Complete Guide for a Thailand Family Holiday on a Budget in 2020

Complete Guide for a Thailand Family Holiday on a Budget in 2020

Looking for a place for your next family trip? Thailand can be an ideal choice if you are planning for a family trip on a budget. Thailand is a country that has enough to offer each type of travelers. Last time I spent memorable family holidays in Thailand. From beautiful white sand beaches to stunning Buddhist temples, rich cultural heritage and cheap shopping markets, Thailand have plenty of things to entertain the whole family.   

Thailand family holidays are not a big deal if you follow this detail Thailand holiday blog. Thai people are very friendly and that’s why Thailand is also known as ‘Land of Smiles’. You can find numerous Thailand family accommodation at a different budget that helps to keep your Thailand travel budget in a limit. Thailand family resorts are also great value.

Street foods of Thailand are very popular not only among locals but also among foreign travelers. So while traveling in Thailand with family you have plenty of options to eat western food, Asian food or local Thai cuisine. Below, you will get our complete guide to Thailand Family holidays that includes everything you need to know before planning for your Thailand family vacation.

Best Time to Travel Thailand with Family:

Thailand has two seasons basically- wet and dry. The wet season is May/June to October when you can expect heavy downpour every day. The best time to visit Thailand is November to March when the weather is dry and can enjoy the scenic view of beaches under the bright sun.

Even at peak season, booking a cheap hotel in Thailand won’t be a problem.

Getting to Thailand:

Thailand is a popular tourist destination, hence there are plenty of flights into Thailand. There are four busy International airports in Thailand- Suvarnabhumi Airport(BKK), Don Mueang Airport(DMK), Phuket Airport(HKT) and Chiang Mai(CNX). Among all, Suvarnabhumi Airport is the busiest airport in Thailand. Australia and most of the south-east Asian countries have direct flights to Thailand. Click here to read more about getting to Thailand from different countries by air. If you are on a budget, there are some great flight booking hacks to find cheap flights from anywhere.

Thailand SIM Card:

Using a Thai SIM card would be a better option than using your native SIM card with an international roaming charge. Getting a tourist SIM in Thailand is very easy and it is very cheap. You will find several telecom companies outlet in any Thailand airport. Multiple options are there from different service providers like DTAC, TrueMove, China Unicom, AIS etc.

This time we booked 2 DTAC Tourist SIM from Klook app for our Thailand family vacation. It costs around just 144 Baht for each with 8 days of validity. The SIM card includes unlimited 3G/4G data, unlimited call(within any DTAC SIM card number) with a preloaded amount of 15 Baht. All you need to do is to show your booking voucher from the mobile app or print out with your passport. The staff will help you to configure all the settings if needed. We got the full tower with high-speed internet where we visited Thailand.

Tips: Don’t buy Thailand SIM card from your country’s airport as they used to charge higher.

Visa for Thailand:

  • Visa on arrival: Visa on arrival in Thailand is very popular as the Thailand Government waived the visa fee for most of the countries to attract more international tourists. No need to pay 2000 Baht extra for Thai visa if you travel in Thailand for not more than 15 days. All you need to submit- a valid passport with at least the next 6 months of validity, airline boarding pass, visa application form, 1 passport size photograph, return flight ticket and hotel booking slip.
  • Apply for visa before the journey: If you travel for more than 30 days or if your country name is not there in the list of free visa on arrival in Thailand, then you can apply for this before your journey.

PATTAYA:

Start your journey for family holidays to Thailand with Pattaya. It is the second most visited place in Thailand, offers a wide range of attractions, adventure activities, nightlife, shopping and entertainment. Pattaya has two main beaches- Central Pattaya Beach which is very crowded and Jomtien Beach which is a family-friendly beach in Pattaya. We stayed in the Jomtien beach area as it was a family trip to Thailand. The beach is very calm and less crowded(maximum tourists are from western countries) where you can enjoy a relaxing sunbath or walk along the beach peacefully.

How to Reach Pattaya:

Suvarnabhumi Airport(BKK) to Pattaya: The most convenient way to reach Pattaya from Suvarnabhumi airport is to take a bus from the airport. You can book your fully air-conditioned bus from Bell Bus Service counter with just 120 Baht. It will take around 3 hours to reach Pattaya.

