With only two months left till the March holidays, we know that some parents out there might be scratching their heads trying to think of a good spot for a last-minute family trip.
Credit: GIPHYDon’t worry! We know how important it is to find a location that both you and your kids will enjoy and find worthwhile to visit - so we’ve compiled a list of 10 trips that are perfect for your 1-week getaway!
1. Say Hello to Mickey, Minnie, and More In TokyoHow could we not include Japan in this list? It’s truly a city with something for everyone - whether you’re visiting a captivating museum, exciting theme park, or historic shrine, you and your kids will find tons of fun around every corner!
Credit: gelli.rosario on FlickrBetween Tokyo Disneyland, Tokyo DisneySea, and Sanrio Puroland, the entire family will be spoilt for choice meeting all of their favourite characters! ? For an option that’s a little easier on your wallet, there’s the Ghibli Museum that showcases the best of Studio Ghibli’s beloved animated movies - or check out these fun-filled activities that won’t cost you a single Yen!#HHWT Tip: The Ghibli museum tickets need to be pre-purchased, so remember to pencil this into your calendar! You can purchase them at any Lawson’s convenience store in Japan, or through Lawson’s website.The March holidays this year also coincide with Tokyo’s sakura season so you can enjoy a hanami (cherry blossom viewing session) under the gorgeous blossoms while you’re there ? Pack along a bento or two, and let your kids run around enjoying the fresh spring air as you picnic under the trees. If a picnic isn’t really your thing, you can still catch the blossoms all around Tokyo, so keep your eyes peeled for them.(P.S. If you’re convinced that your family shouldn’t miss out on this beautiful season, check out our 5D4N Muslim-Friendly itinerary for the best Tokyo sakura chase ever)#HHWT Tip: If you’re still worried about navigating Japan with kids in tow, our writer who’s done the very same(!!) has compiled some must-have tips that will make your journey a smooth one ?
2. Learn About Korean Culture in SeoulIf you want a getaway from the end-March sweltering heat of the tropics, Seoul is the perfect place to go! The temperature will finally go above 10 degrees Celsius in the last few weeks of the month - making it chilly but not freezing. You can enjoy some cosy sweater weather in a city with so much history and culture to offer!One of the can’t-miss activities in Seoul is definitely renting a hanbok for the afternoon and visiting some historic sites. There are rental outlets near Gyeongbokgung Palace where the whole family can try out the iconic skirts and jackets that make up this Korean traditional dress. You can even drop by the National Folk Museum on the Palace grounds, which has a dedicated Children’s Museum that will teach your kids all about Korean history and heritage.Last but not least, did you know that there are so many options for day trips just outside of Seoul? Why not escape from the busyness of Myeongdong or Dongdaemun, and check out the colourful walls at Jaman Mural Village? Or maybe pay a visit to the quaint beauty of Nami Island and Petite France? Your kids will have so much more space to run around and explore, and you can enjoy some of the refreshing outdoor scenery before heading back to the city.#HHWT Tip: Some streets in Seoul have cobblestones or are really steep, and lifts can be difficult to find even in subway stations - so be prepared for lots of walking! If you’re worried your kids might be tired out before you even reach your next attraction, make sure to research and book a good hotel near major attractions. To get you started, here are some family-friendly accommodations you can consider, both in Seoul and other major Korean cities!
3. Explore Nature and Night Markets in TaipeiTaipei is a city of enchanting opposites where you can easily pay a visit to a mountaintop waterfall in the day, and still make it back to squeeze through the night markets in the evening. With endless opportunities to explore the outdoors as well as the brightly-lit city streets, there’s no way you’ll get bored here!Shifen and Jiufen are two of the most well-known day trips from Taipei - and for good reason! The old streets at Shifen are a refreshing escape from the city, and it’s awe-inspiring to see the beauty of the waterfall amongst nature. Meanwhile, the winding and narrow roads of Jiufen bring you an exciting atmosphere like no other - no wonder people liken it to the landscapes of Studio Ghibli’s Spirited Away!#HWWT Tip: As the passageways at Jiufen can be narrow, we advise to get there earlier in the day so that you can enjoy a walk through the streets before the crowd arrives. Remember to hold onto your kids’ hands tightly, so they won’t get lost!Credit: Jorge Gonzalez on FlickrNo day out in Taipei would be complete without visiting a night market! There are definitely some Muslim-friendly iconic Taiwanese dishes and treats you can pick up there, but there are also game stalls your kids will definitely enjoy, and lots of cheap shopping to do! The most famous one is Shilin Night Market, but Raohe Night Market and Ningxia Night Market are two other noteworthy ones!(P.S. Wondering what else you can fit into a short trip to Taipei? We’ve got a 5D4N itinerary all lined up for you ?)
