With the lifting of travel restrictions and Covid-19 measures in many countries, we can finally go on an overseas adventure with the entire family in tow. From cheap holidays abroad to fun-filled activities across the world, there are just so many different destinations to choose from for an enjoyable family time with our loved ones (and little ones)!
If you’re still undecided on the places to go, here are some of our picks on the best overseas holiday destinations to visit with kids during the school holidays – from Asian countries nearby like Malaysia to the wondrous landscapes of Switzerland!
For somewhere a little closer to home, there’s always Malaysia — undeniably one of Singaporeans’ most favourite destinations, regardless of whether you’re there for a long stay or a short weekend getaway.
Shopping is fun and all but should the family tire of pavements and retail therapy, there’s always Malaysia’s nature and wildlife for a brief respite from the urban jungle.
It sure has been some time since we’ve last crossed the causeway for some fun at our favourite theme park across the borders: Legoland!
They’ve got over 40 interactive rides, shows and attractions that cater to the young and young at heart. Thrill-seekers are highly recommended to hop on The Dragon, a rollercoaster that promises the ride of a lifetime. But if you’ve got really daring kids, the Project X rollercoaster is the way to go.
For the little ones who just can’t get enough of Wild Wild Wet in Singapore, they will love Desaru Coast Waterpark, where everything is bigger, better and wetter! One of its most popular rides has to be the Kraken’s Revenge — a rollercoaster/splash ride that first takes you 30m up in the air on a tiny little boat before dropping you back into the water.
The family’s spoilt for choices here — shopping, dining, theme parks, they’ve got it all. Genting Highlands is, after all, called the City of Entertainment for a good reason.
Resorts World Genting alone has two theme parks — The SkyTropolis Indoor Theme Park and the newly-reopened Genting SkyWorld Outdoor Theme Park. The former offers over 20 attractions, including the Spin Crazy pendulum ride and the drop tower attraction, Sky Towers, while SkyWorld’s newest ride, the Samba Gliders, climbs up nearly 20m-high into the air for an ultimate bird's-eye view of the entire park.
From ancient temples to secret waterfalls and lush forests to impressive beachfronts, Cambodia has plenty to offer the entire family. The locals here absolutely adore children, often showering them with attention, so you don’t worry about having to keep your kids on a (metaphorical) leash.
For a small city, Siem Reap is crammed full of things to check out. For one, there’s the Angkor Archaeological Park which allows the whole family to live out their wildest Indiana Jones fantasies by exploring ancient ruins.
If you’d like to have an exciting school holiday activity to do, you could even take a tour around the park on horse carriages, though electric cars are also available to those not comfortable with animals. The kids, however, would definitely cajole you into letting them take a helicopter flight (It’s cool. Or at the very least, ride a hot air balloon while there).
Phare, the Cambodian Circus, is another highly recommended activity for the family. History meets modern-day storytelling here, as Khmer folktales are retold on stage through acrobatics, juggling, trapeze and other circus skills. Fret not, humans are the only performers in this circus.
Now for Cambodia’s capital city! If you happen to be in town on a weekend, you have to join the locals for a traditional riverside picnic in the rural town of Kien Svay. After all, when in Rome, do as the Romans do.
The bamboo platforms built over the Mekong River were specifically meant for picnicking, and it’d be a waste not to spend an afternoon by the waterside.
While Phnom Tamao Wildlife Park is a bit out of the way (it’s an hour’s drive from Phnom Penh), it offers a rare opportunity to interact with wildlife. Under the Free the Bears programme, the park houses rescued bears — from illegal wildlife trade and poachers — and provides a second lease on life for them. Should the kids really really love animals, you could even enrol the family into a week-long volunteering programme. With plenty of things to do even during the school holidays, there’s no doubt that travelling from Singapore to Cambodia is a must!
Ah yes, the beautiful Maldives. This archipelago is home to some of the world’s most stunning beaches and gorgeous coral reefs. While the Maldives has mostly been touted as a perfect destination for many honeymooners in Singapore, they’re great for the whole family too.
As with any beachfront attraction, you can expect to take part in numerous water-based activities. Still, nothing’s quite as special as swimming around moray eels, stingrays, sea turtles and even whale sharks!
