Travel to Phuket with a family

Phuket is an obvious destination choice for people with families. There are numerous facilities and amenities around the island in place to help families have the best time possible. The large number of high-standard hotels and resorts in Phuket goes a long way to reassuring families that children will be safe during a holiday in Phuket.

Children of any age will have a great time in Phuket. The locals love children and there is certainly enough to keep even the most demanding of toddlers entertained, including everything from elephant rides to digging holes in the sand.

When booking a family holiday in Phuket, it’s important to get the right kind of family accommodation. Phuket has a reputation as being both a backpacker hangout and a destination for luxury accommodation, but luckily for families there is a middle ground.

There are numerous hotels and resorts in Phuket that are suited to families. Check out properties such as the Central Kata Resort at Kata Beach, which has a range of family rooms available. Another property of note is the Kamala Bay Garden Resort in Kamala.

While Patong may be the most popular part of Phuket, it’s is perhaps not the ideal place for a family to stay. During the day, Patong is crowded and messy, while at night it morphs into party town with an adult atmosphere.

However, Patong does have numerous family hotels and resorts. Patong also has shopping, a beach, restaurants, tour operators, numerous facilities and so on. If you want to stay in Patong, check out the Bursari Resort, Swiss Palm Beach or, better yet, the Holiday Inn, which places a strong emphasis on catering to families.

If you’re thinking of taking your family to Phuket, you probably have 1,001 things to worry about. It needn’t be so stressful. The first hurdle to overcome for any family will be the flight to Phuket. It’s certainly a good idea to arrive at the airport in good time and not rush the whole process, especially if traveling with young children who have never flown before. Flying can be a rather daunting experience for anyone.

It’s important to be well organized when planning your family holiday to Phuket. Make lists of things you need to do and things you need to pack and get everything and everyone organized as soon as possible. There is no worse feeling that getting your family to the airport only to wonder if you remembered to pack the sunscreen.

We all get bored from time to time. If you’ve ever been on a long flight than you’ll know how tedious the experience can be. Imagine you’re a child – the boredom will be 10 times as bad. Most airlines are prepared for this and the cabin crew will be able to provide things to do for younger travelers. However, it’s always best to be prepared and take with you enough toys, games and books to keep the rabble happy.

For children flying to and from Phuket, there may be problems during takeoff and landing. This can be extremely painful on young ears. Take along some hard candy for sucking on.

Once you’ve touched down in Phuket with your family, your biggest worry should be how you are going to spend your time. Be sure to keep your children covered in sunscreen so that they don’t burn. It’s almost always sunny in Phuket and there’s no reason for your family to take on so much sun that they look like lobsters. Try and get at least factor 15.

The factor of sunscreen is the number by which you multiply the time it would usually take to burn. So, if you usually burn after 10 minutes unprotected, factor 15 will provide protection for about 150 minutes, although a lot of this is dependent on your skin type.

There’s no harm in applying to much sunscreen during your family holiday to Phuket. Try and slap on as much as you can about half an hour before you go out in the sun. Temperatures in Phuket tend to hover between 27ºC to 36ºC, with the heat reaching its peak around April.

Staying out of the sun for prolonged periods is advised, especially if you are pregnant.

Generally speaking, if you forget anything for your children, you should be able to pick most things up from one of Phuket’s many malls or department stores. Try Central Festival in Phuket Town or one of several Robinson stores around the island.

If you’re children get sick while you’re in Phuket, take them straight to one of Phuket’s hospitals with English-speaking staff: Bangkok Hospital Phuket, Phuket International Hospital or Mission Hospital.

There is lots to do in Phuket, especially for families. You won’t find any theme parks or rollercoasters, but you should be able to fill your family’s time adequately.

Phuket FantaSea in Kamala (99 Village 3, Kamala Beach, 076-385-000, www.phuket-fantasea.com) remains a popular choice for almost all visitors to Phuket. Kids love the carnival atmosphere and the shows, including performances with animals. It’s all very over-the-top, but it’s so much fun.

Mini-golf is usually a winner with children, so be sure to pay Dino Park between Kata and Karon (the beach road, between Kata and Karon, 076-330-625, www.dinopark.com) a visit. The dinosaur theme makes Dino Park popular.

Phuket has a Gibbon Rehabilitation Centre. For most children, going to any place where there are monkeys is a great thrill. The centre is located near the Khao Phrao Thaew Royal Wildlife.

Phuket Zoo (23/1 Village 3, Soi Palai, Chao Fah Road, 076-381-227, www.phuketzoo.com) is usually a hit with families visiting Phuket. There are shows involving monkeys, elephants and crocodiles. Phuket Aquarium (076-391-1126) near Cape Panwa is also worth an afternoon visit.

Most tour operators in Phuket can organize elephant treks. While it may seem like an exciting prospect, being stuck on top of an elephant trundling around gets pretty boring after a while.

If you’re kids are into horses then take them to the Laguna Riding Club (95 Viset Rd, Rawai, 076-288-213). Lessons are available for everyone from complete beginners to riding pros.