• Saturday, December 14, 2019

Family Travel in Thailand

Thailand: The Off-The-Beaten-Path Family Adventure
July 17, 2019
By , Families Writer

Although travelling is and art in and of itself, travelling with kids to meaningful places takes things to a different level. Ivelisse Simon is not only an expert businesswoman and seasoned jet-setter, but she is also proficient in planning adventure trips for her family of five – herself and her husband, nine-year-old twins Max and Mia, and seven-year-old Zoe. The Simon family embarked on an adventure to Thailand, and Ivelisse has shared insider information with Galavante on the experience of the Simon family in Thailand.

Since we were traveling to a country that has an estimate of 1,200,000 orphaned children and a child poverty rate of 12.6%, the objective for this trip was to integrate my family into Thailand for the time that we were there, and contribute to the community. I wanted this to be an enriching experience for us all, whilst also instilling into my children the need to give back to the world. 

The Charity:
I found a charity that my whole family was able to do things for called the Children’s Shelter Foundations of Thailand – an “NGO Aid Project for children and youths in the hilltribes.We spent time at anorphanage, in which my kids were able to play with the local children as though they were their friends, which is something that they will never be able to forget. It’s one thing to donate money to a charity, or read about it online, but it’s another thing entirely to have your own children go rafting, swimming, and playing with their Thai peers at the orphanage.

The Place:

When it came to lodging, we stayed faithful to immersing ourselves into Thai culture. Howie’s HomeStay in Chiang Mai is one of the most luxury private lodging experiences, but executed in a personal way. Howie and his wife, Jerri, only take one booking at a time – which means that you and your family rent out their entire house that they have made into a luxury hotel for you. The rooms are independent pavilions, interspersed among five acres of tropical gardens and water streams. The Teak Pavilion is the main room, and the living room, family pavilion (which consists of a family room and a three-bedroom suite), dining room and kitchen, and owner’s quarters are all additional pavilions. You interact with the hosts and staff, you stay in a private home, and you eat homecooked meals because Jerri is an exquisite gourmet chef. The hosts are what makes the experience so special. But, the pool is still amazing, the facilities incredible, and it’s the single most off-the-beaten-path way to experience Thailand.

  

For comparison, we also did a few days at the Four Seasons Chiang Mai, set within a rice paddy in Chiang Mai. There are activities such as rice picking, cooking classes,and field trips like the elephant sanctuary that the team at the Four Seasons arranged. To combine Howie’s HomeStay and the Four Seasons was the perfect combination for our family.

We always say that whatever trip we take was the best yet – though I know the best will continue, as we keep exploring the world with our kids.