Thinking of travelling with kids in Thailand? It’s one of the most kid-friendly destinations in Asia, and it also has a lot to offer families. From theme parks and water parks to natural attractions and luxury spas, there is something for everyone in this country. Whether you have school-age kids or toddlers in tow, planning a trip with your family requires preparation. That’s why we are listing some useful tips to make your journey much smoother.
We took numerous trips in Thailand. We had the chance to visit the Land of Smiles with Darian when he was just 2 and a half. That’s also where I took my first ever backpacking trip outside of Europe, booking a one-way ticket to Bangkok at just 20 year-old. I even got the chance to come back to the country with HiuYing several years later, while she was expecting our first son, Darian.
Know the travel facts and figures
There are many things to account for when you are travelling with kids in Thailand. Some of these include: – What is the weather like in Thailand? – What are the best seasons for visiting Thailand? – Are there any festivals or events that take place in Thailand during the time we are travelling? – What is the best age for kids to travel? – Are there any vaccinations required? – What is the time difference between our home country and Thailand? – What is the best way to communicate with our kids while travelling? – How can we keep our kids engaged and entertained while travelling?
Make a checklist of what to pack
What to pack and what not to do depends on your child’s age and the length of your trip. You can also seek guidance from your doctor or speak to your child’s paediatrician before deciding on the items to be packed. Items that almost you should be carrying while travelling with kids in Thailand include an itinerary, a photo ID of the child, important documents such as passports and visas, a copy of your address and contact details, a first-aid kit, a mosquito repellent, and a sun protection lotion.
Make sure you are carrying a few extra items in your bags as well – you never know when you’ll need them. Some other items you might want to pack are: swimsuits, water shoes, sunscreen, a camera, a noise-cancelling headphone, and a journal to write down your thoughts and experiences. If you are travelling during monsoon season, make sure you are carrying a rain jacket and a pair of water-resistant shoes.
If you’re in need of some kid travel inspiration, check out our travel report from our overland journey between Hong Kong and France with a kid!
Choosing accommodation with kids in mind
Accommodation choices in Thailand vary – from hostels to luxury hotels. When you are planning to travel with kids, it is important to find a place that is child-friendly.
Some basic things you might want to keep in mind while choosing a place to stay in Bangkok and Thailand include:
- A safe neighbourhood – The neighbourhood should be safe enough so that your kids can freely walk around without you worrying about their safety.
- A walkable neighbourhood – You don’t want to spend half your time in cabs just because you want your kids to explore the city.
- A place with a swimming pool – A swimming pool is a perfect place for your kids to relax and unwind after an exciting day of exploring.
- A place that is close to attractions – You don’t want to spend hours in cabs just to get to your next destination.
- A place that is well connected – You want to be able to travel easily from your hotel to other places.
We recommend to use booking.com to find the better deals. Make sure you read the feedback of fellow travelers to find the most suitable place for your needs and avoid any surprise! You can also add a filter to find the best place to stay while travelling with kids in Thailand.
You can make your search using the box right there, and if you book an accommodation we’ll make a bit of money from it to keep the website running.
Decide on your travelling route
There is no right or wrong way of travelling with kids in Thailand. However, you should always remember that travelling with kids requires you to be flexible enough to adapt to any situation. If you are planning to explore the country, there are a few routes that you can consider.
The first route is to start in Bangkok and then travel to Chiang Mai in the North. Depending on how much time you have, you can also add nearby areas such as Chiang Rai and the more remote Mae Hong Son’s province. After visiting the country’s northern part, you can head down to the country’s paradisiac islands such as Koh Tao, Koh Lipe and Koh Phangan (to name a few, the list could go on forever) and enjoy a well-deserved break on these world-famous beaches.
There are several more stops you could add on your route. If you enjoy places with top-notch hotels and many attractions cattered for tourists, you can add Pattaya, Koh Samui and Phuket to your list. If you like a bit of a challenge and you like to blaze your own trail, you could explore the Isan region in the country’s northeastern part, where we found smiles to be undeniably more genuine than some other areas.
Whichever route you choose, make sure you factor in travelling time and the distance between places. As we all know, travelling with kids means that you have to be patient and flexible. You don’t want to rush through your journey just because you want to visit a particular place.
By boat: Travelling from Bangkok to other destinations
You can travel from Bangkok to Koh Samui, Koh Tao, and Koh Phangan by boat. If you are travelling with kids in Thailand, you can opt for the night boat. The journey from Bangkok to Koh Samui takes about 6-8 hours and from Bangkok to Koh Tao, it takes around 7-9 hours. These boats have a sleeping area, cabins, and entertainment areas where your kids can play.
