Traveling to Thailand with Three Kids Ages Five and Under

I would be lying if I didn't say I had horrible anxiety about taking our three small children across the globe to Thailand.  In my head there were so many unknown variables that were stressing me out.  What are the kids going to eat?  What if someone gets sick from the water?  How are we going to keep tabs on all three kids?  What if someone gets too much sun?  Will we feel safe walking around the city?  If you have kids, you could probably easily add to my list.  ;-)

I'll let you know right off the bat- the trip was AMAZING and the kids did great.  Thailand is probably one of the most child-friendly places we've ever traveled to.  We were so impressed with how accommodating everyone was with our kids.  They literally went out of their way to help us and love on our children and it made us feel so much more at ease throughout the trip.  We've traveled to some kid unfriendly places in the past and it is just horrible; walking into a Starbucks (in Austria) and feeling disapproving looks when they see your toddler sitting on the ground, I'm not kidding.  In Thailand, people waved, talked to, played with, even HELD our children, treating them like their nephew, niece, or grandchild.  It was so wonderful and I feel like the kids behaved even better because they were always given attention.  I really do think that most of the times our kids misbehave because they are being ignored; if we would just spend some time including them in our conversations and actives, they would most likely be so much better behaved.

We had no issues with the water, however, we were super conscious to drink and brush our teeth with only bottled water bottles and not eat fresh vegetables or fruits for the week.  We let the kids eat more packaged food than normal, and felt like that was okay, since it was just one week and better to eat packaged food than fresh food and get sick.  By the end of the trip we sort of relaxed a bit about it all- (like drinking a frozen mango drink with ice) but I'm pretty sure that since the Thai people can't drink the water either, they don't ever use faucet water for something we would ingest.

As far as my other questions- no one got sunburned and the areas we visited definitely made us feel safe.  We didn't explore much of Bangkok and we tried to avoid walking around after dark.  In Phuket, any travel we did outside of our hotel was with a tour, so that definitely made me feel more at ease.

Travel Guide to Thailand:


After 22+ hours of travel we arrived in Bangkok in the middle of the night.  Matt booked a hotel right at the airport so that we could just fall asleep.  We stayed at Novetel Bangkok Airport Hotel and it was perfect for our family to rest up after a long day of travel.

The next morning, ahem, afternoon... yep, we ALL totally slept until 3pm the next day (oops)... we switched to our next hotel, the one we were super excited about- The Peninsula Bangkok right in the city.  To say that The Peninsula Bangkok is amazing is an understatement; it was probably the nicest hotel that we've ever stayed in.  A gorgeous suite overlooking the river and city.  Dinner and breakfast buffet (on steroids) included in our rate, as well as a private boat shuttle that took us across the river to get to the opposite side of the city.  Thailand is known for having cheaper hotel options, but Matt ended up spending a similar amount of money as we would pay in other countries (around $400USD per night) so we got to live large in this beautiful hotel.  ;-)

I wish I could say we were able to get a good feel for Bangkok, but we honestly did not plan enough time to see everything there is to see.  We did, however, visit the King's Palace by taking a river taxi to get there, which was a great way to see a lot of the city and get to the Palace easily.


Phuket is a 1.5 hour flight from Bangkok and it's a must see in Thailand.  We were super excited to spend a few days on the beach and check James Bond Island and a Thai elephant sanctuary off our bucket list; not to mention, get some vitamin D, salt and sand.
We stayed at Le Meridien Beach Resort and it is the perfect spot for young families.  The hotel has a number of different pool areas (many sections where both our kids could play in the water and still touch the bottom) a kid zone with toys and activities during the day, free food for kids the entire week at all the restaurants (buffet breakfast included for everyone), and numerous pool activities led by the hotel's staff for guests to participate in throughout the day... water aerobics anyone? ;-)  

We especially appreciated the beach, which sat between two hills making it private for hotel guests.  Never once were we approached by someone trying to sell us something or beg for money while we were playing in the sand.  Also, big bonus- the water was WARM!  I'm not kidding- warm enough that I even went in it, which never happens normally!  Matt took his goggles out and saw numerous fish, crabs and even an eel right there in the ocean, and there were hardly any waves or undertow so we could worry less about the kids swimming in the water.

We booked two excursions through the resort.  I'm sure we could have booked without the resort as the middle man, but it was honestly just easier to go through them.  They were so helpful through the process, checking the weather to help us make our decision about when to go and helping us decide what would be best for our family.  The two excursions we chose were James Bond Island and the Phuket Elephant Sanctuary.

James Bond Island: This excursion was amazing!!  I was sooo nervous about how everything would pan out with our three kids, but I'm so glad we took the chance and did this!  We didn't know too much going into the excursion- besides the fact that we would be on a boat from about noon until dark (6pm).  I wasn't sure how all three kids would do and I was pretty nervous about the whole water aspect.  When we arrived, Christopher was sound asleep so we had him in the stroller and I held Charlie.  The tour company guides were sooo friendly and helpful with the kids- they helped us lift the stroller onto the boat and get our kids life-jacketed up.  When we arrived at our first destination- a beach afternoon on the island- and Christopher was still sleeping, the tour staff carried the stroller with Christopher
 in it and transferred him onto a little motor boat to bring it to the beach.  It was pretty crazy, I wore Charlie with my bjorn carrier on top of my life vest and Matt carried Dylan to transfer him from our big boat to the little boat.  Then, we had to jump out of the motorboat onto the shore in between each wave- while carrying the kids- and the staff carried Christopher in the stroller onto the beach.