4. Meet Pandas, Penguins, and Capybaras in Hong KongWhat don’t we love about Hong Kong? It may not be as big as other places on this list, but it packs a huge punch! It’s even become more Muslim-friendly over the years, making it an ideal place for a worry-free vacation with the kids!Credit: @sumdypeony on InstagramWe’ve all had that moment during vacations where everyone wants to go somewhere different ? How do you choose between a zoo, theme park, or aquarium? Well at Ocean Park you won't need to choose! This huge park is one of the most memorable attractions in Hong Kong, and has everything from animal exhibitions to hair-raising rollercoasters that will keep kids of all ages entertained! Hong Kong Disneyland is another must-visit attraction for families - the Disneyland hotel nearby even serves halal meals, and you can meet and interact with your favourite Disney characters all through the park!Last but not least - you can’t visit Hong Kong and not get some authentic halal dimsum! The best thing about dimsum is that it comes in small portions but is still really filling, making it an ideal choice for just about any meal ? The Islamic Centre Canteen in Wan Chai serves an extensive halal dimsum menu, so make sure to check it out before you leave!(P.S. If we convinced you to check out Hong Kong this holiday, why not take a look at our family-friendly itinerary to get your planning started?)
5. Experience the Best of Australia's Wild Outdoors in PerthPerth usually isn’t the first Australian city we think of as ‘family-friendly’ - but it’s actually underrated as a destination for all ages! Whether you want something more laid-back, or want to be out in the sun, this sunny Western Australian city always has something new around the corner
If you’re in Perth over the weekend, make sure to check out the Fremantle Weekend Market, where vendors selling all sorts of fantastic items display their wares. There’s even the Western Australia Maritime Museum in the city, where you can learn more about Fremantle’s nautical past through a wide variety of exhibitions and artefacts on display!Caversham Wildlife Park has a huge collection of animals to meet and see - in fact, it has the largest collection of native animals in Western Australia. You can even get up close with the kangaroos! ? Australian wildlife is famous for being super unique, and your kids will definitely have fun cradling a sleepy koala, or an adorable wombat! Make sure to visit Molly’s Farm within the Park while you’re there - it’s a petting zoo specially tailored for kids!
For more of our insider tips to Perth, check out our itinerary that has all you need to make a quick trip there
6. Relax and Unwind by the Beach in the MaldivesWho said the Maldives is just for your honeymoon? The sandy beaches and shimmering waters are perfect for recharging and reconnecting with your family during this week-long break. And if you want to spend your beach vacation doing water sports, there are lots of opportunities for that too ?
Credit: @mumdaymornings on InstagramWe usually associate the Maldives with private villas for two - but there are actually several kid-friendly resorts across the islands! Some of these, such as the Kandima Maldives resort, have facilities such as cinemas or playgrounds so that you won’t even have to leave the resort to enjoy hours of fun. Some resorts even have babysitting facilities, so you can rest assured that your children will be in safe hands if you decide to do different activities from each other.
Credit: @lulu_taste on InstagramBeing both an Islamic country and a set of islands, Maldivian food is largely seafood-based and even includes curries and rice dishes. It’s near impossible to find iconic dishes such as garudhiya (clear fish broth, sometimes eaten with rice or chapati) or mas huni (chopped and grated tuna, onion, coconut, and chillies)in your local cafe, a trip here would be perfect to expose the family to new and unique tastes they’ve never had before ?
7. Explore Caves and Laneways in IpohIpoh is the perfect destination if you want to experience some ‘old world’ charm. The size of the cave temples are awe-inspiring, and you can even make a trip down to the nearby city of Taiping to visit their zoo! If you don’t want to go too far before school starts again at the end of the week, Ipoh is definitely a quick trip that’s worth the journey there ?
