they will at extreme best last for an hour or two. For the value of cheap , portable oxygen solutions see here, # 5 and #7 check here

Having said all that, it is still recommended that you CONSULT A DOCTOR or PHYSICIAN before you take your kid or baby* to a high altitude region just to ensure everything is in right place. Again, these are just my suggestions based on my very limited or negligible knowledge of AMS or mountain sickness but I will definitely suggest you that you consult some physician or doctor before going on the trip because I am not any of them. For more details on the same you MUST READ the links mentioned in the references which explains it in better details

*Infants or babies with age GREATER than 3 months and who are not born prematurely and who do not suffer from heart or lung or any other illness, should only be considered for any kind of traveling be it to high altitude or sea. My personal preference or suggestion is that baby or infant or kid with age greater than 12 months and not suffering from illness shall only be considered for any kind of travel.

References

Conclusion

I hope the above information will be helpful for you and after going through the above article along with reference links you can wisely decide weather or not you can travel with your baby or kid or infant*. Please feel free to share your valuable thoughts and inputs and suggestions. I would be looking forward to your responses as comments below.

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119 Comments

  1. We are planning for a trip to Sangla-Kalpa-Nako-Tabo-Kaza,kunzum,manali with family which includes my 5 yr daughter. Please let me know the feasibility.

  2. Anjali gupta on

    Hey
    I am planning to visit leh ladakh from 8th may to 16 may with my 9 years brother is it OK for him??? Coz I heard that the temperature of ladakh in may goes -17 degree
    Can u pllzz suggest me tha places where we can go nd

    • Anjali, yes the agewise it is fine. However, please note that it will be too cold to spend a night at Pangong Tso and hence, will recommend that you spend the night in Tangtse about 34 KMs before Pangong Tso during that time of the year.

      You can check a very balanced and most common itinerary for Leh – Ladakh by Air followed by many travelers including me at the link here for 9 days: Leh – Ladakh | Most Common Itinerary by Air.
      You can check the nice, preferred list of accommodation options in entire Leh – Ladakh (Leh, Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri) including moderate (cheap budget hotels as well) in the series of articles starting on the link here

      For the leh – ladakh taxi union rate list 2016 – 17 including the contacts of some reliable taxi drivers within Leh – Ladakh, check the link here. You can get about 12-15% of discount by directly getting in touch with drivers and of course, talking in person rather on phone always help in bargaining more.

  3. can I travel with my kid 1.4 years old to Pahalgam and srinagar, kashmir in mid june? Is it safe for the kid?please reply.

      • Sanjeev Sishodia on

        Hi Dheeraj,

        I am planning for trip to Leh with wife and kids (daughter 11 yrs & son 6 yrs). We will start from Delhi & take the Jammu-Srinagar-Kargil-Leh route and return via Manali. Total trip will be over 14 days in a self drive car. My daughter generally has vomitting tendancy in the hills, hence, is it advisable to do this trip with her? Also will this routing help? I am aware of AMS and the precautions about taking adequate rest and acclimatization and will take proper care but am just worried if this is too much for my daughter to handle. Will appreciate a quick revert as we plan to do this in first week of June.

        • Sanjeev, in general what you are talking about is Motion sicknesss. What happens in Ladakh is acute mountain sickness due to hig altitude. Make sure you go from Srinagar side and may be stay at Alchi before sleeping at Leh. Do ensure that body remains hydrated in case she is puking too much. You can consult the doctor for motion sickness medicines. There are bands of acupuncture available too which my wife uses alot and they are effective but not sure if they are available in Indian stores.

        • Sanjeev Sishodia on

          Hi Deheeraj,

          Thanks for your prompt response and really appreciate your blogs and the useful information that you provide.

          I just had one more query! Is it possible to by-pass Srinagar on the way from Delhi to Leh? The current militancy situation is highly spiked with news of several terrorist infiltrations coming in. I do not want to do Delhi – Manali – Leh with the kids, however, Srinagar seems to be dampner.

          Thanks.

  4. Hi Dheeraj,
    I am traveling to leh on 19th May. I have planned to stay at tangste on 24th during my Pangong trip . I want to know whether tangste have some good temperature at night then tangste & what approximately will be the minimum temperature by then.

  5. Hi Dheeraj,

    Feels great to get bk to ur page again!
    I remember how we had decided to go to Tirthan Valley reading your take on it and am so glad that we did. It has been one of my best experiences of travel till date. The best part was when we got to meet u and ur family at Raju’s Cottage bk there in 2014 😀
    Anyway, we are planning to visit Manali over the coming week but this time we’ll have my niece who is almost 2yrs old travel with us. Do you think its fine? I mean we are worried about the long travel from Delhi to Manali basically. Is it doable? Would be great if you could revert bk.
    We will be reaching Delhi from Kolkata on the 22nd night by air. And then we are planning to travel on the 23rd from Delhi to Manali by car and would get bk by the 26th to Delhi again. We fly bk to Kolkata on the 27th. Our intention is to cover Manali along with Solang Valley. Please do let us know your views.

    Also, if you think this sounds a bit difficult, please do suggest any other places where we could go to during this period.

    Thanks 🙂

    Regards,
    Jaysmita.

    • Hello Jaysmita,

      Great to connect with you again and well yeah I do remember meeting up back there at Raju’s Cottage 🙂

      Manali is fine for children with respect to altitude, when you go to Rohtang PAss or towards it, avoid spending more than 2-3 hrs at the top rest lower hills shall be fine. Rohtang Pass might actually be not open yet so nothing much of worry, still I will say even for Marhi keep time check of about 2-3 hrs atthe top and then come back.

