1. Perth, Australia
Travel time: 5 hours 10 mins
“We’ve been going as family for six years, and I’ve been going since I was little. We have family there so the decision to go is always easy. We love that there are so many options when we’re there — nature, the city, food, festivals (if you’re lucky), craft, flea markets, farmer’s markets…
The most awesome experience we’ve had recently was at the Perth Festival. It happens in February/March every year and we signed up for a Silent Disco tour that took us around Perth City, through music and dance, while we learned about native bees! It was so awesome.” – Aarika Lee, 36, Marketing Director at marketing and branding agency Elementary Co. She travels with her five-year-old daughter and three-year old son.
2. Phuket, Thailand
Travel time: 1 hr 50 mins
“We love Thai beaches, so our first family holiday when our son was four months old was to Phuket. We stayed at The Surin because of its private beach, and how it was renowned for being baby-friendly.
Our son loved the pool — and we loved that we could tire him out to sleep through the night. Their staff were always so happy to hold for a couple of minutes while we inhaled our food! It was the first time in four months I had hot food, actually.” – Faz Gaffa-Marsh, 32, a writer with a one-and-half-year-old son.
3. Prevelly, Western Australia
Travel time: 5 hr 10 mins
“My husband and I tied the knot there and we loved spending time in the Margaret River region as a couple,. So, when our eldest son turned three in 2014, we decided to rent a house in Prevally and spend a couple of days exploring the region with him. From then on, we’ve tried to get to WA once every two years or so. It’s a short flight, and there are fabulous opportunities for the kids to be outdoors and to interact with nature, too. Plus there’s good coffee, wine, fresh produce and dining options. The establishments are generally incredibly child-friendly, so there’s plenty to keep everyone in the family happy.
We love the weather in the fall or winter. It’s mild and cool, such a pleasant change from Singapore’s climate. It means that we can enjoy doing ordinary things like spending time in the playground everyday. On our last trip, we spent a week in Fremantle, spending most of our time just going to places that we could get to on foot. In Margaret River, we love combining outdoor play with some wine tasting and lunch (with a designated driver).” – Tan Su-Lyn, mid-forties, founder of The Ate Group. She has three children, two sons (eight and one) and a four-year-old daughter.
4. Danang, Vietnam
Travel time: 2 hr 40 mins
While the waves on the 32-kilometre stretch of My Khe Beach might not be the most swimmable, the white sand beach and stunning sunsets will more than make up for it. For the family that surfs, it also means getting in some surf action, or just sitting and chilling beachside at one of the many restaurants that dot the stretch. As a bonus, the UNESCO-heritage town of Hoi An is just 45 minutes drive away, which makes for an easy day trip.
5. The Maldives
Travel time: 4 hr
The calm azure waters of the Maldives makes this one big swimming pool for the whole family. Accommodation wise, depending on your choice, you could wake up and jump into the ocean before breakfast or just have your own private beach 20 steps from your villa. Also, parents will be glad to know that most resorts in the Maldives are extremely family-friendly with kid’s clubs and a full activity calendar, that way the kids won’t get bored, and parents get their much needed down time.
READ MORE: 9 Island Retreats Near Singapore For A Quick Romantic Getaway
6. Nikoi Island, Indonesia
Travel time: 2 hr 20 mins by ferry, car and boat
The 15-hectare resort is a well-kept secret of those in the know. With pristine waters and just 15 beach houses built out of driftwood, it’s perfect for both families with young ones but also older children (they recommend ages four and up). The private island has natural rock slides, hidden reefs and treehouses for the kids to explore freely. Plus, the complimentary kid’s club has a daily roster of activities manned by staff well-trained to look after your little ones.
Another plus? The eco-friendly nature of the resort means there’s no television in-room and limited Wifi (just enough for emails) which will be a good way to re-introduce the children to non-electronic distractions.
Travel time: 5 hr 10 mins
Shanghai isn’t often thought of as a family-friendly destination but with Disneyland Shanghai located right in Pudong, it’s a destination worth considering. Other family-friendly attractions include the Shanghai Ocean Aquarium and Shanghai Circus World and the art gallery district of Moganshan. Plus, if Mandarin is the kid’s mother tongue, they’ll have a chance to practice it daily.
8. Bali, Indonesia
Travel time: 2 hr 40 mins
Be warned, you may never come back from your Bali vacation. The island is primed as family-friendly destination which, as a family, you can go to again and again as the years go by. With pool-villas easily available (check out our guide here), an array of beaches, outdoor activities (downhill cycling, white water rafting, hiking Mount Agung) and no shortage of food options, local or otherwise, Bali is a no-brainer. Just don’t blame us if you come back hooked and never travel anywhere else again.
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Text: Charlene Fang