Penny's Travels

Escape to Paradise This Holiday Season

Many Australians travel to Thailand each year because it provides great value for their dollar. Increasingly, Thailand is becoming a top international holiday destination for families.

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Dear Penny,
I need your help. This year I am going to get in early and plan our family vacation, so that I can take advantage of the travel specials offered for early bookings. I would like to take my family to a tropical destination, however have no ideas outside of Hawaii! I know you have been to lots of exotic locations so might have some ideas on family-friendly and affordable vacation spots?
Trish
It’s never too early to start planning a warm, exotic getaway, to escape the upcoming cold weather blues. Sunshine, crystal clear waters and golden beaches are a great way to relax and unwind for the whole family. With four young children myself, I will always remember those wonderful holidays where I had a break as well, away from planning meals, making beds and entertaining small children. Being able to have a massage, or just lie on the beach and read a book are “simple” but memorable pleasures for a full-time mother.
Now let’s spin the globe and find the perfect vacation destination for you and your family! Spain, Turkey, Jamaica, Mexico, Malaysia or Thailand.
The Land of Smiles
With a combination of a tropical climate, beaches, history and friendly people, Thailand is a great choice for a family holiday. 
Located in Asia, Thailand is more developed than its close neighbors: Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. With cultural origins dating back to ancient India, there are many ethnic groups that vary in culture, tradition and languages. As well as beaches, Thailand can offer family holiday escapes to mountains, forests and jungles. The people are very friendly and welcoming and Buddhism is practiced by 95% of the population. There are historic temples (known as “wats”) and royal palaces to visit, which will inspire young inquiring minds. Thai food is renown for its freshness and “fussy” eaters will find something to delight their taste buds. Shoppers will be in their element, as there is an array of bustling markets or upscale department stores in western style, shopping malls.
Accommodation
Luxury is not lacking in Thai beach resorts and they are more affordable than you would expect. Some resorts offer a complete family package where everything is included, from accommodation and meals to Zumba dancing classes — not forgetting the “Kids Club,” which is reassuring for the budget conscious family. These facilities are a welcome addition to making sure that all members of the family can experience a great holiday. They are often run by a team of professional “activities” staff, who give parents the chance to relax and rejuvenate and also have a little “grown up” time together. There is nothing like enjoying the culinary delights and a romantic walk along the beach after dinner, without the worry of your 2 year old’s tantrum! My children also enjoyed having someone new to play with and trying activities they would not normally get a chance to do, while my husband could just relax away from the pressures of work. Teenage children are not forgotten either, as these resorts are very experienced at catering for this age group, often providing expert tuition in water sports, snorkeling and beach activities.
 
If a package holiday is not to your liking, why not book a resort where you just pay for your room. Eating and entertainment is not expensive in Thailand and your family will get to experience a little more of the culture and daily life of this wonderful country. Most resorts offer a Kids Club, gym, restaurants, Wi-Fi, cable/satellite TV, refrigerator and tea/coffee making facilities. Remember to inquire about washing facilities/costs, as this will dictate the amount of clothes you pack for your family’s vacation. 
 
Resorts are also able to offer extra activities including elephant rides, jungle treks, family cooking classes, scuba diving and island hopping adventures.
  
My personal family friendly Thai beaches are Karon and Kata, where you will find some luxurious resorts and hotels at prices which will just amaze you. Check out the “early bird deals” now available for your Thailand winter escape.
Penny’s Top 10 Tips For Selecting A Family Friendly Resort
1. Must specify “family friendly.”
2. Security/Safety – fenced areas/professionally trained staff/babysitters/Kids   Club facilities. 
3. Large rooms/cribs supplied.
4. Refrigerator in room.
5. Washing facilities.
6. Child friendly swimming pools/playground.
7. Close to outside restaurants/cafes.
8. Close to small “supermarket.” 
9. Away from heavy traffic.
10. Away from loud nightclubs.
Tip: Don’t be afraid to ask for a room which will suit your family’s needs.
Thailand is a great choice for your next family vacation — there is a reason why most Australian’s choose it as their “go-to” spot for a little piece of paradise!
Safe Travels!
Penny
Penny Frederiksen

About Penny Frederiksen

Penny enjoys writing for a variety of blogs and magazines where she hopes to inspire readers to travel and explore the world. She is a regular contributor to publications in Russia, The United Kingdom, and South East Asia. Penny lives in rural Australia and her love affair with travel and photography started at a very young age..the National Geographic Magazines at her local dentist! ” I loved the wonderful stories and photographs – they brought history and culture alive.” Penny’s independent, solo travel started about 10 years ago when she realized all her friends had no interest in photography and getting into the backstreets and villages of Asia. She enjoys traveling to exotic locations each year both on photography tours and by herself, showing other women that with planning and confidence, they too can visit worldly destinations on their own. Some of her most recent destinations include Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Vietnam, UAE, Turkey, India, Nepal, and Myanmar. “Travel makes me step outside my comfort zone and get a better perspective of the world around me”

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