      Regarding travel time, well, I am not sure how much the child is accustomed to the long travel but surely you wanna consult the doctor to prescribe the motion sickness syrup for small child. That is where the small kids struggle most. If you feel there is too much of issue, then you can halt at Mandi for a night and then head to Manali next morning.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

      • Hi Dheeraj,
        Came across your posts while searching for the Srinagar Leh Trip, which we are planning for May, 2016. Couldn’t find ways to post a direct comment hence posting from a reply option ..

        Can you pls review our itinerary as well as suitability considering the kids we have ??

        We are two family planning for a Srinagar – Kargil – Leh – Pangong Tso – Leh – Manali. We have 3 kids, a 2.50 year old and 8 year olds.

        Tentative Itinerary is as below:-

        May 12 – Landing at Srinagar from Delhi – Sight Seeing for 2 days including Pahalgam
        May 15 – Start for Srinagar to Leh road trip – Self Drive Vehicle – Stop over at Kargil ( Do you think this is the best place to stop or would you suggest some thing else , any suggestion on the accommodation)
        May 16 – Arriving at Leh – Half day for acclimatization & site seeing ( if feel so )
        May 17 – Start for Pangong Tso – Self Driven Vehicle- Stay for the night there (Suggestion for a good stay place for families – Seen one Pangong Inn….looks decent ….what your comment on the same ?)
        May 18 – Go back to Leh…. ( I believe there are few monasteries to visit during Leh – Pangong Tso and back…. can you suggest which one to go for ….. )
        May 19 – Visit to Khardung La
        May 20 – Start for Manali – Self Driven Vehicle – ( Haven’t see much here….need to some R&D )
        May 21 Arrival at Manali – One day at Manali
        May 22 – Back to Delhi

        Thanks a ton in advance,
        Nitin M

        • Hello Nitin,

          1. Yes Kargil is a good place to halt.
          2. You will arrive in evening, so just take rest
          3. On May 17, take complete day rest in Leh and acclimatize. DO NOT go for sightseeing at all.
          4. On May 18, 19 – Do 2 day trip to Nubra Valley
          5. On May 20 – Do 1 day trip to Pangong Tso
          6. On May 21, 22 – Do Manali – Leh Highway journey and sleep at Jispa by leaving at 5 AM in morning from Leh.

          I will NEVER suggest to take a 2.5 yr old child on such a journey with such tight schedule. Please consider especially the Manali – Leh Highway that early in the seasonly will be terrible decision at any given day.

        • Thanks a lot, Dheeraj.
          Just one quick question….normally you are suggesting for 2 day trip to Pongong Tso in your suggested Leh Itinerary in DOW, any reason why you suggested one for us ? Because of Kid or already tight schedule ?

          As of now I have booked my tickets now for 19th May to Srinagar…. Fingers Crossed 🙂

          Thanks,
          Nitin M

        • One more quick question…
          I wanted to book the bus from Manali to Delhi on the same day when we are expected to reach there from Leh.
          Do you think we shall be able to reach by 3 – 4 PM, so that I can go ahead and book the buses which are available for 5PM departure ?

          We are planning to take a over night break at Sarchu the previous night. Or you think we should stop over at some other place to ensure to catch the evening buses.

          Thx,
          Nitin M

        • Hi Nitin,

          I will suggest that you take the bus as late as possible because you can never predict the delays there might be due to landslides which are common only. Futher it will be much better if you plan to night halt at Jispa instead of Sarchu to ensure there is no last minute panic.

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

  6. Hi Dheeraj,

    Kindly suggest a suitable itineray for 7 days visit in 3rd week of May to Leh, with Kids of 3 years, 13 years & 16 years old.

      • Dear Dheeraj,

        Yes, I have already booked the flight ticket. Kindly suggest the itinerary .

        Any issue with 3 years kid please?

        Regards,

        Ashish

        • Ashish, It depends on person to person to take the children of such age group because AMS do not matter with respect to age or sex or any fitness level. It can happen to anyone of any age or sex or fitness I shall say :D… The issue with children is that they tend to exert the body considering it the same kind of place they belong to and this elevates the chances of getting struck with AMS. Secondly, they are not much expressive about their uneasy feelings, so it is parents who need to watch out and take care that the child is not suffering from uneasy feelings, headache or nausea and is behaving properly. With less than 3 year child, I think he/she will also be NOT able to convey the uneasiness she may feel. You have to be vigilant and if you notice any such feeling or he/she tells you about such a feeling then please do not ascend anywhere, either descend to lower altitude or stay at the same place to watch things overnight and if symptom increase then start descending immediately. Same is applicable for any adult as well. And yes, do keep the body adequately hydrated!!

          Regarding plan:

          Day 1 | Delhi – Leh (By Flight)
          — Checkin at Hotel. Many hotels provide free pick and drop from Airport. Ask while you book them.
          — Take ample of rest as well as water or anything that keep your body hydrated enough. DO NOT OVER HYDRATE. Take ORS Soluted water or ORS – L tetra packs from home.
          — Do not over exert your body at any cost. Avoid too much up-down on stairs or avoid it in entirety, if possible.
          — After 5-6 Hrs of rest you can visit Leh Palace, Local Leh market, Shankar Gompa .
          — If you feel exerted go back to Hotel, have dinner at Hotel and take rest. Avoid any exertion. Else continue and,
          — Follow the sunset by stroll at Changspa road and have a nice dinner on varied cuisines offered in-around Changspa road.
          — Go back to hotel for overnight stay at Leh.
           
