Headed to Singapore for a vacation with the entire family? With young kids in tow, a family holiday can be a terrific dream or a terrible nightmare.
To avoid things going south (and we don’t mean Singapore’s location in Southeast Asia), proper planning is essential. Add a good dose of humour, ladles full of patience, and a sprinkling of luck.
The team at PARKROYAL Serviced Suites Singapore has put together a list of useful travel hacks to help you and your loved ones travel light and stress-free. Enjoy!
No matter how experienced your kids are with flying, you need to always prepare for the worst-case scenario on board a flight. One kid could fall sick, another may suddenly throw a tantrum, and yet another may not sleep a wink on a red-eye flight.
Remember this acronym as it could save your life on a flight. FFRD – which stands for Food, Fingers, Rest, and Drink.
Always have a bag of your child’s favourite snacks before boarding a flight. Prepare some busy bags for your child to keep his little fingers and mind engaged. This could be a set of colouring or drawing books, an iPad, or simple puzzles to keep him occupied.
Make sure your child gets sufficient rest before the flight, and do buffer some rest time to recover – especially after a long journey.
Lastly, ensure that your child remains hydrated throughout the journey. You can follow one of our favourite hacks here: Get your child to drink from and empty his water bottle prior to boarding, and then ask the cabin crew to top it up once you’re in the air.
Singapore may be a relatively small city in a garden. However, location is still key when choosing the right accommodation here, especially since you wouldn’t want to lug your young kids around unnecessarily.
Accommodation facilities are also paramount. Many young families opt for serviced apartments as they offer both laundry and cooking facilities, making it convenient to wash soiled clothing or whip up a healthy meal in minutes.
For these reasons, PARKROYAL Serviced Suites Singapore may be ideal for travelling families with very young children. These well-appointed serviced apartments are located in the colourful Beach Road area close to the heart of the city, surrounded by amenities such as 24-hour convenience stores, food centres, shopping malls, as well as a vibrant café district.
Most of Singapore’s places of interest are well-connected via bus or Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) train networks. You can also use the mobile app Grab to summon a private car (or taxi) for the whole family at any time of the day. Just bear in mind that your children will require car seats in a private-hire car if they are below the height limit of 1.35 metres.
If you’re planning to go around via public transport, do consider purchasing a 1, 2 or 3-Day Pass to enjoy unlimited rides on the island’s extensive train and public bus systems.
To ensure you have sufficient clothing for the kids (and more importantly, minimise clothes-related tantrums), get your children to choose and pack their clothing in individual vacuum-sealed Ziploc bags.
This will help keep everyone neat and organised; plus it’ll prevent your luggage from looking as if a hurricane had just gone through it.
Tip: Make sure you empty excess air out of the bags before packing them into the luggage. This helps to save valuable space for your shopping forays later.
Holidays aren’t just fun for the whole family; it’s also a great way to make learning come alive for your children.
Prepare simple activity kits for your child to doodle in and make notes about a place, or pack a travel journal for older kids who can write. They can stick notes or ticket stubs along the way and make fond memories on the go. Or even better, give them a digital camera or mobile phone so they can take photos of every place they visit!
Just make sure you set rules so that they don’t get so engrossed in their gadgets that they forget to tune in to the local culture, sights, and sounds.
Tip: While it’s good to have a plan, remember to leave room for flexibility. You may make unexpected discoveries along the way. Plus, if your kids are enjoying themselves, why not just linger at a place a little longer?
Fortunately for young parents, Singapore isn’t just a shopping and food paradise; this tiny tropical island is also a haven for your little ones. The island is filled with scenic parks and well-appointed museums, many of which feature family-friendly exhibits and activities. Our favourite ones include the National Museum of Singapore, National Gallery Singapore, ArtScience Museum, and the MINT Museum of Toys.
Or how about an island day trip? You’ll be surprised to know that Singapore has some 63 offshore islands, with a handful of them teeming with corals and other marine wildlife. Besides, the sea and sand will keep your kids happily occupied, allowing you and your spouse to enjoy an afternoon siesta on the beach.
For more family-friendly vacation tips, read our post on travelling with kids like a pro!