1001 problems when travelling with kids in Vietnam and the solutions

Traveling with kids, especially young kids under 7 years old. There are a lot of troubles and unexpected things that happened during the trip that you might never think about it.  I decided to rite an article about problems when travelling with kids in Vietnam and its solutions 

After a 29-day trip around Vietnam with a family of 4: Parents and 2 kids: a 5-year-old boy and a 7-year-old girl. We have encountered unexpected things that happened during the trip. Luckily we’ve solved all of them.

All the things that I shared below are from my personal and authentic experiences working as a tour guide who took care of them during the whole trip. These are invaluable experiences that you never find in any other articles on the internet, which makes my post unique. 

Travelling with kids in Vietnam problem 1 Car sick

For a very few first days, the kids did well in the van since we traveled on flat roads around Hanoi and Ninh Binh. I did think that we would have a smooth trip. Even the day when we drove to Sapa, which was a 6-hour drive, even they were tired but things were okay.

When we drove downhill to leave Sapa to Bac Ha, the kids got car sick and the 5-year-old boy threw up a little bit They thought to change the itinerary. I encouraged them to stick with the itinerary and bought a carsick sticker which were a lifesaver for them. We bought them in a drug store in the city of Lao Cai. I tried to search for a photo to show you, but it costs around 12k/ sticker. I will share a pic below.

They felt much better in the following days but they still got car sick if the road were too bumpy and winding. The big issue is the winding road which made them got carsick. 

Travelling with kids in Vietnam problem 2 :  Being afraid when traveling on a small motor boat 

One of the kids felt scared when cruising on a little motorboat in Cai Rang floating market. The reason I picked the little motorboat was that it could travel in hidden canals for the longer distances that the big boat couldn’t go. Anyway, it was my fault for not asking them in advance. What I did was take an empty big boat after dropping off passengers. It was on the way back to the pier. After changing the boat, they were so happy about that. 

Traveling with kids in Vietnam problem 3 : Eating the food that they didn’t like

The kids were a bit, picky eaters. Only some of the Vietnamese food that they like: Steamed rice, peanut salt, tomato and cucumber salad, fried rice, Pho noodle without fillings (no meat, no spring onion), stir-fried sweet and sour chicken, crunchy fried pork (thit rang chay canh), BBQ sausages, sticky rice cooked in bamboo (Com lam)…

One of the Vietnamese meals that you liked the most was lunch at Cu Chi tunnel.

Most of the time, they went to Western restaurants for Pizza, burgers, Greek salad, spaghetti… I picked out the restaurant every single meal. For sure, if you travel in a package tour, your food will be in a set menu and you have no choice to choose what you want to eat. That’s the difference between booking a tour with a guide who takes you the whole trip and booking with a tour business. 

After the tour, I was glad that they had enjoyed lots of the restaurant choices by me, of course, not all of them. But it is the first time, I have chosen that big amount of the restaurants like that, over 30 of them I think.

Travelling with kids in Vietnam problem 4 : Choosing your own accommodation.

It is harder to find suitable accommodation for families with kids. But I do think they prefer a connecting room and a hotel with a pool. It is also good advice for all tour operators out there to pick a good accommodation 

For an adjoining room, the parents have their own privacy sometimes, which is good for them. A hotel with a pool is an ideal place for kids if they are tired after a half-day tour and want to return to the hotel and rest. 

Please double check if the hotel offers breakfast or not, some of the hotels don’t offer breakfast since they don’t have enough staff to serve in the restaurant and it is also a way to save costs as well. 

Tips for picking out accommodation: If you don’t need to go out at night to check out the city or town, pick the accommodation a bit away from the town/city, usually the rate is cheaper and the atmosphere is much quieter. I also suggest this kinda of accommodation for 1-night stay only. 

Travelling with kids in Vietnam problem 5 : Flexibility on the itinerary

The weather plays a very important role in the itinerary. When it rains, the family with small kids doesn’t really want to go on a tour. So my advice is that you should have a backup plan or swap the date to do other activities of the other days. 

Make sure that the company you travel with is flexible with the itinerary which is really important when traveling with kids. You don’t know how the kids react to this day with the activities.

If you are travelling in a long period, for example a month, you may want to spend 3 few days staying in a resort on the beach either in Hoian or Phu Quoc without doing anything.

Travelling with kids in Vietnam problem 6 : Buying stuff for kids

After almost a month trip, I found some of the places which is great to buy stuff

Sapa for suitcases. We found a shop in Muong Hoa street which sell a good suitcase at a very good price

Clothes in Dalat : We bought some clothes at Dalat new market.

Shoes: We picked out some pairs of shoes and sandals at a supermarket in Cao Bang

We bought some other shoes in Ben Thanh market, Ho Chi Minh city

Don’t way until you find a perfect thing because you may not see them again. Take my advice, I’m pretty sure that it gonna be helpful for you. 

Travelling with kids in Vietnam problem 7 : The kids are too energetic in the van

In the morning, they sing, shout and make noise which makes you feel a bit headache. The solution is that you may need a minivan that offers a screen for them to watch cartoons. Believe me, it works. 

Being on organised tour or not?

In my opinion, travelling with small kids on an organised tour is a great ideal. Pick a guide who can travel with you the whole trip. He/she will be pretty helpful. See the questions below

Who gonna help us check in if the kids fall asleep in the van when we arrive at the hotel?

Who helps us with the luggage when we check in at the airport?

Who helps us take a taxi or transfer back to the hotel ?

Who leads the way to a local market?

Who helps us bargain at a local place?

Who takes care of our bags just in case I couldn’t carry it because I have to take care of my kids?

Who brings our kids to the bathroom if we are busy?

If the answer is “the guide” then you know how important the tour guide is. Seriously, the guide is a lifesaver. 

All right, I hope you find the information above helpful for you when planning and dealing with unexpected things that happen during the trip, and problems when traveling with kids in Vietnam

If you are going to Vietnam for the upcoming trip, pick me as a tour guide and the organizer because

I have 12 plus years of working as a tour guide 

I have guided the family groups for the whole Vietnam trip.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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