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Traveling to Thailand with kids – Everything you need to know

Welcome to the ultimate Thailand with kids travel guide! Whether you’re a seasoned family traveler or a parent planning your first family road trip, this blog post is here to help. Get ready to embark on a memorable journey to Thailand with your family!

Thailand is a top destination for you to dip your toes in when you don’t have lots of travel experience in Asia. It’s affordable and easy to explore.

Family friendly accommodation for every budget can be found all over the country.  And one of the most important things is that the food is great. Thai cuisine offers something for everyone.

Thailand means Land of the Free, but it is better known as the Land of Smiles. The Thai love kids. And that will surely add to the joy of your vacation to Thailand

Let us help plan your ultimate Thailand family trip. We visited Thailand twice and I’m here to share our best tips for navigating Thailand with kids. So, pack your bags, gather your loved ones, and let’s dive into the incredible world of Thailand family travel!

Read more >> Ultimate Thailand Family Road Trip Itinerary

Best age to visit Thailand

You can travel to Thailand with kids of all ages. When they’re young you can go island hopping and visit a city or two.

Ages 6 and up will enjoy Thailand beyond the beaches. Exploring an ancient city like Ayutthaya or Sukhothai is a fun cultural experience. Trying out weird food like crickets and scorpions will give them a thrill (or watching others try it…) and exploring the Erawan waterfalls is also a day activity they’ll surely enjoy (watch out for the fish nibbling on your feet).

Family friendly accommodations can be found wherever you go and most of them have aircon, but always double check when booking accommodation.

Image of a woman eating a scorpion: A woman in a yellow shirt bites into a scorpion on a stick, likely at a night market on Khao San Road, with shops and signs visible in the background.
People swim and relax in a natural pool at the base of a cascading waterfall in a forested area. The waterfall is surrounded by greenery, creating a serene and refreshing atmosphere. This is one of the Erawan waterfalls in Thailand.

Thailand with a baby or toddler

Traveling to Thailand with a baby has its advantages, like the welcoming nature of the locals who are often eager to help with little ones.

But the thing is, the Thai are so fond of babies that they don’t shy away from picking up your baby, kissing and cuddling them. It’s definitely a common thing, so be prepared and know that it’s normal for them, so if you’re not happy with locals holding your baby or toddler, please tell them nicely. It’s part of their nature and culture, getting angry is something they won’t expect. They’ll always respect your wishes.

On the downside, the hot and humid climate can be challenging and exhausting for both parents, babies and toddlers. And navigating crowded places and intense traffic in cities like Bangkok can get overwhelming.

Thailand as a whole is not a very stroller friendly country. It doesn’t matter if your in Bangkok or Chiang Mai or a small town, there are potholes and high curbs everywhere and more often than not you’ll be walking on the side of the street with not a pavement in sight. You’ll feel much safer carrying your kid in a baby carrier and it’s also much easier to get around on foot.

A young boy poses playfully in front of intricate, colorful guardian statues at a golden temple.

Just take it slow and explore in the morning and stay somewhere with aircon in the afternoon or better yet by the pool or at the beach. You can get sunscreen for all ages all over Thailand.

Buying the necessary

Do be careful when buying deet. The amount of deet for kids under 2 should be a max of 30%. I’ve seen deet bottles with 50% date with a cute drawing of a baby on it. So please read the bottle carefully before buying.

You can buy formula and diapers everywhere in Thailand, so only bring the amount you need to get you to your first destination. It will safe you some space in the suitcase and there are 7/11’s, convenient stores and drugstores everywhere.

Pharmacies can also be found in every city and in big cities most of the staff will speak basic English. If they don’t, use the iTranslate app to translate the text on the box if you’re not absolutely sure about what you’re being offered.

Things to know about Thailand

Capital: Bangkok
Official language: Thai
Currency: Thai Baht
Visa requirements: Most travelers can explore Thailand for up to 30 days without a visa. Staying longer? Apply for a tourist visa online, for instance through iVisa
Timezone: GMT +7
Power Plug Type: The majority of the sockets are type A, but we’ve also seen lots of plug type B and C. Just to be sure bring a travel adapter.
Voltage: 220V supply voltage and 50Hz
Measurement system: Metric (Celsius / kilometer / kilogram / liter)
CDC and WHO recommended travel vaccines: hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid, Japanese encephalitis and rabies. In some regions malaria medicine is also advised. Always call your doctor for pre-travel advice when it comes to vaccinations and medication.
Safety rating: Ranked 117 on the Global Peace Index

A busy night market street with food vendors, tuk tuks, and a variety of illuminated signs and storefronts.
A group of people wearing red aprons participate in a cooking class, with various cooking utensils and ingredients laid out on a wooden table.

