Best long weekend trips to take during Singapore public holidays
When's the last time you took a vacation?
When you’re in the thick of your job, responsibilities and overall adulting, it's sometimes difficult to take a step back, give yourself a break and plan a good holiday.
The reality is that we’ve only got a certain number of days of leave to take per year (most Singaporeans have about 7 – 14 days).
So how do we make the most of them?
According to a recent survey, nearly half of Singaporeans planned to take more weekend trips for the year ahead to maximise time. It also mentioned that more and more of us are curating tighter travel itineraries which could be fit into shorter weekend holidays.
This makes perfect sense as it’s often too difficult to get away from work for more than a week and using up too many days of annual leave means having to wait quite a bit for the next vacation.
Huge workloads, client meetings, working endlessly overtime - can you say, burnout?
Instead, a better way to go about it is to break up your vacations into shorter stretches across the year, planning them around your long weekends.
How much leave am I entitled to?
Here's a breakdown of the minimum days of leave you have to work with for your holidays.
Keep in mind, these numbers are the minimum days required by law and will vary depending on how generous your employer is.
|Years of service||Days of leave|
Source: Employment Act of the Ministry of Manpower
On top of that, with the recent amendments to the Employment Act by the Ministry of Manpower earlier this year, employees who are required to work on public holidays are now entitled to take an extra day’s salary at their basic rate of pay. Alternatively, you and your employer can agree on a working day to substitute the public holiday.
Your employer could also offer the option of time off to replace the public holiday, based on a mutually agreed number of hours, if you belong to one of the following group of employees:
- Workmen earning more than $4,500 a month
- Non-workmen earning more than $2,600 a month
- All managers and executives
So with these numbers in mind, try to figure out the best way to make the most of your leave by factoring in Singapore's many public holidays.
When should I take a vacation?
For 2020, there are a total of 11 gazetted public holidays for employees. Out of those, 7 fall on or directly before weekends making them longer ones.
Cut out the hassle of last-minute holidays and plan out your long weekends for the coming year.
Best long weekend getaway destinations
So you've applied for your leave and your boss has given you the green light, it's now time to decide where to take your next weekend adventure.
Here are a few of the most beautiful weekend getaways to get you excited about your next long weekend.
Bali needs no introduction for most seasoned travellers. Aside from being a surfer's paradise with breathtaking beaches, the island is vast with rich culture that's clear in its architecture, temples, natural surroundings, fantastic food and well-known Balinese hospitality.
When to visit
The best time to visit Bali is from April to June or September, just before or after peak seasons which run from July to August and from December to January.
A gorgeous tropical island off the Malaysian West Coast, Langkawi has its share of beautiful beaches and lush jungle to make it the perfect weekend getaway. It's also perfect for water sports, so don't forget your swimsuit and sunscreen!
For the more extreme water sports, make sure to check if your travel insurance covers extreme sports such as parasailing or scuba diving. If you're not sure what's considered "extreme" by your provider, don't hesitate to drop them an e-mail or a call to ask.
There's no harm letting loose and having some fun as long as you've got yourself covered with the best travel insurance.
When to visit
Peak season to visit Langkawi is between November up to April, when the weather is generally at its best. Bouts of rain will begin from April up until Langkawi's rainy season which starts in September and lasts till November. During the months with bad weather, take care to make sure your insurance covers flight delays as they're pretty common during the off seasons.
There's a reason Phuket is such a backpackers' haven. Take a speedboat to reach the famous Phi Phi Islands or a cruise ride to nearby Phang Nga Bay. Stunning white sand beaches and a bustling nightlife await you in Phuket, not to mention, authentic Thai food. Need we say more?
When to visit
November to February is when Phuket's at its busiest, with the driest and coolest temperatures of the year. Things heat up after February up until May, when monsoon season begins and continues to October.
Old town charm, an eclectic mix of culture and amazing food inspired by Chinese, Malay and Indian heritage make Penang a great choice for a long weekend getaway.
Take a walk down Armenian Street for beautiful street art and head up to Love Lane for eateries with some of the best local food you'll find. If you're more keen to be outdoors, there's always the Penang National Park and the beach at Batu Ferringhi.
When to visit
Peak season in Penang is between November to January. This is considered the busiest time in Penang, including Christmas and New Year celebrations which means you'll get the best nightlife and the most people enjoying the festivities. If you're looking for the quiet, try between February to April instead.
If it's discounts you're after, consider visiting between May and October. Due to the rainy season, hotels will fall on the cheaper side, but be sure to bring along an umbrella and check that your travel insurance covers floods, as Penang has had cases of flash floods in recent years.
If you've never witnessed the sun going down or rising over the Angkor Wat temples, you're in for something truly special. Visiting Siem Reap feels almost like being transported back in time, with magnificent Hindu and Buddhist temples, built as far back as the 12th century, sprawling across the city.
When to visit
December or January generally have the best weather with the coolest months in Siem Reap. The dry northeast monsoon season runs from December through April, while the southwest monsoon from May to November brings wet weather and high humidity.
Hoi An is a charming port city, well-preserved with its French colonial buildings, canals and wooden Chinese shophouses.
Unlike Vietnam's bigger cities, Hoi An seems relatively untouched in terms of its heritage and architecture, making it a thoroughly authentic experience. Savour a cau lao (a rice noodle dish), sip on some Vietnamese coffee and take in this picturesque town.
Go ahead and take that well-deserved break and plan a mini-vacation over the long weekend with GoBear's long weekend calendar.
But remember, no matter how well-planned your vacation, there's always a chance of running into unexpected hiccups during your trip like flight cancellations or luggage theft.
So save up, plan your long weekends, choose a great destination, but give yourself some peace of mind and stay protected with the best travel insurance coverage for your needs.