That’s right, you can actually swim with the fabled giants. If you book the experience through The Conrad Maldives, not only will you be swimming with a Maldives Whale Shark Research Programme field researcher, but the proceeds from your swim will also go into funding their research efforts.
For more underwater fun, the family can enjoy an exquisite European-style dinner at Ithaa Undersea Restaurant. As you can expect from its name, it’s located beneath the ocean’s surface. Watch reef sharks and manta rays swim around and over you — who knows, they might be jealous of your lobster thermidor.
Don’t fret if the young’uns aren’t up to braving the waters on their own. They can still see the beauty of the ocean up close through a submarine tour! It’s a fully air-conditioned ride with four different departure times to suit your schedule.
Name us a country well-suited for road tripping and you’d be hard-pressed to find one that’s better than Australia. This dreamy country is replete with natural beauty and spectacular scenery — from the vast open deserts to the lush coasts teeming with life. It’s no wonder so many Singaporeans love travelling to good ole Australia.
If life was a highway, this is the highway we’d hope to ride on all night long. Can’t decide between Sydney or Melbourne? We compare them both below.
Let’s start with the fabled destination mentioned in Finding Nemo: Sydney!
Beyond architectural gems like the Sydney Opera House, Sydney is also the best place to get in touch with Australia’s amazing wildlife. Farm stays? They’ve got it. Outdoor camps? They’ve got it. You can even feed baby kangaroos at Symbio Wildlife Park and take selfies with the kangaroos for the kids to show off to their friends when school reopens.
Beach picnics in Singapore just won’t be the same after you’ve brought the kids to Bondi Beach. Apart from splashing around in the water and catching some waves, the young ones can frolic about in a children’s pool up north.
Instead of having dinner at a sit-down restaurant, you could also grill your own meal at one of the many barbeque pits while the kids run around the nearby fun playground.
Melbourne is a fantastic city to bring the family to for the school holidays too. With tons of wide-open spaces, parks and playgrounds, the kids can run free and expend all their energy. Yes, classrooms are boring, we know.
While enjoying the stunning views of the central business district, be sure to hop on one of the river cruises down Yarra River for a different perspective. If boats aren’t your thing, there’s also the free City Circle Tram that’ll bring you around town.
Looking for more places to go and activities to do? You could even bring the family on a day trip from Melbourne to the perennial tourist favourite: Phillip Island! Every evening, throngs of penguins rush to the shores in what’s known as a Penguin Parade, and visitors get to witness this breathtaking sight from the nearby boardwalk. Do remember to book your tickets early though, as they sell like hotcakes during the summer months.
Seoul, South Korea, has been one of Singaporeans’ top destinations to travel to for the past few years, and we can see why. Never mind that your kids might not have a favourite oppa just yet. Beyond its bustling K-pop and K-drama scene, the country pulls visitors in with its rich culture, breathtaking scenery and scrumptious cuisine.
Besides, Korea has four different seasons, which is enough to be an attraction on its own. If you’re lucky enough, you might even catch a glimpse of the first blooming of the cherry blossom at Jeju Island.
For a quick refuel, be sure to try out some delicious street food by Seoul roadsides or drop by some of the most unique and instagrammable cafés in South Korea. With so many flights to and fro Singapore and Korea, book your tickets now and get ready to have the time of your lives!
No matter how many variations they’ve seen, nothing quite excites the little ones like a giant aquarium. Teeming with never-before-seen fishes and marine life, the Coex Aquarium should be at the top of your itinerary for the places to go during your overseas school holiday trip. Here, kids can get up close and personal with sharks, stingrays and even jellyfishes!
No trip to Seoul is complete without bringing your kids to Lotte World — the world’s largest indoor theme park — and watching them scream their hearts out on all the different rides.
If your kids enjoy the great outdoors, you can’t miss out on Hamdeok Beach on Jeju Island. Of the three beaches that make up Hamdeok Beach, one has shallower waters that are not just ideal, but also safer for kids to go snorkelling in.