          Day 2 | Leh Local Sighseeing + Acclimatization
          — Hire a taxi from Leh taxi stand or Hotel whichever suits you.
          — Bargain with taxi driver and you can refer the thread for a comprehensive list of drivers: List of Taxi Drivers for Ladakh – Srinagar – Leh – Manali
          — Take his inputs if you feel reasonable and if required modify the plan accordingly but should suits you best.
          — Ask him to be with you guys starting first day itself, if required and charged reasonable else do it at your own.
          — Again DO NOT over exert and take little steps and slow walks only.
          — If feeling OK then do Local sightseeing. To know the about the places to visit check the link: Travel Guide for Local Sightseeing of Leh Town in Ladakh
          — Do not use stairs at any of these places just to see them as it will exert your body much more.
          — Overnight at Leh
           
          Day 3 | Leh – Khardung La – Diskit – Hunder
          — Head for Nubra Valley and stay overnight at Hunder / Diskit
          — On the way enjoy a cup of soup at Highest Motorable Pass (as claimed) Khardung La
          — Diskit has monasteries with tallest lord Buddha statue and Hunder has sand dunes and bacterian camel safari
           
          Day 4 | Hunder / Diskit – Sumur – Panamik – Sumur – Khardung La – Leh
          — Sumur has a famous monastery to check out and Panamik has hot water springs
          — Overnight at Leh

          Day 5 | Leh – Hemis Monastery – Pangong Tso Lake
          — Cover either of Hemis, Thicksey and Shey on the go towards Pangong Tso
          — Overnight at Pangong Tso (Spangmik or Lukung)
           
          Day 6 | Pangong Tso Lake – Thicksey Monastery – Shey Palace – Leh
          — Cover either of Hemis, Thicksey and Shey on return to Leh
          — Overnight at Leh

          Day 7 | Fly back home

  7. Ravi Shankar on

    Hi DOW, I am planning for a road trip with my kids 4 & 3 years old in July this year. My wife and daughter are sinus patients. Please suggest precautions and suggest which all places I can take kids

    • Hi Ravi,

      It depends on person to person to take the children of such age group because AMS do not matter with respect to age or sex or any fitness level. It can happen to anyone of any age or sex or fitness I shall say :D… The issue with children is that they tend to exert the body considering it the same kind of place they belong to and this elevates the chances of getting struck with AMS. Secondly, they are not much expressive about their uneasy feelings, so it is parents who need to watch out and take care that the child is not suffering from uneasy feelings, headache or nausea and is behaving properly. With less than 3 year child, I think he/she will also be NOT able to convey the uneasiness she may feel. You have to be vigilant and if you notice any such feeling or he/she tells you about such a feeling then please do not ascend anywhere, either descend to lower altitude or stay at the same place to watch things overnight and if symptom increase then start descending immediately. Same is applicable for any adult as well. And yes, do keep the body adequately hydrated!!

      Also, PLEASE read the article: Traveling to Ladakh with Kids or Babies. This article covers this topic in complete detail.

  8. can i plan trip to leh by car from vadodara to leh ladakh in 3rd week of may 2016 with my 18 months old child

  9. Hi Dheeraj,

    I want ot plan manali and rohtaang trip with my 1.7 year baby….is there any Hram…?

    Please suggest.

  10. Hi DoW – Some great posts actually!! I & my husband plan to reach Leh by flight next month for a 7 day trip, and have a 2 year kid with us. I was checking that the taxi prices are quite expensive.

    Is it practical to hire a bike, and do sight seeing of the most common tourist spots (Nubra valley, Pangong lake etc.) with a 2 year old kid? Or the near-extortionary taxi the only option. Any option that avoids burning a hole in the pocket will be great to hear of.

    Please, could you suggest?

    • Cheenu, please do not do that it will be quite tricky with 2 yr old to ride in Ladakh especially in case you do not have experience of riding in high altitude. It depends on person to person to take the children of such age group because AMS do not matter with respect to age or sex or any fitness level. It can happen to anyone of any age or sex or fitness I shall say :D… The issue with children is that they tend to exert the body considering it the same kind of place they belong to and this elevates the chances of getting struck with AMS. Secondly, they are not much expressive about their uneasy feelings, so it is parents who need to watch out and take care that the child is not suffering from uneasy feelings, headache or nausea and is behaving properly. With less than 3 year child, I think he/she will also be NOT able to convey the uneasiness she may feel. You have to be vigilant and if you notice any such feeling or he/she tells you about such a feeling then please do not ascend anywhere, either descend to lower altitude or stay at the same place to watch things overnight and if symptom increase then start descending immediately. Same is applicable for any adult as well. And yes, do keep the body adequately hydrated!!

      • Thank you so much DoW!

        So basically it means hiring a taxi for local sightseeing is the only option, with the baby?
        If I were to stay in Leh for ~7 days and plan to visit say 3 tourists spots (Nubra Valley, Pangong Lake, and one more), will it be right if I assume the cost of taxi will be 20,000?

        It might be a monotonous task answering the same questions so many times and just wanted to express gratitude for the awesome job you are doing!

