If you’ve never done it before, planning an international family holiday overseas can be a bit intimidating, especially if you’re Thai and you’re travelling to a country like Ireland where you don’t speak the native language. The key to a successful, rather than a disappointing trip is research and planning. This is equally true no matter what country you are going to or what country you are coming from. If you are a family travelling with children, here are some useful tips that may save you money, make your trip more enjoyable and ensure that you and your children will get the most out of it.
Research Your Destination
- To avoid eating at what potentially could be the worst restaurants in town, investigate what’s available. This is especially true for Thai’s who may be craving an authentic Som Tam or Phad Kra-Pow Moo.
- Learn the business hours and holidays of the attractions you wish to visit. Nothing is more disappointing than travelling thousands of miles only to find that you’ve arrived on the one day that the attraction is closed.
- Learning the lay of the land and what type of public transportation is available is also wise. You may find that you don’t need to rent a car, provided your accommodation is centrally located and near the sites you wish to see. This will save you a bundle. If you’re not sure which cities are best, select one whose sites and attractions are within walking distance of your hotel.
- Also be sure to choose an area of the city with a reputation for being safe and family friendly.
Research Hotels Thoroughly
- Get on the internet and find out as much as possible about the hotels in the area you wish to visit. Ask questions via email if their descriptions are not clear.
- Make sure the sleeping arrangements are as described and kid friendly. Clarify every detail because some accommodations may advertise “two bedrooms”, but in actuality it might be a studio style room with one bed downstairs and another in a loft that’s only accessible by an unanchored ladder or it might consist of two unconnected rooms!
- Inquire about the bathroom as well. Is it en-suite? Does it have a bathtub or only a shower?
- Make sure to ask about extras, does the hotel offer a free airport shuttle? Does the room include breakfast? These seemingly small details can add up to a big savings for a family of four.
Documents and Air Fare
- Make sure that each family member’s passport has a minimum of six months validity remaining..
- Does the country you are travelling to require a visa. If so find out what type you need and make arrangements early..
- Do you want travel insurance? Before purchasing, check with your credit card company, as many offer free international travel insurance if you purchase the airline tickets with their card..
- Your automobile insurance provider may offer a similar deal. This will allow you to forgo the added expense of motor insurance should you need to hire a car.