Travel is properly back on the cards, yay! Good news for one of our fave things in the world: Mini breeeeeeaks! Here's our top destinations for beach hangs and sunset chills with the kiddos…
Dreaming of an easy family holiday? It could be argued that life in Singapore is a bit of a holiday, thanks to our endless sunshine, great attractions for families and kid-friendly restaurants. All the same, it’s always great to venture from the Little Red Dot, even if it is just to exchange one island for another. Long-haul journeys with the brood can be a bit of a challenge (so don’t miss our survival tips for plane trips with kids), and clashing school breaks don’t help, but there’s no need to go far for a smashing holiday. Singapore is surrounded by isles and pulaus just perfect for a long weekend vacay. Now that travel has opened up again, pack your swimsuit and take your pick from some of our favourite destinations for a short getaway from Singapore with kids. No stopover required!
Note: Remember to check the travel requirements of the destination country you plan to travel to before setting off on your next vacation. Note that some of the visa requirements have changed since the pandemic!
Our favourite short getaways from Singapore with kids
1. Bintan, Indonesia
About an hour by ferry
Apart from Sentosa, this is our closest island neighbour for a getaway, and it’s the go-to if you want to get away fast, play golf or chill out with the kids on the beach. One of the best family-friendly hotels here is Banyan Tree Bintan. With a private beach, a Ranger’s Kids Club suitable for kiddos aged three to ten, a spa for some serious self-care time and a golf course for pops, this property is the perfect resort for everyone in the family to have some R&R time. If you want an effortless short escape for all the brood, this is the place to be.
2. Bali, Indonesia
Under three hours by plane
This isle needs no introduction, but it’s a perennial fave for a family holiday. It’s grown with us over the years, and we find something new every time we go back. We love heading to Jimbaran Bay because it’s closer to the airport, and you can still get decent accommodation on or near the beach (without indecent prices). Looking for a private villa for your short getaway from Singapore? Check out The Sea Shanty. With littlies, we love Nusa Dua and Club Med Bali. It’s all-inclusive, so there’s no risk of squabbling over who’s hungry and where to go! For all our tips on the latest and greatest places to stay, eat, shop and chill – including fun stuff to do with kids – head over to Honeycombers Bali.
3. Koh Samui, Thailand
Under two hours by plane
We love it here: The beaches, food, jungles, people and marine park excursions are a family pleaser every single time. There’s plenty of choice for all budgets around this sunny island, so have a look at our guide to Koh Samui with kids and then put it on your holiday radar, stat. We recommend a holiday at Meliá Koh Samui with the fam. The resort is set out to pamper parents silly with their on-site activities like a spa and 24-hour fitness centre. Enjoy all this and more while the kids have a blast at the Kidsdom kids club.
Another place on our list is SALA Samui Chaweng Beach Resort which has some unique activities to catch, like the Sala seeker- coconut tour. If you want to amp up your culinary skills with some delish Thai dishes up your sleeve, the cooking class is your place to be! At the end of it, treat your fam to a Thai spread cooked up by yours truly. Brownie points all the way!
4. Langkawi, Malaysia
Under an hour by plane
Why do we keep going back to Langkawi with the kids? A trip to Langkawi is a very accessible quick weekend away, with flights whizzing you there in under an hour. We love the great bucket-and-spade experience at the Pelangi Beach Resort and Spa, and the kids will go nuts for the small dino-themed water park on site. The white beach, relaxing atmosphere and close proximity to a small town full of delicious family-friendly restaurants seals the deal for us time and time again. What’s not to love about the quick journey, clean beaches, delish food and fam-friendly hotels? The Holiday Villa Beach Resort & Spa is another fam fave on our list. With an array of activities to explore, like the water sports, tennis courts, and children’s playground, to name a few, the resort has everyone in the fam covered for the best fam vacay!
5. Desaru Coast, Malaysia
Around 2.5 hours by coach
Turns out a mini-break away from Singapore doesn’t have to whack a kid-shaped hole in your wallet. We’ve enjoyed a long weekend in Desaru Coast for less than what a day out on Sentosa can cost us! That’s not to say you can’t splurge it either – we’ve seen the One & Only Desaru Coast, and it is AMAZING! The holiday stay comes with complimentary daily activities planned for the kiddos. In our books, this is a big win-win! Your kids can explore a wide range of topics like discovery, education, local culture, nature, sports, and arts and crafts. A happy kid makes for a happy parent, right?!