Don Mueang Airport(DMK) to Pattaya: Our flight arrived at DMK airport. As there is no direct bus from DMK airport to Pattaya, we had to go to the first floor of the airport and from there we went towards exit gate 6. We took the A1 bus from there that goes to Mo Chit bus station. It costs 30 Baht pp. We booked our air-conditioned bus tickets from there with 128 Baht pp. The bus leaves from Mo Chit in every 30 minutes from 6 am to 10 pm and takes around 3 hours to reach Pattaya Bus Terminus.

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Pattaya Family Accommodation:

Family accommodation in Pattaya is plentiful. You will have no problem in Pattaya finding something perfect for your needs. Family travelers mainly look at – best family resorts in Pattaya, family hotels in Pattaya and Family villas in Pattaya. However, hotel tends to be the best option for the budget traveler and you can easily find cheap hotels in Pattaya. Here is how you can find and book cheap hotels anywhere.

Family resorts in Pattaya tend to have many facilities like multiple pools and restaurants, gym, spa etc. and may include activities and the option of an all-inclusive stay. Family villas in Pattaya can be an excellent choice for Thailand holidays with family. This generally comes with an entire private house with a yard and pool- perfect accommodation for your family.

I always recommend booking your accommodation from booking.com. It offers some of the best deals on hotel booking with pay later and free cancellation options at many hotels. I have picked up the best family hotels in Pattaya along with resorts and villas from my personal experience and online reviews.

  • Dusit Thani Pattaya
  • Hard Rock Hotel Pattaya
  • Holiday Inn
  • Mövenpick Siam Hotel Na Jomtien Pattaya
  • Mercure Pattaya Ocean Resort

Food in Pattaya:

Pattaya is a fabulous place for food. It is not hard to find food in Pattaya. In the central Pattaya beach area, you will find a variety of food options including western types, Indian food and local street food in Pattaya. If you are traveling in Thailand on a budget then try to taste some local foods as western or Indian foods are pretty expensive in Thailand. You can read this to know 10 great hacks to eat cheap while traveling.

You will not have any problem to find vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Pattaya. If you like seafood, you must try some Thai foods from street food stalls. Here is some personal recommendation for family-friendly restaurants in Pattaya:

Best Things to do in Pattaya with Family:

Visit Coral Island:

Coral Island, also known as Koh Larn is a beautiful getaway destination in Pattaya. It is just a 45-minute boat ride from Pattaya Pier. The beach is well maintained. Spend a relaxing time with your family. Enjoy the exciting watersports like waterskiing, windsurfing, banana boat riding, parasailing etc. You can also swim or snorkel in the clear turquoise water. Visiting this scenic island is a must during your Thailand family vacation.

Check out the great deal for your day trip to Koh Larn Coral Island.

Get up close to tigers at Tiger Park:

Experience a rare encounter in Pattaya Tiger Park. It is really fun as well as a thrilling moment to have close contact with different sizes of tigers. If you visit here with kids, be more careful while taking a photo. Although all the tigers are there under trained staff.

Book Pattaya Tiger Park Admission Ticket from here.

Visit Khao Pattaya View Point:

It should be there on the list of places to visit in Pattaya. Khao Pattaya Viewpoint is located on Pratumnak Hill, between South Pattaya and Jomtien. This popular Pattaya tourist spot offers a magnificent panoramic view of Pattaya city. The viewpoint area is open till 9 pm, so you can enjoy a beautiful night view also from the top.

Pattaya Underwater World:

Underwater World Pattaya is an excellent choice to visit with kids. Explore the sea creatures with colorful corals while going through a clear acrylic tunnel. Don’t miss the chance to see shark and manta ray feeding shows. You can book your ticket in advance to skip the line.

Ramayana Water Park:

It is a big water playground located in South Pattaya, surrounded by mountains. Ramayana water park is the biggest amusement park in Thailand which is a must-visit place in Pattaya with kids or family. The water park is open from 10 am to 6 pm daily.

The ticket price for an adult is 1130 Baht and for kids 840 Baht. Check out the detail and book online tickets from their official website.

Pattaya Floating Market:

Enjoy a boat ride at the traditional Thai floating market where vendors sell grocery items wearing rice hats paddling slowly down the water. It is really fun walking through the wooden houses built in a different style. Take photos wearing traditional Thai dress.

The Sanctuary of Truth:

If you are looking for top places to visit in Pattaya, visit 105 meters tall The Sanctuary of Truth. Every inch of this iconic temple is carved with teak wood. The wooden sculpture of this stunning architecture is said to reflect the ancient knowledge of the world.

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Entry fee: 500 Baht

Cartoon Network Amazone Waterpark:

It is another beautifully themed water park in Pattaya. Check out their website for a fun day in Pattaya with your family.

