There’s nothing quite like performing umrah with your children. However, do keep in mind that this spiritual journey requires a very thorough preparation, especially if you’re planning to bring your little ones along. We hope that this list can help you prepare for that ultimate trip of a lifetime! Here are 10 things to know for umrah with kids.
1. Introduce your kids to Umrah and Hajj
Before you start planning anything else, it’s a great idea to introduce the concept of Hajj and Umrah to your children and make them understand the importance of this ibadah. Nowadays, there are plenty of books and resources available to assist you in educating and preparing your kids for the big trip. Another way to get them ready for the big trip is by practicing the tawaf and sa’i with them! You can start small by taking them out for walks, and at the same time explain to them why both rituals are essential.
2. Use your kids’ travel experiences as a reference
If you have experience travelling with your kids before, you may want to do a little study on their behaviour. Do your kids tolerate hot and cold weather well? How do they fare during a flight or a long journey by bus? How do they behave around crowds? Do they cope with waiting at the airport well? Different kids may behave differently in different situations, so it would be a great idea to have many different activities and games planned to help them cope or to distract them!
This one depends on your budget, but do try to find a hotel that’s at close range from Masjid al-Haram if possible. This makes it easier for you to go back and forth in case there’s a minor emergency, since the female toilets are located a little far away from the mosque’s entrance and there’ll be a long queue to get inside.
4. Make sure your kids (and you!) are vaccinated
You’ll be meeting people from all parts of the world, and as exciting as that sounds, it also means one thing—viruses and bugs! Before your trip, remember to get your children vaccinated first! If they’ve had vaccinations before for other travelling purposes, make sure that everything is up to date! All vaccinations should be taken several weeks ahead of the trip as babies tend to run a mild temperature after they get vaccinated.
5. Packing checklist
Packing is one of the most important things when it comes to travelling, and when it comes to performing umrah with your little ones, what you pack makes all the difference to your trip! Aside from your child’s and ibadah essentials, here are some things that you can consider packing along:
- ID badges with your child’s name, hotel name and contact number
- Comfortable slippers, sunscreen and sun hats
- Emergency snacks and quick bites in case your child gets hungry
- Necessary medication, like paracetamol and fever patches
- Small water bottle
- Your child’s favourite toy or book, but make sure it’s not too bulky
- Plastic bags to keep trash, dirty diapers or shoes
- A small bag to carry all of these
6. Stroller or no stroller?
This is a popular debate among parents who plan to bring their kids to perform umrah. Strollers are not allowed within the vicinity of Masjid al-Haram and inside Masjid Nabawi. However, you may need a stroller while travelling from your hotel to the mosque, and when you’re sightseeing around the city. If you’re planning to pack a stroller for this trip, try to find a lightweight and portable stroller that’s easy to carry and put away!
7. Baby carrier
Another one of the few things to know for umrah with kids is keeping track of your kids can be difficult sometimes, especially at a crowded place like Masjid al-Haram. So it’s a good idea to have them strapped to you instead. Despite the extra weight, nothing beats being able to carry your child comfortably as you navigate through the crowds during tawaf. Baby carriers and straps are available from newborn up until the age of 36 months.
8. Find yourself a pair of comfortable shoes
Umrah requires a lot of walking (think 10km of walking a day!), so it’s important to have a pair of really comfortable shoes! If you don’t have such shoes, do invest in a pair since it will benefit you in the long run. Brands like Skechers, Nike and Medisole are known for their walking shoes. Do remember to test out your new shoes at least several weeks ahead of your trip to get used to them so that you will not end up with blistered feet!
9. Diaper changing
As mentioned before, the ladies’ toilets are usually quite a distance from the prayer areas, so you can’t expect to do a diaper change comfortably. Make sure to do a diaper change before leaving for the mosque to avoid running back and forth to the hotel in between prayer times, even though this might be unavoidable sometimes.
10. Keep your spiritual goals in check!
Before leaving for your umrah, plan out your goals for the trip and review your spiritual goals daily! They can be very simple goals, but do make them specific and realistic, for example completing the umrah routine with your child twice. Last but not least, make lots and lots of du’a to Allah for you and your family to complete the trip smoothly and safely.
So there you go! 10 things to know for umrah with your kids. We pray that your umrah trip with your family will be an unforgettable and fulfilling journey for all of you! If you have travelled with TripFez before, do share your experience with us!