Very happy to introduce Jemma from My Mummy Manual as the second guest blogger to feature on my Miss Mummy Life blog! Jemma is a teacher and mummy to 8 month old Freddie!
Check out My Mummy Manual blog here!
My own holiday is only weeks away, so I’m so excited to hear about her tips and experiences of travelling to Phuket, Thailand as a family of three!
Thailand with a Baby
Apprehensive? Yes. Excited? Definitely. Why? Because we were about to embark on a 12 hour flight for a two week holiday in Phuket, Thailand. Would it be family friendly? Would Freddie cope with the flight? Would he enjoy himself? Would we? Here’s our first experience of going long haul as a family of three.
After a night in a nearby hotel, we were ready to head off to the airport, with the small matter of three bursting at the seams suitcases, a hand luggage bag, a nappy bag and a pushchair in tow (not forgetting the baby obviously). Freddie was ready, and loving his comfy, personalised traveling outfit too.
Check-in was quick (even though we couldn’t do it online) and then we were able to go through the family ‘x-ray bit’ which made it swift and easy. In order to make our outbound journey a little easier, we’d decided to check into Gatwick airport’s Number 1 lounge – and we didn’t regret it. It was a fabulously relaxing way to start our holiday; included in the price was: drinks (yes, even the boozy ones!), a buffet (think I must of eaten my weight in muffins!) and a choice of a meal from their menu.
The time in the airport flew by and before we knew it we were on the plane. The outbound flight went brilliantly (the homebound flight, no so much; the flights warrant their own blog post). As a quick side note though, as the picture shows, the iPad came in handy.
I was a bit worried about the effect jet lag would have on our baby but I needn’t have worried. The flight times seemed to work in our favour, so that we were able to jump straight into our routine – a huge positive.
The hotel – CHANALAI GARDEN RESORT
Travel Tip: Email the hotel directly if you have specific requests, rather than the package provider.
Before we travelled, we emailed the hotel to explain that we had a baby and didn’t want a room that was near to the road and the noise. Upon arrival we were greeted by the hotel manager who knew exactly who we were, she explained that she’d done her best to accommodate our needs – and boy did she do a good job – the room was AMAZING: with a pool and sea view (which through Thomson you’d pay a premium for) what more could we have asked for?
Not only were the staff attentive on arrival but for the duration our stay. They constantly asked if our room was okay, what time we’d like the cleaners in so they didn’t wake the baby, gave out free fruit throughout the day, left a gorgeous note and fruit parcel especially for Freddie, they even babysat whilst we ate our dinner! I can’t praise them all highly enough.
A real plus of the hotel was the temperature of the pools. Usually I’m one of those that takes about 20 minutes to edge myself into the water because it feels so bloody freezing – that bit to get over the belly button is the absolute worst! But not here. It was like a bath. People were almost complaining that it wasn’t refreshing enough because it was too warm! Yet for us (well baby) it was perfect. He absolutely loved splashing about and would stay in for ages without getting cold or upset.
The one bug bear I did have with the hotel was when it came to the evening meal. As a Thomson guest, we had access to an additional menu alongside the buffet. It was tasty, delicious and freshly made, no complaints there (the mango and rice dessert was divine). However, possibly because it was freshly made, in a relatively quiet restaurant, it took an age to arrive (up to an hour on occasions) – not best with a restless baby.
Out and about at Kata Beach
Although we spent the majority of time in the hotel playing in the pool, it was a must for us to go exploring too. Just over the road, literally a two minute walk, was Kata Beach itself. Just lovely.
A great spot for sunbathing, sunsets and a visit to the Ska Bar for a cool evening beverage (the sea breeze was a welcome relief in the humidity).
The Ska Bar also puts on a fire dancing show at 10pm an certain nights, but that’s past baby’s bedtime so we never made it… what’s happened to us?
A short walk took us into Kata town where there’s more bars, restaurants and shops that kept us busy of an evenings. The shoes, we couldn’t help ourselves…
On a couple of nights a week, in the next town along, Karon Beach there’s a night market. It’s a long walk – we only managed it one way (we were disgustingly dripping by the time we arrived!) so got a tuk-tuk back. It was definitely worth a look, with some (interesting) food choices, clothes and souvenirs.
For some religious culture, we headed up to the Big Budda. Although the site itself isn’t finished, the Budda is still a wonderful sight, as are the views from its hill top position. It’s free to visit but we donated a small amount by having a blessing from a monk and buying a tile to sign which will end up as part of the finished building.
And then, for the baby, we headed down near to the beach to enjoy the play ground.
We are usually the type of people who independently book each part of the holiday looking for the best deal; and rarely would we stay put for two whole weeks. We were dubious as to whether or not we’d get bored, but knew for our first family long haul relaxation was the name of the game. I’ve literally got nothing but praise for all elements of our holiday: a two week, half board package, with direct flights (the biggy for us) through Thomson holidays. I’ve not doubts in recommending both the package and Kata Beach as perfect for families. Our hotel, the staff, the facilities and Thailand as a whole was superb. We will certainly be heading back…