How To Survive A Day In Bangkok With Young Kids

 

How to survive a day in Bangkok with young kidsHow to survive Bangkok with young children

Recently my little brother (4) and sister (3) came to Bangkok. During their visit, it became clear that Bangkok can be a challenging environment for kids, and also for their parents’ wallets. In this article, I provide some tips on how to survive a day in Bangkok with little kids. Read this article to prevent yourself from unwanted surprises, and to give your family a hassle free time in the capital city of Thailand.

The environment

Consider the conditions your children will be exposed to when you visit Bangkok. The temperature is hot and motorized vehicles cause dangerous situations. Make sure to keep an eye on your kids and use taxis as a way of transportation. Taxis provide many benefits. They do not have to deal with the heat and the various dangerous situations on the street. They will also not get tired from walking long distances.

Taxis are cheap if you use them with many persons. Make sure to know up front which places to avoid and which places to visit. By doing this you will save time and money because you avoid attractions which will only disappoint you as soon as you reach the ticket desk.

Places to avoid

Avoid overpriced tourist scams like Ocean World and Madam Tussaud. Sure it must be cool to see a shark or a waxed version of Michael Jackson but expect to pay a fortune for these privileges. For example adults pay 900 baht (27 dollars) for an entrance ticket to Ocean World and a ticket for kids costs 700 baht (21 dollars). These prices are ridiculously high.

To make matters worse. These are actually the prices for foreigners. Thai people pay a much lower prices. Dual pricing should never be allowed in my humble opinion. They know it is wrong because they hide the Thai price for foreigners. The same double pricing scam is used at Madam Tussaud and other attractions. Avoid these scams! The humiliation and price are not worth it. Little children can easily be satisfied with more affordable activities.

Places to visit

The numerous parks in the city are much more suitable for children, and most likely also for parents. The parks offer many benefits. They are traffic free, so they offer a safe and more healthy environment for children. Parks are tranquil environments which often provide playgrounds. Those playgrounds are free and the kids love them.

You can also choose to go to the Dusit Zoo. This zoo offers more reasonable ticket prices. Do you live in Thailand or stay for a long time? For 2000 baht (61 dollars) you can buy a Zoo Lovers membership card. This card is valid for five years and enables a family member and four other persons to enter many zoos in Thailand.

Troubles and pleasures

Now you know more about the troubles and pleasures of visiting Bangkok with young children This city offers a lot of fun attractions for children but many of them charge a high entrance price. This is especially troublesome if you come with a big family. Try to find refuge in parks and the Dusit Zoo. Your kids will have a great time and you can rest while watching them play.

Did you visit Bangkok with young kids? Was it a fun city trip or did you experience some problems? Do you have other tips for people who come to Bangkok with their children?

Useful links

  • www.tripadvisor.com: Use this link to find out more about Bangkok for young kids. The link will take you to an overview page. There you can read information and reviews about various attractions in the city.
  • www.koratzoo.org: This link will take you to a page that provides your with more information about the different zoo membership options. A membership card can be especially useful if you live in Thailand.
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9 Reasons Why You Should Never Use Budget Airlines

 

9 reasons why you should not fly with a cheap airline.9 reasons why you should avoid budget flights

Do you want to fly to your travel destination with a budget airline? Then I strongly advice you to think twice. Remember that when buying cheap you get cheap, and that is the last thing you should choose for when it comes to flying. Here are 9 reasons why you should never fly for a very low price.

1. The location of the airport

Many budget airlines do not depart from a large international airport. Instead they depart from smaller ones. It could take some more time to get to that departure point, which could be difficult to reach by public transportation, or it might be much further away from your home. This creates the weird situation that your transportation to the airport could end up being more expensive then your flight.

I once found a flight to Gdansk (Poland), departing from Groningen Airport (The Netherlands). The flight ticket would cost me a whopping 10 euros! However a train ticket to Groningen would cost me already 25 euros! 10 euro for a ticket from The Netherlands to Poland is very cheap you might say. That is true, but keep in mind that there are many hidden/extra costs, which can make the price of your flight much higher.

