Thailand attracts millions of tourists each year from budget-conscious backpackers to luxurious honeymooners. But a percentage of these visitors are also travelling here with their families. There are several reasons why Thailand makes a great place to bring your kids including its beaches, culture and variety of activities. You have a wide range of hotels, resorts and vacation rentals in Thailand to choose from too. But at the same time, it can also be a daunting and scary place for younger children. Here’s everything a family should know about visiting Thailand with kids of all ages.
Choose Where to Travel in Thailand Wisely
As a tourist destination, Thailand is about as diverse as it gets. From beaches along the southern coast and the hundreds of islands in the Gulf of Thailand to the bustling metropolis of Bangkok and the northern highlands, visitors will never be out of things to do and see. But what the parents want to do, the kids might not. An example of this is parents who want to spend their time shopping in Bangkok. This seems reasonable on the first glance. But when you consider how hot, busy and chaotic the city is, it can quickly change your mind. Buy a guidebook or spend a few days searching online and come up with a list of the more child-friendly places to visit and spend your time.
Booking the Right Flights
Now that you have an idea of where to go in Thailand, it’s time to start booking the flights. There are direct flights from major cities around Europe and Australia with most come with a reasonable price tag. Others are cheaper and include connections. The best thing to do is to book a direct flight. Flying can be a stressful experience at the best of times let alone having to endure long waits at the connecting airport. While the cost of a direct flight will probably be more expensive, the comfort and well-being of your children should be a good enough incentive to splash out that little bit extra.
Choosing the Right Flight Time
This point is often overlooked by tourists eager to book their flights to Thailand. Coming from Europe or the United Kingdom, you’ll need to pass through several time zones before landing in Bangkok. Not only does this drain your energy and make the children cranky but the jet lag can cause problems for days. For this reason, always try to find a flight that arrives in the evening. The goal here is to reach Thailand a few hours before the kid’s usualbedtime. And by the time you pass through immigration and check-in, it will betime to sleep anyway. This helps with jet lag and promotes a better sleep than when you arrive in the morning.
Stay Somewhere Nice
Thailand has some gorgeous places to stay such as high-end villas overlooking the sea to five-star resorts and hotels dotted around the capital. At the same time, there are also a number of not-so-good hotels in some of the neighbourhoods with a seedier reputation. Always do your research and book a comfortable place to stay and make sure the room has air-conditioning.
Planning an Itinerary
The first day should be relaxing and involve little sightseeing. In fact, many parents often prefer to stay around the swimming pool. The goal here is to help the children adjust to their new environment such as the temperature, culture and new time zone. Perhaps you decide to book ahotel near the airport for easy access or somewhere nice in the city centre. Other parents also advice against beginning your trip in earnest in Bangkok and instead wait until the end of the trip when everyone is more familiar with Thailand.
Assuming you’re now checked-in and the little ones are slowly adjusting to Thailand, it’s time to start exploring and to go sightseeing. As an adult, we might want to wake up early and plan activities for both the morning and afternoon before returning in the evening. This is a bad idea with children. Instead, it’s better to organise one main activity for each day. You should always try to do this in the morning for two essential reasons. First, the kids are fresh and feel more active in the morning before the daily distractions start, which in turn makes the trip more productive. And second, you should always plan something relaxing for later in the day when the temperatures begin to soar.
Expect Positive Reactions from the Thai People
It’s a well-known fact that the Thais love children. If you’re walking around with a toddler or young child at your side, expect adoring looks from strangers. It’s also not uncommon for locals to come and start touching or playing with other people’s children. While this might not be normal back at home, it is in Thailand. If the hotel reception starts cuddling your child or the Tom Yam vendor touches and starts to play with them, don’t feel uncomfortable. It’s normal in Thailand.
The Key to Having a Successful Family Holiday in Thailand
The most important way to make sure your family holiday to Thailand is somewhat successful is to put the children’s priorities above your own. It’s as simple as that. From the planning stages before booking the flight to exploring the country, always ask yourself how this will impact the children. After all, most tourists will be flying across multiple time zones, experience culture shock and have to adjust to the heat and humidity.