Tips for travelling to Vietnam with Kids
Vietnam is a wonderful country to visit with the entire family. With some planning, your family will savour the adventures and embrace the culture that Vietnam has to offer. Many families have travelled to Vietnam and loved it. Here are some tips to help you plan your vacation.
1. Ensure your travel documents are up to date.
Check to see if you require a Visa to visit Vietnam, and that your passport is up to date.
2. Use local currency.
While some vendors may quote in US dollars, the official currency is the Dong. Use it whenever possible.
3. Pack as light as possible.
Keep in mind that most budget hotels don't have elevators. In other words, be prepared for a lot of stairs. Budget hotels also may not have a bell hop to help you with your luggage so you may end up having to lug your suitcases up a few flights of stairs.
4. Travel with a plan.
Be sure to map out a definitive travel plan. Remember that travelling with kids does not allow for as much flexibility as usual. Decide on where you want to go and how you will get there. Book accommodations and transport in advance and be sure to schedule some down time for the family. With so many beautiful and exciting places to visit in Vietnam, travellers can get caught up in the moment. Schedule some down time to ensure everyone stays well-rested and healthy.
5. Take the train.
There is one train in Vietnam which links Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City. It takes 33 hours to travel between the two cities by train. Comparably, the flight between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City is 2 hours. When weighing your options, consider that Vietnam's air-conditioned trains are safe, comfortable and inexpensive. The train is the ideal way for travellers to see Vietnam at ground level for a truly genuine experience. Buses are also available for travel, but they are far less comfortable with less room. Keep in mind that travelling on a bus may also run you the risk of getting stuck in traffic, and there are seldom any toilets on board.
6. Fries, please.
Surprisingly, french fries are readily available in Vietnam so your kids will not go hungry. In fact, fries in Vietnam have been said to be first-rate (sometimes served with butter and sugar for dipping). For other fussy eaters, there are plenty of fast food outlets available (KFC, Pizza Hut, McDonald's, Burger King, Dunkin Donuts, Domino's Pizza).
7. Escape the heat in indoor play centres.
Like all major cities, most areas in Vietnam have indoor play centres to take your little ones. A brief visit to an air-conditioned play centre may be just what your little ones need to cool down from the heat. Most centres usually have a cafe attached so parents can relax and enjoy a cup of coffee or tea.
8. Vietnam has pharmacies.
Pharmacies are everywhere in Vietnam. Common over-the-counter medicines (Panadol, Tylenol) are readily available for purchase here. If you need prescribed medicine, it would be a good idea to either bring it with you or at least have the generic name for it written down. Sunscreen and bug spray can also be found in supermarkets and pharmacies. Pseudo-ephedrine (ie. Sudafed) is not available in Vietnam so if you're prone to colds, it may be a good idea to bring some with you.
9. Children are adored.
Children are adored in Vietnam so be prepared for plenty of affection from the local people.