        • Yes, advisable is only that you take a taxi. One destination cost is around 10-11K for a two day trip. So, you can get that from there. Two day trips to Pangong tso and Nubra cost around 20K.

  11. Dear dheeraj,
    I m planning to go leh via flight with my Spouse and 2 child 2 years and 5 years in November month will you please suggest me that this is right time to. go or should I cancel my trip

    thanks
    Pankaj singh

    • Pankaj, november is not an ideal time to visit Ladakh in case you plan to spend a family vacation. June to September is the good time to travel as season time. Only a bit hardcore travelers should visit Ladakh in those months as stay options are a bit less and at lakes it is freezing with very basic homestays running for stay

  12. We are 2Adult with two children 6&12yrs planning to going Leh from Ludhiana byroad which vehicle your suggest

  13. pradeep batra on

    hi
    i am going to leh from srinagar by road with my 3 year and 5 years old children. and return to srinagar by road
    can u tell me the journey of that is safe for my childs. my travel date is 27/05/2015,

    • Pradeep, everything is explained already in the article and comments above. It depends on person to person to take the children of such age group because AMS do not matter with respect to age or sex or any physical health condition. It can happen to anyone of any age or sex or fitness I shall say :D… The issue with children is that they tend to exert the body considering it the same kind of place they belong to and this elevates the chances of getting struck with AMS. Secondly, they are not much expressive about their uneasy feelings, so it is parents who need to watch out and take care that the child is not suffering from uneasy feelings, headache or nausea and is behaving properly. With less than 3 year child, I think he/she will also be NOT able to convey the uneasiness she may feel. You have to be vigilant and if you notice any such feeling or he/she tells you about such a feeling then please do not ascend anywhere, either descend to lower altitude or stay at the same place to watch things overnight and if symptom increase then start descending immediately. Same is applicable for any adult as well. And yes, do keep the body adequately hydrated!!

  14. kumar rohit on

    dear sir
    we are planning to go to shimal on 24/05/2015 with a 3 months baby and one 5 years child.will it be ok to go there up to rohtang. please suggest
    thanks
    kumar rohit

  15. Parimal ghosh on

    my child age 5 year she traveling Srinagar to leh via kargil on road & 5 days staying for sightseeing (pangon lake,sumuriri,nubravally) & back to Delhi by plain.can you advice my daughter have to do this plan route.

    • In general, it is fine to take the children of such age group because AMS do not matter with respect to age or sex or any physical health condition. It can happen to anyone of any age or sex or fitness I shall say :D.. The issue with children is that they tend to exert the body considering it the same kind of place they belong to and this elevates the chances of getting struck with AMS. Secondly, they are not much expressive about their uneasy feelings, so it is parents who need to watch out and take care that the child is not suffering from uneasy feelings, headache or nausea and is behaving properly. With 5+ year child, I think he/she would be able to convey the uneasiness with little efforts. If you notice any such feeling or he/she tells you about such a feeling then please do not ascend anywhere, either descend to lower altitude or stay at the same place to watch things overnight and if symptom increase then start descending immediately. Same is applicable for any adult as well. And yes, do keep the body adequately hydrated!!

      Read the article above and consult the doctor too 🙂 🙂

  16. Hi Dheeraj.

    Thanks for the very informative blog specially for parents with small kids. I have been through almost all the posts here and need your help in fixing itinerary with kids aged 6 and 20 months. We will reach Leh via plane on 17th morning and return on 22nd morning.

    Can you please suggest a suitable itinerary for us along with places where we should visit and stay at night (if possible) ? We would like to avoid travelling more than 4-5 hours by road in a day and plan to be in Leh for initial 2 days to acclimatize.

    Are home stays would be more comfortable than hotels? any recommendations on accommodation will also be helpful.

    Thanks,
    Ashish

  17. Dear Dheeraj, During July 11th to July 20th we are planning to visit Leh. My family (2 adults with 1 kid of 3.5 yrs) will travel from Ahmedabad by flight to Srinagar. Stay there for 2 days. On 13th 2 families (4 adults with 2 kids (1 of 3.5 yrs and another one of 5 yrs) will travel to Leh by road. On 13th Overnight stay at Kargil. 14th resume journey to Leh. Rest at Leh on 14th and then local sighseeing on 15th at Leh. On 16th travel to Nubra Valley through Khardung La pass stay at Nubra on that evening and return to Leh on 17th.. rest at Leh. On 18th Travel to Pangong Lake and overnight stay… return to Leh on 19th.. rest at Leh.. On 20th return from Leh.. if possible overnight stay at Kargil/ or else direct to Sringar depends on physical/mental fitness on that day..:) Now my questions 1) Do you find this travel plan advisable for our family with kids of 3.5 yrs and 5 yrs old 2) Whether overnight stay at Nubra valley and Pangong Lake (tent) is advisable 3) Taking kids to Khardung La pass (wont spend much time there) 4) Finally whether the duration of our journey is fine.. (you know we got problems with leaves…..:)

    • Hello Sibi,

      I hope you MUST have gone throught he article above and understand the risk of AMS while traveling with Kids. Rest in Alchi on 13th, it is just 60 odd KMs before Leh and will help you more with acclimatization. DO NOT forget to keep your bodies hydrated all throughout.

      Have you considered weighing in the fly out option v/s coming back to Srinagar, paying for taxi and for overnight stays + food.?

