Travel tips to Asia with kids from A to Z
If you’re not properly prepared then travelling with toddlers can be stressful for the whole family, we’ve shared some travel tips to Asia with kids below to make the trip more enjoyable.
Here, we have spoken with experienced travellers and asked them to share their secrets for flying with young kids. Flying isn’t the most pleasant experience, with cramped airplane seats, and busy waiting areas with long delays a regular occurrence — and add an active toddler(s) into the mix and all the frustrations increase exponentially.
Some young children are fantastic travellers, but some simply don’t have the patience for airports or airport security lines. They are asked to sit quietly for hours on end and can get scared with some pain of ear-popping changes in air pressure.
Thankfully though, after you have read this article, you can enjoy a worry-free travel day with the correct preparation and planning. Whether you’re jetting off to your relative’s house in Europe, Japan or Vietnam, check out these stress-reducing strategies for travelling with toddlers.
Plan A Trip Ahead
- Choose travel dates
You will need to plan your trip around your children’s school holidays if they are of school age. The weather can affect you a lot on your trip. Research the weather patterns of your destination and choose a time when the weather is mild and pleasant, an average temperature of around 18 – 28 degrees Celsius would be perfect. Some destinations can be very crowded during peak travel seasons, consider travelling during off-peak seasons when crowds are less and prices may be lower.
Consider your family’s preferences when choosing travel dates. For example, if your family prefer to avoid large crowds or hot weather, plan your trip in spring or autumn and check the national public holiday at the destination to avoid the crowd. Be sure to plan and research your destination thoroughly to ensure that you choose the right travel dates for your family.
- Choose a destination that is kid-friendly
A kid-friendly destination offers a variety of activities that cater to children of all ages interests and needs. They usually have playgrounds and theme parks, to museums and outdoor activities and often with babysitting child care options too, with plenty of options for families to stay and eat.
Some popular beach destinations in Asia that offer activities like a swimming pool for families include places like Phuket, Phi Phi, Koh Samui, Nha Trang, Phu Quoc, Danang, Hoian etc. Theme parks offer a wide range of rides and attractions that cater to children of all ages (including the adults :)).
Some of the most popular theme parks in Asia are Disneyland and Disney Sea in Tokyo, Japan, Universal Studios Japan, located in Osaka, and in Vietnam you can choose between Vinpearl Land in Nha Trang or Vinwonders in Phu Quoc…Many cities offer a range of family-friendly attractions such as museums, zoos, and amusement parks. For families who love outdoor activities and nature Sapa or Pu Luong in Vietnam and Bali in Indonesia are great destinations.
- Make an itinerary and get the trip booked well in advance
Planning is the most important when travelling with kids. Book accommodations and transportation, tours well in advance, and research the activities and attractions available in your destination.
Choose transportation that is comfortable and safe for your child. If flying, book direct flights to minimise travel time and avoid layovers.
Research and book accommodations that are kid-friendly and offer amenities such as a pool or playground. Consider booking accommodations that offer family-friendly rooms or suites.
Research the activities and attractions available in your destination that are appropriate for your children’s age and interests. Make a list of the activities you want to do and plan out a schedule.
Involve your kids in the planning process. Let them choose a few activities or attractions that they want to visit.
Allow for some downtime to rest and recharge. Plan some low-key activities such as a visit to a park or a picnic or just relax at the hotel/ resort’s pool/ private beach.
Leave yourself plenty of time on departure day.
You’ll probably find you won’t have time to do research at your destination and plan your trip then book all services needed, so have a thought-out itinerary and let the travel agency do everything for you, they know where and when is the best for your family, everything will be organised by them.
Tips to pack for kids
Do not overpack! Pack Smart, Pack light and bring the essentials only. Bring snacks, water, diapers, wipes, a change of clothes, and any medications your child needs. Pack toys, books, and games to keep your child entertained during the journey. Most of the things are cheaper in Asia apart from imported things like formula.
Planes can get chilly and some airlines charge you to hire a blanket so pack a light blanket for you and your children to make it as comfortable as possible.
When booking a child fare, you are automatically given an extra baggage allowance on top of your luggage. So don’t be afraid to take along prams, only your destination is prams-friendly.
Bring toys, and books to keep your child entertained during the journey, their favourite toy is important, and familiarity can be comforting, especially when their environment is changing… Consider downloading games and movies onto a tablet or smartphone, maybe even some they haven’t seen before. Set limits on electronic devices e.g. switched off on touchdown. As well as some new forms of entertainment they haven’t seen before.
Pack their favourite snacks and drinks for the journey. Bring your reusable drink bottle, as liquids can be emptied while going through security.
Pack a spare pair of clothes in your carry-on, for at least the kids.
Give kids a camera… if they are old enough. This will help them focus on the small things, like the beauty in the landscape & amazing features in the architecture. When you get home they can put together their very own travel album that they’ll have for years to come.
Basic medicines e.g. kids Panadol, Band-Aids, Imodium, Aspirin, allergy medication.
Tips to fly with kids
Flying with kids can be a stressful and overwhelming experience, but with some preparation, it can also be a fun and exciting adventure. Here are some tips to help you fly with kids:
Pack light and bring only the essentials. Bring snacks, water, diapers, wipes, a change of clothes, and any medications your child needs. Pack toys, books, and games to keep your child entertained during the flight.
Get your Travel Agent to pre-book seating and if eligible a bassinet seat which is usually fixed to the airplane bulkhead wall. These are subject to availability and require pre-booking. Some airlines require you to go early and book a bassinet when you check in. Book your flights early and consider booking direct flights or flights with longer layovers to give your kids a chance to stretch their legs.
Flight time for kids is very important, if you can take a nighttime long flight, it would be the best because your children can sleep better on the plane and you do not have to worry about entertaining them.
Discuss with your kids about what to expect when flying. Explain security procedures, boarding, and in-flight rules. Show them pictures or videos of airplanes to get them excited about the trip.
Consider bringing a stroller/ pram or leaving it as baggage when you check in, it depends on the airport condition if it’s a stroller-friendly airport. We recommend a baby carrier or a light travel stroller that you can fold and carry. Usually, your family will be prioritised but still better to check in early.
Your family will take 3 or 4 seats which are a window seat and an aisle seat so it’s perfect for your child can admire the view over the plane window or have easy access to the toilet.
Bring activities and toys to keep your child entertained during the flight. Consider bringing a tablet or other electronic device with games and movies for longer flights.
Dress your child in comfortable clothes and bring a blanket or pillow for them to sleep on. To assist with sore ears, for babies and toddlers sucking on something like a bottle or breastfeeding can help with ear-popping and for older kids maybe a cheeky lollipop.
Try to maintain your child’s routine as much as possible. Stick to their regular sleep and meal schedules as much as possible. Once your children are not sleepy, hungry or tired, they will be good.
During the trip
Travelling with kids can be stressful, but stay calm and patient, if you are calm, your child is more likely to remain calm as well… these rascals are switched on to our emotions too!
Travelling with kids is a great opportunity to teach them about different cultures, languages, and customs, can be a lot of fun, and it’s a great opportunity to create lasting memories. Encourage them to try new foods and learn about the history and traditions of the places you visit.
Take lots of photos and videos to capture your family’s travel memories. Involve your children in taking photos and creating a travel journal to document your trip.
If you need some time to yourselves, consider hiring a babysitter or using a kids’ club at your destination.
Remember that travelling with kids may require some adjustments to your itinerary and expectations. Be flexible and open to changes, and allow for some downtime to recharge.
Written and Shared by Youin Travel Team
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