We’re almost at the end of 2019, and it’s time to plan for holidays in 2020. There are 13 designated public holidays and off in lieus – you can certainly get more with careful planning. I’ve included a list of long weekend getaway ideas for you (super family-friendly with short travel times!). So, start your planning now!
Long Weekend Getaway Ideas
1. Chill into the New Year at Sentosa Island
1 Jan 2020, New Year’s Day, falls on a Wednesday. With school starting on 2 Jan, perhaps you don’t want to travel so far. Thus, a staycation at our own Sentosa Island is just as great as travelling overseas.
Stay at Shangri-La’s Rasa Sentosa Resort & Spa and you’ll be transported to paradise. Being Singapore’s only beachfront hotel, you can enjoy a modern tropical holiday experience. Your kids will certainly love The Toots Club, Cool Zone and swimming pool with slides and splash pad. You can also bring the kids to nearby attractions such KidZania, Universal Studios Singapore and Skyline Luge.
Read our review: 8 Things We Love About Shangri-La’s Rasa Sentosa Resort & Spa
2. Celebrate Lunar New Year in Phuket
Lunar New Year falls on a weekend. Following Monday, 27 Jan, is a public holiday. If you’re not big on the festivities of Lunar New Year, this is the perfect time for a short break in a neighbouring country. We suggest Phuket! The weather in Phuket in January is some of the best you will see all year. Enjoy a beach holiday and stuff your face with delicious Thai cuisines (yum!).
Some family-friendly activities in Phuket include:
- Racha, Coral or Maiton Island Day Tour (includes snorkelling and water sports)
- Phuket Fantasea – the spectacular entertainment complex
- James Bond Island Day Tour
We recommend Holiday Inn Resort Phuket for its best location in Patong – within walking distance to Patong Beach and shopping malls. There are also plenty of family-friendly activities available at the resort.
Read our review: Holiday Inn Resort Phuket: Newly Renovated Busakorn Studio Room
3. Have a Good Friday in Ipoh
Obviously on a Friday, 10 Apr, no one needs to take time-off to enjoy a well-deserve break. Why not fly to Ipoh – a food paradise in Malaysia? Just 1.5 hours away by flight.
Where to stay? The Haven Resort Hotel, Ipoh – All Suites is a 5-star luxury resort set naturally by limestone hills, forests and lake. Located a stone’s throw away from the airport, it makes a perfect venue for a fun and relaxing escape. Your little ones will be thrilled with the 5-level sea-horse shaped infinity pool, and you’ll certainly fall in love with the lush greeneries. While you’re here, don’t miss out Sunway Lost World of Tambun which is just 5-min drive away. I’d highly recommend the hot spring at night.
4. Enjoy a well-deserved Labour Day in Bintan
One-third of the year is over in a blink of an eye. May is going to be the BEST month of the year because there are 3 public holidays. Woohoo!
- 1 May (Friday) – Labour Day
- 7 May (Thursday) – Vesak Day
- 24, 25 May (Sunday, Monday) – Hari Raya Puasa
Labour Day falls on Friday. Bintan, just 1-hour ferry ride from Singapore, is our closest island neighbour and a perfect choice if you want to spend quality time with kids playing on beautiful beaches with powder-soft sand. Enjoy an effortless and family-friendly vacation where all the family members will be taken care of, head to Bintan Lagoon Resort – the largest integrated resort in Bintan. The resort has its own private jetty and immigration terminal, which is very impressive. You can skip the hassles at Bintan’s main ferry terminal and long immigration queue. Perfect for families with young kids.
Read our review: Ultimate Bintan Getaway to Bintan Lagoon Resort
5. Let’s play at Legoland on Vesak Day
Vesak Day falls on Thursday 7 May, take a day off from work on Friday and get the kids out of school (if possible). The best place to reward the kids at the start of school holiday is to bring them to a theme park. LEGOLAND Malaysia is the perfect theme park for kids of all ages.
Since its opening in 2012, LEGOLAND Malaysia has consistently added new attractions such as Ninja Go and SEA LIFE. Sanrio Hello Kitty Town & Thomas Town is within the vicinity too. Read our review: LEGOLAND Hotel Malaysia.
6. Have a “Selamat Hari Raya” in Desaru
Hari Raya Puasa falls on Sunday, 24 May. The following Monday is a public holiday. Why not plan for a 3D2N getaway to Desaru? It’s just 2 hours’ drive from Singapore.
Opened in 2018, Desaru Coast Adventure Waterpark is the newest and largest water theme park in Malaysia. The Westin Desaru Coast Resort, Anantara Desaru Coast Resort & Villas, and One & Only Desaru Coast are the new hotels opened this year. I haven’t been here, but I’ll definitely check this place out very soon!
Alternatively, you can also consider Sand & Sandals Desaru Resort and Spa, a contemporary casual and relaxing resort. It provides an ultimate gateway for romantic couple retreat and an excellent location for family-friendly vacation.
7. Celebrate Hari Raya Haji in Batam
Hari Raya Haji falls on Friday, 31 Jul. Batam is just an hour away by ferry, so it’s the quickest way to escape from the stress of work and study life. You’ve worked hard for half of the year, time to reward yourself!
Radisson Golf & Convention Center Batam opened its door in 3rd quarter of 2016, so it’s still considerably new. Ideal for fun and relaxation, it’s also very convenient as it’s located ~5km away from The Batam Center ferry terminal. Very affordable too!
Alternatively, you may consider Montigo Resorts, Nongsa – a luxurious 5-star beachfront resort famed for its Mediterranean stylings and all-white Santorini vibes. You’ll enjoy the comfort of a spacious villa with private pool that’s perfect for families. There are many family-friendly activities too!
8. Visit Bangkok on National Day
Our National Day falls on Sunday, 9 Aug and the following day is a public holiday. Take the kids to Bangkok. Here are some interesting activities you can do with your families:
- Thailand Floating Markets Day Tour
- SEA LIFE Bangkok Ocean World
- Death Railway & River Kwai Bridge at Kanchanaburi
We recommend staying at Pullman Bangkok King Power, located next to duty-free giant King Power Rangnam Complex. It’s also 10 mins walk from Victory Monument BTS Sky Train, but if you’re too lazy to walk, take the hotel complimentary tuk-tuk service.
Read our review: Pullman Bangkok King Power
9. Spend the Deepavali in Chiang Mai
Deepavali falls on Saturday 14 Nov. Monday is a replacement holiday for most of us. Fly to Chiang Mai if you haven’t been here before. November is the best time to visit Chiang Mai weather-wise. It’s the cool and dry season.
More over in November, there’s a fantastic festival you can’t miss – Loy Krathong. Known as Thai Festival of Lights, Loy Krathong is one of Thailand’s most enchanting and the second best-known festival after its New Year’s festival Songkran. You enjoy some of the city’s most incredible parades, firework display and traditional art performances in public places.
10. Say Happy Christmas in Taiwan
December is a perfect time to visit Taiwan. Winter starts now but the weather is generally mild. Christmas Day falls on Friday. Take the eve off and enjoy year-end bonding with the kids in Taiwan. Check out our 8D7N Taiwan Free & Easy Itinerary for some ideas on where to go. Taipei, Kaohsiung, CingJing and Taichung are the cities that we’ve visited.