23 Helpful Tips for Traveling to Thailand with Kids

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We already knew a lot about travel in Thailand, having previously lived in Bangkok teaching English and visiting multiple times on holidays.

It’s a country that we know well, and have found it to be an easy place to travel to whether you’re alone, or as a family.

people standing in front of a temple
Visiting the Grand Palace Bangkok

We thought we knew what to expect when travelling to Thailand with kids and felt prepared for the adventure, but that was until we got there and realized there were a few things we could have done to make it a bit easier.

Thailand is one of our favorite destinations in Southeast Asia, and so we want you and your family to fall in love with it the same way we did.

To help you out, and to make your trip run a little smoother, we’ve listed our top tips for traveling Thailand with kids so you can know what to expect and can plan ahead.

Tips for Traveling to Thailand with Kids

Below you will find our top tips for traveling with kids in Thailand to help you plan a trip to Thailand with kids with ease. Some of these tips will require you to plan ahead, so my first tip for you is…

1. Get organized and plan ahead

woman walking through the water on a beach
Phuket sunset

I highly recommend you book flights, accommodation and key tours you want to do beforehand. Not only does this save you money but it also means you will have more options available to you.

Not every hotel has a family room, and the good vacation rentals get booked up well in advance thanks to the boom of digital nomads.

If you want a good place to stay, and you want to ensure you are booked on tours, you need to plan ahead these days.

It also helps your kids prepare for the trip too. Knowing what’s going to happen can ease their anxiety and help them settle into this new experience in Thailand.

2. Get a direct flight to Thailand

plane taking off

We flew from Sydney via Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia (4-hour wait) and it was too long a journey for the girls and an unnecessary extra leg of travel each way.

Airports tend to be a stressful environment for kids if they are waiting around for too long. Most of airports don’t offer much in the way of entertainment, and there’s only so many toys you can pack with you.

Sorry Air Asia, but I think our “long haul” relationship with you is over. Yes, you were cheaper, BUT next time we will fly direct and pay the little bit extra to avoid the airport meltdowns.

You can find cheap deals on flights by searching on SkyScanner. Read more of our tips for finding cheap flights.

3. Time it so you arrive in Thailand for your children’s bedtime or before

a hotel pool surrounded by trees
Our view of Karon Beach and Hilton grounds from executive lounge

We FINALLY checked in to our hotel in Bangkok at 2.00 am (Australian time). This was a little too much for the girls to handle and they were exhausted by the time we arrived.

With a little foresight, we should have timed it so they had time to unwind in the hotel before going to bed.

It also helps if they can sleep on the plane.

4. Make your first day in Thailand a relaxing day with the kids

toddler tantrums on holiday
Look at that tired face

Going to the crowded Grand Palace the morning after an extremely long day of travel and tiring flight was the cause of a meltdown in the most important temple in Bangkok.

The first day you will all be tired, not just the kids. Don’t rush straight into the itinerary and have an easy day into adventuring.

Use the first day as an orientation day. Go for a walk, try some local Thai food, and relax. You might also need to get used to the tropical climate!

5. If you can, save visiting Bangkok until the end of your trip

bangkok at night

Most tourists tend to fly to Bangkok start the trip there. But you can also find direct flights to Phuket, which is a much more relaxing environment than Bangkok.

If you can, save Bangkok to the end when the kids have adjusted to Thai culture.

Bangkok can be a little too crazy for a young, fresh-to-the-country mind to absorb first up. Plus, you won’t have to carry all your “shopping purchases” around with you.

It’s also hot and humid in Bangkok, so you’ll find it easier if your kids have got used to the weather before spending a day exploring Bangkok’s attractions.

6. Allow for several days before your children adjust

One of the best parts of travel is experiencing new cultures, weather, and experiences.

But for kids, it takes time for them to get used to the new time, temperature and culture.

Don’t stress if they are still not used to it by the third or fourth day. Allow them at least a week to settle in.