Kid friendly Thai dishes

The Thai cuisine is delicious, but there are a lot of dishes that are spicy. So if you or your children aren’t used to that you should search for the dishes with a more subtle taste.

Fried rice is perfect for kids. Most are served without meat or fish, but sometimes you can add it to your fried rice. Fried rice is called Khao Pad.

Chicken satay is a great snack when all else fails. The chicken is served on a skewer and marinated in Satay sauce (made from peanuts). You can get it everywhere.

A family favorite of ours is Pad Thai. It’s a dish consisting of noodles, sauces and seafood. Oftentimes there are crushed peanuts in it, so be aware of that if any of you are allergic. Pad Thai has an umami flavor without too much spice. Most kids over 6 will love it. When you join a cooking class, Pad Thai is often one of the dishes you’ll get to make.

The best dessert in Thailand is Mango sticky rice. Rice is cooked in creamy coconut milk making it sticky. Slices of Mango are placed on top of the rice. Sometimes you get a little plastic bag filled with red powder. Be aware that this is chili powder!

Popular cooking classes in Bangkok and Chiang Mai

Powered by GetYourGuide

Thailand tours for families

Sometimes we just don’t have the energy to arrange an activity or the activity of your choice is off the beaten path and you can’t get there by car or public transport easily. The best thing to do then is to join a tour.

Lots of tours in Thailand are family friendly and you can find them at Get Your Guide or Viator. To make it easy for you I’ve compiled a list of popular family friendly tours in Thailand you can check out.

Powered by GetYourGuide
Children gathered around a few bicycles, with one boy in a yellow cap inspecting a red bike. The scene appears to be outside, with more bikes and a shop in the background.

Thailand: a safe family travel destination

Thailand has a low crime rate and the Thai are extremely friendly, especially when they see children. They dote on them. Because a lot of locals depend on tourism most of them speak at least a little bit of English.

Healthcare

Thailand has a public healthcare system meaning that medical treatment is mostly free. Healthcare in Thailand is of very high quality and ranks high in the top 30 globally. But when it comes to access there’s a difference between larger cities and more rural areas.

If you’re more comfortable with a private healthcare provider make sure you’ve got the right travel insurance, including emergency medical and dental coverage.

Electricity cabling

The first thing you’ll notice when you arrive in Bangkok is the messy cabling. Cables are a tangled mess in Thailand. A lot of the times cables hang so low you can touch them and it’s not uncommon for trucks or buses to drive into a cable causing it to break. This can be really dangerous. So pay attention to where you walk, and tell your children to stay away from them.

Clean drinking water

Drinking tap water on your family trip to Thailand isn’t safe. While outdoors or in hotels you can avoid buying plastic water bottles if you bring the LARQ bottle. UV-light cleans the water in the bottle and also cleans the bottle itself after you’ve used it. Get your own LARQ bottle and always feel safe drinking water from taps all over the world.

Get my FREE pocket guide >> How To Stay Healthy Traveling With Kids

Best time to travel

Thailand knows two seasons. The wet and dry season. The wet season starts in May or early June and ends in October. The dry season is from November to March. The best time to travel is during the dry season. Most families travel between late June and early September.

Is the wet season something that can ruin your holiday? Not in my book. You will get the occasional downpour, but those tend to be short. And the rain also makes for beautiful green fields and you will still get lots of sunshine. And it can also be very hot during the wet season, which makes those showers much more enjoyable.

Road tripping through Thailand with kids

Thailand is extremely well connected by air. In fact Bangkok is often the main gateway for families traveling long-haul to Asia. Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok is one of the largest in the world. There’s a good chance you can hop on a direct flight to Bangkok if you live in the North America, Europe, Asia and the bigger countries in Oceania.

Thailand is also easy to travel through by (sleeper) train and the country has some great roads, so traveling by bus or rental car is also a great option.

TOP TIP: we traveled from Bangkok all the way to Chiang Rai in the North. We ended our trip overland in Chiang Mai and took the sleeper train back to Bangkok, before ending our trip in Koh Samet. We have such fond memories of staying in the sleeper train that I want to highly recommend it to you.

Read more >> 8 Things to Do In Chiang Mai with Kids

Read more >> 5 Things to Do In Koh Samet with Kids

Image of a woman and a child outside a small hut: A woman and a young child stand near a small wooden hut surrounded by lush greenery. The woman is doing laundry while the child looks on.
Image of a reclining golden Buddha statue: A close-up of a large, reclining golden Buddha statue partially hidden by a decorated wall and floral arrangement.

