Bringing small children to Thailand can be stressful for some parents. Worry about the hot weather, the food, the culture, can cause parents of small children to decide against a trip to Thailand. But that’s really not necessary. Thailand is a wonderful place to bring small kids. There are tons of fun things to do with small children, it’s cheap and Thais love kids, so you’ll find yours are well taken care of wherever you go. To make your trip to Thailand with a small child easy just take note of these tips and your vacation should be stress free.
Cover Your Child in Sun Screen – The most important tip when bringing a small child to Thailand is to be aware of how hot it is. Thailand is hotter than anywhere else you’ve ever been and the sun is stronger than it appears. When traveling with a child, make sure every time you go outside, your child is covered from head to foot in a high SPF sun screen. Sunburn will be avoided and your child will feel a lot happier. Also, make sure you reapply it immediately after swimming.
Drink Lots of Drinks – Small children get dehydrated quickly in Thailand. Make sure your child drinks a lot of water or fruit juices to help with keeping cool and keeping hydrated. Bottled water is cheap and readily available and fruit juices are squeezed fresh at street stalls all over Thailand, or can be bought in bottles and cans in supermarkets and convenience stores.
Best Children’s Clothes for Thailand – To make sure your small child is comfortable, bring only 100% cotton clothing as they’ll sweat less than if wearing synthetic clothing. Make sure they’re loose fitting too as, in hot weather, that’s less constricting, and don’t forget lighter colors reflect the sun. Add a good sized hat, vital to prevent sunburn on your child’s face and to avoid headaches, and your kid will be just as comfortable as at home.
Hotel Room Amenities – Many hotels, even small ones, in Thailand can put a cot or an extra kid’s bed in a hotel room. They’ll also have high chairs in the dining room or booster seats, have special plates and cutlery for kids, some have toys and games for kids to play with, and will often bend over backwards to make sure your child has everything they need.
Spicy Food – Some parents of small kids worry about not being able to find food for their child in Thailand, as its a country known for its spicy food. Actually, there’s food everywhere in Thailand that’s not spicy. Plain rice and meat dishes, vegetable dishes, sandwiches, spaghetti, pizzas, desserts – you can even buy western-style cookies, pretzel sticks, crackers and other kid’s snacks in stores and 7-11s.
Many restaurants have childrens’ menus where nothing is spicy (Thai kids don’t just pop out of the womb liking spicy – a lot of them don’t care for it either) and other restaurants will be happy to make dishes for your child without the normal spices added.
Don’t Bring a Pushchair – I often see western parents of small children laboriously shoving a pushchair on the streets of Bangkok. Honestly, you shouldn’t. Thai streets are notorious for their huge potholes, uneven surfaces and just plain impossible-to-pass-with-a-pushchair areas. Leave the pushchair at home. Getting around in Bangkok especially is easy, and cheap, with the sky train, underground system and taxis.
Even outside Bangkok, public transportation is exceptional so you won’t need a pushchair. In fact, it’s likely to be more trouble than it’s worth.
Cool Off in Shopping Malls – Thailand is wonderful for parents with small kids as there are shopping malls everywhere, many of which have playing areas for kids or something fun for kids to do. Some have indoor amusement parks, one has south east Asia’s largest aquarium, yet others have climbing frames, kids’ games, karaoke machines and other fun kids’ stuff. Being in Thailand with a small child is easy as, when it gets too hot, just head indoors for a drink, a bite to eat and some fun.
Baby Sitting Services – You’ll be happy to know most hotels in Thailand either have babysitting services or can arrange for them if you ask. Many are free but, even if you do have to pay for them, you’re talking about a couple of hundred baht (about $6) for the night. So it is possible to have a night out without your child. Do it and enjoy it.
Traveling with a little one in Thailand may seem like an exercise in stress, but it doesn’t have to be. Just making sure your child is protected from the sun, dressed correctly, cool, keeps hydrated and doesn’t eat spicy food will help immeasurably, and if you’re not having to lug a pushchair around, you’ll feel happier too.