The year-end school holidays are always worth looking forward to. As a child, the school holidays meant a long-awaited trip to a new country unbeknownst to me. And even now, going on a holiday gets me excited beyond belief. 

Now if you are looking for great family-friendly destinations for the 2019 school holidays, you’ve got them all right here!

Destinations in Asia

An important factor to consider when travelling with kids is the flight time – the shorter the better. And with more luggage than you would otherwise need, going to countries with a convenient metro system or cheap private car hire services would be ideal. These Asian destinations all clock in at approximately 6 hours of flight time and all have an efficient transport system within.

1. Tokyo, Japan

One of the finest and cleanest countries in the world, Japan boasts a gorgeous landscape featuring ancient shrines and temples amidst the skyscrapers. Known for their efficient public transport system with trains that are always on time, it will be easily travelling around Tokyo. Just be sure to avoid the peak hours!

Image credit: @jlhopes |

For the kids, visiting Universal Studios Japan, Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea, Hello Kitty Park and Legoland Discovery Centre will be the highlights of the trip. And for adults, a visit to Mount Fuji and the surrounding hot spring resorts will be a long-awaited indulgence.

2. Taipei, Taiwan

The unrivalled origin country of Bubble Tea, Taipei is an upbeat city filled with delicious street food and the best BBT. Those you must try include Ah Chung Rice Noodles, Braised Pork Rice and the Devil’s Fried Chicken, all conveniently located within the night markets.

Image credit: @remiyuan |

While the night markets are important to fill your stomach, a visit to the Taipei Zoo where alpacas and llamas wait to be seen, and a ride on the Maokong Gondola will be a refreshing experience. Then head to the National Palace Museum where over 700,000 pieces of ancient Chinese artefacts are housed. Accumulated over 8000 years of Chinese history, this is the place to rake up on your history knowledge.

Find flights and accommodation in Taipei and stand to enjoy up to 6.0% Cashback on your booking!

3. Shanghai, China

A modern metropolitan city, Shanghai is an eccentric mix of old and new. With Victorian and European-inspired architecture coupled with historical temples and buildings, this city glows in light of its own. 

Image credit: @bingham008 |

The unique Tron Lightcycle Power Run at Shanghai Disneyland attracts visitors from all over the world. But besides Disneyland, other family-friendly parks such as the Shanghai Wild Animal Park, Shanghai Zoo and even an Ocean Aquarium also offers great family time. To end off a long day, head over to the Bund and soak up the mesmerizing views of the Shanghai skyline.

4. Beijing, China

As the 2020 Winter Olympics approaches, Beijing will soon be flooded by sports enthusiasts from all continents. So head there before the fiasco begins!

Image credit: @linglivestolaugh |

The capital of China holds a whopping seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City and the Summer Palace. And if there’s one city you must visit in China, we say let it be Beijing.

5. Seoul, South Korea

While South Korea is famous for its entertainment scene, the tourist attractions and local delicacies such as hotteok (Korean pancake), tteokbokki (spicy stir-fried rice cake) are also worth the attention.

Some of the most popular ones include the Everland Theme Park and Lotte World Theme Park. But for a unique experience that you can’t get anywhere else, wear a Hanbok around Gyeongbokgung Palace. It isn’t as out of place as it seems because everyone is doing it! Plus, the photos will serve as adorable memorabilia of your trip!

6. Bali, Indonesia

Some may think it is more suitable for party and beach-goers, but Bali is equally as suitable for families. With stunning horizons and delectable food, there is no end to the relaxation and enjoyment for one in Bali.

Image credit: @jamiefenn |

Bask in the sun at Waterbom Bali Park and Splash Water Park (Canggu Club) before heading to the Safari and Marine Park for a raw touch with nature.

7. Phuket, Thailand

A surfer’s paradise, Phuket is a glorious sight to take in at dusk. With an endless stretch towards the horizon and delicious Thai cuisine at hand, don’t forget to also visit the Buddhist temples decorated in gold trimmings to learn about the Thai Buddhist history as well.