To book your domestic flights we recommend using a website called 12Go. This is a user-friendly website that will show you all the different price options and comparisons as well as reviews from fellow travelers.

12Go has the best flight offers for any destination in Asia, so if you’re traveling to Thailand from another Asian country 12Go is your best bet as well.

Powered by 12Go system

How to get to Thailand

My family and I like to use Expedia for flights. And we always opt to book a flight and hotel, at least for the first night. Just to ease the start of our family vacation. When arranging everything yourself, Expedia is a good starting point. But always compare prices by visiting more than one booking site.

How to get around in Thailand

To book your public transport during your family trip to Thailand with kids, whether by train, bus or ferry, we also recommend using 12Go. What goes for flights in Asia also goes for public transportation options in Asia. 12Go is your best source in this continent.

Backpacking through Thailand with kids

Thailand is a very popular destination for backpacking families. There’s something to do for everyone here and you can easily self-drive, but traveling through the country by plane, train and bus is also very easy to do and affordable as well.

A self-drive through Thailand is a great way to see more of this scenic country and gives you the freedom to stop wherever you please. Driving a vehicle through Thailand has its obstacles. The Thai tend to follow their own rules, in other words they don’t abide by the traffic rules.

From crazy busy to an easy ride

In Bangkok the streets are crazy busy. I wouldn’t advise you to hire a rental car straight away and explore the city with it. Visit the sights in Bangkok with the great public transportation on offer and rent your car on the day you leave the city.

The population of Thailand is estimated at almost 70 million people. And driving in Bangkok can give you the impression that most of them live in the capital. In reality the estimated population of Bangkok is over 11 million people, but the overwhelming quantity of traffic makes you wonder if that’s accurate ;). In short: you drive out of the city will be adventurous enough, but gets much easier after that.

How to stay healthy while traveling to Thailand with kids

We can’t fully prevent health problems while traveling, but there are some things you can do to stay as healthy as possible.

Food and drinks

One of the main reasons to travel is to eat local food. We already discussed that the Thai cuisine is a delicious and family friendly one. But how can you avoid getting sick after a meal in Thailand? Here are some tips:

  • Bring napkins to clean cutlery or bring your own cutlery. Especially when eating from street food stalls. We try to avoid single use napkins or plastics so each family member has their own set of bamboo cutlery (knife, spoon, fork and straw) that we clean as soon as we get back to our apartment. We highly recommend the cutlery by Jungle Culture
  • Only eat at busy restaurants and street food vendors. If the lines are long and the tables full you know the food will be fresh. And you can also be certain that the food will be good. It’s a win-win situation
  • Be cautious of fruit. Buy fruits you have to peel like bananas, pineapple, oranges and mango.
Vendor carrying goods in baskets on a yoke, walking along the beach in Koh Samet, Thailand.
A bustling market stall with various meats on display, with a blur of movement from a vendor slicing meat behind the counter.

Travel First Aid Kit

Having the best first aid kit for travel abroad offers you peace of mind! A good travel first aid kit contains items equipped to deal with cuts, bruises, sprains and breaks. And should also be filled with over the counter medicine for insect bites, fever, pain and nausea.

What should be in your family travel first aid kit:

  • paracetamol for kids and adults
  • nausea and vomiting medicine
  • ORS for kids and adults
  • coughs and colds medicine
  • allergies tablets (anti-histamine for bites, stings, hay fever and sudden allergic reactions)

Traveling with prescribed medication

When traveling with prescribed medication you should:

  • Bring your medication passport
  • Take your pills and medical equipment with you in their original and correctly labelled packages
  • Carry your medicine in your hand luggage with a copy of your prescription
  • If you or any of your family members take medication that fall under the Opium Law (aka Opium Act), you should take appropriate action well before embarking on your trip. Our family has lots of  experience with this, so I wrote an article about it for you.

Read more >> Traveling with medication that falls under the Opium Act

Image of a child and a woman holding a large lantern at night: A young boy and a woman are holding a large, illuminated lantern outdoors at night. Other people are visible in the background, some standing and some walking around.

Vaccinations

Travelers to Thailand are advised to get vaccinated for hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid, Japanese encephalitis and rabies. In some regions malaria medicine is also advised. This is in addition to the childhood vaccinations that are part of your countries vaccination program.

Always call your doctor as soon as you know where you’re traveling to, because some vaccines need to be repeated once or even twice before your departure. You should only take pre-travel advice about vaccinations from your doctor.

Travel Insurance

Don’t forget a travel insurance for your Thailand trip! We already talked about getting travel insurance that covers medical emergencies, but it’s also important in case of theft, delays, cancellations and lost luggage. All  of our readers, get 5% off Heymondo travel insurance! Other travel insurance companies worth checking out are World Nomads, Safety Wing and Travelex.

