Traveling with kids can be an enjoyable experience and does not need to be the hassle that many parents anticipate when planning a family holiday. Admittedly, there are differences to traveling with kids that traveling alone or as a couple you will not have to face, but overall, the experience is one of enjoyment and enlightenment that can make those trips abroad even more special than in the days before kids.
One of the key factors to traveling with kids is to pay a lot of attention to their needs; kids get tired quickly, and there is nothing worse than overtired and cranky children. The trick is to plan each step with the age of the kids in mind, and find a balance between activities and rest times.
Family holidays in Asia
Many people ask if Asia is a good place to take kids. Simply put, the best answer is yes. Asian countries are very family-oriented, and the family unit is all-important. And in that respect, many places across Indochina cater for families with kids, and have food and facilities that are suited to every age group.
Kids are naturally curious, and the difference of Asian countries opens up their eyes to the cultural and ethnic differences in whatever region of Asia you are traveling. And one of the best ways for a child to learn about a country is to visit and experience it. However, traveling anywhere in Asia with kids is a challenge. Whether it is the heat, the long journeys, insects, or upset stomachs from a little too much unusual food, so you need to plan the trip carefully, taking into account the countries you will visit, and the foods they may eat.
Why take kids to Indochina?
Indochina is a region of Asia in the continental portion of what is now known as Southeast Asia, and is a great place to take kids when taking an Indochina tour. Filled with different people and cultures, the region known as Indochina is a revelation for kids and adults alike, and for a first trip to Asia, it can help to introduce the different Asian cultures in a softer and more relaxed way.
Far from the hectic routines of many foreign holidays for western families, which often include long drives and crowds of people all crammed into the local tourist attractions. Indochina has attractions that are so big they can easily hold thousands of people at a time and many of the attractions are interactive, meaning that the kids can get out and touch them.
Indochina is also a place where time has little meaning. Asian countries are typically more laid-back than the western countries, and can be seen at a slower pace, giving both parents and kids a more enjoyable and relaxed time.
What age is best for touring Indochina with kids?
Ideally, you can tour Indochina with kids of any age, and there are plenty of facilities that cater for parents with babies and toddlers. To get the best out of any tour with kids, however, they really should be old enough to be able to enjoy it as much as you do. Traveling with a baby can be more stressful, and your itinerary needs to allow for their nap and feeding times, which can be a little hard to plan with small children. Small babies also require a lot of luggage in terms of diapers, toys, formula, carrier, stroller, etc., so it makes it harder to travel to some of the places in Indochina carrying so many things. as kids get older, they need less accoutrements, and can travel more easily with less luggage.
From around four or five years old is the best time to start taking kids to Indochina, as this is the start of the age of discovery with kids, and they will be amazed at the sights and sounds of Asia. kids this age can walk and run, and there is very little need to carry them, although keeping an eyed on where they go and what they do is still important. Plus, as they are already toilet-trained by this age, it makes things a lot easier in terms of needing diapers and carry a portable toilet with you everywhere.
It is also a joy to watch their faces as they discover new things and experiences. Kids can be a lot of fun to travel with, and they are easier to entertain if they get bored with the endless museums and archaeological sites. An iPad or smartphone with some downloaded games can keep them entertained for hours on long journeys.
As children get older, they become more interested in the world around them, and a trip to some of the countries in Indochina is a great way to educate them on what life is like in other countries, especially the developing third-world countries in Asia. It allows them to see and experience a different way of life, and gives them a better insight into the different cultures and beliefs of other nations.
Important facts on touring with kids
There are many things to remember when traveling with kids, not least of which is to make sure you plan out the trip carefully, taking into account the journey times and rest stops that will be needed with smaller children, as well as how much luggage you are going to need to carry with you. Traveling light is no longer an option with smaller children, and making sure you have pre-booked accommodation is really important. Much of the spontaneity of pre-child travel goes once you travel with kids.
Another important factor is the climate. If you are traveling from a temperate climate to Indochina, where it is often a lot hotter and more humid than at home, you need to take this into account, and make sure they have the appropriate clothes and hats for the trip. heat can be a burden for kids, and struggling along in the wrong clothes can be hard for them.
Insects are another factor to think about, especially mosquitoes. The softer skin of kids is more prone to being bitten by these little insects, so make sure you have a decent insect repellant cream or spray to rub onto their exposed areas to keep the bugs at bay. And clean hands are a must when traveling in hot climates, especially with kids who have a tendency to put their fingers in their mouths. Take some wet wipes with you to clean hands and faces when needed, and it can help to avoid any nasty stomach bugs that they might pick up.
