Marked your calendar for 2020’s SEVEN long weekends, mama? Our handy long weekend 2020 travel planner lets you know where to go, when!
The long winter holidays may be upon us, but surely we’re not the only ones always looking forward to the next chance to travel, right? Just in case you haven’t already bookmarked the list of 2020 public holidays like we have, it’s time to get excited mama: the public holiday 2020 calendar is chock full of long weekend opportunities, with a whopping seven long weekends (and almost eight, if you count a Thursday) spread across the year.
Chinese New Year comes early this year (it’s The Year of the Rat in 2020, in case you didn’t know!), so your first long weekend will be in January. By the time the next public holiday rolls around, for Good Friday in April, we just know you’re gonna want a break. Also keep an eye on the month of May, which kicks off with Labour Day on Friday May 1 and leads right in to Vesak Day the following Thursday 7 May (or, take Friday 8 May off and have yourself a pretty sweet little four-day weekend), and rounds out a couple weeks later with Hari Raya Puasa. Maybe just take the whole month off?
Taking into account weather (because why waste a holiday on rainy season?) and travel times, swipe through for our top picks for family travel in 2020. And click here to make sure it all jibes with your kiddo’s school holidays. Happy planning, mamas!
Swipe through our gallery for top long weekend 2020 destinations!
Lead image (Ghibli Museum, Tokyo) by coward_lion via 123RF
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 Rat.
A few beautiful beach destinations within easy reach (a single flight away, with great weather in February):
Koh Samui: The dry season runs from November to March and comes with pleasant temps and calm seas. Wondering where to stay? Read Sassy Mama Abi’s review of her stay at Santiburi Koh Samui (pictured above) with her two small kids, or consider renting a villa if you’ll be traveling with a group. We also just heard that the fabulous Ritz-Carlton Koh Samui is offering discounted stays to residents of Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand for stays through 20 April 2020, with rates starting from S$399++ per night. Just use promo code The Resident when booking, mama!
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, and ogle our colleague Kristin jaw-dropping photos from her recent stay at LUX* South Ari Atoll.
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 back online 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. Tourism is a major economic lifeline for Sri Lanka, which was sadly devastated by terror attacks last year, so we’d love to do our part to show our support!
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 13-15 April. We say take the whole week off to experience the truly joyous and unique street water fights that erupt all over the city (not to mention Bangkok’s culture, shopping and world class street food)!
Image by Banyan Tree Bangkok
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 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.
Everyone in Singapore goes to Bali at one time or another, and May just happens to be the perfect time to do it: the weather is clear and sunny and humidity is low, but the international tourist crowd hasn’t arrived for the peak summer high season. You’ll practically have it all to yourself! One of the things we love most about Bali is the variety of landscapes and lodging options. You’ve got family-friendly all-inclusive beach resorts like Club Med in Nusa Dua and Jimbaran; yoga escapes, luxe resorts and multiple mother-child retreats in tranquil, jungly Ubud; and a mix of family-friendly villas and a lively nightlife and restaurant scene in Canggu and Seminyak. Our top tip is to just pick a spot and stay put, though, because Bali traffic is brutal all year round.
Image via Getty
The Tokyo 2020 Olympics run from 24 July through 9 August, and we don’t doubt that all of Singapore will be watching as Joseph Schooling attempts to defend his Olympic gold. Why not watch history (hopefully) being made in person? While you’re there, you can check out TeamLab Borderless (pictured above), the home base of the cool folks behind Future World. Or visit the whimsical Studio Ghibli Museum (pictured at the top of this article), a museum and park dedicated to anime with a special emphasis on making children feel recognized and respected (for instance, there are special step-stools to receive their own ticket at the cinema box office).
And if you’re going to Japan anyway, you might as well swing by Kyoto to take in its serene temples, amazeballs food, quirky culture, and brilliant wildlife…
Image via TeamLab Borderless
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 by Emilie de Cannart
Ok so you can’t realistically make it to Europe (or even Hakuba or Niseko, really) in just three days, but chances are your kiddos will be off school anyway, so you might as well take this week off, right? If you’re after a white Christmas, there’s nothing like a family ski holiday to get the job done! And we’ve heard from folks in the know that flying direct to Switzerland or Milan actually doesn’t take much longer than getting to ski resorts in Japan due to flight timings and accessibility (pesky jet lag is the main differentiator). But just think: crackling fire, warm fuzzy boots, hot chocolate with a bit of brandy, FONDUE… it’s never too early to book ahead for Christmas, mamas!
And if snow (or long flights) aren’t really your thing, crisp air and the smell of pine trees are closer than you think with a bit of Christmas flavour in Cameron Highlands, Malaysia.
Image via Zermatt Matterhorn
Looking for more fun travel ideas, mama? Check out some of our most popular articles:
- The Best Kids’ Clubs in Asia: Pirate Ships, Pony Rides and More
- Easy Island Breaks from Singapore — No Flights Required!
- Our Favourite Family Theme Parks in Asia and Beyond
- The Best Family Travel Booking Websites for Villas & Apartments
Image via One and Only Reethi Rah Maldives