Each of our stops ended up having some kind of smaller boat transfer that was crazy for us to transport our kids, but the staff was super helpful to get our kids in and out of the boats.  My favorite experience was when we got to these caves and rode with kayakers who led us around the islands.  Matt took Dylan (who really wanted to go with his dad) and I wore Charlie and carried Christopher onto my kayak.  Our kayak driver was so helpful and kind and I felt safe that no one was going to fall off the boat.  ;-)  James Bond Island was so cool to see.  We arrived in the evening and it was pretty much empty.  A local vendor insisted on holding Charlie and I was just amazed at how friendly everyone was there- we never get special treatment like that in the states.  We arrived back at the dock as the sun was setting and the glow on the islands we were passing was just breathtaking.  It was one of my favorite travel memories!!  The tour took us by van back to their main hub where we feasted on an amazing dinner buffet with the most delicious Thai dishes.
Elephant Sanctuary Tour: I'm sooooo happy Matt booked this excursion last minute the morning of our flight back to Bangkok.  We left early in the morning for the elephant sanctuary tour, which only lasts a half day, so you can choose to go in the morning or afternoon. 
We were able to feed the elephants right out of our hand, give the elephants a mud bath and wash them off in the little lake on the sanctuary.  We were able to learn a little bit about each elephant, but there wasn't too much talking where our kids were super bored, most of the tour was VERY hands on and interacting with these beautiful creatures.  If you are looking to interact with elephants, this is the tour for you, but please be careful that you don't choose anything that would exploit the elephants, like a show or riding on top of them.  I have to say that this experience stands out to me as being one of the coolest things we have done in all our travels and I think it's something our kids will remember too.


The day before we were flying home from Thailand (back in Bangkok) Matt wanted to see a little bit of Ayutthaya, the original capital of Thailand dating back to the 14th century.  It is known for a lot of ruins and Buddhist temples.  Since we were flying back home that evening we wouldn't have a place to store our luggage while sight seeing, unless we kept it at the hotel.  Instead, we decided to hire driver a driver for the day to take us around.  It cost about $80 and it was so convenient to not have to worry about public transportation.  The car was our "homebase" and we were able to store our luggage, stroller, sunscreen, snacks etc. in the car and not have to unload everything for each stop if we didn't need to.  Another bonus was having the driver make random stops along the way, like McDonalds, lol.  It was also  nice to have him show us where to buy tickets when we arrived someplace and wait for us in the parking lot while we visited each site.

A few places we visited in Ayutthaya were the popular Buddha head embedded in a Banyan tree, the floating markets and the Big Buddha- Wat Phra Mongkhon Bophit, a Buddhist temple.
Buddha Head Embedded in Banyan Tree- There are so many ruins around this area and it was super fun for the boys to run around and explore.  The Bhudda head was really interesting to see and it was definitely a popular spot to take pictures.  Make sure that you bring conservative clothes for this because women must cover their shoulders and knees.

The Floating Markets- I was really excited about the floating markets because we heard it was the best place for authentic Thai food, and a really unique experience.  When we first arrived, we took a boat ride around the market.  It was pretty touristy and they even had a show going on in the center of an island around the market.  We were under the impression that we would actually buy food right off the boat, but this was much more touristy and they just took you for a boat ride and then you walked along the boardwalk to buy your food.  Unfortunately, by the time we finished our short boat ride, shops were already closing up and we were so disappointed.  It must be more of a lunch thing because we arrived around 5pm assuming we'd eat dinner there.

Big Buddha- We felt like we needed to visit at least one Buddhist temple while in Thailand, so we went to Wat Phra Mongkhon Bophit.  We took off our shoes outside the temple and briefly walked around, saw the Big Buddha, which really is big, and then left.  We only spent a few minutes inside because it wasn't high on our list of things to do and with all three kids with us, we didn't want to chance any disruptive noises while other people were visiting for religious purposes.

I have to share our experience getting to the airport to go home because it is just too crazy.  Like I said, we were flying out that evening after a long day of travel around Ayutthaya.  It was a hot day and we were sticky and sweaty.  There was no way I was going to get on that plane for 22 hours of travel time.  Matt found a "pay by the hour" hotel that we could use to clean up before the big flight.  In theory it was the perfect solution.  However, once we arrived, we started realizing what the hotel was most likely used for, and why it was so inexpensive.  Nevertheless, we carried all three of our sleeping children (by this point it was after dark), let them sleep, took showers, showered each child while they were still sleeping, changed everyone into their travel clothes, and then called a cab to drive us to the airport.  We had to unload all three kids sound asleep out of the cab, load them on the stroller and all our luggage and head into the airport to check in.  Dylan woke up and was suuper cranky, but eventually shook out of it.  Actually, our saving grace was Matt and some extra coins that he was going to exchange back.  We bought the kids some toys at one of the shops in the airport and it literally made all of the difference in their attitudes about being woken up in the middle of the night.  Once we got on the plane, they were back asleep and did AMAZING for both of our flights home, 22 hours in total. 

Buffalo, NY to Thailand with three kids ages 5, 3, and 8 months?  YES!  It can be done and it was worth the long travel time and the extreme jet lag!  Would I do it again?  Most definitely!


  1. Wonderful article, Which you have shared here about the Thailand traveling. Your article is very interesting and I liked your way to express your views in this post. If anyone looking for the Thailand Transfers Service online, drivemeto is the best choice.


Post a Comment

Popular Posts