If you’ve ever sneakily taken an MC on Thursday night to secure yourself a long weekend, you know how precious annual leave is. A weekend trip from Friday to Sunday or from Saturday to Monday is the best way to get some R&R overseas while using as little of your annual leave as possible.
Here are six weekend vacation destinations that are perfect for those who want to ruthlessly maximise their three days.
These places are a short flight away and convenient enough to enjoy over a single weekend. You won’t have to spend hours on the plane or bash through the jungle chiong sua-style to get to your destination.
Except during public holidays, ticket prices for Bali tend to be a pretty consistent $200+. No matter where your resort is, you can get there comfortably within 1-2 hours in a taxi—no trekking or praying for your safety on rickety boats. Some resorts will even pick you up at the airport so you don’t have to lift a finger—that’s enough to please even the most high maintenance of Singaporeans.
Whether you intend to spend your weekend surfing, hiking or vegetating in the resort, a three day trip will leave you energised rather than exhausted. There’s something for everyone—if you’re looking for hip restaurants and chic bars, you’ll like Seminyak and Sanur. Looking for exotic temples or organic restaurants? Head to Ubud. If you want to spend your holiday drunk, head to Kuta.
Flights to Java tend to be rather cheap and remain cheap on the weekends. Bandung is a more relaxing vacation destination than hectic Jakarta.
Nicknamed the Paris of Java, Bandung has a slightly cooler climate and isn’t as polluted or chaotic as Jakarta. It makes for a nice weekend getaway filled with cheap massages and shisha, especially now that the latter is being phased out in Singapore. It’s famous for its hip bistros or outlet stores and street fashion, especially if you’re into looking like a rapper.
Bangkok is a perennial favourite for Singaporeans in search of a weekend getaway, and it’s easy to see why. With so many flights per day on multiple airlines, it’s cheap all year round, except for public holidays, and even then the price doesn’t rise that astronomically.
The city is a little chaotic but it’s easy enough to navigate if you rely on tuk tuks or the BTS Skytrain, and most Singaporeans are familiar enough with it that they just make a beeline for their favourite destinations.
Flights to Phnom Penh tend to be much cheaper than flights to Siem Reap. This oft-overlooked city may not have magnificent temple ruins like Angkor does, but it actually makes for an interesting weekend destination.
The country’s most gruesome sites such as the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and the Killing Fields are must-visits, although not for the faint of heart. There are also beautiful temples, sprawling palaces and bustling markets to explore. There’s even a bit of nightlife in the Sisowath Quay area.
Ho Chi Minh City
Ho Chi Minh City is one of those destinations that stays affordable on weekends and even over public holidays. It’s a big city buzzing with scooters and skyscrapers, and can be fun for Singaporeans who like shopping and eating on the cheap. Joo Chiat has nothing on this place.
There are clubs, rooftop bars and chic boutiques for those who want to do the exact same things they do in Singapore but at a cheaper price. History buffs will grimace at the War Remnants Museum and marvel at the Reunification Palace. It’s also worthwhile taking a day trip to the Cu Chi Tunnels.
To many Singaporeans, Hong Kong is the ultimate shopping and eating destination. Hong Kongers also happen to be the only people on the planet who can out-kiasu our fellow Singaporeans. There are multiple flights on most of the budget airlines, so prices are affordable year round, often well under $300.
Getting around the city is super convenient with the MTR system that might resemble our MRT system visually but is way, way better. From the minute you step off the plane, things move fast and efficiently, so you don’t have to worry about wasting a minute of your precious weekend.
Maximising your weekend isn’t going to mean anything if you end up spending more than you should. Many people think that getting travel insurance on a short trip isn’t worth it, and many have ended up regretting it, either due to delayed flights, lost baggage, etc. Buying travel insurance is really a lot more simple than it might sound, and you can get the most suitable plan immediately through MoneySmart’s Travel Insurance Comparison Page.
What is your favourite weekend vacation destination? Tell us in the comments!