      Regarding your queries:
      1. As I said, you must have understand the risks in the article above and constraints of traveling with kids less who cannot speak out their health issues.
      2. The itinerary seems OK to travel. Nubra is never an issue as it is below altitude of even Leh.
      3. Age, sex, fitness, etc.. nothing matters when it comes to AMS. May be kids will do perfectly fine and you will fall sick due to AMS. So, do not be under this myth 🙂
      4. Should be fine with only issue that you will be traveling same route back rather I will suggest to fly out of Leh if there isn’t too much of difference.

      Regards
      dheeraj

  18. Dear Dheeraj,
    Compliments on this article and website. Its very helpful. Although, we do drive aound a bit with our son who is a year old now. We are planning on the “big one” in the month of July this year – from Assam to the Ladakh region. By that time our child will be about one and a half years old- so here are a few questions for you if i may – would you suggest that we take this journey? What route would you suggest? Lastly we really want to visit the lahaul spiti region as well- do you reckon this will be doable? Oops forgot to mention we will be overlanding in our vehicle, with three other cars.
    Hope to hear from you soon.
    Many thanks,
    Best regards
    Roja

    • Roja, It depends on person to person to take the children of such age group because AMS do not matter with respect to age or sex or any physical health condition. It can happen to anyone of any age or sex or fitness I shall say :D… The issue with children is that they tend to exert the body considering it the same kind of place they belong to and this elevates the chances of getting struck with AMS. Secondly, they are not much expressive about their uneasy feelings, so it is parents who need to watch out and take care that the child is not suffering from uneasy feelings, headache or nausea and is behaving properly. With less than 3 year child, I think he/she will also be NOT able to convey the uneasiness she may feel. You have to be vigilant and if you notice any such feeling or he/she tells you about such a feeling then please do not ascend anywhere, either descend to lower altitude or stay at the same place to watch things overnight and if symptom increase then start descending immediately. Same is applicable for any adult as well. And yes, do keep the body adequately hydrated!!

      Please go through all the points in the article and consult your doctor as well. Regarding visiting Spiti Valley, it depends how many days you have in hand.

      • Thanks a bunch for your answer Dheeraj. My question about spiti valley, was actually: will it be lesser in altitude than approaches and ladakh itself? Hence if it is so will it be easier with the child instead of ladakh, in spiti valley side?

        • Roja, Spiti Valley is no lesser in altitude, in fact Kaza is higher than Leh. However, the route from Shimla to Spiti provides gradual ascend and body acclimatize in case carried out in suggested manner. Then you can exit towards Keylong / Jispa and further to Leh. However, this will add at least 5-6 days.

  19. Hi Dheeraj,

    My Family planing to visit manali on Christmas eve but my confusion is that I have 8 month old baby …is it safe to visit manali with baby or should we avoid trip ..please advice …..

    • Sonia, it will be very cold for sure up there and there are always chances of snow too. Though there isn’t any danger of high altitude in Manali and Rohtang Pass is closed too. However, I am not sure if a journey that long and winding in hills will be fine for the infant. I took my kid first on mountains when he was more than 15 months old and he struggles for motion sickness.

    • Sandeep, it should be fine to visit Manali and snow point towards Rohtang Pass. Rohtang Pass if officially closed. Please take heavy woolens for your family with you.

  20. hi dheeraj, i read all your valuable suggestion. its nice and fantastic. here i am planning to visit manali in may15 also wish to visit rohtang pass. is it suggested to take my 2 and half year old kid there. pl post your valuable advice.

    • Kannan, as you have read the article and reference links in this article, you will agree it is OK medically but please take the precautions as mentioned above in the article.

  21. Hi dheeraj,
    Me and my family are plannin a holiday to manali-dalhousie in dec end with baby of 1.3 yrs old.Is it ok to take her along i m really worried plz help

    • Neha, technically/medically as written in the article and references, it should be OK to travel but since Dalhousie and Manali are separated quite a much I will suggest to restrict the travel as less as possible. So, choose one among the two places. Also, consult for sure your pediatric before you leave and take his advice specially on motion sickness among infants due to long hour travel.

  22. hi mate
    i am planning to visit Leh & Ladhak on 1st September till 4th September, our travel includes nubra valley and some high altitude lake, i am accompanied with my 11+ months daughter normal born. kindly suggest should i take the trip or not.
    regards
    Madhur

    • Madhur, PLEASE DO NOT undertake this tour. I will not suggest to undergo such a tour with an infant and that too just for 4 days. Very high risks. PLEASE AVOID.

  23. We want to go Leh via Kashmir around 14 June 2015 withkid having age of 7 yrs (pre-mature) 10 yrs and 12 yrs. Is it possible, Please advice

    • It is fine to take the children of such age group because AMS do not matter with respect to age or sex or any physical health condition. It can happen to anyone of any age or sex or fitness I shall say :D.. The issue with children is that they tend to exert the body considering it the same kind of place they belong to and this elevates the chances of getting struck with AMS. Secondly, they are not much expressive about their uneasy feelings, so it is parents who need to watch out and take care that the child is not suffering from uneasy feelings, headache or nausea and is behaving properly. With 5+ year child, I think he/she would be able to convey the uneasiness with little efforts. If you notice any such feeling or he/she tells you about such a feeling then please do not ascend anywhere, either descend to lower altitude or stay at the same place to watch things overnight and if symptom increase then start descending immediately. Same is applicable for any adult as well. And yes, do keep the body adequately hydrated!!

      Read the above article.

