I’ve been getting a few emails asking about how it was to travel with kids, and if I could write about the experience. The thing is I can’t really write a review about Thailand or Phuket since we spent most of our time at the hotel. Our vacation was probably not like the usual trip with children to Thailand, but of course I can tell you about our personal experience!
When we travel the actual travelling part is really important, we want it to run smooth. To travel with children is stressful enough so it’s extra important that the travel conditions are as good as possible, otherwise we can just skip going away. When booking the flight our main priority was the time. The flight to Thailand departed at 20:30 (11 hours at night time) and the flight home took off at 10:55 which gave us time to check out from the hotel without rushing. Although we did have a layover in Bangkok it all ran smooth. When we arrived in Stockholm at 19:00 Swedish time it was 01:00 Thai time and the kids had been sleeping half of the journey.
My best tip is to choose flight times with care. If you can afford better seats, get it. We flew Economy Premium to Thailand and Business Class home. Since we started looking early we got a great campaign offer on the price.
The time difference between Thailand and Sweden was never an issue for our kids. Once there everyone was night owls. The first night we went to bed at midnight and woke up at 11 am and had to run to the breakfast buffé. I think it’s better to be energetic at night than feeling like you’re tired and behind the time. Back in Sweden it turned to the opposite and we got tired early in the afternoon. Although it’s easier to stay awake when it’s bright outside, getting up early in the morning isn’t that bad. We all agree on that it’s much worse to travel West. Going to USA for example gives a much heavier jetlag. We would love to go to Mexico next year, but the fact that we could take a night flight to Thailand was so nice.
Since we spent most of our time at the hotel we didn’t see that much of Thailand itself. To some people this may sound boring but it’s easier when the kids have to stay in the shade. I’m not really that adventurous of a person either. Our hotel room was on the ground floor, and a two minute walk away from the restaurant and pool (you can see the room behind Odd in the picture). The hotel was children friendly with a kid’s pool, lots of toys, trampolines, play areas, etc. There was plenty of things to do. The staff was amazing and the focus was to give Gillis and Sally a good time.
The only negative part was that all the nicer restaurants at the hotel were for adults only. Most of the guests left their kids with the nanny at night but we chickened out. That gave us the option of three different restaurants which all had kid’s menus and crayons to play with.
We brought two strollers to Thailand: Maclaren Techno XT amd Yo Yo+ that you can fold to the size of a handbag (see picture above). Gillis likes to walk but we still wanted to bring two strollers in case we want them to nap, which they did a couple of times. What I like about the Yo Yo+ is that you can bring it all the way through to the gate. Since Sally’s not a big fan of being carried a long period of time this was great. Sure, there are strollers on Arlanda but that seems to be a Swedish thing. Although we were actually allowed to bring the strollers to the gate everywhere this time. I don’t know if they’re changing the rules or if it’s a Premium thing?
The Yo Yo+ is lovely to push, and we were almost fighting about it. On the other hand, I have to say Maclaren is better when you wanna bring beach bags, bathing rings, towels, etc. I guess you’re “not supposed to” use the handles for this purpose, but who doesn’t? Maclaren has bigger wheels as well so it’s easier to push where the roads were bad. Where the Maclaren rolled over stocks and stones, we had to carry the Yo Yo+. It’s also possible to fold the Maclaren with one hand while having Sally on the hip, but to fold the Yo Yo+ that didn’t work.
Anyway, I could go on and on about this. To sum up: We took a cab to Arlanda, slept on the plane, got picked up and had a five minute drive to the hotel. An easier journey would be hard to find. We will definitely go back!