We’re sure you’re busy sticking to your resolutions and making plans for the year, but we want you to get your 2015 holidays sorted, mama! (Vacations are meant to be stress-free, after all.) We’ve got suggestions for each of Singapore’s record seven long weekends below – see if anything gets you wanderlusting!
Holiday: Chinese New Year
When: Thursday-Friday, 19-20 February
Where: Hakuba, Japan
Why: Fantastic powder skiing, just a 3-hour train ride from Tokyo
Now we don’t exactly get snow here mamas, but that doesn’t mean you and the kiddos can’t indulge in a Japanese winter wonderland. Hakuba’s a great place for new learners and experts alike with amazing fluffy snow and it’s just an easy train ride away from Tokyo. Wanting to explore a little more, ladies? Grab a flight to Niseko – you won’t regret it!
How to get there: 7-hour flight to Tokyo + 3-hour train to Hakuba
Where to Stay: Hotel de La Neige Higashi-Kan; Gakuto Villas
Holiday: Good Friday
When: Friday, 3 April
Where: Sabah, Borneo
Why: Orangutans, diving to dive for and beaches
Get the monkeys together and head on over to Sabah, where you’ll be able to charter a boat and cruise on down the Kinabatagan River, home to a number of Borneo’s favourite animals like the orangutan and macaques. Wanting to splash about in the water? Head on over to Sipidan, a marine park perched on the edge of the Celebes Sea; remember to bring an underwater cam for colourful snaps of the children.
See our full guide here!
How to get there: Flight to Kota Kinabalu (2 hours 30 minutes)
Where to stay: Bunga Raya, Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort
Holiday: Labour Day
When: Friday, 1 May 2015
Where: Boracay, Philippines
Why: White sand, world-class snorkeling and no shortage of pampering for mama – need we say more?
Head on over to Boracay this Labour Day to make the most of high season before it really gets busy. Universally loved by tourists everywhere, this beach island is renowned for its super fine sand and glassy waters. Having been there a handful of times myself, be absolutely sure to head out for a spot of snorkeling with the kiddos and even a cheeky bit of scuba diving if your troupe’s a little older – it’s some of the best in the world. Don’t forget about banana boating and grab yourself an icy dessert cup of Halo-Halo, practically a staple for Filipino families everywhere.
See our full guide to Boracay here!
How to get there: Take a plane to Kalibo (three and a half hours), grab a taxi to Caticlan Jetty Port and hop onto a Bangka (traditional Filipino fishing boat) to Boracay (10-15 minutes).
Where to stay: Sur Boracay, Discovery Shores
Holiday: Vesak Day
When: Monday, 1 June 2015
Where: Sri Lanka
Why: Sea turtles, elephants, bird sanctuaries and tea plantations
Got an animal lover in the family? Maybe Sri Lanka’s a good shout. Aside from the gorgeous tea plantations you’ll undoubtedly come across, make time to visit a sea turtle conservation like Sea Turtle Farm, UdaWalawe’s elephant park, or the Kalametiya bird sanctuary for an unforgettable experience you can’t quite replicate in Singers.
How to get there: Take a plane to Colombo (3 hours, 44 minutes)
Where to stay: Maya Villas, The Last House
Holiday: Hari Raya Puasa
When: Friday, 17 July 2015
Where: Da Nang, Vietnam
Why: Dragon Bridge, bike riding and made-to-measure tailoring
Let’s talk about Da Nang, ladies. Our Sassy Mama Hong Kong editor Leslie recently snuck off here on a long weekend of her own and fell madly in love with the glorious beach, beautiful bike trails and amazing local fare. And then there are the world famous tailors in nearby Hoi An who can whip you up a designer-inspired outfit overnight. Be sure to stay over the weekend and catch the fire show blazing away on Dragon Bridge!
How to get there: Direct flight to Da Nang (2 hours, 40 minutes)
Where to stay: A La Carte, Fusion Maia Da Nang
Holiday: National Day
When: Sunday, 9 August 2015 (following Monday is a holiday)
Where: Taipei, Taiwan
Why: A cultural break and an excuse to get back in touch with nature
Get those hiking boots on, ladies! Taipei is surprisingly home to a number of stunning trails including the breathtaking Sandiaoling Waterfall Trail, which boasts a number of – you guessed it! – waterfalls. Not to be outdone, my boyfriend recently trekked through Taroko National Park a couple of hours by train in Hualien, full of lush autumnal foliage set in the heart of a gorge. Fam not up for the trek, mamas? No worries – head on over Tzushr Temple or Bao’an Temple for an indoor excursion.
How to get there: Take a flight to Taipei (4 hours, 19 minutes)
Where to stay: The Grand Hotel, Arsma Hotel
Holiday: Christmas Day
When: Friday, 25 December
Why: Amazing beachside fun and sights – and the food!
Forego the cold damp this Christmas mamas and opt for a Christmas spent sipping on coconuts in the sun. With gorgeous beaches and water activities to spare, we recommend a day trip to Phi Phi Island or Banana Beach for an amazing splash against the backdrop of cliffs and lush jungle foliage. (Tip: take a wooden traditional boat for some real adventure. Don’t forget to nab a coconut for just 50 Baht at one of the tucked away tables on Banana Beach!)
See our full guide on our sister site here!
How to get there: Take a flight direct to Phuket (90 minutes)
Where to stay: Andara; Trisara