2. Extra costs

Do you want to fly low budget? Then you better have no wishes, no expectations, and no luggage. Any extra service is going to cost you. Checking in at the airport, you pay extra. Bringing along checked baggage, you pay extra. Having a drink in the airplane, you pay extra.

The prices for these extra services can be very expensive, so these extra costs can make your seemingly cheap ticket suddenly a lot more expensive. Besides collecting money for extra services the airline is also trying to save money on as many expenses as possible. One of those money saving methods is an inconveniently far location of the departure gate.

3. Location of the gate

Large airports have many gates. The price fighters rent the cheapest ones, which are usually situated far away, at the back of the airport. Plan some extra time to get to your airplane after checking in and getting true customs. It could be a long walk to the gate. Make sure you really walk and do not use the moving walkway. Your legs are going to appreciate the exercise later on.

It will not take long before you will be confronted with another money saving method, which probably will be your next irritation factor. Once in the airplane you will love the cramped seats. Thank god you where able to use your legs for one last time, on the long walk to the departure gate.

4. Uncomfortable seats

Not enough space for your legs is maybe bearable for a short flight but on a long distance journey you might start praying to god that the suffering will be over soon. In order to save money they will cram you into this inhumanely small spaces. Unfortunately there is very little entertainment offered to distract you from your misery.

5. Lack of flight entertainment

You will not be blessed with your own entertainment system when you book a low cost flight. Instead you will be forced to watch a movie on a shared screen. Of course this needs to be a movie witch is suitable for everyone, so you probably will be watching very cheesy movies.

You will try to close your eyes in order not to watch the movie, but the pain and suffering from your crammed chair makes you craving for distraction. As a result you might end up watching that movie anyway. Then again you could also take the time to think about what you are doing in that airplane anyway, as you might take a risk by flying for such a low price.

6. Dangerous flying conditions

You think the airlines will only cut costs on customer service, and leg space? Think again. Some airlines also try to safe money on fuel costs. Pilots decide how much fuel is being tanked for the flight. However, sometimes they are forced to take as less fuel as possible. The amount of fuel in the tank might be enough, if nothing goes wrong, but what happens when the flight takes longer then expected..

Some airplanes got in trouble when they approached the airport. They where told that they had to delay the landing due to a busy airstrip, but there was no more fuel left to wait. A stressful situation for the pilots and the people in the flight tower. Combine this with the stressful working conditions of pilots and you create very dangerous situations.

7. Treatment of the staff

Do you want to trust your life on pilots who make to many hours and are pressured to fly for low wages, in dangerous conditions. They often operate with the fear of being fired if they choose for safety instead of the company policies. Sometimes they are just contractors. Which means that they are self employed. Their employer does not have to pay taxes, and the pilots do not get payed when they get sick.

Flying with a cheap airline.

8. Unfriendly staff

You can’t really blame the cabin crew for not being the most friendliest and helpful people in the business, considering the tough working conditions. The crew is often very tired, stressed and over pressured. Once more you get what you pay for. A cheap tickets means cheap service, and that will not only apply to the airplane staff but also for all the other people who are working in that company.

9. Customer service

Do you want to complain after your flight, or cancel your ticket after reading my article? It can be difficult to to get something done from the budget airline customer service. Often there is no customer service available in your country. Then you have to make an expensive call abroad and explain your situation in English. I tried this and like I expected, nothing ever happened when I tried to cancel my flight.

Cheap is not always better

Lets be honest. A price of 10 euro for a return ticket to Poland is an extremely low price. However, you pay this price because the price fighter has been compromising on things like customer service, safety, and comfort. Especially the safety issues are kind of disturbing. Please think about your safety when you book a flight.

Do you want to put your life at risk to save some money? Having less comfort is understandable and you have a choice if you want to pay for extra services, but you have no influence on your safety during the flight. An airline should never save money on safety procedures. That is just wrong in so many ways. Therefore I strongly advice you to reconsider flying with budget companies.

Did you ever fly with a budget airline? How was your experience? Would you fly with that company again after reading this article?

