The year-end holiday season is upon us, and families with school-going children are taking off for vacations overseas in droves. For many Singaporeans, travelling is no longer a luxury, but a necessity to get away from the daily humdrum of life to spend quality time together as a family.
With social media, it can create a sense of FOMO (fear of missing out) when you compare holiday plans with others who are visiting far and exotic locations. But creating family moments need not come with an expensive holiday price tag. After all near or far, what is most important is carving time out from our busy schedules to connect with our family members.
Near or far, what is most important is carving time out from our busy schedules to connect with our family members.
If you are looking for a short trip out of Singapore, why not enjoy a staycation across the causeway in Johor Bahru? Compared to Singapore, a staycation in JB is friendlier on the pocket. Even if you don’t drive, you can hop on the KTM train that takes you from Woodlands to Johor Bahru in a mere 5 minutes! Not only do you avoid the massive traffic jam on the causeway, it also saves you from the constant question: “Are we there yet?”
In addition to typical hotel accommodations, there are also service apartments and Airbnb options that provide good value for larger families or if you’re planning for a 3-generation holiday.
If you have young toddlers, amusement parks like Legoland will be a hit with them.
Families with outgoing kids can enjoy active sports such as ice skating or rock climbing at Paradigm Mall. However, if you’re not keen to break out in a sweat, then catch a movie at a Beanieplex, where you get to sink into a beanbag pod while watching the latest blockbusters. This makes for a novel experience for the whole family.
For a day of fun under one roof, there is the Austin Heights Adventure and Water Park. The adventure park houses a water park, trampoline park, drift kart circuit, high-element obstacle course and even an ice skating rink. Offering hours of fun, there’s something for everyone in the family.
Besides Johor Bahru, other states in Malaysia like Malacca, Kuala Lumpur and Penang also make great family holiday destinations.
Beach holidays with no agendas
Looking to dial the stress level down a few notches? The combination of sun, sand and sea is the perfect antidote to relax and unwind, and Bintan and Batam are great beach getaways that are less than an hour’s ferry ride away.
City dwellers can kick your feet up at the beach resorts and lounge leisurely by the pool. Many of these resorts also offer sea sports like jet-skiing, kayaking, and banana boating. There are also outdoor activities like archery, ATV and much more. Many resorts now come with a kids club facility where the kids get to have fun while we relax.
The beauty of a beach vacation is that there is little on your agenda apart from catching up on rest and spending quality time with the family. With ample rest and free time – two things that Singaporeans tend to lack – we are better able to focus on our loved ones and topping up their love tanks.
Holidays need not always be in expensive or far-flung destinations as it’s really about setting aside time to bond and build memories.
Building relationships requires being intentional
Holidays need not always be expensive or in far-flung destinations as it’s really about setting aside time to bond and build memories.
Love is spelt T.I.M.E. to a child. What our children want most is our undivided attention. In many instances, it’s in the intentional day-to-day interactions with our kids that forges closer bonds between us rather than an expensive holiday half-way around the globe.
Emotional connections can be forged in the small, mundane moments if we are fully present with our children.
So let’s not wait for the next escape out of the country to start making memories with our kids. Starting today, let’s remind ourselves to slow down, put the devices away and find pockets of time to have heart-to-heart conversations with our kids. Show an interest in their hobbies and make an effort to enter their world. Emotional connections can be forged in the small, mundane moments if we are fully present with our children.
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- How will you make the small moments count this coming week?
Here are more ideas on what to do these holidays!
Susan is a self-confessed C+ mum who lives for coffee, chocolate and heartfelt connections. As a mum of one she believes that the best parenting style is parenting with intention and shares her motherhood journey on her blog A Juggling Mom.