Taiwan Travel Tips For Parents

Taiwan offers a family-friendly environment with safe and efficient transportation, making it easy to explore the island’s diverse attractions. From interactive museums to outdoor adventures, Taiwan provides a unique and enriching experience that both parents and children can cherish.

I’ve navigated over 25 long-haul flights with my kids, often solo. Drawing from years of traveling to Taiwan with my children since they were babies, I’ve curated a list of practical, minimalistic tips to address the most common Taiwan travel questions from parents.

Do I need a visa to travel to Taiwan?

U.S. passport holders who wish to enter Taiwan as a tourist or as short-term visitors do not need a visa. If you plan to visit Taiwan for 90 or more days the visa is $160 per person of all ages. Learn more

Passport Holders of Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, *Ireland,  Italy, *Japan, Republic of Korea, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Monaco, the Netherlands, *New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, *U.K., U.S.A. and  Vatican City State staying less than 30 days in Taiwan can enter without visa Learn more about visa requirements

Skip the lines at the post office and order your passport online with expedited service from RushMyPassport.com

Must-Haves for Long-Haul Flights with Kids

Inflatable footrests

With 2 footrest pillows, the 3 of us all slept lying down in 3 seats, granted, I am a small adult. We have one for each kid. I bought the 1st Class Kid pillow a couple of years ago when it was just my son and me. Back then it was $60! Now it’s only $19. This year I ordered a generic brand pillow for my daughter but it sprung a leak after just 2 uses. I highly recommend the 1st class kid. The material is thicker and stronger. There are 2 valves so you can use the AC vent to fill it.

We have used these on China Airlines, United, and Eva Airlines.

Under this mess is my 4-year-old sleeping on the footrest pillow

Kids Headphones

We have the Nenos headphones. You can plug another set of headphones into the Nenos if the kids are sharing one device, such as an iPad. The earpieces are soft and the volume is controlled. My daughter has a soft headband with built-in headphones. These are great for a toddler because they don’t fall off her head.

headband headphones
She loved these soft headphones.

Water Bottles

Sure you can ask for a cup of water on the plane, but where can you put a cup that your child will not spill it?

We bring reusable bottles and fill them with water after we get through security. Sometimes the flight attendants don’t come through with drink service for a while. Having your own water keeps the kids from complaining that they are thirsty. It’s also good to have your own reusable bottles while traveling to avoid having to buy bottled water. Being green saves money too!

We are trying not to purchase plastic and have two metal bottle styles that I like. The Sip By Swell bottle is thinner than most bottles and fits in preschool-size backpack pockets. The sip bottle comes in a smaller 10oz size that is hard to find. The Thermos Funtainer comes in a 12oz size that comes with a straw lid. I purchased a replacement spout lid because we are teaching the kids not to use straws! Both bottle designs have handles that are very useful with young children.

This watercolor book comes with a no-spill paintbrush

Screen-free Entertainment

When my son was a baby, his favorite toy was an empty plastic water bottle, the very cheap kind that made crackling sounds. Of all the toys I brought with us, the empty water bottle was his favorite toy. Young and old, activity books are always a good option. For our upcoming trip, I’m excited to bring a watercolor book that comes with a spill-free paintbrush.

Taiwan Airport Arrival Tips

  • What not to bring: No meat, especially pork. Even your leftover spam musubi or ham sandwich can cost you a hefty fine. Your leftover airplane meal is also a no-no. No fruits, not even the apple wedges already peeled and cut for the kids. Baby food packets and crackers are okay unless they contain pork.
  • Exchanging cash: Go to the currency exchange before you get to immigration. The line is shorter and it’s easier and more convenient to exchange here than having to find a bank later.
  • Families can cut the line! There is a separate immigration line for families traveling with a stroller, or pregnant women. Look for the pink sign. Usually, there are only one or two other families in line versus the hundreds of people in the standard immigration line.
  • SIM Cards: You can purchase a SIM card or portable wifi from the airport Learn More
  • Airport Transportation: Rather than booking a car and having to wait or try to find the driver, I just walk outside and get a taxi. We have not had any issues. The benefit of booking a car is that you can request car seats. The cost of a taxi, UBER, or car service to Taipei is about $1000 – $1200 NT. I have been quoted much more so keep that in mind.
Save time at the Taipei airport by using the stroller line
The stroller line at the Taipei airport will save you lots of time!

Is Taiwan safe to travel with Children?

Taiwan is considered safe for family travel due to its low crime rates and well-maintained infrastructure. The island places a strong emphasis on child safety and creating a welcoming environment for families. There are tons of parks and amazing playgrounds, free family-friendly events, affordable food, and friendly locals who seem to love children.

Additionally, Taiwan’s efficient public transportation and cleanliness contribute to a comfortable and secure travel experience for parents and their children. Train stations and public areas have breastfeeding rooms, family restrooms with kid-size toilets, and ramps for strollers.