3 More Horrible Checked Baggage Problems

 

3 more things that could happen to your checked airplane luggage.– 3 more unwanted luggage problems –

As a former airplane baggage handler I have seen a lot of checked luggage. I noticed that people not always know what is happening to their belongings. With this article I want to educate you about baggage procedures at the airport and in the airplane. In a previous article I discussed various horrible things that could happen to your luggage. Here a three more unwanted situations that could occur.

1. Embarrassing moments with vibrating items

Make sure you remove the batteries from any vibrating items in your luggage. Those items can start to shiver during transport. A vibrating bag or suitcase can make the airport staff suspicious. The situation could occur that you will be asked to come down from the airplane, and then you have to open up your bag.

Most likely you will have to give a presentation of your belongings, openly on the platform. As a result the passengers in the airplane and the airport staff will watch when you dig up that “suspicious” item. Not particularly embarrassing when it is just an alarm clock, but of course that is not the only item that can vibrate.

2. Soap and shampoos

Make sure that your packed toiletry items are properly closed, sealed or wrapped in plastic bags. For sure it is not a nice start of your vacation when you open up your baggage and then discover that all your belongings are soaked in shampoo or soap.

3. Fragile items

Lets be honest. Once you checked in your luggage it will be smashed, trown, pushed, cramped and squeezed during the process of transportation. A baggage handler who quickly has to cram more then 100 bags in the cargo hold of a Boeing 737 will not really care about your fragile items.

Everything needs to fit and it needs to fit fast. So a fragile item sticker is often useless. A much better solution is an I love baggage handlers tag on your luggage. Then you have a much bigger chance that your bag is handled with care, because you show love to the person who is struggling to squeeze your over packed luggage inside the cargo hold.

Pack with care

Now you know a little bit more about what could happen to your belongings. Be careful, protective and smart when you are packing your stuff. Good preparations will help to prevent unwanted surprises. And remember: always seal you luggage! Then you have a smaller chance that your belongings will be ruined by items from other people.

Did you ever had any problems with your luggage before or after a flight? What kind of mistakes did you make or what kind of problems occurred?

Useful links

 

4 moments when you should avoid Bangkok

 

 4 moments when you should avoid Bangkok. For example during demonstrations.4 moments when you should reconsider coming to Bangkok

Bangkok is a great travel destination. However there are many inconveniences that make this city troublesome to visit as well. But I still advice you to give this place a chance. If you avoid it because of the described 4 moments then you might as well avoid it always. As with many major cities, there is always something going on.

Choose which issue bothers you the most and avoid Bangkok during the time that this problem occurs. Deal with the other problems when you do decide to go. These problems are not always really bad or dangerous, but it is good to know about their existence. Make a well thought decision for when it is the best time to visit, and for when it is the best time stay away.

 

1. During public holidays

It might seem fun to experience a public holiday in Bangkok, but it usually turns out to be a crowded and overpriced happening. Expect to pay much more for costs like transportation or entry tickets for clubs. The streets and transportation services can become very crowded during holidays. Also many shops will be closest during the holiday festivities. So if you need some service it is better to wait till the end of the celebrations.

Many Thai people will travel around to visit their families, so transportation in and out of the city can also become troublesome. A lot of accidents happen because of the crowded roads, and trains and buses will be fully booked or crowded. Popular holidays are the birthday of the king at 5 December, Songkran (Thai new year) from 12 til 14 April and Loi Krathong at the first full moon of the 12th lunar month.

2. During the rain season 

The rain season usually causes many flooding problems. It really does not take much rain to turn a Bangkok road into a canal. During the rain season it is better to avoid Bangkok, because the water will drop down from above and crawl up from below. Transportation over the road becomes difficult. Walking is often not an option, or you have to consider it fun to bade in dirty and garbage filled water.

3. During demonstrations

When the Thai are not fighting the water then they like to fight with each other. Demonstration rallies seem to pop up as soon as the rain and the canals start to disappear around November. The black of the water changes for the red and yellow of the protesters. Often the demonstrations are very peaceful gatherings, but occasionally they turn violent. Annoying aspects of the demonstrations are the road blockades and violent behavior.

