Thailand doesn’t exactly come to mind when you think child-friendly vacation destinations but the country can actually be a great place for both kids and parents. Thai culture is very kid-friendly and you will find that even if something isn’t labeled “for kids” Thai people are more than willing, and usually quite happy, to accommodate families and children of all ages. The country also offers the chance to really let your children explore a culture much different from their own. If you are planning holidays to Thailand with kids, here are some of tips and advice.
Save Bangkok for Last
After a long flight, the heat, intensity, noise, and cultural shock of Bangkok can be too much for many children to handle. Don’t be surprised if it all induced a complete meltdown in your kids. While most international flights will land in Bangkok, it might be a smart idea to add in another short domestic flight or bus ride and spend your first day in Thailand outside of the city. You have to come back to the city for your return flight home anyway and by then your children will hopefully have adjusted to the Thai culture and hot weather.
Family Friendly Beach Resorts
A great place to start your trip to Thailand as a family is in the south at one of the more child-friendly beach resorts or hotels. The islands of Ko Samui and Ko Lanta are quite popular with families, with relaxed beaches, nice family-style hotels, and plenty of activities that will appeal to children. Starting with a few days at the beach can help your kids adjust to Thai culture without being overwhelmed by too many new experiences. Many of the hotels also offer childcare and babysitting services for parents who might want to have a nice evening out to themselves.
Baby and Toddler Essentials
Once you start traveling around Thailand, you might find yourself needing a few baby or toddler essentials like diapers, baby food, or powdered milk. Thankfully, it is actually quite easy to find these products all around Thailand with many essential items found in every corner 7/11 shop. International name brand products can be found but if you or your child prefer a particular brand, it would smart to bring along your own supply.
For older kids, Thailand offers a great chance to help your children explore new foods and tastes. That being said, many of the dishes in Thailand are incredible spicy and might not go over well with your kids. Ease their way into the cuisine with pad thai or pad see ew which are less spicy and usually popular with kids of all ages. You can also find plenty of Western-style restaurants and major fast food brands if your kid really isn’t up for the new flavors of Thailand. And if spicy food is a big no from the kids, don’t forget that Thailand also has many nice sweet treats your kids might enjoy like coconut candies or mango rice.
Thailand is a relatively safe place and usually a great option for families but there are some safety issues you might encounter. First, don’t plan on seeing any car seats. In many cars you won’t even be able to find the seat belts. You can bring your own car seat but outside of the major cities, you might not find many uses for it, especially if you are taking tuktuks. Besides that, also keep in mind that traffic in Thailand can be a little chaotic. Carefully watch children around roadways and even with older children, be careful when crossing roads, even at crosswalks. Finally, to avoid upset stomachs and grumpy kids, watch what you eat and try to avoid unwashed fruits, ice, and questionable street food.