The Koh Samui ferry is available every day, except on Sundays. The Koh Tao ferry is available daily except on Sundays and Public holidays. The Koh Phangan ferry service is available every day, except on Sundays and Public holidays. The Bangkok to Koh Samui ferry service is available daily except on Sundays and Public holidays. The Bangkok to Koh Tao ferry service is available daily except on Sundays and Public holidays.
By road and train: Travelling around Thailand
If you are travelling from Bangkok to Koh Samui or Koh Phangan, you can drive, take a bus or even a train. Driving with kids can be a bit challenging, especially in a country where you might not be familiar with the driving style, but it also offers you the flexibility to take breaks when you need to. You can also explore the areas between destinations.
Luckily, Thailand has a pretty solid railway network. It’s particularly convenient to take a night train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, or from Bangkok to Chumphon and Surat Thani, two cities where you’ll find boats connecting travelers to most islands, such as Koh Samui and Koh Phangan. Be aware : You can find several different classes while booking a train, so make sure you’ve asked around first. You can find air con and beds in the upper classes, while lower classes are fan-ventilated classic seats.
Trains can surprisingly be one of the cheapest ways to move around, especially if you don’t mind opting for the basic class. I particularly like the seat61’s website and I’d recommend to have a look to get all the necessary information on train travel in Thailand. Based on my personal experience, I believe trains are the best way of travelling with kids in Thailand.
Thailand possesses a developped bus network connecting most places in the country. Once again, you’ll find different classes of buses. The top class is usually called the VIP bus, which are slightly more comfortable and offer a better service. I recall one trip in a VIP bus where we stopped in a restaurant and the food was included. I was also shivering the whole way due to the freezing air con!
By taxi or TukTuk: Within Bangkok
If you are travelling to Bangkok with kids and want to explore the city, you can take the MRT or a taxi. The MRT is a relatively cheap way of travelling within Bangkok, but you will need to buy a travel card. A taxi is another good way of travelling within Bangkok, although it is not very cheap.
A TukTuk is a good option if you are travelling with kids as it is cheap, easy to find, and kid-friendly. If you are travelling to Bangkok with kids, you can take a flight. The Suvarnabhumi Airport is the main international airport in Bangkok that you can fly to. The Don Mueang International Airport is the secondary airport in Bangkok where you can take flights. You might be headed there if you’re flying to another province of Thailand.
Find attractions suitable for your kids
I get it, you’re travelling to the other side of the world and you surely want to make this trip worth your while by visiting all these must-see places you’ve read abut on these travel blogs. Although you’ll definitely be able to squeeze a few of these visits to your program, don’t forget to adapt your schedule to your kids. They won’t enjoy being dragged around and be told to not make any noise every time you’re visiting a place where they are supposed to behave like grown adults.
While travelling with kids in Thailand, it’s essential to add several stops to please them throughout the day. You’ll make sure your kids keep a positive mood, and therefore might be more keen on doing extra efforts for this next attraction you really want to visit.
My personal list includes:
- Museums for kids – Use TripAdvisor to find those. You might be surprised of the possibilities! At some point, we’ve even found a Peppa Pig exposition in a Taiwan’s museum. Ideal for our (very) young kids!
- Stopping in a park with a kid’s playground – That’s a perfect moment to wind down. You can eat the local specialties you just bought at the local store while having a sip of water to refresh. If you enjoy spending time on your phone, that could be a great occasion to do so and plan the rest of your day, while the other parent might pay attention to your kids.
- Visit the local market – A local market is a fascinating new world, both for parents and kids. Since it’s often outside, kids are not socially required to not make any noise and walk quietly the way they might have in a local temple. While travelling with kids in Thailand, we always made sure to visit those and try some unknown food!
- Going to the beach – Another place where both you and your kids will definitely have a great time!
Need more tips before travelling with kids in Thailand? Check the 10 things you need to know before travelling in the country!
Whether you are travelling with your spouse or kids, it is important to make sure you are well prepared. When it comes to travelling with kids in Thailand, you need to be extra careful as kids are delicate creatures and every situation can be challenging for them. They have this unyielding power to make your trip a success or a miserable memory. These tips and travel facts will help you plan a smooth and fun-filled journey with your family. However, no matter how much you plan, travelling with kids is always an adventure. Be prepared for some messy moments and challenging situations, and remember that these are all part of the journey.