  24. Hi Dheeraj

    We are planning a trip to Leh/Ladakh on the 7h of Aug 2014 for 7 nights. we are a family of 4 (2 adults and 2 boys aged 6 and 4 yrs)
    I have read most of the comments here but im still unsure whether it is safe to take them there..also we are planning a package with the Grand Dragon hotel in Ladakh and the package calls for a one night stay at Nubra Valley- Resort Desert Himalaya and one night at a camp in Pangong Lake…I await to hear from you if I should be even considering this…Thank You so much!!

    • Shiney, as you have gone through the article and comments, I am not sure what to say more here. It is a call of a person 🙂 … It should be fine enough if you follow the above tips and suggestions to the extent possible. Regarding package, I am not sure about it. That place is too costly, there are other good luxury options of stay as well in Leh much lesser price than it. Check with info@offbeatescapes.com too if they have good luxury options of stay and better cost package on similar lines.

  25. Thanks for reply we will be there for 7 nights and will be staying for 6 nights at leh and for one night at nubra valley. We will travel to pangyong and return to leh same day. We planning to take package from make my trip. We will be travelling delhi to leh and back by air
    Kindly advise what precaution shall we take while stay at leh especially with regard to kids aged 14yrs and 9yrs

    • Vinay, in that case it should be fine enough. Just keep the precautions or tips mentioned in the article above in mind. You should be good to go. Be vigilant about your child’s behaviour and if anything fishy try to dig and descend down. Keep first two days activities to minimum and complete rest should be done with ample of fluids intake in the form of ORS soluted Water, Juices, Tea, etc..

  26. We are planning to go manali through road on may end. my son at age of 3 month old in this month. So please tell me, it is safe for my son.

    • Just traveling to Manali? I will suggest that you don’t make a trip as you see in the article above till 3 months body parts take time to fully develop. Ahead of Manali is a BIG NO NO but even for Manali, if I were you, I would not have taken. I took my child to hills when he was almost 1.3 years of age.

  27. Hello
    We are planning to visit leh through flight on 19th May 2014

    We are family of four i.e. husband wife and 2 kids aged 14yrs and 9 years.

    Kindly advise whether it is the right time to visit leh and what sort of precautions to be taken

    • Vinay, time is good to go. Just that nights will be cold at Pangong Tso, Tso MOriri and you will find snow at high mountain passes. So, go prepared with heavy woolens. How many days do you have in hand?

  28. chiranjit banerjee on

    hello,i am planning to visit ladakh with my 30mounts older kidsand my travel plan is from sreenagar to leh and night stays at pangong lake and tsomoriri lake and back from manali,can it is safe to travel with my 2.5years daughter,please give me some advice,thanks.

    • Hello Chiranjit,

      It is fine to take the children of such age group because AMS do not matter with respect to age. It can happen to anyone of any age. The issue with children is that they tend to exert the body considering it the same kind of place they belong to and this elevates the chances of getting struck with AMS. Secondly, they are not much expressive about their uneasy feelings, so it is parents who need to watch out and take care that the child is not suffering from uneasy feelings, headache or nausea and is behaving properly. With 2+ year child, I think she will also be NOT able to convey the uneasiness she may feel. You have to be vigilant and if you notice any such feeling or he/she tells you about such a feeling then please do not ascend anywhere, either descend to lower altitude or stay at the same place to watch things overnight and if symptom increase then start descending immediately. Same is applicable for any adult as well. And yes, do keep the body adequately hydrated!!

      Do READ this article above which covers this topic in complete detail.

      I hope this helps. Please let me know in case you have any queries or doubts.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  29. hi dheeraj,,
    i am planning to visit srinagar including gulmarg and pahalgam from 25dec to 1jan,,, with my elder son (5 yrs old) and younger son (3 months old)….. will it be a safe journey for both my kids??? i have already consulted my doc,,he said its absolutely fine,,, but i am still very much confused!!!!! plsss suggest asap….

    • Hello Yashika,

      Well if the doc suggests it shall be OK. However, I will say that you plan NOT TO stay at Pahalgam, may be a day trip (which will be long) or do it towards end of trip if at all. Above all keep your baby well covered with heavy woolens. Check the tips above in article related to cold and sunshine or reflections from snow to cover the eyes properly for both of them. Follow points 3 to 7 above properly.

      The biggest problem here is not high altitude except Pahalgam BUT is nausea while moving around in car that cannot be predicted for babies.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  30. Hi,
    pls suggest what precaution i should take for following trip:
    We group of 10 ppl planning a trip from mumbai to
    13th dec at Delhi
    and 14th to 18th dec we will b at Shimla kulu n manali.
    I elder son is 4 years old and younger one will b 4 months old by then,
    younger son is healthy n have no serious illness.
    So will there be any health issue if we travel in the above mentioned dates n places with 4 months old baby.
    Pls suggest precautions n provision that will help us to hv a safe journey.
    Pls do reply as i will seriously follow all rules n we cant cancel the plan as the tickets are already booked.

  31. Fairoz Hussain on

    I want to fly to let with my 2yrs 2mths old daughter,had been to rohtang pass when she was 1yr 2months.kindly advice.

  32. Hello. I have planned a vacation to leh via Manali by road by end of June. I have a baby who is 19 months old and he also is with us. We are travelling in a group of 8 members. Please suggest weather we proceed ahead. Also please suggest itinerary on route Manali-leh-srinagar.we have 10-12 days in hand.

    • Bhavesh, I will suggest do it from Srinagar side and see how baby behaves. I personally do not suggest that you take hime along but it shall be upto you because technically you can.

