Preparing for a Trip to Phuket, Thailand with a Toddler
FLIGHTCheck out Korean Air for deals on their non-stop flights from Seoul to Phuket, Thailand. Asiana and Thai Airlines also service non-stop flights to Phuket, Thailand from Seoul. We had luck with price comparisons on ebookers.com. Each of these airlines also has an app. It is smart to download the company you will be using to check flight statuses, have important numbers at hand, be able to have mobile check in and have boarding passes, find deals, and always important on the return flight- check the baggage allowance! If you are planning to fly out of Incheon Airport check out my blog post about the airport.
Once I book my ticket I like to check out the aircraft we will be flying on. It gives me an idea of the type of entertainment to prepare for. Will I be able to control Sam's video screen or does the aircraft have overhead viewing screens? Also important if you're worried about your Sippy Cup Sojourner's carseat fitting in the airline seats. You can always check out Wikipedia but if you prefer to have an app check out the SeatGuru App.
HOTELWe usually book our vacations months in advance. I'm finicky about hotels ever since we started traveling with Sam. When we were single the reviews main selling points were that it was clean, safe, and cheap. Insert baby into the picture and now I scour the web wanting to know every details of the hotel down to how many towels they are going to provide us. Okay, not really but close. ;) After checking out all the hotels on Phuket.com's Top 10 family hotels in Phuket, we decided on the Movenpick located on Koran beach. We ended up finding a really great deal on Booking.com so thankfully we didn't have to leave Sam's college fund in Thailand.
We book our flights and hotels months in advance but packing usually doesn't start until a week out. I like to be fairly certain that the weather report is going to be somewhat reliable.
It's always better to be safe than sorry. I think about all the natural disasters that have happened in vacation areas and always wonder what happened to all the travelers. Thankfully, if you are an American citizen, there are ways to ensure you're covered in case of an emergency, even in a foreign country. The U.S Department of State has made being prepared, very easy! Before you travel visit their website and register for STEP (Smart Traveler Enrollment Program). By registering travelers can be assured that the local embassy knows they are there and will attempt to contact you in case of evacuation needs or other types of emergencies (lost passport anyone?). It is also worth while to check out the country you're heading to and find out if there are any travel warnings or other information pertinent to your trip. Check out Thailand here.
There is also an app, Smart Traveler, that can be download to have all the information you need about foreign countries on hand. Downloading the app does not enroll you in the STEP program.
Just in case Sam, mom, or dad need to go to a hospital while we're in Thailand I downloaded the My Travel Aid app. Ideally the hotel would be able to take care of us if anything happens but like I started this section, better safe than sorry, since we're not always at the hotel.
I also throw a quick emergency kit into the family carry-on and we are ready to go, nice to have some peace of mind.
APPS FOR THAILAND
Once we have everything booked and are waiting for the trip to arrive I enjoy learning as much as possible about our destination. Before we book anything we buy travel guides to help us decide where we are going and where we are staying. (Links at the bottom of the blog post.) Then we start the process of daydreaming about our location! These apps have helped with the excitement!
Thailand Travel Guide By Triposo: Great overview of everything the country has to offer, goes beyond Phuket.
Phuket : Easy to navigate app with sight maps, information, and lists of things to do in each area. (Also works off-line.)
Phuket.com List of Kid Activities in Phuket
Phuket 101 List of Family Friendly Activities
Phuket Travel Secrets Kid Activities in Phuket
Jamie's Phuket Blog