When the youngsters are joining the trip, follow our top tips for a fun, fuss-free vacation
Thailand provides a spectacular tropical playground for children and adults
Travelling with children can be one of the greatest ways to forge memories as a family. In a country like Thailand, where the scenery is spectacular and there are hundreds of attractions to choose from, you can look forward to making the memories of a lifetime. But making long journeys with kids isn’t always easy, and it has the potential to be stressful – especially if you’re little ones are very young. It’s easy to worry about what will happen if your kids get bored on the plane, or if they get restless if your flight is delayed.
When it comes to vacations with kids, the key to minimising stress all lies in forward planning. It’s worth storing up plenty of entertainment ideas for long-haul flights, long waits at the airport and even rainy afternoons at your final destination.
If you’re heading on holiday with little ones, check out our top tips for how to keep them content at all times, from the moment you arrive at the airport departures lounge right until the end of your vacation.
Sun block, sun hats and flip-flops are all essential beach gear for little ones
If you’re preparing for a vacation with kids, our top tip is to plan ahead – especially when it comes to packing. You could be at the most beautiful beach or the most exhilarating water park, but if your little ones haven’t got the right gear they’re not going to have a good time. Children dressed comfortably for the tropical setting will be ready to go, so a sun hat, sun block and flip-flops are crucial. Of course, if you’re staying in a private villa with its own swimming pool, you won’t want to forget your kids’ swim suits either. It may be worth making an exhaustive list of everything you need before you start packing. That way, you can check things off one by one as you put them in the suitcase.
In addition to the obvious essentials, there’s a few other bits and bobs it’s worth having handy if you’re heading to Thailand on holiday. Antibacterial wipes and hand sanitiser are worth carrying around in your bag, as you never know what the facilities will be like if you’re out and about and want little ones to wash their hands before a meal.
Have plenty of tricks up your sleeve for keeping little ones entertained
You can never be over-prepared if you’re taking your children on a long-haul flight. Fill your bag with snacks, games and toys that you can pull out whenever you sense a tantrum coming on. Better still, pack surprise plane bags full of goodies for little ones to take themselves. Don’t let them see what’s in it before the flight, and that way they’ll have something to look forward to. Treats could include crayons, colouring books and even mini Lego sets.
While you might start off with good intentions when it comes to minimising your kids’ screen time, a long-haul flight is one time when you can let it go. Load your tablet up with your children’s favourite movies, games and TV shows that will keep them quiet and entertained for as long as possible.
It’s also worth bearing your child’s travel outfit in mind. While they may be keen to wear their brand new holiday dress and beach shoes, this attire isn’t going to be the most comfortable on a 12-hour flight. Soft, loose layers are perfect for snuggling up in the window seat and getting some shuteye.
Rain, rain, go away
Even Thailand gets the odd rainy day – but there’s still plenty to do
While it may be known for its sublime beaches and tropical temperatures, even Thailand gets the odd rainy day. Luckily, if you’re staying in a private villa then you won’t be short of activities to keep children entertained. Koh Samui’s Ban Suriya, for example, has its own pool and foosball table.
If your kids enjoy trying out new arts and crafts, Thai origami could be a good option. Islands like Koh Samui and Phuket are home to plenty of art shops where you’ll be able to pick up all the supplies you need. A rainy day might also provide an excellent opportunity to set your children up with an impromptu cooking lesson with your villa’s private chef. Younger kids could easily master simple dishes, like tropical fruit salads. Older children could tackle more complicated recipes, like pad Thai or even a Thai curry.
It’s possible that little ones may be tired out from running around on the beach or splashing about in your villa’s pool. If this is the case, then setting up for a family movie night in one of your villa’s plush lounging areas could be a good shout. Some villas have their own mini movie theatres, complete with large screen wall-mounted televisions, surround sound systems and an extensive library of DVDs.
Pack plenty of snacks and toys to entertain kids just in case your flight gets delayed
Perhaps one of the most challenging times to keep your kids entertained will be if your flight is delayed – especially if you don’t know how long you’re going to be waiting around. If you’re in for a long wait, check out the airport’s private lounges and whether you’re entitled to use them. Alternatively, you might entitled to a reimbursement from your airline if you end up buying passes. If you’re only going to be delayed for an hour or so, why not go and grab something to eat? A tummy full of delicious food will keep your kids’ mind off the delay, and may even help to make them sleepy when you finally take off.
It’s also important to communicate with little ones about what’s going on – especially if they’re feeling nervous about the flights. Describing the boarding experience, in-flight meals and entertainment options might help get your little ones excited. Creative parents might even be able to dream up some aeroplane related games and quizzes, especially if you have a view out over the runway and can see crafts zooming up into the air.
Ask your villa’s private chef to prepare a selection of snacks for your little one to nibble on when they’re feeling peckish
A hungry little one is never very much fun, but try to resist the temptation to keep them going on a day out by feeding them lots of sweets. Pack a mixture of healthy snacks to keep their energy levels up. Sliced fruit, berries or cereal bars will be easy to pack up and take with you. If you’re staying at a private villa, it’s also worth asking the chef to make sure there’s a selection of snacks on hand to keep little ones from getting hungry and cranky.
Want your kids to be comfy on the long flight to Thailand? Then make sure you pack the following:
- Kiddie’s neck cushions will help your little ones settle down for a good sleep. There are plenty of cushions designed specially for kids, in the shape of animals and magical creatures.
- Taking a soft, familiar blanket on a long-haul flight will help little ones snuggle up for a good snooze.
- If you can’t persuade your kids to wear them for the journey to the airport, keep a pair of pyjamas packed in your bag just in case.