You can’t miss out on the Eco Land Theme Park either. This forest-themed attraction can be explored on foot, but we’re sure the kids would love to sit on a steam-powered Baldwin train and ride through the flower fields. Be sure to prepare your cameras and poses for that winning picture to post on Instagram!
Stunning views of snow-capped mountains and rolling green hills — what more can you ask of such a picturesque country? Not only is Switzerland considered one of the safest countries in the world (and hence, great for stress-free family vacations), but it is also small enough with cities like Geneva, Zurich and Bern to be explored within a couple of days.
Winter time is the time to take the whole family on a skiing trip! The weather’s a little colder at this time of the year, and you can still find thick layers of snow covering the ground at higher altitudes. Many ski resorts are open during this period of time, and they’ll be more than glad to provide you with skiing gear at affordable prices.
For more snow-filled fun, how about going on a dog-pulled sleigh? Throughout the winter, the dogs of Fondation Barry bring visitors on a tour around the dreamy winterscape of Champex-Lac. Though adults would have to go on foot (sorry parents), we’re certain the kids would love the experience of being pulled along by a pair of big fluffy dogs.
Zurich is also a great place to visit while in Switzerland. Apart from its quaint little towns, you’ll find plenty of shopping streets here to fill your souvenir needs. Older kids might even relish finding stylish clothes at Im Viadukt.
Travelling overseas - Best thing to do during the school holidays
We don’t blame you if you’re suffering from option paralysis right now — who wouldn’t be? If you’re planning for an overseas family trip for the next school holidays, these places will be sure to excite the younger ones and certainly the young at heart too.
Travelling with a tot through Changi Airport? Here’s everything you need to know about the type of baby gear to bring and documents to prepare when holidaying with a toddler. We guarantee you’ll be covered from check-in to boarding.
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Best time to visit: It’s generally recommended to visit between February and September, just between Malaysia’s monsoon seasons. The months of July, August and September can be rather hot and humid, though that doesn’t matter if you’re visiting Genting Highlands where it’s cool all year round.
Currency: The official currency of Malaysia is the Malaysian Ringgit (RM).
Book Now: Get to Malaysia in just under an hour via bus or direct flights now that both land and sky routes are open!
Best time to visit: October and November are great times to visit as the rainy months tapers off into gentler weather. The green season (June to August) is also popular as that’s when fresh fruits and vegetables are most abundant and tourist spots are quieter.
Currency: The official currency of Cambodia is the Cambodian Riel (KHR).
Book Now: Flights to Cambodia from Singapore take only a little over two hours. You can fly directly into Siem Riep and Phom Penh too!
Best time to visit: The Maldives is warm and sunshiny all year round, though between November and April is when the rain is least likely to mess up any of your plans.
Currency: The official currency of Cambodia is the Maldivian Rufiyaa (MVR) but you can use US Dollar (USD) at most places.
Book Now: A direct flight from Singapore to the Maldives takes less than 5 hours. As for getting around the islands, there are plenty of boats and seaplanes.
Best time to visit: September to November when it’s spring, as well as during the winter months of March to May, are the most popular times to visit Australia due to its temperate climate.
Currency: The official currency of Australia is the Australian dollar (AUD).
Book Now: Direct flights from Singapore to Australia vary between 5 to 7 hours, depending on your destination.
Best time to visit: If you want to see the cherry blossoms bloom, you’d definitely have to come in April. Otherwise, anytime between April to June or September to November is recommended.
Currency: The official currency of Indonesia is the South Korean Won (KRW).
Book Now: Get to Seoul from Singapore in just a little over 6 hours! There are direct flights to Jeju Island and Busan too, though you could always add it to your itinerary from Seoul.
Best time to visit: With four distinct seasons, it really just depends on what you want to experience while in Switzerland! The spring months of March to May are filled with Alpine blooms, while December to March is perfect for snow sports enthusiasts. The summer months aren’t hot either, thanks to the high altitude, and if you’re into wine and fruits, you’d want to come in Fall.
Currency: The official currency of Switzerland is the Swiss Franc (CHF).
Book Now: Direct flights to Switzerland only takes 13 hours now, though different destinations such as Zurich and Geneva may vary in time taken.