I’m not an expert and what works for our family might not work for yours. That’s why I recommend that you check out all of the above and pick the one that’s the best fit for your family.

Planning a family road trip to Thailand

Getting a road trip right takes some serious planning. It starts months before the trip, choosing the destination, planning the route, arranging visa and renewing passports or ID’s. And don’t forget renting a car or camper and/or buying flight tickets.

Our family road tripped through Thailand for 2 weeks. Check out our itinerary if you’re planning your own family road trip to Thailand

Planning a family road trip can get pretty overwhelming. But don’t worry, I’ve got you covered with my eBook! I’ll be holding your hand every step of the way. Just to make sure your family road trip through Thailand will go smoothly.

Read more >> Ultimate Thailand Family Road Trip Guide

Get my FREE ebook >> The Ultimate Beginners Guide: Planning a Family Road Trip

This is the end of the ultimate Thailand with kids travel guide. I hope it was helpful. If you have any questions regarding a Thailand family trip, check out my other posts or shoot me a question in the comments.

About me Sas Crossing Countries

Hi, I’m Saskia!

I travel the world with my family of 4 and write about our adventures.

Sas Crossing Countries is a family travel blog. It’s created to inspire other parents to travel the world with their kids. Gift your kids the world! It’s the most valuable present you can give them.

With all the experience I have as a traveling parent I’ve got lots of tools and tips for you. So on this site you’ll not only find family travel blog posts, you can also download FREE pocket guides, travel checklists and eBooks from my resources page.

All that I share can be used to plan your own ultimate family road trip!

above a couch you see 4 illustrated poster maps of different countries in the colors brown, blue, green and white. This picture leads to the shop page where you can buy illustrated poster mapsbanner image with the text get access to my free ebook with all the tools and tips you need to plan out and enjoy your ultimate family road trip. The title of the book is also shown and is The Ultimate Beginners Guide: Planning a Family Road Trip. A mock up is shown of a laptop, tablet and phone showing the cover of the ebook and 3 small images giving a sneak peak of 3 pages inside the book.5% discount link Heymondo Travel InsuranceVisit our travel shop!Download my FREE printable packing listsBuy your 3D wooden world map @ Enjoy The Wood with 10% discount code SASCROSSINGCOUNTRIESUPBecome a member of my private family travel Facebook groupLink to shop The Adventure BookRent a car via Discover CarsGet my free downloadable family travel pocket guidesGet an eSim from AiroloA picture of blogger Saskia is accompanied by a picture of a coffee cup with a lid on it. The text invites people to buy the blogger a cup of coffee to support her work so she can continue to offer free family travel resources. Clicking on this image leads to a page where you can support by paying an amount of your choice in support of Sas Crossing Countries.Download my FREE printable bucket lists

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About me Sas Crossing Countries

Hi, I’m Saskia!

I travel the world with my family of 4 and write about our adventures.

Sas Crossing Countries is a family travel blog. It’s created to inspire other parents to travel the world with their kids. Gift your kids the world! It’s the most valuable present you can give them.

With all the experience I have as a traveling parent I’ve got lots of tools and tips for you. So on this site you’ll not only find family travel blog posts, you can also download FREE pocket guides, travel checklists and eBooks from my resources page.

All that I share can be used to plan your own ultimate family road trip!

above a couch you see 4 illustrated poster maps of different countries in the colors brown, blue, green and white. This picture leads to the shop page where you can buy illustrated poster mapsbanner image with the text get access to my free ebook with all the tools and tips you need to plan out and enjoy your ultimate family road trip. The title of the book is also shown and is The Ultimate Beginners Guide: Planning a Family Road Trip. A mock up is shown of a laptop, tablet and phone showing the cover of the ebook and 3 small images giving a sneak peak of 3 pages inside the book.5% discount link Heymondo Travel InsuranceVisit our travel shop!Download my FREE printable packing listsBuy your 3D wooden world map @ Enjoy The Wood with 10% discount code SASCROSSINGCOUNTRIESUPBecome a member of my private family travel Facebook groupLink to shop The Adventure BookRent a car via Discover CarsGet my free downloadable family travel pocket guidesGet an eSim from AiroloA picture of blogger Saskia is accompanied by a picture of a coffee cup with a lid on it. The text invites people to buy the blogger a cup of coffee to support her work so she can continue to offer free family travel resources. Clicking on this image leads to a page where you can support by paying an amount of your choice in support of Sas Crossing Countries.Download my FREE printable bucket lists