I remember back when we decided to take our two children (aged 3 and a half and 15 months at the time) to Thailand, it was met with some very surprised and concerned faces. Really? Travel all that way to Thailand with young ones? Is it really a suitable holiday destination for young families?
I’ll admit, that the flights are long to get there. But, of course, you can break up the journey as you wish. You can do one long flight from London to Bangkok say, and then you’re there. If you wanted to go to Phuket, like we did, then it would mean one more short flight of around an hour from Bangkok. We decided to break up the journey and go London to Dubai, and then Dubai to Phuket, each flight was just under six hours long.
Max, aged three, was absolutely fine. I think that is the age when children will sit and watch films on a plane and things like colouring and stickers keep their interest. Chloe was a completely different kettle of fish, though! I’ll be honest, the flights were tough. She was (and is) pretty high maintenance. But I was still feeding her, so that kept her quiet most of the time. We had no delays etc so that did make it easier. Plus, out of the four flights (two there and two back), one of each of them was a night flight. So although she didn’t sleep the whole time, there was down time. So if you think you can handle the flights; is it going to be worth it?
I can honestly say, yes! It is one of the best holidays that I have had and a country that I would love to go to again. Here is why, and why little ones will enjoy it too:
The Thai people are the most generous, happy, helpful, and kind people that I have ever come across when travelling. They just love little ones too (I think Chloe’s huge eyes helped that massively haha). They couldn’t do enough for us. At our resort, you kind of expect it. But the bar staff by the pool would bring us over extra drinks of water for the kids, all free of charge, along with fruit for the them too, like lychees, mango, coconut, and rambutan. When we ate at the restaurants, we had waiting staff take Chloe off for a walk (around the restaurant so we could see her), while we finished our meals. They were the ones volunteering to do it; they were very helpful.
Even when we were out and about, the people we encountered were great with the kids. We took an island hopping boat trip and the staff were amazing, offering to hold her on the deck so we could go for a proper swim, and Max bobbed along in his life jacket with us. They kept her giggling and we got to enjoy the excursion. They were generous with food with the kids too. We took an elephant tour, as well as a couple of other excursions, and everyone was helpful and polite. Not that you go expecting help from anyone, but when it is offered, it was amazing.
The food in Thailand can be quite interesting. But on the whole it is things that my children will eat: chicken, rice, noodles, fish, and brightly coloured fruit. They ate well and enjoyed it. Max has a brilliant memory and even to this day will talk about the food he recognises in a shop, like a dragonfruit, for instance, from when he had it in Thailand. They are both nuts about coconuts and would happily drink the fresh coconut water straight from the coconut. So there is a variety of foods to try.
Not only is there variety, but it is so cheap! At our resort, the restaurants were pretty pricey. But head to a local restaurant or down on the beach, and the food was super, super cheap. Flights will cost you more than somewhere in Europe, of course. But we spent way less than we ever would when we go to somewhere like Spain.
If you have got animal mad children (and let’s face it, aren’t all pre-schoolers animal mad)?!! Then they will love seeing the huge variety of animals there. We saw monkey just walking around, as well as elephants that we got to get close up to, and swimming in the clear sea waters with brightly coloured fish. They were both loving it! So it is a really interesting experience for them, much better than any zoo.
The Attractions / Things To Do
For me, this is more than just a beach trip. I mean, if you go to the cities, it will be a bit more hustle and bustle. But on the island of Phuket, the beaches are beautiful. But it is so much more than that. You can explore in forests, enjoy the wildlife, go fishing, visit local temples, explore markets, as well as sunbathe, swimming, and relaxing. The culture is rich and vibrant; unlike anywhere else I have visited before. My children really enjoyed it too! So if you’re thinking of going with little ones, then there is no time like the present!
And just to give you a flavour of it all, heres a little slideshow of some of our trip:
Have you eve been to Thailand? Would you ever consider it with little ones? I hope I’ve managed to convince you!