Don’t Over Pack
When heading overseas with kids, it’s tempting to bring along errrrything, just in case. But considering airline baggage restrictions and the agonising hassle of actually having to lug all that stuff with you, it’s better to travel light. All major tourist hubs in Southeast Asia offer great shopping and you can find most anything you need at great prices. If you’re staying in one of our villas, you can rent all the children’s equipment on site, including high chairs, baby cots, pool fences, baby monitors and more.
Do Slather on the Sunscreen
The tropical sun can really play a number on your skin. This is especially true for children. When travelling in Southeast Asia with kids, always apply sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher 30 minutes before heading out in the sun. Reapply sunscreen throughout the day, even if the bottle says “waterproof” or “water resistant.” If your child is under 6 months old, check that the sunscreen is suitable for babies. It’s a good idea to bring high SPF sunscreen with you, as it’s usually quite expensive in Southeast Asia.
In addition to applying your kids with sunscreen, stay in the shade during the hottest midday hours and cover up whenever possible. It’s also good to cover your child’s head with a sunhat rather than a baseball cap, as it doesn’t protect the neck and ears. Kids should wear sunglasses with a high UVA and UVB protection.
Don’t Bring the Stroller
Though it might seem like a good option for sightseeing tours, strollers are generally very impractical in Southeast Asia. The sidewalks (when there are any) are routinely dotted with gaping potholes. Pushing a stroller through these obstacles in +35-degree heat is no fun. Instead, consider packing a high-quality baby carrier.
Do Book Child-Friendly Accommodation
When travelling in Southeast Asia with kids, staying in a private holiday rental is a great option. Booking a villa gives you access to a private kitchen, plenty of space, staff ranging from housekeepers to nannies and more. But one size does not fit all. When browsing through holiday rentals, there are a number of safety hazards that might go unmentioned. The villa might have a floating staircase, open fish ponds, bedrooms located at the opposite ends of the property…
Ministry of Villas offers a selection of family-friendly villas in Bali, Phuket, Koh Samui and beyond. If you have any specific concerns – maybe you’re looking for a villa with connecting bedrooms or accommodation with a kid-friendly pool or an in-house chef – you can contact our team and we will look up suitable options for you. We do this at no additional cost to you, saving you the trouble of sifting through countless listings and agents.
Don’t be Surprised by All the Attention
In places like Bali and Thailand, people are generally very loving towards children. Don’t be surprised if you’re kids are showered with compliments and there’s a constant stream of general oohing and aahing. In some cultures, it’s considered totally normal to pinch children’s cheeks or snap photos of children without asking permission. Waiters in Thailand and Bali have been known to grab children from their parents simply to coo over the baby with their coworkers. All of this is completely well intended and part of the local culture. As a parent, it’s good to mentally prepare for this – and maybe talk it over with your kids before travelling.
Do Consider Getting Vaccinations
Nothing disrupts a holiday quite like getting sick while abroad. Before travelling to Southeast Asia with kids, it’s a good idea to talk possible vaccinations and other health concerns over with your doctor. One important thing to consider is the rabies outbreak in Bali, with monkey bites and scratches accounting for 50% of Australians exposed to rabies in Bali. This might put an uncomfortable spin on a family visit to the famous Monkey Forest in Ubud.
Talking things over with a healthcare professional and getting the necessary vaccinations beforehand will give you peace of mind when travelling in Southeast Asia with kids. Remember to start planning for the vaccinations early, as some vaccines require multiple shots.
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
It’s always good to have travel insurance and especially if you’re travelling with children. Again, it’s about having peace of mind. Obviously, travel insurance will help you out if someone falls ill during your travels. But it’s also important to have coverage should your trip get cancelled or delayed. If you’re covered for cancellations, your holiday savings don’t vanish into the wind should the unexpected happen. In this case, you can simply take a rain check and plan to explore Southeast Asia with kids at a later date.
Do Encourage Kids to Try New Things
One of the best things about travelling in Southeast Asia with kids is getting to experience a new culture as a family. When you’re eating out at a restaurant, don’t automatically opt for the kids’ menu, but encourage kids to try some local food as well. There are great theme and water parks across Southeast Asia, but try to squeeze in some local experiences as well. Visit a temple or take an evening stroll through a local bazar. Experiencing different cultures at a young age is extremely valuable, so try to make the most of your time abroad.
Don’t Forget to Have Fun
If you’re travelling to Southeast Asia with kids for the first time, it’s easy to get so wrapped in all the planning that you might forget that this is in fact meant to be a holiday. You know, that time when you’re supposed to relax and enjoy yourself! By all means, take all the necessary precautions and make sure both you and the kids will travel safe and sound. But it’s equally important to enjoy the sand and sun and relish this precious time spent with your family. You know what they say – the days are long, but the years are short.