Travelling Leh- Ladakh with Kids

Travelling Leh- Ladakh with Kids

Planning to travel Ladakh with Kids?

After the shooting of 3 Idiots movie at Leh, tourism at Leh/Ladakh has increased considerably. 20 years back, it was a heaven for foreigners and trekkers. But now, this adventurous cold desert witnesses tourists from different parts of India and world.

As I traveled Leh second time, in the last 7 years, I have been flooded with queries as Can we go for a family trip at Leh? Can I take my baby to Leh, though I’m afraid of high altitude and cold? In general, the question around, Can we take Kids to Leh is doing rounds on my Instagram and Facebook handles. (You can follow them for many similar updates).

In this post, I’m trying to address most of these concerns.

The reason for concerns around Ladakh is due to its high altitude.

Leh is at an altitude of 11562 feet(3500m). With the increase in altitude(more than 2500m), there is lesser Oxygen available to breathe, and hence our body needs to adjust to this less Oxygen.

Often due to lower Air Pressure, Altitude Sickness/ Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) can take over. Well, it is not so that every traveler and kid will have that AMS and neither does any fitness level plays a role here.

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What are the symptoms of Altitude Sickness?

While you are traveling to Leh, Spiti Valley or higher altitudes as Mount Kailash (Kailash Mansarovar), you can witness the symptoms as:

  1. Mild to severe headache, getting worse during nights
  2. Dizziness, Nausea feeling tired
  3. Vomiting, heavy breathing/shortness of breath
  4. In severe cases, you may see blue/gray nails and lips

Planning to travel Meghalaya with kids?

Is it safe to take kids to Leh – Ladakh? Can we Travel Leh – Ladakh with kids?

So now that you’ve got a fair idea of what are the issues due to high altitude, let’s take this question. For kids to know of these symptoms, they ought to be expressive. And I feel that kids above 4years can express with some ease.

Traveling any high altitude regions should be a big No for babies and kids less than 4years. You’ll get perfect ease when kids are 5years and more. This year, I explored Leh with my 4.5year old son, and it was an amazing trip, with no sign of any Altitude Sickness.

Now that if your kid is above 4years, you can plan a trip to Ladakh, quite swiftly. But for that, you need to have certain precautions so that the exploration is seamless.

1. Go slow and gradually increase the Altitude:

This means, traveling Leh via Road Trip is the best way to get acclimatized to increasing altitudes. If you start from Delhi, which is at 700ft,  you’ll gradually ascend to 1500ft and 2000ft(Manali) before reaching Leh. This gives the body enough time to adapt to the decrease in oxygen at a higher altitude.

Read out our experiences of

Pangong lake 

Nubra Valley

Well, with kids, many times, the road trip may not seem feasible. It happened the same with me and we opted for a direct flight from Delhi to Leh. Let me tell you that was a change of altitude from 700ft to 11500 ft and too within an hour.

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2. Consult your pediatrician:

Any person, be it a kid or an adult, male or female, can be prone to Altitude sickness. So before taking Kids to higher altitude places, Ladakh here, always discuss the same with your pediatrician. For adults, Diamox is the safest medicine that can be taken a day prior to your journey. But for Kids, my pediatrician didn’t recommend any medicine, except 24hour acclimatization. 

3. Take rest:

I know that’s a tad difficult for the energetic kids, but then that’s what we need to ensure. Once reaching Leh, rest for one full day. This doesn’t mean that you need to make kids sleep for the whole day. No overexertion, just walk around slowly in your hotel. After lunch, roam outside (slowly) for 10-15minutes. Ensure that kids are not running around, as that may result in breathlessness. Usually, it is said to avoid Bath/ shower, the first day, as the water on the head may result in a headache as the night falls. Sponging is the best on Day1 for kids if you feel so.

4. Keep the body well Hydrated:

Hydration is very important on high altitudes, but that doesn’t mean that you guzzle one full bottle at one time/ask kids to do the same. Drink water slowly, rather sip by sip at equal intervals. Keep a stock of Fruit juices and take it at few intervals (again sip by sip). Don’t over hydrate kids at any time.

5. Proper protection from cold:

Be it May or June, it might be Summers in Leh, still, the winds are chilly. I observed that the mornings were always sunny for us, but soon the winds used to start and by 3 pm, while at Pangong lake, Shanti Stupa, the winds were bone chilling. Keep head, ears, nose all time covered for kids. Ensure sufficient woolens (warm jackets, thermals, caps, nose cover, gloves), as the weather at Ladakh can change within a few minutes.

*If you feel your kid has caught a cold, ensure you give right medication at the right time. Do take a Medical Kit prescribed by your pediatrician for vomiting, cold, cough and fever.

Are you thinking to visit Leh - Ladakh this holidays with kids? If yes, you need to read - Can we Travel Leh - Ladakh safely with kids? #Leh #Ladakh #Traveltales #travelstory #Travelstoke #IncreadibleIndia #Indiagram #travelwithkids #sangam

6. Short stays at more high altitudes:

While on your way to Nubra Valley and Pangong lake, you’ll be crossing KhardungLa pass and ChangLa Pass. At more than 18000 ft high, evergreen snow tempts kids and adults equally. But these passes are the most dangerous in your overall trip to Ladakh. Anytime, you’ll feel the chilling snowy air, which is thinnest with very very low oxygen. The more time you spent here, the more are the chances of developing Altitude sickness. We stopped just for 5minutes on both passes, and Arham was outside just for 1 minute to have snow fun. He quickly ran to be inside the car. We were lucky as we got snow sheets at much lower levels, and intentionally we took our fun time at somewhat lower levels only.

