The Safest Way to Travel to Thailand, with Your Little Baby
My girlfriend wants to go to Thailand for our next family holiday, so I set out to figure out where to go, and what we need to know before visiting.
First off, Is it safe to travel to Thailand with a baby? The crime and safety-statistics of Thailand are not pretty, and the country has a great deal of adult entertainment. But, both the economy in Thailand and small business thrive of tourists, and if you research the right family-friendly locations you and your family should be safe.
I've just completed a post about Dubai, and if you compare the safety and crime in Dubai to Phuket, the numbers look quite scary, but luckily the stories and blogs online, tells a much better story.
Is it safe to travel to Thailand with a baby?
sJust to start you off, and guide you the right way, I have to tell you at first, as of yet, I have not been to Thailand myself so, I am writing this, as a summary of everything I can gather online.
This is basically the internet of information, summarized in a way that makes sense for me, I learn from it, to prepare myself for when we are going to Thailand, which I expect would be in a very near future.
Looking at the numbers, Thailand does not get off to a great start in safety and crime statistics, but I trust that these numbers paint a picture different, that what it feels like, as a tourist in the real world.
Comparing the statistics of Dubai, UAE and Phuket, Thailand.
|Level of crime||Very Low||High|
|Home broken and things stolen||Very Low||High|
|Mugged or robbed||Very Low||High|
|Using or dealing drugs||Very Low||High|
|Physical attack, due to skin color or religion||Very Low||Low|
|Violent crimes||Very Low||High|
|Corruption and bribery||Very Low||Very High|
Blogs and TripAdvisor tells a different story
I think the main reason why my girlfriend loves the idea of going to Thailand in the first place, is because of one or many bloggers she might be following.
Thailand's picturesque beauty seems to attract bloggers and travel-inspirational websites. I have a hard time finding articles about, traveling to Thailand with a baby would be a horrible idea, but in forums and online I found some Pros and Cons
Cons, the negatives
- Make sure that your baby is old enough to get vaccines. Please inform your own doctor before going to Thailand so they can inform you of the risks you might encounter.
- Activities, backpacking, and other adventures are reducing to near zero unless you go alone in shifts and leave the family at home.
- 15 - 30 hours of travel time, depending on where in the world you travel from, will be a hassle and hard for both the baby and you.
- You need to get a direct flight, first class hotels, and most likely a private driver if so you can take great care of your baby.
Pros, the positives
- It will never get any easier to travel with your kid, than it is now, the older they get, the more they require of you.
- It is dirt cheap to stay in Thailand, and you will most likely cherish the time and remember it for the rest of your life.
- Babies usually travel very well and waiting until their at 1-3 years old, could make it much more difficult for you to go.
- They are more likely to get used to travel, and it is cheap to take them along. They are more likely to adapt and grow to become great travelers.
A great link to read about a real experience traveling with a small baby, and how they went to the hospital once, but everything went fine. http://nappy-nomad.com/thailan...
If you do not like people holding your kid, don't go
One common thing I read in almost every blog post, see in every youtube video and read about in TripAdvisor and other forums, is that the locals will love and adore your kid.
Everyone wants to hold your baby, and they even pass the baby around. Take this a sign of love. We tried this in Bulgaria with our son, when he was younger, he even has big blond curls, which just makes him stand out even more when traveling.
Go for a hotel vacation with a small baby
According to forums, TripAdvisor and this blog, https://worldtravelfamily.com/..., with a family who've been to Thailand more than 20 times, going to Thailand with a baby, would be more of a hotel vacation.
Traffic is quite different, and according to them, you will most likely not be able to find a car seat.
The blog also mentions that, a baby old enough to crawl around and put stuff in its mouth, should worry you, because you don't know what they'll end up eating, but this is something that you worry about every day as a parent to a kid that age, I guess there might be other stuff, and insects around the floor in Thailand than in Denmark maybe.
My conclusion is this
I think that we should either go before my daughter stops breastfeeding and maybe even before she starts crawling around - or we should wait, until she is 3,5 to 4 years old. If it is just a hotel-room vacation, there are many places much closer to us, with far less travel-time.
But, because my girlfriend and I, are talking about taking 2-4 weeks of vacation, then Thailand would be very high on the list, because of the costs of living.