7. Only do one big activity a day in Thailand with the kids

woman holding a child on a canoe
Bangkok floating markets

The easiest way to tire your kids out and cause a tantrum is to pack too much into your day. Don’t try to visit too many attractions in one day, pick one big one to visit and make it in the morning while they are fresh.

Relax more in the afternoon, play by the pool or go to a play park. Try to incorporate some of your “normal life” into your trip too so they don’t feel too much outside their comfort zone.

8. If you have a toddler, take an umbrella stroller

They will be lighter and easier to move around the crazy, uneven streets. They will also offer protection from the hot Thailand sun.

9. If flying out of the old Don Mueang airport, save money for a taxi

people boarding the train in bangkok

There are two airports in Bangkok, Suvarnabhumi airport (BKK) which is the main international one, and Don Mueang airport.

If you are flying into Suvarnabhumi then you don’t need to worry, there is a fast and easy to use Skyrail direct to the city, plus several buses.

But if you fly to Don Mueang, then save for a taxi to and from the airport in Bangkok into Siam because the public transport is long and a hassle. It is worth the spend.

You have to get the shuttle bus from the airport to Chit Lom sky train station, and then into the city, and then figure out where your hotel is.

Not all sky train stations have escalators, and don’t connect to every part of the city. If it’s a scorching hot day, or raining, it can be tiring with your kiddies and all your luggage climbing stairs.

For the rest of your time in Bangkok, the Skytrain (BTS) is awesome! Also kids love riding around in tuk-tuks. They are expensive but would be a fun first day activity.

10. For toddlers, make sure you check your hotel room has baby cots

These are not always available in Thailand, so unless you co-sleep, be sure to request a rollaway crib beforehand.

It is not common and you don’t want to be chasing a toddler around the room at 4 am.

11. Visit one or two cities in Thailand with kids

19 Tips for Tavelling to Thailand with Kids

Moving around a lot is too taxing for your children and you. I recommend you visit just one or two cities, and don’t try to pack in a full Thailand itinerary.

Kids cannot travel like backpackers, they need time to adjust and every time you take long-haul transport you can expect it to tire them out.

Pick a couple of places you want to visit, and stay for at least 5 days before moving on to somewhere else.

12. Pack homely comforts

Most baby essentials are easy to find across the country, but if you or your child is fussy to a certain brand then pack enough supplies.

Having a few things from home that your child associates with home can help them feel at ease.

It can be as simple as a few snacks that they like, to their favorite toy or blanket, or even a familiar brand of soap.

It’s a simple trick to ease their anxiety.

13. Know it’s rare to find a seat belt, let alone a baby car seat in Thailand

craig in taxi with savannah and kalyra
Tough times in the car

Be prepared to wrestle your toddler the whole trip, or bring your own car seat if you are that concerned (not sure how you will go hooking it up though!).

If you are travelling in a van or a bus, you may be lucky enough to have enough space to pop in your pram with your baby strapped inside (what we did).

14. Ease them into Thai cuisine

plate of pad see ew
Pad See Ew

You’ll be able to find Western food easily enough, but if you want your child’s taste buds to explore then we recommend Pad Thai or Pad See Ew as an easy way to start.

Other foods might be a little too spicy for your child’s stomach. You can ask for a dish to be not too spicy (nid noi) which means little bit in Thai.

15. Keep your children hydrated with plenty of water

7/11 stores are EVERYWHERE and you can buy bottled water for cheap.

Fresh coconuts, if they like the flavour, is great for hydration (and cheap too compared to here in Australia).

16. Duck into places with A/C often

Shopping malls, 7/11 stores or even Starbucks are a great place to go for a little A/C cool down.

This can really help your child readjust to the heat and give them a break. Hot children can turn into cranky ones fast.

17. Stay at family-friendly resorts with entertainment

If you are staying in a resort hotel, they often have babysitting and kids club services. And the Thai’s are GREAT with kids. Use it once or twice for a break.

