Useful tips for traveling Tibet with kids
Tibet is located at a high altitude where oxygen is scarce. Many strong adults in Tibet may suffer from altitude sickness and feel ill. So all the time the adults are thinking: “Can we take the children to Tibet?” “‘How old children can travel to Tibet?” We often get many questions from parents like this. As long as your child is in good health and has a certain language ability to express his physical and mental feelings, then you can take your kid to travel to Tibet. Below are some useful tips for traveling Tibet with children for reference.
Be careful with the high altitude sickness and prevention tips
1). How old can children travel to Tibet?
Under 3 years old: We do not recommend children who are under 3 years old to travel to Tibet. Kids need at least the ability to express their body condition if any symptoms of altitude sickness.
3 years to 7 years old: Children at this age can express their feelings, but this decision must be carefully considered. If the children's physical condition is okay to travel with the doctor's permission, we suggest only visiting Lhasa and surroundings, together with the low-altitude area in eastern Tibet.
7 years to 10 years old: Children in this age group are still in the stage of physical development, and their ability to adapt to the plateau area has not yet reached the level of adults. The travel process requires their parents' thoughtful care to observe and communicate the physical conditions at any time. Be careful to travel to the areas above 4,000 meters.
10 years to 15 years old: Children of this age have better physical fitness and adaptability, and they also have a certain knowledge reserve, which can better express their needs and ideas. It is OK to take children of this age to travel to areas with relatively high altitudes, but it is not recommended to go to areas with an altitude of more than 5,000 meters, such as Mount Everest Base Camp unless careful preparation.
Conclusion: Taking children to Tibet should be at least 3-4 years old, preferably 8 years old at least. Kids that are over 10 years old can remember the beautiful sceneries, understand history and culture, as well as folk customs, hence, it is meaningful to travel to Tibet with children.
2). Assess your child's physical condition
If you plan to travel to Tibet with kids, it is best to take them to the hospital for a comprehensive physical assessment before departure. For children with low cardiopulmonary function, anemia, or various acute infections that have not healed, we do not recommend traveling to Tibet. Children are naturally lively and active. They have a strong metabolism and are prone to sweating. Once the sweat is not wiped out in time, it is easy to catch a cold. It is very dangerous to catch a cold at high altitude areas.
3). Preparations before taking children to Tibet
- Parents also need to check with the doctors in advance to confirm your physical conditions. Only to ensure your health that can provide a perfect trip for children.
- It's better to record the travel destinations nearby hospital locations and contact numbers, of course, your guide will be more than happy to assist if any problems arise.
- Plan your trip to ascend the altitude gradually and add some spare days in case any emergency happens, avoid a sharp rise in altitude, and the daily rise should not exceed 500 meters.
WindhorseTour can help you plan and arrange the above preparations. We have a professional team, including trip advisors, local Tibetan tour guides, and drivers. We have been helping travelers organize trips to Tibet for over 13 years.
Suitable season for Children to travel in Tibet
The weather in Tibet is mild from June to September every year, which is the ideal time to travel Tibet with kids, as it's neither cold nor hot. June and September are the best travel months with less rainfall and high visibility for snow mountains, while July and August are the rainy seasons. It's also a good choice to visit the "Sun City" Lhasa in winter, as the daytime temperature in winter can be as warm as 16°C like spring.
Where and how long are suitable for traveling Tibet with kids
The altitude of Nyingchi is relatively low compared with other portions of Tibet, which is the best place for family traveling with small kids. In addition, the Nyingchi area has large grasslands and sapphire lakes, the flowers swaying in the wind after the breeze of early summer. Other suitable places for kids to travel: holy city Lhasa, Tibet civilization cradle Tsedang and Samye at the beautiful Yarlung valley, the holy Yamdrok Lake, Tibet’s two important towns - Gyantse/Shigatse. As for travel duration, we suggest having at least 5 days to have enough time for good acclimation to the high altitude.
Here is a recommended tour itinerary that starts from Nyingchi and ends in Lhasa, it includes the natural beauties like Basum Lake, Lulang Forest, Yamdrok Lake, as well as the historical and religious Lhasa highlights. For more suitable tours, please check the sightseeing tours.
- Day 1, Arrival in Nyingchi [2,900m], free exploration or acclimatize to the high altitude. Stay in Nyingchi.
- Day 2, Day sightseeing in Nyingchi, visit Cypresses Park [3,100m], Lulang Forest [3,700m], and view mount Namche Barwa, about 3 hours’ drive. Stay in Nyingchi.
- Day 3, One-day excursion to Basum-Tso Lake [3,480m], about 2.5 hours’ drive. Stay near Draksum-tso Lake.
- Day 4, Drive to Lhasa [3,650m], about 5 hours’ drive. Free afternoon to acclimate the altitude. Stay in Lhasa.
- Day 5, Lhasa sightseeing, visit Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street. Stay in Lhasa.
- Day 6, One day tour to Drepung Monastery and Sera Monastery [3,700m]. Stay in Lhasa.
- Day 7, One-day excursion to Yamdrok Tso Lake [4,441m], about 5-6 hours’ drive. Stay in Lhasa.
- Day 8, Lhasa departure.
What to bring/pack for children
- Medicines for respiratory tract infections such as colds, gastrointestinal infections such as diarrhea, altitude sickness medicines, allergy medicines, motion sickness medicines, band-aid, anti-mosquito medicine.
- Enough warm and seasonal clothes to well prepare for Tibet's changeable weather and large temperature difference.
- Due to the strong sunshine and ultraviolet rays, special care should be taken to avoid sunburn. Sun cream, sunglasses, and sunhats are essential sun protection products.
- Water supplemental is very necessary for Tibet, especially for children. They should drink more than usual daily, no matter water, milk,
- Prepare some snacks to replenish energy at any time, such as chocolates, biscuits, etc.
- Bringing their favorite books, paintbrushes, toys, etc., in case they are bored during the trip.
What we should tell kids about Tibet
- Please try to tell them not to be too excited, running, and jumping in Tibet, as it will increase the cardiopulmonary burden and increase altitude sickness.
- Be sure to get enough sleep before entering Tibet and keep it when traveling in Tibet. Adequate sleep can help them to better adapt to the climate.
- The temperature difference between day and night in the plateau area is large, please have them to dress warm clothes in the morning and evening, and avoid bathing for the first night in Tibet.
- Do not over inculcate the concept of altitude danger prior to departure, to prevent children from pre-existing tension and anxiety. Altitude sickness is related to psychological effects.
- Remind them not to cross over the prayer stones and the prayer flags, nor to pick up the prayer stones. And not to make a loud noise when visiting the temple. Let them respect and understand the local beliefs and regional civilization.