Thailand with a Baby

Adam and his wife, Erica travelled to Koh Samui, Thailand with their one year old son, Will last year.

Here is Adam’s story:

Thailand with a baby boy. My sister decided to have her wedding in paradise. So, my wife, Erica, and I had a challenge: how do we get to and around Thailand with a one year old boy who has never travelled? It turned out that after much consternation and uncertainty, he travelled brilliantly. And, even more importantly, we all had an amazing time. Well, there were a few issues.

My sister got married on September 24, 2009. We arrived in Thailand a week earlier and left a week afterward. Two whole weeks in the sun, on the sand, in the pool and haggling in shops along the main drag on Koh Samui. But before any of the fun started we had two flights: Melbourne to Singapore, then Singapore to Koh Samui.

The fun started when we booked our tickets. We booked during the Travel Expo, so we got a great price. Our first mistake: buying a ticket for our son, William. After we had paid for it we found that Singapore Airlines don't sell seats to children under the age of two. This was a bit of a bummer as we really wanted to avoid having Will jump up and down on our laps for 9-10 hours. In the end, Will was allocated a crib (but no seat) and we got his fare refunded.

The flight was a breeze relative to what we expected. We flew with my parents and kept Will occupied by passing him around and walking up and down the aisles. We sat near the bulkhead (make sure you request it!) and he played on the floor for much of the time. Did he have any tantrums? Yes. Just a few. But what are you going to do? We dealt with them as best we could by distracting him with new things and adventures around the plane. Nappy changing was fun given the cramped plane toilet/change room. Ah, the joys of parenthood.

All in all, the flight was better than we could have hoped. No ear pain. No screaming non-stop. And he sleep like a log most of the time.

The airport transfers went off without a hitch too. We bought a cheap stroller at home before leaving and strapped him in for long walks around the terminals at Melbourne, Singapore and Koh Samui. He ran around for a while too in order to break up the boredom.

But what about the holiday you ask?

We found that Will wasn't that fond of the sand at least initially; a bit of a problem on an island in Thailand. After much cajoling he finally fell in love with the beach, to the degree that crying fits ensued when he was removed from his patch of happiness.

The Thais are a friendly people and adore children. Will lapped it up, bathing in their attention. He chased butterflies and birds and sampled all of the Thai cooking that was made available. No tummy upsets either, phew!

My strongest memory was from the one boat trip we took. I thought we would all die. Honestly. We managed to get on board a boat on the day a tsunami hit not too far away. Our small launch battled two metre swells and we all clung on for dear life. Will behaved like a Zen monk. He fell asleep. I clung onto him and Erica as if I may never see them again. Will remained steadfastly unfazed. What an amazing young man!

We got home without a hitch, well, except for almost missing our connection due to my Mum’s inability to read boarding passes.

So, what did I learn? It’s rarely as bad as it could be. It’s often more fun than you hope. You always learn something new. And if you can’t do anything about a particular situation, just go with it.

Adam is a business owner. He and his wife, Erica, are expecting their second baby in December, 2010. You can read more of his writings at