Comparing to cypress, which I would also consider a month of rent should be about the same, but dinners, drinks and just buying stuff, should be maybe one-third of the price.
If that is the case, and we go for the cost of living, then it is fair to remember that Phuket, is one of the most expensive places to live in Thailand.
7 Tips for traveling with a baby in Thailand
I've summarized a bunch of tips from bloggers, forums and other travel-related websites on how to travel safely to Thailand with a baby. If you follow these steps and also apply your own logic and good sense, then it should be somewhat safer to travel, to Thailand with a baby.
#1 Go for the shortest and easiest transport time
This is the one advice, that seems to be the top-of-mind for all bloggers and travel websites. This is not only for traveling to Thailand with a baby but just for traveling with kids.
The general advice is, that you should not save anything on getting there, and getting home again. This means that you should go for the shortest and most direct flight routes. Make sure that you land near the hotel location, and you might want to hire a private business class driver to get there.
Traveling is tiresome for the parents, and especially for kids and babies. If you don't travel a lot, you should expect the travel-days to burn you out, you need to stay alert and focus on every little detail all the time.
Make sure, the first day or two after getting to the hotel, are just for relaxing and for settling down, and make sure, that you don't have to go to work, the very next day after returning home again.
#2 Stay close to private hospitals, just in case
As previously mentioned, about the story a blogger wrote, they needed to go to the hospital with a sick baby. They did not like the public hospital and did not feel safe, so go to a private one, and make sure to research where they are, just in case.
You should not expect to go to the hospital, but you should be aware of where they are, and how to get there quick if anything happens.
I remember when I was a travel guide, we always showed the guests, the local hospital that we recommended using, and how to get there. But they only got that info, if they showed up to the intro information meetup we provided.
If you are traveling to Thailand, with an agency, they might be able to provide you with some information about recommended hospitals, taxi-services and so on. These are valuable information to know.
#3 Stay at one location a little longer
If you want to move around and see many different locations, then make sure you don't move every day, maybe stay the same place at least a couple of days at a time.
You will not be able to find car seats for kids or babies, and traffic in Thailand might be the most dangerous thing you will encounter, so if you travel with a baby, then you might want to keep moving around at a minimum
#4 Stay hydrated and always bring water
Ask your own doctor about hydration if the baby still breastfeeds, the warm weather requires you to drink a lot of water. It might be natural to you, but your kids, and especially babies, can not tell you if they are dehydrated.
I don't really know if you can keep the baby hydrated by breastfeeding, and I would not trust the information I find online. So please just go visit the doctor first.
If your baby is old enough to drink water, then pack along loads of clean water so you and your baby can stay hydrated. They do not drink as much at a time as you do, so you have to remember to give the water, all the time.
#5 Make sure you have everything for your baby
You cannot be 100% certain, that stores will keep everything you need for your kid, but you should be able to find all basic western needs in supermarkets and in 7/11-stores.
But for traveling to Thailand, and for traveling back home again, make sure you have everything on the hand, so you don't have to rely on stores and stops on the way.
This also applies, if you have scheduled any activity during the day. Don't rely on supermarket-breaks or shopping-possibilities, instead, you should make sure that you always carry everything you need for your baby.
#6 Remember to cool off now and then
Both you and your baby could use some cool temperatures now and then, so you should take advantage of air-conditioned stores, 7-11 stores should be everywhere and easy to find. When traveling with your baby to Thailand and other countries, it is smart to take some breaks from the heat.
If you are considering a hotel room without air condition, then think twice, it will be good for both you and the baby to be able to cool off. Don't overdo the aircon at night, but you can keep it running through the day, and maybe on low during the night.
If I think about it, we would use some A/C hotel-room breaks to change diapers and for my girlfriend to breastfeed. Both I and my girlfriend likes breaks from the heavy heat, now and then.
#7 Go to the doctor before traveling
Go to your own doctor before traveling to Thailand with a baby, make sure to ask about vaccinations, safety, and if there is anything you need to know when traveling to hot countries.
They might get these questions a lot, and have some authoritative information, that you just won't find in your online research.
You will find many more tips online for traveling with babies, try googling some general tips for traveling to hot countries