As with any travel destination, watch out for pickpockets and tourist scams (broken taxi meters, increased prices, etc.). In Taiwan, a red light does not necessarily mean that drivers will stop. Parents must be extra vigilant with small children.

Do Taiwanese speak English?

The most common languages in Taiwan are Mandarin Chinese and Taiwanese. Locals are friendly and generally happy to help if you need directions or have questions. You’d be surprised that many Taiwanese are able to communicate in English. If you are in a pinch, Google Translate is your friend!

Where to stay in Taiwan

Taipei is the capital of Taiwan, located on the very north of the island. I have spent most of my trips in Taipei where my family lives. When traveling with children, I have found that Shilin is convenient and central to many of the children’s activities. The children’s amusement park and museums are within walking distance from the Shilin MRT station. There is a big night market, good restaurants, and many new playgrounds to keep the kids busy. Shilin is also a short MRT ride to Beitou, Guandu, and Tamsui. Downtown is a quick ride in the other direction. If you want the convenience of being able to walk everywhere, Shilin is a great home base.

This blog does a good job of summing up the different districts of Taipei City.

Taichung, in central Taiwan, beckons nature enthusiasts, offering a diverse range of experiences, from glamping in domes to waterfall hikes, clam digging, farm tours, and engaging museums. If your family loves nature, Taichung is the perfect destination with a variety of exciting and unique options.

Kaohsiung is located in the south of Taiwan and boasts the largest night market on the island, newer museums, modern playgrounds, and the foodie hub of Taiwan. Once an industrial city, it now has a lot to offer families. In the winter, temperatures average around 75°F, making this a pleasant destination for winter travel. Kaohsiung is close to beaches, offshore islands, and indigenous experiences, and only an hour to Tainan City.

I’ve briefly touched on the 3 main cities but Taiwan has so much more to offer!

Does it get cold in Taiwan?

While temperatures in the south of Taiwan rarely drop below 75 °F, Taipei winters can be surprisingly cold. Temperatures in the north often feel lower due to the damp cold that chills to the bone. Pack for 50°F weather and dress in layers because some days can be much warmer, the next day colder if it rains. If you’re visiting Taipei in December and January, I suggest packing a light-down coat that is wind and water-resistant. For kids, adding a rain parka is a smart choice to keep their little hands free and save parents from getting hit in the face with umbrellas. In my opinion, a parka is safer because it doesn’t block their view of people and vehicles when crossing busy streets.

For young children, opt for Rain parkas instead of umbrellas

How to find a hotel in Taiwan

I prefer AirBnb when traveling as a family. For the cost of a hotel room, you can rent a nice apartment with separate bedrooms and have the niceties of home, like a kitchen and sofa bed. Get $55 OFF Airbnb with my referral link ($40 off your booking, PLUS $15 to use toward an activity).

My Taiwanese relatives recommend booking.com which guarantees the best prices and no fees.

How much does public transportation cost in Taiwan?

You have many options to get around Taipei and even outside of the city. Taiwan has an affordable and efficient public transportation system. Due to traffic, in many cases, it’s faster to take the MRT than a taxi. I find public buses to be clean and not crowded.

  • MRT 20 – 65 NT per ticket based on distance, children 6 and under are free. Most MRT stations have nursing rooms and family restrooms.
  • Buses are 15 – 45 NT per ticket based on segments, children 6 and under are free
  • Taxi Meter starts at 70 NT (seats 4 pax) car seats are not available
  • Scooter Taxi 50 NT per ride within their zone (seats 1 adult and a small child)
  • Hiring a driver is 3500 NT for the first 3 hours, then 500 NT each following hour (seats 4+ depending on vehicle)
  • UBER some users state cheaper than a taxi

How much does food cost in Taiwan?

Street food is cheap and delicious. For example, you can find a steamed meat bun for 15 NT ($0.50). A bowl of beef noodles soup at a small eatery might cost as little as 60 NT ($2 USD). We just had an amazing dinner at a casual restaurant for about 250 NT ($8 USD). A meal at a nice full-service restaurant may be about 800 NT ($26 USD).

From our experience, food stands and smaller eateries supply chopsticks and do not have forks. They usually have spoons which my 2 and 4-year-old use for most meals. Bring a fork if you need it or you can buy one for about 20NT to keep in your bag.

Is it safe to eat street food in Taiwan?

We are adventurous eaters and have never suffered food poisoning while visiting Taiwan. That said, still, examine the cleanliness of each vendor. I prefer to buy my fruit whole and eat it at home. You may notice most fruit vendors do not have running water, especially if they are selling out of a truck. If a vendor is busy then it’s less likely their food has been sitting around too long. Most street food is cooked to order as well.

Eating his favorite street snack, QQ Ball, made of sweet potato and glutenous rice flour

Should I bring my own medications?

