Marked your calendar for 2019’s five long weekends, mama? Our handy long weekend travel planner lets you know where to go, when!
School holidays might only just be winding down, but surely we’re not the only ones already looking forward to the next chance to travel, right? Just in case you haven’t already bookmarked the list of 2019 public holidays like we have, know that unfortunately a number of them fall smack in the middle of the week (Christmas, Labour Day and Hari Raya Puasa are all on Wednesdays – yuck!).
But don’t fret, mamas: we’ve still got five solid long weekends throughout the year to look forward to (two of which are super-sized thanks to Chinese New Year, and National Day and Hari Raya Haji falling serendipitously close to each other).
Taking into account weather (because why waste a holiday on rainy season?) and travel times, check out our top picks for family travel in 2019. Happy planning, mamas!
Lead image of Giant Buddha in Leshan, China sourced via Pxhere
On the heels of all the Christmas and New Year’s stress, we think chilling out on the beach is a great way to kick off the Year of the Earth Pig. Since the holidays fall on Tuesday and Wednesday (5-6 February), it’s well worth taking Monday the 4th off to give yourself a sweet 5-day weekend, mamas.
A few beautiful beach destinations within easy reach (a single flight away, with great weather in February):
Maldives: February is the perfect time of year to avoid rainy season (unfortunately it comes with notoriously high price tags to match). Check out this mother of four’s tips for stretching dollars further on a trip to the Maldives.
Philippines: Our Senior Editor Kate maintains that Amanpulo (close by to Manila) is the most spectacular beach destination she’s ever visited (and it was fabulous for kids!). Nearby El Nido also earns high marks, and beloved island Boracay is now in “soft opening” mode after closing for 6 months in 2018 to clean up its beaches. All these places can be reached in 3-4 hours by air from Singapore.
Sri Lanka: Chock full of gorgeous beach villas (but also home to fabulous wildlife reserves and cool cultural explorations for kids), Sri Lanka is a 4-hour flight away, and beach destinations like Galle, Weligama and Bentota are all within a 2- or 3-hour drive of the Colombo airport.
While April is the start of the rainier season in Thailand (at least in Bangkok), it’s also a super fun time to visit thanks to Thai New Year, Songkran, falling on 14 April. We say take the whole week off to experience the truly joyous and unique street water fights that erupt all over the city (and beyond). Of course, you could always combine Bangkok’s culture and world class street food with a luxe villa stay in Koh Samui. Go on, treat yo’ self, mama!
Image by Johan Fantenberg via Flickr
You know what would make for a cool way to celebrate the Buddha’s birthday? Visiting the tallest Buddha statue in the world! Standing 71 meters high, and over 1,000 years old, the Giant Buddha at Leshan (pictured at the top of this article) is about a two hour drive from Chengdu, a super kid-friendly foodie and panda paradise that’s an easy 4-hour flight from Singapore. The weather in May is hot and sunny, but drier than humid Singapore.
August may be the dog days of summer for most of the world, but it’s the perfect time to hit the slopes in super gorgeous New Zealand. We suggest hiring a campervan and heading to skiing hot spots like Queenstown or Wanaka on the stunning South Island.
If you’d prefer a slightly shorter flight (and aren’t that keen on winter), Australia’s Sunshine Coast is perfect for families with amazing beaches, world class wildlife (hello, Koalas!) and fabulous food, and in August it hits that “perfect weather” sweet spot with days that are warm enough for shorts and flip-flops, and nights just cool enough for sweaters and jeans. Bliss!
Image sourced via Wikimedia Commons
With serene temples, amazeballs food, quirky culture, and brilliant wildlife, Kyoto is an easy sell all year round. But autumn just might be the very best time to do Kyoto with kids, as you’ve got crisp weather and absolutely spectacular fall foliage as a backdrop. Pro tip: Fly direct to nearby Osaka rather than Tokyo.
Image via Beate Baldry
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Image via One and Only Reethi Rah Maldives