How to Travel in Asia With Kids

Get ready with these helpful tips.

By Sarah Li Cain

Navigating a part of the world your children aren’t familiar with can be challenging. Here are three common issues you may encounter when traveling with kids, along with strategies for how to approach these challenges if your flights are eastward bound.

Getting Around

You’ll want to familiarize yourself with your destination’s transportation options before you go. For example, in Seoul, the Seoul Metropolitan Subway is clean, efficient, and a good way to get around with children. In Bali, there are no trains, many taxis don’t have seatbelts, and roads aren’t always well maintained, so you might want to arrange for a car and driver through your resort.

Food

Is your little one a picky eater? There’s arguably no better opportunity to encourage them to be more adventurous than traveling to the other side of the globe. Consider researching a classic or popular dish—such as China’s baozi (steamed buns with meat or veggies) or Thai grilled chicken with sticky rice (also called gai yang)—or ingredients similar to what your children already enjoy and introduce them at home in the week leading up to your vacation in a way that’s likely to make them excited for the trip ahead. If your child is old enough, you could consider making a reservation for a cooking class together in the country you’re visiting; Tokyo’s fantastic ABC Cooking Studio (3-1-1 B2F Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku; lessons, from $46* a person), for example, caters to kids with food sensitivities by publishing the recipes made in each class online so that parents can check them beforehand.

Landmarks

No matter where in the world you’re traveling, landmarks often draw crowds, which can be overwhelming or even a little scary for tots. Before you depart, research the best hours to visit the sites you’re most interested in seeing; for example, if you visit Singapore Zoo (80 Mandai Lake Rd.; adults, $35; children 3–12, $17) between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m., you’re more likely to have the place to yourself and have the opportunity to eat breakfast with orangutans. And Bangkok’s Khlong Lat Mayom (Soi Bang Ramat, Bang Ramat, Taling Chan) floating market is quiet in the mornings because most tourists head to Amphawa floating market instead. It may also be worth researching alternative sites; India’s Taj Mahal has picturesque gardens and fountains, but the less frequented Tomb of I’timad-ud-Daulah (Moti Bagh, Agra; 011-91-562-228-0030; admission, $4) is also impressive for its white marble walls and inlays.

  • *Prices have been converted to U.S. dollars.
  • NOTE: Information may have changed since publication. Please confirm key details before planning your trip.
  • Published: June 2018