So, you’ve had a grueling year and feel like it’s time to take a trip; a trip to somewhere exotic, somewhere different.
You’ve heard your friends talk about Iran and its many wonders. It’s new, it’s exotic, and it ticks all the boxes for you. It is, after all, home to 21 world heritage sites.
However, Iran is an unknown destination and you may not know much about journeying around the country, let alone doing it with children.
The purpose of this article is to provide you with useful tips on traveling in Iran with kids.
1- Bring Your Own Baby Food
If your child is particular about the type of baby food you feed them, you should bring extra.
While you can find various foreign and local brands of baby food in major cities, there’s no guarantee that you’ll find the brand you’re looking for. This can be particularly problematic if your child is used to a particular product.
2- Avoid Crowded Places
Well, this one’s a no-brainer: Try to avoid crowded places like the Tehran Grand Bazaar.
Unless you live in a populated city, your lack of experience might make going to crowded locations with kids a daunting task. You’ll spend so much energy and attention on making sure your kids remain by your side that you won’t be able to enjoy an otherwise wonderful place.
3- Relaxed Dress Code for Kids
Iran has a strict dress code but it doesn’t apply to children.
The dress code requires men to avoid wearing shorts and sleeveless shirts and women to cover their body and wear a headscarf and loose-fitting clothes. These rules apply to teenagers and adults only. Girls under the age of nine do not need to cover their hair and young boys can wear shorts and sleeveless shirts.
4- Don’t Travel on Land
Iran’s roads are generally scenic, but traveling by bus or car with kids may rob you of the ability to enjoy the landscapes.
The country’s coming out of years of economic sanctions which took a major toll on tourism infrastructure. Service stations and other roadside facilities are virtually non-existent, making long-haul trips a near-impossible task particularly if you have very young prone to throwing fits.
Travel by plane around Iran if you’re with kids; it costs more but it’s worth the convenience.
5- Make Sure the Hotel is Accessible
While this may not be a problem in upscale and mid-tier hotels, budget accommodations may not be very well-equipped for families.
For instance, traditional-style hotels in Yazd – while beautiful – don’t have elevators. So you’ll have trouble getting the stroller up to your room.
Read up reviews on Trip Advisor or get in touch with hotels to make sure they meet your requirements.
6- Don’t Panic if Your Kid Throws a Tantrum
In most countries parents are often embarrassed when their kids start crying and screaming in public, fearing the sideways glances of passersby.
However, children have a special place in Iranian culture and are – for better or worse – put on a pedestal. Should your kid throw a tantrum, keep calm and try to control them without worrying about people around you because to them this is normal behavior. They might even offer to help you!
7- Look Both Ways on a One-Way Road
As you approach the street, grab your kid’s hand firmer than you normally would to make sure they don’t suddenly run off.
You haven’t seen bad driving until you’ve seen people behind the wheel in Tehran (or anywhere else in the country). In fact, following the rules is liability!
Jaywalking is common practice in Iran, but don’t be tempted to try it. Footbridges and zebra crossings are very common, so walk a few more meters and save yourself. Literally.
When crossing the street, always look both ways – even if it is a one-way road.
Be especially careful when walking on the sidewalk because motorcycle riders frequently use the pavement to circumvent traffic or go up a one-way street.
8- Public Baby-Changing Rooms
Public baby changing facilities are available in most places, such as subway stations, restaurants and malls.
However, most stations are located in the ladies’ room, so bear that in mind if you’re a father who wants to go around town with their kid.
In the Tehran Metro, baby changing facilities are located separately from restrooms; however, even those only allow women in.
No need to worry though; as mentioned earlier, Iranians are infatuated with children and will go out of their way to accommodate you should you find yourself in a pickle.
Traveling to and around Iran with children can be a rewarding experience. Not only will you familiarize yourself with an ancient culture, you will also instill in your child an affection for other ethnicities; the sort of feeling that the world could sure use more of.
Please comment below and share your insights with us.