Image credit: @acecole |

The adventurous ones can try out ziplining, wakeboarding and canoeing for an action-packed holiday. Just be sure to book your experiences via certified websites to ensure that you’re in safe hands! You can even opt for an exclusive snorkelling trip around Phi Phi Islands and the Maya Area!

8. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Many might not see this developing city as family-friendly, but the city is indeed quite suitable for families. Without the theme parks and crazy attractions, Ho Chi Minh City is best for those looking for cultural immersion in another Asian country.

We recommend using Grab while you are there simply because it is cheaper and safer, but the traffic jams can be quite a bummer so plan in advance! The food in Ho Chi Minh City is not to be missed as well, so try out authentic banh mi and pho which are rather hard to find in Singapore!

9. Genting Highlands, Malaysia

Despite the long bus journey required to get there, Genting Highlands remains one of the most popular weekend getaway destinations in Malaysia. The newly revamped First World Theme Park, now known as Skytropolis Funland, will keep you and your kids occupied for a whole day. With the Casino and plenty of restaurants and retail stores in the shopping malls, there will be no lack of activities for both the young and old.

Image credit: @aaronlee224 |

Destinations in Europe

If you have a little more time on your hand and your kids can work with longer flight hours, then go ahead and venture out of Asia! These destinations offer an experience influenced by Western cultures and history that differ from Asian history. But fret not for their public transport system are still very advanced and convenient and the only downside is likely to be the long flight hours.

10. London, United Kingdom

For the kids and those of us who grew up watching the Harry Potter movies, the Warner Bros. Studio Tour will be the best part of the trip. For parents looking to spark an early interest in history in their kids, we recommend a visit to the Natural History Museum where fossils of a dinosaur and a blue whale are on display.

Image credit: @evantdang |

Instead of the London Eye, we recommend heading to Westminster Abbey and Tower Bridge. A better place to get a bird’s eye view of the city, head up to The View from The Shard. 

P.S. Admission to The View is free but the entrance is capped at a daily limit! So head there early!

11. Brussels, Belgium

Mmmmm, the smell of chocolate lingering in the air is exactly how I imagined Heaven would smell like. Waffles and chocolate pretty much sum up Belgium, which means going for a chocolate workshop is a must on your list (despite the calories you will rake up).

Other experiences such as going for a culinary tour or heading to the Tintin Boutique will also be something new that you can’t find in Singapore.

12. Rome, Italy

Another one on the educational list, Rome holds a rich medieval history that seeps through every cobble-stoned street you walk on. The Colosseum stands tall in the city’s centre and the snaking queue at the entrance is a tell-tale sign of its popularity.

Right near the Colosseum lies the Palatine Hill, the Orchard Road of ancient Rome where the wealthy nobles lived. While these might sound mundane as compared to crazy theme parks, it joins the list as a culturally rich destination to learn about the lives of other people.

13. Switzerland

Switzerland is all about that snow and skiing that we can’t get in Singapore. Experience the thrills of snow sledding at night before riding a gondola back to your accommodation. With the gorgeous view of the Swiss Alps serving as a backdrop as you sip a cup of hot chocolate, this winter holiday will be a Christmas wish come true!

Destinations in Australia

Showered by sunshine almost all year round, there’s never a bad time to visit Australia. The sleepy koalas and energetic kangaroos are super fun to look at but do keep a safe distance from them. The local markets are also worth exploring especially after spending the morning at the beach!

14. Sydney, Australia

The vibrant Sydney is the most visited city of Australia and without a doubt, the iconic Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbor Bridge are certainly must-visits. But our personal favourite has got to be the Wild Life Sydney Zoo where you get to see koalas and kangaroos up close!

From farm-fresh produce to fresh blooms, indie artworks and vintage goods, the local markets are treasure chests left open for you to discover.

15. Queensland, Australia

If you’d like to head out of the city, we say head to Queensland. The renowned Great Barrier Reef is the perfect way to get in touch with marine life. Take the opportunity to educate the young on the effects of global warming on the oceans as well!

December is the perfect time to visit the Gold Coast as it sees the longest daylight, so make full use of your time here and get some glorious tan before heading back to Singapore!


User Feedback