Singapore · travel

How to plan a regional family holiday getaway

Screen Shot 2014-03-12 at 10.48.00 pmWe are so lucky that from Singapore we can easily travel to so many countries in a short amount of time. And not only that, we have so many flights to choose from, since we’re a major air hub. Last month, with no holidays planned for the year (horrors!) I wanted to go on a short holiday, and eventually we went to Langkawi. Here’s how it happened, almost chronologically, and some tips for beach holidays in the region.

  • I was pretty busy with work and planning Mittens birthday party, and looking after the kids in January, so I decided the best would be a beach kind of holiday where we would just stay in the resort and not go anywhere. That would lessen my load by not having to plan daily itineraries, and we can just relax and do things “own time own target”. As expected, we didn’t even step foot outside of the resort for the 4 days we were there, and honestly we could’ve stayed for another 4 and still had a good time!
  • I wanted a short flight, as short as possible, so I looked on the Singapore Airlines and Silkair websites for promotional prices, timings, and flight time. I’ve been wanting to go to Chiang Mai for the longest time but the fares are just ridiculous. I also considered many other destinations such as Kota Kinabalu, Bali, etc. I also checked budget airlines but unless there are rock bottom prices I’d rather take SQ or MI any day if I’m travelling with kids.
  • Next I checked possible accommodation. Starwood was having a Mastercard buy 2 get 1 night free promotion, and we are SPG members so they’ll throw in free wifi, etc where possible, and there are room upgrades depending on availability. I did look at all the other hotels too, but the rates were even more crazy than the ones I was looking at.
  • I’ll also check with friends who have gone to the destination (if any) and comments on TripAdvisor, taken with a pinch of salt, of course.
  • Many hotels will state a maximum occupancy for each room, and that usually isn’t 2A3C, but most of the time if you explain to them that you have small kids, they’re willing to make the exception for you. I will usually write to them to check anyway.
  • If you are planning to travel regionally, especially to a beach destination it’s good to know that from October to March is typically the monsoon season for us in Singapore and the east of peninsula Malaysia (Tioman, Cherating, Redang, Koh Samui etc and to some extent Bali too), which means less favourable weather. During this time, the west of peninsula Malaysia is in its peak season, so people flock to Phuket, Langkawi, Krabi etc. Understanding this will help in holiday planning and knowing when and where to go – you might get a cheaper deal off season for both air fares and accommodation but that also might mean unpredictable weather.
  • Having narrowed down a destination and preferred accommodation, I contacted two travel agencies to compare package prices with buying the flights and hotel direct. In this instance the package prices came up to more than booking directly, so I went ahead to book the rooms and the flights.

I hope these tips are useful to you in planning for your next getaway. Now that you have some tips, ready, set GO GO GO!!!

Screen Shot 2014-03-12 at 10.55.00 pm
Sunset in Langkawi #nofilter

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3 thoughts on “How to plan a regional family holiday getaway

  1. Wah you’re very organised! I leave all the travel planning to my husband, because I get easily distracted by other things on the web. Like erm, online shopping, and Facebook. 😁

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    1. Wow, lucky you! I used to plan my own flights for work to select the flights I wanted so I’m more than happy to do it for leisure! I suck at planning itineraries though..

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