#AD this post is in conjunction with villa finder.
Honeymooning with children.
Your honeymoon should be time for you and your partner to relax together, but the big question arises, what do you do if you have children?
We are planning to celebrate our honeymoon by booking a lovely villa… for four. My partner and I will never just be husband-and-wife. We will always be parents first.
Most newlyweds may want to enjoy their first holiday alone with no responsibilities and a bucket load of gin. That said, honeymooning it isn’t what it was 40 years ago. With the rise in blended families or modern couples having children prior to marriage, there are good reasons to take children with you. While the lack of ‘alone time’ is a definite downside, after the wedding you may not have a lot of budget left for a family holiday in the next couple of years. Taking children, especially if they are young, often doesn’t add a huge amount to the total cost. You also don’t have the hassle of needing to organise childcare.
Traveling with children is a challenge, no matter where you are going.
Be realistic, you’re going to have to put their needs first before booking the destination. If your ideal break is two weeks on a beach, this is not likely to work well with kids, as they need entertainment, diversity and adventure. Let’s be honest, child wrangling can be exhausting, so we want to ensure travelling with them is as simple as possible. Make clever travel choices i.e. indirect flights may be cheaper but when travelling with tired children having no stopovers will be less hassle. Or, if it is in your budget, how about considering hiring your own jet with Jettly?
6 Thailand travel tips with children.
Thailand has always been a destination I would love to visit and there’s plenty to appeal to families, both on the beach and inland. Offering increasingly affordable, regular flights, with great weather, family orientated culture; and restaurants, tours and accommodation to suit all budgets it would be a perfect honeymoon choice.
With a few considerations, a family trip to Thailand can be safe and a lot of fun for everyone.
# Plan getting out and about.
Given Thailand’s climate you and your children will likely tire easily. We all know that over hot kids = grumpy kids. Plan to get out for activities early in the day as mornings are cooler, rather than midday where you should relax and rest.
Choose your transportation around Thailand carefully, and be willing to spend the money for the most safe and direct route. Some children might be nervous about the busy traffic and the confusion that arises from being in a new place. Consider giving older kids a role in travel planning: reading the map or planning the itinerary.
Thailand’s pavements are bumpy if they exist at all, so child-carrier backpacks are ideal for babies.
# Be sun safe.
Sunhats and waterproof suntan lotions are essential! Children are more likely to get dehydrated so always have bottled water and don’t drink tap water at your accommodation or restaurants. Bathe your children a couple of times a day to keep them comfortable in the humid climate. A mini sun tent for the beach is useful. Also, ensure you invest in a quality mosquito repellent and apply liberally!
# Avoid unfamiliar food.
Thailand is home to some of the world’s best cuisine, known for its spiciness, but young children unaccustomed to different flavours may also end up with sensitive stomachs. There are a lot of mild Thai dishes you can try but best avoid street vendors. Be careful about unwashed fruit, salads and dishes that have been left uncovered. Pack snacks, there are plenty of corner shops but avoid buying chocolate etc that will not last the heat. Regular handwashing should be encouraged.
# What about the everyday essentials?
Amenities for young children such as car seats, high-chairs in restaurants or nappy-changing facilities in public toilets are not guaranteed in Thailand. Be resourceful and take a travel changing mat and foldable fabric seat. Supplies like nappies are sold at pharmacies and supermarkets in big resorts though sizes are usually smaller. International brands of powdered milk are available, though you may want to bring your own if your child favours a specific brand or has allergies or other requirements.
# Travel clever.
Educate older kids. Our eight your old son will be more relaxed knowing a bit about the country and its culture in advance. Show pictures, talk about the weather, explain the need to keep away from animals, especially dogs as rabies is common. Small foreign children do attract attention from locals. Our daughter will love it, but a shy toddlers may not. Always ensure children or vaccinated for long haul and exotic destinations.
Where to stay #destinationguide
Of all the beach resorts the second largest Thai island Koh Samui is our family friendly choice with its white sand, open-air shorefront restaurants and fun day-tripping activities.
There is plenty to do in Thailand. Research places and activities best suited for children prior to arrival! Every beach on Samui is different, Lamai is very popular whilst Big Buddha is a quieter, long sweeping beach which at the northern end, Wat Phra Yai houses the Buddha statue, the island’s most popular tourist attraction. Bo Phut and Fisherman’s Village offer a great place to eat, shop, and if you are feeling brave, ride a jet ski. Like any seaside area watch for big waves, strong currents and jellyfish. If you are looking for things to do in Samui that involve a little less sand, then there are several water parks like Coco Splash offering high-quality rides and facilities. For active older children like my son there are also canopy adventures, go karting, golf. etc The marine National Park and Secret Buddha Garden are on our ‘to visit’ list.
Choose your accommodation carefully.
Some of the larger, international hotels have childcare facilities such as kids’ clubs and nanny services. Villas and beachside rentals offer flexibility and privacy, often having their own staff. Most have pools and are luxuries and stylish. The Villa Finder booking site started in 2012 and offers handpicked, quality inspected villa accommodation matched to family needs. They offer top destinations to more than 2000 villas in 12 countries.
To save time, the Villa Finder team can recommend the villas that meet your requirements and budget.
The easy to use website shows a map location, what is nearby, offers guest reviews and what each villa has to offer in terms of facilities. I like that what is included in the price and extra fees, i.e. if you want a private driver, are clearly listed so you are not caught out by hidden costs. The cheapest for four people and inclusive of breakfast is priced at £133 a night which given the space is fantastic and perfect for a family not to worry about their children disturbing other guests with Baby Shark.
What do you think of our idea of forgoing the traditional honeymoon for the ‘familymoon?’