Entry fee: 790 Baht

Nong Nooch Tropical Garden:

While traveling Pattaya with your family go to Nong Nooch Garden. You will surely love it for its French garden, Butterfly garden, Animal sculpture garden, Stonehenge garden and many more other gardens which are spread out in an area of around 600 acres. Exploring the themed park will be really enjoyable.

Entry fee: 297 Baht

Book your online ticket from here.

Explore Pattaya Walking Street:

I will recommend this adult area only if you are traveling in Pattaya with your partner or friends. A walk through Pattaya walking street can be an incredible experience if you want to enjoy Pattaya nightlife. It is one of the most popular tourist places in Pattaya for parties, music, food and fun. You cannot afford to miss the chance to enjoy the ambiance of Pattaya walking street if you are a party lover.

The list of things to do in Pattaya with family is endless. You can also go for KAAN show, Big Buddha Temple and Frost Magical Ice of Siam.

Getting Around Pattaya:

It is easy to get around Pattaya. There are several transport options available in Pattaya. The most popular and cheap way to commute in Pattaya is Tuk Tuk. They are very frequent but always make sure to ask the fare before getting into a Tuk Tuk. Else you might be charged a higher price.

Taxi service is also available here, but be aware of the taxi scams in Thailand. Always ride on a metered taxi. Taxi drivers will insist to go without meter. Just refuse them, else you are going to break your bank.

If you don’t want to take a tuk-tuk ride, I will recommend Grab taxi instead of a local taxi. It is Uber in Thailand. Grab is very reliable. You won’t be overcharged as you can see your fare before confirming your booking.

Pattaya Budget:

The Pattaya budget depends on your needs. You will have a cheap option as well as expensive. The choice is yours. Our Pattaya travel cost breakup:

Hotel: 250 Baht/person

Food: 300 Baht/person

Local transport: 50 Baht/person

Entertainment: 200 Baht/person


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PHUKET

With long stretched stunning coastline, clear blue sky, incredible sightseeing, rich culture and vivid nightlife, Phuket has a lot of attractions that make it the second most visited place in Thailand. This largest island of Thailand is also known as ‘The Pearl of the Andaman Sea’. If you visit this place I am pretty sure you would not like to leave this beautiful place in Thailand. Phuket must be at the top of the list of your Thailand family itinerary.

How to Reach Phuket:

The closest airport is Phuket International Airport(HKT) which is 32 km away from the main city center. Direct flights are available from Singapore and Kuala Lumpur to Phuket. The best way to reach Phuket is from Bangkok by plane or bus.

By Air: The most convenient way to reach Phuket is to take a domestic flight from Bangkok airport(BKK or DMK). You can find the cheapest flight to Phuket by Air Asia and Nok Air that costs around 1000 Baht for one way journey. Travel time: 1.5 hours.

By Bus: Traveling by bus to Phuket is the cheapest option(650-700 Baht) but it takes around 13-15 hours that is very tiring. During your Thailand Family vacation, I don’t think you will prefer to take a hectic bus journey just to save a few bucks.

You can book a shared minivan service from the airport to reach your hotel around Phuket city. Fare: 180 Baht

Phuket Family Accommodation:

Phuket is a large place and has plenty of options for family accommodations in Phuket. You need to choose the right place as per your needs. Family travelers generally look for best family resorts in Phuket, family hotels in Phuket and family villas in Phuket. Most of the travelers tend to stay near Patong beach, Karon beach, Kata beach and Old town.

Patong is the most popular and developed beach in Phuket and it is pretty crowded with crazy nightlife and adventurous water sports. Here you can find several family hotels in Phuket at a reasonable price.

Karon beach is located in immediate south of Patong beach. It is lined with some of the best family resorts in Phuket that offer excellent service with a beautiful beach view from the balcony.

If you want a crowd-free quiet ambiance, stay near Kata beach. Spend a relaxing family holiday here. There are several bigger Phuket family resorts for solitude seekers. If you are looking for family villas in Phuket, Kata is the best place to stay in Phuket with kids. Most of these family resorts in Phuket offer private balconies and terraces facing the ocean, pools or tropical gardens, spa and gym in their property.

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Don’t be confused seeing countless options for family resorts in Phuket. I have sorted out some of the best family resorts, hotels and guesthouses in Phuket which you can book from booking.com, the most reliable hotel booking website.

