So often is Thailand associated with backpackers and gap-year students that it might not cross your mind as a destination for the family holiday. It may then come as a surprise that Thailand is actually incredibly family friendly. The Thai people dote on children and a trip here will give your kids invaluable experience of a new culture. Thailand is often referred to as the ‘Land of Smiles’ and the people here really are a testament to this. There is so much to see and do together as a family in Thailand for an unforgettable holiday. Don’t forget, though: travel insurance is mandatory in Thailand, so it’s important to prepare before you go! It’s somewhere I would really like to visit when I can. Once you’ve done that, the four tips below will help to ensure a successful family trip:
- Burn of some energy outdoors
Sometimes it seems like kids have unlimited amounts of energy. The great news is that in Thailand there are plenty of opportunities for you to get active with the family. Trekking is a great way to do just that – and experience local culture at the same time. Some treks in Chiang Mai even include bamboo river rafting! For older children who love adrenaline-packed adventures, ziplining through the jungle will provide all the thrills they could need. The Flying Hanuman in Phuket is a popular zipline eco-adventure with three different adventure routes to choose from.
- Get close to wildlife
Children are innately curious, and often this curiosity will lead them to a keen interest in animals. On a trip to Thailand, children will have many opportunities to observe and interact with wild animals. There are plenty of zoos in Thailand, with many enabling you to get up close and personal with the animals. Many animal sanctuaries in Thailand are child-friendly; offering activities such as feeding and washing elephants – sure to be an experience your child will not forget. Just make sure you do your research first to ensure that the sanctuary or zoo you are visiting is ethical.
- Feed and hydrate
Now, this may sound obvious, but it’s important to ensure your child has had plenty to eat and drink before sightseeing. Many of the tourist sites in Thailand have religious significance and as such it is important to show respect. A hungry child is likely to become agitated and play up – a soundtrack of ‘I’m hungry’ is probably not what fellow sightseers want to hear, especially if there’s any kind of guided tour going on. As many of these sites are outdoors, it is equally important to make sure children are hydrated in such a warm climate. Carry bottled water with you and encourage children to drink throughout the day.
- Allow beach time
Children simply love the beach! There may be plenty of culture to take in on your trip to Thailand but make sure you take some time out for the kids to just be kids. Buckets and spades and splashing in the sea can provide hours of fun without interruption. We’re sure you’ll be only too happy to soak up the rays on Thailand’s incredibly beautiful beaches whilst they play. Be sure to reapply sunscreen regularly though; even water-resistant sunscreen only has a lifespan of roughly 40 to 80 minutes, so it’s bound to wear out before your kids do!