It’s not just your kids holiday, but yours too, so take some time for yourself.

18. Have lazy beach or pool days or mornings / afternoons

umbrellas and beach chairs on a beach

This is another easy way for your kids to relax and have fun.

If you plan to visit Phuket, you’ll find many white sand beaches for them to play on, or if you visit Koh Samui or Koh Phangan, many of the beaches there have shallow water that’s ideal for kids to paddle in.

Most beaches in Thailand have entertainment options – mostly kayaks and canoes for rent, or snorkel gear to go snorkelling. Some may even have inflatable toys or obstacle courses (Koh Samui is known for having these).

You can even take them to some waterfalls for an alternate break from the beach.

19. Involve your children in activities they will enjoy

19 Tips for Tavelling to Thailand with Kids

There are plenty of fun things for kids to do. Kalyra loved doing the Thai cooking class with me and she was fascinated learning about preparing coconut and rice, and of course drinking Thai condensed milk tea and coconut milk sweets.

She also loved getting her hair braided.

20. Be prepared for your children to be adored by the Thai people

kalyra and thai friend hugging

Thai people are so friendly and love children, so be prepared for your kids to receive a lot of attention. You will find the locals will want to pick them up, cuddle them, photos taken with them, and playing games with them.

This was actually a really great way for mom and dad to relax. It was like free babysitting and allows you a moment to breathe!

21. Don’t go to too many temples

grand palace bangkok
Grand Palace, Bangkok

There are many buddhist temples in Thailand that are world famous, such as the White Temple (Wat Rong Khun) in Chiang Rai, Doi Suthep in Chiang Mai, or Wat Pho in Bangkok, home to the famous reclining buddha.

But temples are not exactly exciting for kids. They might be tired after one or two.

22. Be mindful of elephant sanctuaries

Our kids love wildlife and so we always try to fit in some time to see the animals when we travel, but be mindful that in Thailand not all animal tourism is ethical tourism.

If you plan to visit elephant sanctuaries, do some research into an ethical one and make sure it’s safe for kids.

Some of the ones in Chiang Mai allow you to feed, bathe and play with the elephants, which gives me anxiety thinking about my little ones standing next to one of these huge giants.

You may find it better to do a wildlife safari or jungle walk in Khao Sok National Park instead, where you can observe but don’t get too close.

23. There’s no shame in going to a theme park

You might be thinking that you’re in Thailand, one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world and known for its incredible nature and unique culture, why spend it in an amusement park?

Thailand has a lot of great theme parks and amusement parks, and kids love them.

Dream World in Bangkok is a great theme park for kids and you could easily spend a full day there.

Best Time to Visit Thailand with Kids

makepeace family swimming in Thai beach

Thailand is warm and sunny all year round, which makes it a popular destination for travelers.

But if your kids are not used to the heat, then a good time to visit would be in November, December or January.

This is high season in Thailand and is when there is the most amount of tourists, so while it has the coolest and most comfortable weather, it also has the crowds, so book in advance.

March, April and May are not great times to travel with kids as they are the hottest months of the year. It’s also when the farmers are burning their fields in the north which brings pollution across the whole country.

June to September (sometimes into October) is the rainy season. It won’t rain all day, but it will probably rain every day, which can make planning your activities difficult.

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Where to Book Thailand Tours?

When it comes to saving money and stress when traveling, you may want to plan ahead and book tours.

Get Your Guide is a place where you can find many Thailand tours and attractions tickets, which are operated by local tour operators and businesses.

They have no booking fees or hidden charges and are perfect for family travelers wanting to be organized.

You can pre-book tickets and skip the line at top attractions and cancel up to 24 hours before if you change your mind.

Some best-selling tours are below:

More Travel Tips for Thailand

Need more inspiration for your trip to Thailand? Check out these other guides…

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19 tips for visiting Thailand with kids. Travel with kids in Thailand is a fun adventure

Have you visited Thailand with kids? What tips can you share? Let us know in the comments.

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