Family Resorts in Phuket:

  • Holiday Inn Resort Phuket(near Patong beach)
  • Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort & Spa(near Karon beach)
  • Le Meridien Phuket Beach Resort(near Karon beach)
  • Phuket Graceland Resort & Spa(near Patong beach)
  • Novotel Phuket Karon Beach Resort and Spa

Cheap Hotels in Phuket:

  • Hollywood Inn Love(near Patong beach)
  • Pineapple Guesthouse(near Karon beach)
  • Karon Sino House
  • Sawasdee Village(near Kata beach)
  • Shunli Hotel

Food in Phuket:

You get plenty of options for food in Phuket. Traveling with family is very fun in Phuket. You will find several family-friendly restaurants in Phuket with a great high-quality dining experience. Check out the below list for the best restaurants for families in Phuket that serves local dishes as well as various types of western dishes and Asian dishes in a perfect family-friendly ambiance.

  • EAT. Bar & Grill
  • Kantok Restaurant
  • Tamachart Restaurant
  • Kan [email protected]
  • Kopitiam by Wili

Best Things to do in Phuket with Family:

James Bond Island Day Tour:

Visit the famous James Bond Island which came to highlight after the 1974 James Bond movie ‘The Man with the Golden Gun’. Cruising along the Phang Nga Bay and seeing the wonderful stalactite caves are the highlights of this day trip from Phuket. Take some amazing pictures of the tall islet that towers over 20 meters are one of the main attractions here.

Your Phuket family vacations will be hassle-free if you book your James Bond day trip in advance. This kind of day trip includes hotel to hotel pick up and drop facility with buffet lunch and other tourist attractions. I will highly recommend booking your James Bond day trip from Klook. They provide the best in class service with some great deals.

Kayaking in Panak Island and Hong Island:

Kayaking into a natural limestone cave in Panak island is a thrilling experience that you can share with your kids. Inside the cave, you can find some amazing rock formations of Stalagmites and Stalactites.

Discover the hidden sky blue in a lagoon in Hong island and enjoy relaxing kayaking around the island. Take some wonderful pictures of amazing rock formations in Hong island with deep sky blue water.

Phi Phi Island and Maya Bay Day Tour:

Koh Phi Phi is probably the most famous island in Thailand. You can stay here or you can do a day trip to Phi Phi island from Phuket by speedboat. Explore this island on foot. You can swim in the crystal clear water or take a sunbathe in pleasant weather. Phi Phi island offers different types of water sports and adventure activities. Do snorkeling in the azure water.

Maya bay is another popular tourist attraction in Phuket. Maya bay was featured in the famous Hollywood film ‘The Beach’ that made it more popular. Although the Thai government has banned this island for its aggressive popularity and high tourist footfall. Travelers can get a glimpse of this pristine beach from a distance.

Family-friendly Beaches in Phuket:

Patong is the most famous and busiest beach in Phuket. The sea beach is safe for swimming. Enjoy a sunbath or go for some adventure water sports like paragliding, jet skis, banana boat ride etc.

Want to escape the crowd of Patong beach? Go to Karon beach and Kata beach. Both are pretty clean and quiet, perfect for families and solo travelers who want to spend a relaxing holiday without any hustle-bustle.

Big Buddha Phuket:

Big Buddha in Phuket is a must-visit place in Phuket. This iconic monument is 50 feet tall which is the main attraction of this viewpoint. It offers an amazing panoramic view from the top of the Nakkerd hill that is really spectacular. If you visit here in the afternoon, don’t miss the chance to see the sunset over Phuket town and Chalong Bay.

Explore Phuket Old Town:

People who love the culture, history and heritage will surely love the old own Phuket. Stroll along the road and admire the European influenced architecture and take some beautiful photos of these coloring buildings.

Getting around Phuket:

Tuk-tuk is the most frequent public transport in Phuket. Be careful while bargaining for your transportation. Renting a motorbike is the most convenient way to explore the city. However, the beach areas are pretty much walkable. For local sightseeing, you can travel by local taxi, Grab taxi or shared minivan. You can also rent a car in Phuket with a Thai license or International driving license. During your Phuket family vacation, I will recommend using Grab taxi or minivan for safe and reliable service.

Phuket Budget:

Phuket is comparatively expensive than Bangkok and Pattaya. Although Phuket has its luxury, but it also has budget hotels, cheap restaurant and free attractions. Our Phuket trip cost breakup:

Hotel: 350 Baht/person

Food: 300 Baht/person

Local transport: 50 Baht/person

Entertainment: 200 Baht/person

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