6. Manila, Philippines
Around three hours by plane
If it’s a city break you’re after, then there’s nothing vanilla about fun-packed Manila! Hop into our guide for the Manila lowdown on where to eat, where to stay and what to do in the lively and cultural capital city of the Philippines. Our go-to pick from this bustling metropolis is one of the first resort-style hotels established in the city called Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila. Located at the bay, the resort offers breathtaking sea views, and it also lays on the red carpet for our little travellers with many activities to engage with, including an ice cream party, group tennis classes, bubble station, and face and hand-painting, to name a few. Don’t miss out on their staycation offers which are too tempting to resist!
7. Cebu, Philippines
Under four hours by plane
Not to be confused with Sibu, the paradise island of Cebu in the Philippines, is an easy direct flight straight from Singapore. We’re talking under four hours, people! If you are looking for a splashing good vacay in Cebu, Jpark Island Resort and Waterpark is a must-visit for all you holiday-hungry peeps! Beyond the bustling 16.5 hectares of fun-tastic facilities, the main highlight includes the three towering waterslides, a lazy river pool, and a pool with a beach-like shoreline. There’s much more for the kids to enjoy, including Pororo Park, Go Karting and mini golf. But what about mum and dad? Besides some much-needed pampering at the spa, we’re also quite taken with the waves of the artificial tide pool. Go on, rediscover that inner child – we won’t judge!
Another good fam option is Crimson Resort & Spa Mactan. With a whole pool (with lifeguards and life jackets for kids on standby) for kids, plus an indoor soft play area and playground dedicated to smaller guests, plus the friendliest staff on the planet, a beautiful little beach and an excellent buffet brekkie, you’ve got yourself one awesome, easy getaway. And if you’ve got a few days extra to spend in the sun, do make sure you head to Oslob for a swim with the whale sharks!
8. Boracay, Philippines
About three hours by plane
Boracay in the Philippines is one of our top beach destinations to go to. The Mövenpick Resort & Spa is a fam-fave located bang on the white sandy beaches of Boracay. What more could you ask for? Treat yourself to some invaluable downtime at Sagay Spa and rest assured that the kiddos will find nothing to complain about with the fun-filled activities in store for them at the Little Kids Club, outdoor playground and splash pools. Beyond the hotel, enjoy the tranquil beaches, because those sands and waters remain some of the loveliest we’ve ever seen. Don’t forget to take a glass-bottom boat to see the cool residents that live just off the shore!
9. Bangkok, Thailand
About two hours by plane
If your kids never sleep, then perhaps you need a city that never sleeps either for an action-packed school break holiday. There’s so much to love about this vibrant city that has something for everyone. Theme parks, shopping, massage, culture, history, fab food and tuk-tuk travel are just a few reasons to pop Bangkok firmly on your travel bucket list. Experience the city from Siam Kempinski Hotel, located in the city centre. The hotel has a spacious setup for the Kempinski kids club, where children up to 12 years can enjoy an array of interactive and educational games. While the kids are entertained, take a dip in one of the saltwater pools at the resort’s landscaped oasis, or opt for luxury spa-pampering.
About three hours by plane
Whether you fancy a buzzy city break to Ho Chi Minh or Hanoi, a more chilled vibe in the ancient town of Hoi An, or even a cruise around Ha Long Bay, Vietnam is one of our favourite places to jet off to with kids. Gorgeous beaches, stunning scenery, super smiley people and a shed load of history make this an overseas adventure perfect for the young and old alike.
We love a fam getaway to a Vietnamese seaside resort, and Salinda boutique resort ticks the box. The holiday haven showcases Vietnamese hospitality at its authentic best for an experience of a lifetime. With so much to explore from international cuisines, spas, wellness activities, picturesque landscapes, etc, the resort is the complete package! For our tiny vacationers, there is a packed daily roster of fun at the Kids Club to keep your explorers well entertained, including painting, sculpting etc. Furama Vietnam is another vacation hotspot for your travellers’ map. The hotel has loads of exciting activities for an action-packed getaway for the whole gang!
11. Siem Reap, Cambodia
About two hours by plane
If you are looking to take a deep dive into the history and culture of Cambodia, Shinta Mani Angkor and Bensley Collection Pool Villas is the place to be! The resort is located a few tuk tuk rides away from historic sites, like the UNESCO World Heritage Temples of Angkor Wat; and local marketplaces. If a beautiful Cambodian resort perched amid tropical gardens and pools defines your base camp between packed city tours, we have nothing to complain about! Find out why this ancient pocket of Cambodia makes for a seriously cool adventure that the whole gang will love.
Happy holidaying! Got a fave short getaway from Singapore? Let us know!