If your family member requires or you prefer a specific product, bring it with you to Taiwan. I find it easier to bring children’s Tylenol and Benadryl because the instructions are in English. When your child is unwell, it’s just easier to have the medications you are familiar with on hand.

My daughter has eczema and I could not find a suitable balm for her flare-up. While you might see many of the same brands in Taiwan, I found the lotions are heavily scented, which can make eczema worse. For skin issues, bring your own soaps and lotions.

If you find yourself needing medication while traveling in Taiwan, it’s easy to find a pharmacy or medical clinic, unless you are in a remote area.

Are there a lot of Mosquitoes and bugs in Taiwan?

Taiwan’s climate is a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes and insects. Mosquitoes can be found anywhere on the island and are most active at dusk. There are lots of mosquitos hiding in the dark corners of temples! Check for ticks after hiking. I brought insect repellent from the US to be sure it is safe to use on children. Badger Anti-bug Stick and Badget Anti-bug Spray have been very effective for my kids. I still get bites because mosquitos love me, but very rare. Remember to reapply if you go into marshy areas.

If you do experience severe bug bites, go to any local pharmacy and show the pharmacist the bug bites. They will recommend medicated ointment.

As for roaches, it’s an island and they are everywhere. To avoid attracting roaches, do not leave open food containers in your hotel or Airbnb. Seal food trash at night when you go to bed. There are also big spiders that look like huge Daddy Long Legs, but they do not bite.

Can I use my credit card in Taiwan?

Credit cards are widely accepted at brick-and-mortar businesses in Taiwan.

Small businesses still appreciate cash transactions. You are more likely to receive a discount on bigger expenses such as lodging or tours if you are paying with cash. Food carts and traditional market vendors only accept cash.

Where do I get cash in Taiwan?

If you exchange your money at the airport, do so at the currency exchange prior to immigration. Bring crisp new bills. Several of my old or worn bills were rejected by the bank teller.

You can also exchange or withdraw money from a bank but it’s not convenient due to lines or having to search for a bank. You can also withdraw cash from ATMs, however, you should check your bank’s international transaction fees. Not all ATMs will accept your debit card. Not all ATM machines offer instructions in English.

Can I use my mobile phone in Taiwan?

Having wifi on your phone is necessary to use Google Maps, essential when traveling. You can purchase a SIM card and portable wifi from the airport. Learn More

Since I have T-Mobile: Calls to a US number are free if using Wi-Fi. Incoming and outbound texting is free. All other calls are 25 cents per minute. Data is a bit slow at times but I have not found it necessary to purchase a sim card or portable wifi. You can find free wifi at just about any MRT station, cafe, or restaurant.

Should I bring a stroller to Taiwan?

Yes! You should definitely bring your stroller. Most locals use a mid-sized stroller daily. We always travel with our Uppababy Cruz for our 4 and 2-year-olds. I prefer our daily stroller over a travel/compact stroller hands down (We also have a Mountain Buggy Nano which I never use). The Cruz has a huge basket to hold everything you need for the day. Plus it folds up if needed and fits in the trunk of a taxi or corner of most restaurants. The bigger wheels make for a smoother ride on Taiwan’s bumpy sidewalks. Most of the walkways are not designed for strollers so you will find yourself pushing on and off the walkway. Plus our Uppababy has a buggy board and snack tray. My 4-year-old doesn’t like to walk much so the stroller board is a lifesaver. So many locals asked me where I got my stroller!

Uppababy Cruz Stroller
Uppababy Cruz (mid-size stroller) with two kids on the Taipei MRT

We also travel with his Micro Kickboard scooter because he can ride along for miles/hours. He’s had a lot of experience on his scooter since we lived in Manhattan. Keep in mind that vehicles may not stop at pedestrian crossings.

My son with his scooter waiting for the MRT to arrive
My 4-year-old old napping in the stroller basket. Toddler napping in the seat above (not shown)

How do I do laundry?

When traveling with kids, you’ll end up with lots of laundry. Most Airbnbs have washers but it’s rare to find a place with a dryer. Taiwanese hang-dry their clothes. I often find it’s too humid and the clothes smell if they are wet too long. Use a fan to dry the clothes or put the clothing rack under the AC and turn on the dehumidifier setting. TIP: bring laundry detergent sheets when traveling. Your suitcase will smell nice and you don’t have to buy an entire bottle of detergent. If your child has eczema, like mine, it’s hard to find detergents for sensitive skin, especially in small bottles.

There are not too many laundromats in Taipei.

Laundry detergent sheets save space and money! This is all I brought for 5 weeks!

Must-haves traveling with kids

  • Reusable shopping bags
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Medication: Tylenol, Benadryl, Eczema lotion (see my notes above)
  • Forks: Most small eateries only have chopsticks.
  • Stroller
  • Bug repellent
  • Rain parka (during the rainy season)
  • Sun hat

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