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Traveling in Thailand with Children

Tips to Make the Most of your Family Vacation

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Thai culture is very family oriented, there are lots of child-friendly activities in the country, and nearly all hotels and restaurants welcome kids, making Thailand a very easy place to travel with children. As you prepare for your family trip to Thailand, keep the following in mind.

1. Baby Essentials

Formula, baby food, diapers, baby wipes and other essentials are easy to find in most large supermarkets and hypermarkets all over the country. The same brands and flavors may not be available in Thailand so if there’s something specific your child cannot live without, pack it.

2. Car Safety

Bring a car seat. Unfortunately, the use of child safety seats is very rare in Thailand. Some larger department stores carry them but they can be difficult to find and expensive. If you’re renting a car, make sure to reserve a car seat in advance. Otherwise, plan to bring one along and insist on using it in taxis. Read more about safety issues with children.

3. Child Care

Virtually all hotels and resorts can arrange inexpensive child care if you want to go out without the kids. Arrange any babysitting in advance with the front desk and ask to meet your child-care provider before leaving the kids. Most parents take advantage of this to go out to dinner once their kids are asleep, but if you'll have a babysitter during waking hours, set clear rule in advance. Some hotels also have children's centers with "teachers" or aides; they'll often let you leave the kids for an hour or two (for a fee) during an activity or program.

4. Sun Protection

The sun is strong in Thailand so protect children by covering them with plenty of high SPF sunscreen on exposed skin and hats on their heads. Rash guard swimsuits with built-in sun protection can be a lifesaver since they will protect much of your child's skin (they don't seem to mind them). Heat and humidity can affect kids faster than adults and sun stroke, though rare, is a serious concern. Keep children hydrated with plenty of water and limit their time outside during the hottest hours of the day.

5. Kid-Friendly Food

Children's sensitive bellies may not be able to handle the spices in most Thai dishes. Phad Thai is easy on the stomach and a great alternative to curries or hot salads. Fried rice can be made to order with whatever meat and vegetables your child will eat. Many Thai restaurants in Bangkok, Chiang Mai and on the beaches and islands also serve some Western food and often offer kid favorites such as french fries and spaghetti. Jok, the Thai equivalent of congee, is very popular with Thai children, as is khao tom, a type of rice soup.
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