The protesters want something so they will try everything in their effort to annoy the government as much as possible, which leads to violence, blockades, a lot of sound and parades. Due to the complicated and unpredictable nature of these gatherings I advice you to avoid rally sites. However you can easily have a great stay in Bangkok without being troubled by the demonstrations. There are just some places you need to avoid.

4. During the summer

If heat and humidity are not your thing then Bangkok will make you suffer. It is supposed to be one of the hottest cities in the world. The heat is combined with a lot of smog from all the vehicles and the humidity makes it even more uncomfortable to stay in this city. Al factors combined cause a demolishing combination.

I recommend you visit the city between the end of December and the beginning of January. Then you will probably experience comfortable temperatures. . +/- 17 degrees is what the Thai consider a cold winter. However if you are not used to tropical conditions then this temperature is very nice. Unfortunately the “cold” period only lasts for a few weeks. Make sure to take advantage of it when planning a trip to Thailand.

Do not be discouraged

Where you looking forward to visit Bangkok and did I spoil the fun? Do not be discouraged by my article. Most of the times the described problems are more annoying then dangerous. If you are careful and easygoing then you can have a great time in the capital city of Thailand, every day of the year.

What is your favorite time of the year to visit Bangkok? Did some of the described problems make you reconsider visiting this city?

 

3 horrible things that could happen to your checked baggage

airplanes on airportYou arrive with your bag at the airport. The nice lady at the check-in counter takes it from you. Then it will be transported to the airplane, safely and well cared for.. you think.. Depending on certain conditions you bag could be in for a tough ride. As a former airport employee, dealing with luggage, I have seen transport going horribly wrong. Here is some advice on how to to prepare your baggage before flying.

1. Why you should always seal your checked baggage

I smell something awful when I open the luggage compartment. it does not take long till I find out why. The compartment contains a travel kennel with a sad puppy face dog. The poor little thing needed to poo during the flight. In an effort to keep its kennel clean it had pushed his doggy ass to the bars of the kennel, and had splattered a good amount of soft poop on the surrounding luggage

I remove some bags and carefully push the kennel on the transport belt, which is connected to the luggage compartment. Then I try to warn my colleague, who is standing on the other side of the transport belt. He does not seem to get my message. I watch with horror how he grabs the poop smeared kennel and shoves it between the other luggage on the baggage car.

You think doggy poo is the only thing that could ruin your bag and your mood ? There are more problems to be considered. The luggage will be exposed to outside conditions like rain, and dirt, when it is transported to the airplane. Travelling with a sealed bag or suitcase prevents you from ending up with a dirty or water soaked bag.dog in kennel

2. Why you always have to buy a high quality suitcase or bag

The bag exits the luggage compartment via the transport belt. I pick it up when it reaches the end of the belt. As I grab the bag I hear a loud ripping sound. A second later the bottom cracks open and panties, shirts, socks and papers fly trough the air.

It is not cool to see your panties flying around the airplane is it? I am amazed about what people consider a decent bag or suitcase. They bind them together with cheap tape and ropes, while stuff is popping out on all places. It is interesting to think that people pack those bags and expect to see there stuff back. Invest in a good bag or suitcase and safe yourself a lot of trouble.

3. Why you should always pack carefully

Is it a smart idea to put a bottle of liquor in your luggage? Most likely not. Your expensive whiskey bottle will get shaken and stirred. I often heard a crunching glass sound when a bag was dropped down. In my mind I would already see the horror on the face of the person opening that bag. When the bottle breaks during the flight it will ruin other bags as well.

Do you often put whiskey or wine bottles in your checked luggage? Then for sure you will not be in a good mood when you open up you bag, and find out that a broken bottle of red wine has made an alcoholic bloodbath on your belongings. Don’t stuff it in your luggage bag. The bag will not be treated as some delicate little thing.

Fly prepared 

Now you have some insides in what could happen to your checked baggage. Always make sure you seal your belongings. Sealing provides you with many benefits. Your luggage will not get dirty or wet, and it prevents thieves from steeling your stuff. Travel with a decent bag or suitcase or you might end up loosing luggage. Consider other travelers and do not put things in your bag that could ruin their luggage.

What is the worst thing that ever happened to your luggage during transportation?

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