Credit: @elisa_girardo on Instagram
Carved into the limestone caves themselves, these temples might not be as famous as the Batu Caves but are just as astounding! The sheer size of the icons is enough to take your breath away, let alone how huge the limestone formations are. Once you’ve taken in the sights of the temple, you can continue marvelling at nature’s beauty at Ipoh’s mangrove swamps, or at the Lenggong Archaeology Museum!
Credit: @waniardy on InstagramIpoh’s Old Town really brings across the city’s classic charm with a modern twist. Besides popping into one of the halal eateries in the city, you can spend time spotting the different murals around town! Last we heard, there were at least 10 - all designed to show off an iconic part of Ipoh’s culture and heritage.
8. Befriend and Feed Elephants in KrabiKrabi is another getaway you must consider if you want a break that’s not too far away. Its nearby islands and gorgeous beaches won’t disappoint, and the markets are always a good spot to catch a bargain or two!
Credit: @phillipcouch on InstagramThe Phi Phi Islands are one of the more well-known island groups near Krabi and are famous for the view at the stunning Maya Bay. You can easily spend a whole day here just relaxing in the water and soaking up the sun - or book a tour around the islands that may include activities such as snorkelling (if the weather doesn’t take a sudden turn ?)
Credit: @hannawilliamsson on InstagramThe Krabi Elephant Sanctuary is one of the few elephant sanctuaries in Thailand that are dedicated to rescuing and caring for elephants. There are strictly no rides offered at the Sanctuary! Visitors are invited to interact with the elephants in a safe environment, and are even allowed to feed and play with the elephants!P.S. Still undecided? Why not check out 6 reasons why Krabi should be your next trip? ?
9. Enjoy a Week of Farm Life in Cameron HighlandsCameron Highlands has always been a popular choice for a quick getaway - between the variety of farms and the cooler weather, it’s a nearby escape from city life that never fails to leave us refreshed ? It’s definitely one of the road trips your entire family will enjoy!
Credit: @epyamran on InstagramStrawberry farms may be one thing Cameron Highlands is known for, but did you know that there are butterfly farms and honeybee farms too? There’s no better way to learn more about nature than being (literally!) in touch with it, and being able to touch and carry butterflies bigger than their hands (?) will be an unforgettable experience for the kids!
Credit: @fatmakasim on InstagramThe tea plantations are another can’t-miss sight in the Highlands! Some of them even offer educational tours walking you through the production process - complete with a nice warm cup of tea at the end, of course ? The scenery of the plantations are also amazing - just imagine being surrounded by fragrant waves of green all around you for as far as the eye can see!#HHWT Tip: Cameron Highlands isn't the most pram-friendly location around, so we advise you bring along a carrier if you have young kids with you! Several hotels also offer larger apartment-style family room options, so make sure to check before booking!
10. Immerse Yourself in History and Heritage in Hoi AnHoi An is famous for its well-preserved Ancient Town, where walking down the street will instantly take you back to its days of being a traditional trading port! A blend of influences from all over the world, and there’s no better place to learn more about our Southeast Asian neighbour than here!
Credit: @jubestar on InstagramThe Ancient Town really is a step back into the past of both Hoi An and Vietnam. Sites such as the Japanese Covered Bridge are a testament to the complicated history of the area, and the Museum of Folklore dives deep into this with its immersive exhibits. Best of all, while the ticket into the Ancient Town may cost 120,000 VND (SGD$7 or MYR$21) for adults - it’s absolutely free for kids under the age of 16!
Credit: @jessica.okkerse on InstagramSomething else unique to Hoi An is the Tra Que Organic Vegetable Village, which actually supplies all the produce of Hoi An despite its small size! Accessible via a short bike ride, the veggies here are all grown without pesticides ? You can even sign up for a tour that lets you learn more about the process - by getting into the fields and having a go at it yourselves!
It's not too late to consider a quick getaway during the March holidays! Travel can be educational as much as it is relaxing - take this opportunity to expose the entire family to a different culture, and we're sure both you and the kids will have an amazing time ?