      AMS do not matter with respect to age. It can happen to anyone of any age. The issue with children is that they tend to exert the body considering it the same kind of place they belong to and this elevates the chances of getting struck with AMS. Secondly, they are not much expressive about their uneasy feelings, so it is parents who need to watch out and take care that the child is not suffering from uneasy feelings, headache or nausea and is behaving properly. With < 2 year child, will not be able to convey the uneasiness. If you notice any such feeling or he/she tells you about such a feeling then please do not ascend anywhere, either descend to lower altitude or stay at the same place to watch things overnight and if symptom increase then start descending immediately. Same is applicable for any adult as well. And yes, do keep the body adequately hydrated!!

  33. Anurag dixit on

    Hello sir
    we are going to manali – rohtang velly with my family and children one os 4 years old and onother one is 8 years old and my wife is suffering with thyroid problem heavy weight so plz. tell me that is there any prob. to my wife and my children we are going in june month for 6 days

    • Hi Anurag,

      I will suggest that you take proper advice from your doctor. It is just OK to take the children of such age group because AMS do not matter with respect to age. It can happen to anyone of any age. The issue with children is that they tend to exert the body considering it the same kind of place they belong to and this elevates the chances of getting struck with AMS. Secondly, they are not much expressive about their uneasy feelings, so it is parents who need to watch out and take care that the child is not suffering from uneasy feelings, headache or nausea and is behaving properly. With 5+ year child, I think he/she would be able to convey the uneasiness with little efforts. If you notice any such feeling or he/she tells you about such a feeling then please do not ascend anywhere, either descend to lower altitude or stay at the same place to watch things overnight and if symptom increase then start descending immediately. Same is applicable for any adult as well. And yes, do keep the body adequately hydrated!!

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      PS: Sorry for the delayed response, I was traveling to Spiti Valley for past 10 days.

  34. Manish Bajak on

    Dear Sir,
    we are planning to visit srinagar-leh-ladakh and manali. with entire joint family in the month of june. total family member will approx 22 with 2 small child (one is 8 months old and second is 1 year+). and we plan to travel leh-manali highway. my worry is that only is can we travel that road on month of june with two little child age of 8 months, what kind of precaution we have to take care for the 8 month old child. please kindly advise.
    Thanks
    Manish – ahmedabad

    • Manish, I will seriously not recommend infants for traveling over to Leh – Ladakh and especially the Manali – Leh Highway. Please plan the trip once they grow up

  35. hi,

    thanks for the info. I am planning for a trip to Leh in June. MY kid will be 2 yrs, 3mnths. Am confused about taking her to Nubra valley. What would you recommend? As such, she is a healthy child, but I am unsure of the altitude.

    • Hi Avani,

      AMS do not matter with respect to age. It can happen to anyone of any age. The issue with children is that they tend to exert the body considering it the same kind of place they belong to and this elevates the chances of getting struck with AMS. Secondly, they are not much expressive about their uneasy feelings, so it is parents who need to watch out and take care that the child is not suffering from uneasy feelings, headache or nausea and is behaving properly. If you notice any such feeling or he/she tells you about such a feeling then please do not ascend anywhere, either descend to lower altitude or stay at the same place to watch things overnight and if symptom increase then start descending immediately. Same is applicable for any adult as well. And yes, do keep the body adequately hydrated!!

      I will advise that you consult the doctor/pediatric also. Personally, I have a kid too but I do not think to take him there unless at least he becomes expressive enough.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  36. pls guide me as m planning to tke by baby in the month of march-april.the baby will b approx. 2-2.5 months old.i vl b staying in leh for almost a period of 6-7 months. what precautions should i take to ensure the good health n growth of my baby.

    • Well, Shweta I cannot comment much on this. First of all I see that time is not a major concern for you but going in March April means, you will be flying in to Leh. I fear of acclimatization aspects for the baby. You should definitely consult a good doctor or pediatric or child specialist before taking the baby to such a high altitude suddenly. I feel it is too early for a baby to be taken to Leh. My baby is about an year old and I am still afraid of taking him to Leh – Ladakh.

      Please consult a good doctor or pediatric or child specialist who knows about the AMS and High Altitude sickness issues with children.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  37. vinod singh on

    2012 may 30 my daughter and my wife visit to rani nala,my daughter at age of 8 years,this year, she feel unconfortable, last time she visit rohtang age of 2 and half years old,but at that time she not express her feeling,but she seems happy in pictures.

    • Hi Vinod,

      Indeed brother this is infact the dilemma in which I into to take my one year old kiddo to Zanskar or not. Mind says I can plan in easy fashion it but heart says I should wait for time when he can start expressing his feelings… It is always an important question while traveling with kids to High altitude places. Thanks for sharing your experience as well 🙂

      Regards
      Dheeraj sharma

  38. PLease guide me whether there is any scarcity of resting places along the way to Leh from Manali. Also, whether it is feasebl to cover whole up and down to Leh from Delhi in one week, starting Monday, 25th n returning 1st or 2nd July. Also, travelling with us will be 2 kids of age 8 and 9. V r 5 guys n 2 kids hiring a Xylo or Innova for the journey.
    N.B. I have been to manali with my son when he was 4 years old, and v did travel to Rohtang Pass also. He didn’t give ne troubl at that time. )

    • Hi Sachin,

      7 days are not enough buddy, you need at the very least 9 days. Also, you have to plan the journey on the way to Leh as Manali/Solang to Keylong/Jispa and then leave early morning by 4 AM from Keylong/Jispa to Leh. Do not sleep anywhere in between unless you are forced by the circumstances. Sleeping anywhere higher than Keylong/Jispa will elevate the chances of getting hit by AMS. On the way back, you can take the chance with Sarchu.