Most of the Night stay tents at Pangong Tso lake have been taken off, due to High court order. But I was informed that 2-3 approved ones are still there for night stay. I would say a big NO for the tent stay at Pangong Tso lake if you are with kids. It is freezing cold and the lake itself is at 14k ft high. You can reserve this adventure without kids (preferably)

7. Observe your kid and their behavior:

At times, kids cannot express their dizziness, so keep a note of the behavioral changes. Crying, crankiness, vomits, can be signs of Altitude sickness in kids. If you feel that your child is getting highly uncomfortable, reach out to the local Hotel person for help. Also, keep handy Oxygen cans with you. In emergency situations, coming down to low altitude areas back is the best.

Are you thinking to visit Leh - Ladakh this holidays with kids? If yes, you need to read - Can we Travel Leh - Ladakh safely with kids? #Leh #Ladakh #Traveltales #travelstory #Travelstoke #IncreadibleIndia #Indiagram #travelwithkids


This post is all about my experience traveling to Ladakh with my 4.5yo son and the advice we received locally. We faced no such issue of Altitude sickness. For me, it was the second trip to Ladakh and both times, I ensured proper acclimatization, which resulted in a perfect adventure to this mesmerizing place. Leh should be on everyone’s bucket list and it needs to be ticked off.

Also, it is always recommended to consult your doctor/pediatrician once before you take your kid along to high altitude places.

Check out my Leh highlight stories / Posts on Instagram.

You can read a few of these articles related to Mountain Sickness before planning a trip to Leh –Ladakh.

Keep Travelling and exploring with kids!




Quest to live the life surrounded with the charming little bundle's of joy. When they speak, I sing, When they smile, I rejoice , When they hug, I hold them never to lose, Such is my passion for these Gifts of God.This love urged me to navigate separately from my Travel Blog & establish an "All-In-One" Blog for budding mothers. Mum's have multi-tasked this world ,with all her professional commitments , she still makes an extra effort to be a loving, caring and be an intellectual mommy! Cheers, for me too come from the same fraternity, post having a superb academics & close to 8 years of professional experience and blessed with a little one "who has indeed changed my life from Autumn to Spring";)

This Post Has 18 Comments

  1. Preeti Chauhan

    That is quite a reassuring post for parents who wish to take their kids long but are not sure how the altitude and rarefied air may treat them specially our Delhi Kids who suffer from bad lungs because of the high population.You look really good in the yellow outfit by the way !

  2. Noor Anand Chawla

    Wow Jhilmil, I love how prompt you are! You just got back and already have this wonderful and informative post up! Good going.

  3. Alpana

    I have never been to Let Ladhak. Along with all other points, point #7 is very important. We should be aware of how kids are feeling.

  4. Preeti tiwari

    This is a must read post for parents who are planning to visit leh it on high altitudes. I have a daughter of 2.5 and I also have this same question like is it safe to travel on mountains with her? Thanks to you for answering and will surely keep this points in mind before traveling.

  5. Rashmi Singh

    This post is really informative for parents, especially those who planning to visit Leh-Ladakh. Thanks for this post

  6. I guess most people with kids and the urge to travel to ladakh will have these questions in mind. Great that u ve shared ur personal experience, very informative.

  7. Prettysush

    This is very useful informative and I had few questions which you have already cleared it I really want to visit ladakh and I will keep all this points in my mind thank you for sharing this information

  8. Roma

    This is such a brilliantly written post dear, have read it twice already. I was always fickle minded if I can travel with kid to Leh and your post has resolved all my doubts.

  9. Snehal

    Leh ladakh has been in my wish list to travel to for a really long time! These are some lovely photos dear! 🙂

  10. Sandy N Vyjay

    Ladakh is mesmerizing and its landscapes unique. We loved it when we were there last year. but yes one needs to heed advice when there and give time for acclimatization. With kids one needs to be even more careful and plan properly.

  11. Preetjyot Kaur

    You have cleared all the doubts I had about traveling to Let with kids. I’m so intrigued to plan a vacation soon, now that my younger one is almost 4?.

  12. Gaurav

    Quite a great article for visit to chilling area specially with family.I will definitely follow these tips whenever i will travel to any high altitude zone.

  13. Gaurav

    Fascinating post to follow

  14. Digital Bhagat

    I just love this post

  15. Khushboo

    This post is really very helpful and informative for all the parents who are planning to visit Leh with their kids

  16. Charu Chittwal

    Planning a travel to Leh with kids had always been a huge doubt for me, thank you so much for sharing this amazing bit, I am definitely bookmarking the same for my future reference.

  17. Nisha

    I too want to go to Ladhakh with my kid but dubious. Your post certainly clear out many things for me. It’s safe and quite a nice idea to go-to Ladhakh with kids. Thank you very much

  18. Yogita Amit Joshi

    I so wanna visit Leh and your post intriguing me to plan a visit asap. Love your posts. Pics and amazing write.. you make me visit Leh Virtually with ur post

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