Fill your iPad or smartphone with apps and carry some games that can keep them happy during long trips or boring parts of the tour. Kids are notoriously impatient, and being bored on a long trip is the worst thing for a child. It is also a good idea to get rid of the hire car sometimes and use public transport. Kids love to travel on trains and buses, and it can be a great experience to see the way ordinary people travel in other countries.
If the child is older, or into their teenage years, get their input on where to go and what to see, as involving them in the planning stages of the trip is going to mean they will enjoy it more than just being dragged around where you want to go. a sulky teenager is not the best companion for a tour of Indochina.
Southeast Asia tour is filled with amazing sights that will amaze and inspire your kids, and many of them are child-friendly enough to allow the kids to get up-close and personal with the attractions.
One of the best places to let the kids interact with the sights is at Angkor in northern Cambodia. The temples are there to be discovered, and it is allowed for kids to run in and out of the ancient buildings and scramble over the stonework to explore it better. It allows them to explore and discover the ancient secrets of this lost empire in a way they will love, and the huge tree roots and encroaching jungle makes them feel like little explorers in an undiscovered world. And a game of hide-and-seek in and around the temples is great fun for both kids and parents.
Siem Reap is also a great place to travel with kids, and is one of the most pleasant and exciting towns in Asia. The evening is the perfect time to see the town come alive, with night markets and street food stalls that will give the kids something amazing to see and eat. And the amazing Phare Children’s Circus is an exciting show of acrobatics and drama.
The beaches of Sihanoukville are a kid’s playground, and every child, and child-at-heart, loves to spend some time on a beach and in the sea. The beautiful sandy beaches are a pleasant change from the temples and busy towns, and the kids can enjoy swimming, snorkeling, and can even get into a game of soccer with the locals along the beach.
If you are touring anywhere with kids, Vietnam is definitely a place to visit. there are numerous activity adventures that you can take them on, from kayaking and biking to camping out with local tribes in hillside villages.
Many of the tribal villages in northern Vietnam have homestay lodges, where you can live with a local family and learn more about their rural way of life. You can also experience the hands-on aspects of rice planting or learning how to create traditional lacquer from a local expert. And you can continue the hillside adventure with some light trekking through the spectacular rolling hills of Sapa in northern Vietnam.
If you want to let them experience a little sobering history, just outside Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) is the intriguing site of the Chu Chi Tunnels, where fighters from South Vietnam lived for years in underground tunnels during the Vietnam War. An educational experience of the hardships of war, they can see how the people set up stores and even hospitals underground.
If your kids love adventure travel, then a trip to Halong Bay is a must. They can enjoy kayaking through the stunning landscapes and karst cliffs in the bay or go cycling along the length of the bay to discover the best of Halong Bay’s beaches. The waters of the bay are very calm, and are great for adventurous kids. And there are many traditional Vietnamese wooden junks in the bay that they can see and sometimes ride on.
Traveling to Myanmar is like traveling to an Asia that is decades in the past. One of the most untouched destinations in the world, kids can really feel like adventurers here, and explore this tranquil and picturesque country that is home to a gentle Buddhist people.
Yangon is a city like no other, and has the most amazing stupa in Asia, the Shwedagon Pagoda. Decorated with thousands of sheets of gold leaf, this stunning site will amaze you and your kids, and leave you breathless with awe. And the nearby puppet masters that can be found around the area offer lessons in the traditional art of puppet making for kids of all ages.
Another temple complex that kids can enjoy is the huge area of Bagan, where the ancient Pagan temples stretch as far as the eye can see. You can explore the thousands of temples with your kids, and enjoy the delights of discovering these beautiful and ancient structures, or take a balloon flight over the temple complex at sunrise, to see the amazing sight of the sun burning off the mist that covers the plain of temples below.
One of the most popular destinations in Asia for families is the stunning vista of Inle Lake. The heart of Myanmar, the lake is an exciting experience for kids, as they discover the floating villages and the colorful people of the hill tribes that inhabit te areas around the shore and out on the lake itself. Take a hike to some of the villages in the hills around the lake, or meet the locals while boating across the lake, propelled by the famous leg-rowers of Inle Lake. Kids will be astounded at the variety of sights and attractions of Inle Lake, including the famous Leaping Cat Monastery.