When you welcome your firstborn, you may think that your far flung jaunts abroad are no longer a possibility. Since your little darling arrived, you might think you need to book yourself on a package holiday, venture to a Balearic and succumb to the all-inclusive resort. While there’s nothing wrong with such a holiday, you might yearn for the freedom of organising your own foray overseas with your little brood in tow. But is this even possible?

Holidays by their very nature should be relaxing. Allowing a tour operator to take on the responsibility of booking your flights, organising your accommodation, sourcing excursions and even handling the airport transfers can be tempting. This way, all you need to worry about is making sure you’re packed, ensuring the passports are in date and finding your way to the airport. However, where’s the fun in that? While Lanzarote is a delightful place to while away a fortnight, you want more adventure to your trip. You remember when you were in your early twenties and you thought nothing of packing your forty five litre backpack and taking the first flight you could to embark on a backpacking jaunt around South America. Now you have a little one, do you have to wave goodbye to such a holiday?

You simply need to think a little more outside the box and put your offspring at the centre of every decision you make. The Far East is an excellent option for those families who hanker after a more far-flung and unique destination rather than a mundane Greek island. Japan, Singapore, Thailand, and China are all relatively safe and cater to tourist families. Take a look at how you can travel to the Far East with a baby and still have an incredible travel experience.


It doesn’t matter where you are heading on holiday, there will inevitably be a major alteration in your little cherub’s routine. This can make for an eventful first couple of days. To try and limit the impact of jet lag, new smells, the flight, and a new bed, try and keep everything else the same. Take his or her favourite snacks on the flight, ensure you have a favourite bit of muslin or toy to help add a touch of familiarity to your trip no matter where you are and remember to keep talking to your little one. If you are forever chuntering away to your offspring about the weather, the view or general chit-chat, keep doing it. Doing everything in your power to maintain a sense of normality will prevent your baby from feeling stressed. Babies pick up on their parent’s vibe, so try and stay relaxed and enjoy the trip you have planned.

Before You Go

Before you even set foot on the plane, you should be planning a few more aspects to your holiday than you might have done in the past. While on your gap year you may have set off without a hostel booked and you winged it once you landed, now is not the time to repeat that experience. Now that you are older, hopefully wiser and perhaps a little more mature, you need to be thinking about the needs of your little one. If you’re venturing to Singapore, consider a hdb room rental for the entirety of your visit. This means you will have a solid base, you can be sure to secure a cot and all of the space you need for your young family, and you will have the flexibility to cook your little one’s meals. If there are any allergies in your brood, this could be vital to ensure their safety when abroad.

You may want to arrange travel within a country before you go. Bullet trains in Japan, and some in China can be booked in advance meaning that you won’t have to endure long queues at the airport. Japan even has rail passes making your travel easier once you have your itinerary planned.

It’s vital to at least have a skeleton itinerary in place before you head off to your chosen Far Eastern destination. If you fancy taking in the vista from the Great Wall of China, make sure you choose the most appropriate part of the wall for your family. Badaling, while touristy, is relatively flat and easy to navigate. Other sections, like Juyong, are ridiculously steep and would be treacherous for little feet. Use your common sense when booking excursions and considering how best to utilise your time.


With a little one in tow, make sure you aren’t venturing halfway across the globe during monsoon season or when the heat is sweltering and unbearable. While you might be able to cope, the chances are that your little darling could be at risk from heatstroke. Even with suncream and a hat, Far Eastern temperatures can hit forty degrees which would mean staying indoors. This hardly makes for a great vacation experience.

Family Friendly Fun

If you fancy a jaunt to Japan, you will have a wealth of family-friendly activities on your doorstep. The wonderfully exclusive Studio Ghibli Museum only allows a set number of visitors in each day and is protective over its exhibits. If your family adores My Neighbour Totoro or can’t get enough of Ponyo, this excursion could be a memorable addition to your Japanese Odyssey. Alongside the Studio Ghibli Museum, you could also visit Disneyland in Tokyo. Similar to Florida and Paris, this super camp and glittery theme park of fun is the stuff of dreams for little ones. You could be shaking hands with Mickey, meeting up with Pluto and making friends with the seven dwarfs.

In Singapore, you might want to embark on a world first as a family. Opened in 1994, the world’s first nocturnal zoo means you can take part in a nighttime safari to explore the wonderful creatures within Singapore’s greatest animal attraction. Hugely popular, you can observe tigers and lions in vast natural reserves, created with animal welfare in mind.

You might prefer to head to Jurong where you could take your little brood to the Science Centre. Who’d have thought you could squeeze in an educational visit while on holiday. The interactive exhibits are engaging, and you might even have the chance to head to the in-house observatory to gaze at the stars through their enormous Kepler refractor telescope.

In Phuket in Thailand, you might want to take a trip to the magical and recently renovated world class aquarium to explore the underwater creatures that roam the surrounding oceans. The exhibits are well maintained, the creatures are looked after, and you might even be able to sneak in to watch a feeding time. There is a huge and fully immersive tunnel to walk through, and all of the signage and displays are written in English as well as Thai meaning that you can get the most out of your aquatic experience.

If you are considering a more self-planned holiday abroad with your family, consider venturing to the Far East. The people are welcoming, you can enjoy immersing yourself into a new culture once again, and you can relish the opportunity to enjoy the style of travelling you couldn’t get enough of when you were young, free and single. Just because you have a little one doesn’t mean you can’t see the world. On the contrary, with a little thought, some extra planning, and a clear itinerary, you could enjoy the most unique and wonderful family Far Eastern adventure.


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