      Do increase the number of days!!

      Rohtang is nothing as compared to harsh terrain of Manali – Leh Highway.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • thanks bro….i was wondering whether u can plan road trip to leh ladakh, z i have one or two friends only who are interested in going there. So, if u can settle a tour of like minded people, i m sure v vil surely enjoy there with your company. also, whether it;s advisable to visit there by end of this month???

        • Hello Sachin,

          It would have been so great but my office commitments only allow me to get two 9 day offs in an year and one of them I have already utilized in this year's April Ladakh trip 🙂 … So, now do not have much options left but yes, I do post the group or open tours (other than my family trip) on Facebook Page or Tweetline where you can always join in. I am also just a mere explorer nothing so no guarantee of enjoyment or surprises on the trip 😀 ..

          By this month's end, monsoon would be in full glory and at some parts of Manali – Leh Highway (like before Baralacha La) and Srinagar – Leh Highway (like before Kargil) you might need to face monsoon hassles but once you get closer to Ladakh, then Ladakh being rain shadow region is least affected by monsoon rains.

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

  39. thanks Dheeraj

    Will follow your advise…. strictly and absolutely. We are now stopping at Jispa fr 2Nts so that kids get acclimatised….is it okay?

    regards

    Kavita

    • Hi Kavita,

      Sorry if it confuses you, but I will say instead of spending two nights at Jispa prefer spending two nights in Leh which will help you get acclimatized to higher altitude. The issue is most of the Manali – Leh highway runs over 14000 Feet and Jispa is about 10-11K feet only approx. As per acclimatization schedule, one has to climb only 1000 feet a day after 10K feet, so even if you sleep two nights at Jispa it will not help you much. Rather I will suggest stay one night at Jispa, do Jispa – Leh run next day by starting 4-5 AM in the morning and then better tae rest for two days after reaching Leh.

      I hope this helps. Let me know incase you need more info. or have any queries or doubts.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  40. hi dheeraj,

    we are 4 adults and 2 kids aged 6 and 10yrs planning to visit Leh from 21jun-1jul starting from Delhi. Our proposed Itinerary is 22nd night-Manali,23rd night-Jispa,24th night-Sarchu, 25th/26th night-Leh,27th night-Pangong tso,28th night-Leh,29th night-Sarchu,30th night-Manali,1st jul-back to delhi. Please advise if any changes are required and can we stay at Pangong with children?

    • Hi Kavita,

      I storngly advice that you guys go via Srinagar – Leh Highway and comeback via Manali – Leh Highway as going via Srinagar – Leh Highway will be much much easier on your body and help you acclimatize to the high altitude of Manali – Leh Highway. Also, it allows you to enjoy the beauty of Manali – Leh by splitting the journey almost evenly in two days which is very difficult in the other direction. Thirdly, it will allow you to fit Tso Moriri lake into the itinerary in better way. You can read more reasons on the link here

      Now, as per plan, you should not sleep at a place like Sarchu while going to Leh as your bodies will not be acclimatized to its height. Yes, on the way back you may be able to manage well enough at Sarchu. Also, you have just 10 days and this journey is very long and you guys will mostly be on road rather than sightseeing. If I were you, I would keep a 2 year old child away from Manali – Leh Highway and with overnight at Pangong Tso. Also, I would first do Nubra Valley and then Pangong Tso if I were to spend overnite there.

      I hope this helps. Let me know incase you need more info. or have any queries or doubts.

      Regards,
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • thanks dheeraj for your valuable inputs,but the kids are 10yrs and 6 yrs,as per your advise we are dropping Sarchu Both ways.

        But we are a little apprehensive about disturbances in Kashmir Valley…sudden strikes being called and all that, we dont want to get stuck

        • Hmmm… Kavita, yes that is the problem there and you never now which day things could be good to bad and bad to worse. Better avoid Sarchu on the way, may be you can manage without much issues on the way back as you would have acclimatized bodies by then. Doing two days of 14+ Hr journey would also be tough. So, keep it for one day only. Just ensure you talk with the kids every now and then to ensure they are feeling alright. Rest follow above tips and you shall be fine. Just do not let them exert in the initial few days.

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

  41. dr. manish patel on

    i am planning visit leh-ladakh & one night hold on pangong lake with my two child, 4&6 years age. it is safe or not & what precausion will be take.

    • Hello Manish,

      Well, at first say I will not advice you to stay overnight at Pangong Tso lake with children, though nothing proven practically but still to avoid any trouble. I am not even sure about your itinerary as well, so directly cannot surely say. The best bet is to be acclimatized as much as possible first, and then only try to stay at Spangmik or Lukung. You can try a stay at Tangste first night before you plan to stay at Spangmik or Lukung. Let me know your itinerary and I will advice accordingly. But, my gut feeling will always say that make a day trip to Pangong Tso lake only if you are with kids unless you are following a good acclimatization schedule.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  42. Pingback: Manali - Leh road status 2011 - Page 126 - India Travel Forum, BCMTouring

  43. Pingback: Acute Mountain Sickness and Importance of Acclimatization | DeViL on WheeLs…

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