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Thailand is one of our family’s all time favorite places to visit. During our round the world trip, we spent a month an a half in Thailand and absolutely fell in love with it. Here are 10 things that you need to know, before taking your kids to this amazing place:
1. Stay off the beaten path.
While Thailand has become quite known as a backpacker and party hotspot, there are still plenty of places that are amazing for kids. However, do yourself a favor and don’t stay right in the heart of the action. No one wants to be next to an all night party or hearing people out at all hours. As a bonus, if you stay a bit out in most places, the prices are cheaper and you’ll probably be treated to a private pool (at an awesome price…we stayed a month at a house with our own pool, right by the beach for only $70/night)
2. Use bug spray all the time!
Don’t think you can just tough out the bites that you get while vacationing. Dengue fever is alive and well in Thailand and is spread by mosquitoes. Make sure to spray yourself and your kids when you’re going to be outdoors. Especially, don’t forget to spray everyone’s feet when you go out to eat, as it seems that mosquitoes are always finding ways to bite that bare skin by your flip-flops.
3. Uber is the best deal for getting a ride.
Although those cute little tuk-tuk’s are always tempting to jump in the back of, they would usually be 3 x’s the price of an Uber. Of course, you can’t visit Thailand without letting your kids ride in a tuk-tuk or two, but save some cash and grab an Uber. Also, with Uber, you get a set price, so you don’t have to worry about getting ripped off with “tourist prices”.
4. Flip-flops are your best friend.
When you’re in Thailand you’re going to be constantly visiting temples – where you are required to take your shoes off. If your kids can just slip their shoes on and off, without needing to tie laces or do up buckles, your day will go so much smoother.
5. Teach your kids to show respect.
Using the WAI is a sign of respect and the Thai people appreciate it. Simply bring both hands together at your chest and bow slightly. Teach your kids to do this and everyone will fall in love with them.
6. Diapers are different in Thailand
Most diapers that we found, even for infants were pull-up style. If you want to find traditional diapers, look for packages labeled TAPE, not PANTS! And surprisingly they are a little tricky to find, so when you do find something that works, buy a big package (note: diapers were not impossible to find so don’t bother bringing them from home. Just don’t expect to find them at a 7-11 – you’ll need to go to a legit grocery store to get some)
7. Always carry toilet paper
As with the most of Asia, a lot of toilets will not have TP in them (most just have a sprayer to clean off). If you and your kids are going to be out for a while, always carry some TP in your pocket, and some hand sanitizer too.
8. Teach your kids how to squat
Squat toilets are pretty common in Asia, so make sure to show your kids how to use them. Stand on the platform (some just have ridges), pull your pants down to your knees and really squat down. If your thighs are burning or your bum is in mid-air, you’re not low enough. Teaching your kids how to use these will alleviate a lot of stress when it’s time to GO. (Also, even though some places have western toilets, you’ll quickly find that many are not very clean so for sanitary reasons, the squatty potty is usually a better choice.)
9. Beware of the food
Now don’t get me wrong, Thai food is amazing, but you need to be aware of how much you eat. For example, even though your kids might like a good mild curry one night, chances that their stomach can handle if for several nights in a row are pretty slim. Mix things up and try a variety of foods. Fried rice and Pad Thai are always simple options that are kid friendly and easy on the stomach.
10. Night Markets are the BEST!
Seriously, if you want to show your kids some awesome culture, and experience some great food, don’t skip the night markets (even if it does mean pushing bedtime back a bit). If you aren’t sure what to look for, read all about the best souvenirs to take home from Thailand.
Some of our kids best memories are from trying crazy food at the markets, haggling on prices for a souvenir, and watching street performers. Don’t miss the Thai night markets.