Eight long weekends, eight unexpected places to visit in 2019.
Make the most of your time off with our long weekend travel guide!
Singaporeans rejoice as there are eight long weekends in 2019, twice as many as last year!
Just like last year’s guide, we’ve done the heavy lifting and research, so you don’t have to. We’ve factored in everything from weather to cheap airfares and looked at emerging destinations worth visiting.
Remember it’s never too early to start planning for your trip, as booking your flights more than three months in advance can result in significant savings.
Chinese New Year: Monday, 4 February
Travel dates: 2-6 Feb (Sat-Wed)
Leave Days: 1
Let’s face it. If you haven’t booked your Chinese New Year (CNY) holiday by now, you’re probably not planning on going anywhere. If you are planning a short trip, your options might be limited as flights are expensive and there may not be many accommodation options available.[Picture Credit: Hotel Fort Canning]
If you want a break that doesn’t break the bank, book a getaway at one of these quirky staycation spots in Singapore, or try your luck with Skyscanner’s “Everywhere’ Search” to find cheap flights on those days. The cheapest flights for the CNY period start at SGD 183 for a return trip from Singapore to Jakarta.
Good Friday: Friday, 19 April
Travel dates: 19-22 April (Fri-Mon)
Leave Days: 1
Okinawa, Japan[Picture Credit: Okinawa Travel Info]
Soak in the sun at Emerald Beach, one of Okinawa’s beautiful beaches, before heading over to the Churaumi Aquarium, one of the biggest in the world, to see giant whale sharks that the aquarium breeds in captivity.
You can also snorkel on the beautiful coral reefs at Cape Maeda, or if you’re more adventurous, dive in the Blue Cave (Kumagaa Gama) below the cliffs.
At night, visit the Kokusai-dori shopping street in Naha, where you’ll find plenty of small restaurants serving Okinawan dishes like sea grapes, braised pork belly and stir fried bittergourd.
Return Air Fare: From SGD 711
Flight Duration: 5 hrs 10 min
Labour Day: Wednesday, 1 May
Travel dates: 1-5 May (Wed-Sun)
Leave Days: 2
In the spirit of Labour day, it’s time to take a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and treat yourself to a relaxing and slow-paced break in Perth – the capital of Western Australia. Here you can find picturesque beaches, a flourishing dining scene and the chance to take a selfie with the world’s cutest rodent.Picture credit: Photo by Amanda Klamrowski
The famous Crawley Edge Boatshed – a blue boathouse at the end of a pier that has successfully populated Instagram feeds in recent years.
Take a leisurely stroll along Cottesloe beach or visit the famous Fremantle markets where you can enjoy fresh produce and soak in its rich culture and unique atmosphere. We recommend a day trip to Caversham wildlife Park for those who would like to have a fun day interacting with adorable Australian marsupials like kangaroos, koalas and wombats. For those who would like a selfie with a quokka (arguably the world’s cutest rodent), Rottnest island is just a half hour ferry ride from Perth.
Flight Duration: 5 hours 10 min
Vesak Day: Sunday, 19 May*
Travel dates: 18-20 May (Fri-Sun)
Leave Days: 0
Are you really a Singaporean millennial if you don’t make at least one trip to Bali a year? For something different, why not stay in Canggu. Located just west of Seminyak, the best way to describe this up and coming area is “like Seminyak but more hipster.” Get centred at Pranava Yoga, which offers yoga retreats and classes amidst picturesque rice paddies. Classes are priced at just SGD 10 and we highly recommend their Anti-Gravity Yoga class!
Canggu is also full of cafes that serve everything from all-day brunch at the ever-popular Milk and Madu, to vegan lasagne and kombucha at Peloton Supershop. If you’re looking for sustainably-sourced Balinese food, savour some local fare at Ulekan.
If you’re pining for Potato Head, don’t worry because Canggu’s beach bars rival those of Seminyak. Book a day bed at The Lawn or La Brisa for a more laidback vibe and even join an international beer pong tournament at Old Man’s.
Return Air Fare: From SGD 232
Flight Duration: 2 hrs 35 mins
The capital of Germany, Berlin is a progressive city known for its rich history, artistic expression and, of course, insane nightlife.
Take in historical sites like the East Side Gallery, one of the last remaining sections of the Berlin Wall and the longest open-air gallery in the world, and the Brandenburg Gate, another symbol of the division between East and West Berlin that existed until 1989. If you’re in need of a break, take a relaxing stroll or relax on the lawn of the Mauerpark, which hosts weekly flea markets and open air karaoke on Sundays.
Return Air Fare: From SGD $706
Flight Duration: 12 hrs 05 min
National Day & Hari Raya Haji: Friday, 9 August & Sunday, 11 August*
Travel dates: 9-12 Aug (Fri-Mon)
Leave Days: 0
Located close to Flores Island in Indonesia, Komodo is best known for its eponymous Komodo dragons, which can grow up to three metres in length and are the heaviest lizards in the world, weighing in at more than 130 Kg. Get up close with these fearsome lizards at Komodo National Park, which is only accessible via boat from Labuanbajo.
You can also hike to the summit of Padar Island (the view alone is worth the trip) and go snorkelling or diving at Manta Point. Since tourists must be accompanied by an official guide when visiting Komodo National Park, we recommend that you book a guided tour that typically includes guided travel between the islands, as well as accommodation and meals on a boat.
Return Air Fare: From SGD 483
Flight Duration: 6 hrs 55 mins (1 stopover in Jakarta)
Deepavali: Sunday, 27 October*
Travel dates: 25-28 Oct (Fri-Mon)
Leave Days: 1
We couldn’t pass up an opportunity to visit one of the most stunning (and best value) destinations in the world, even if it means taking an extra day of leave. October is the perfect time to visit as it’s dry season, while clear skies make for a better trekking experience.
Unfortunately, four days might be too little for you to fully experience both Everest base camp and Kathmandu, so try a day trip trekking through the Shivapuri National Park. You’ll still be able to see the awe-inspiring Mt. Everest on one of these scenic one-hour flight tours (prices start at USD 220) from Kathmandu.
There are plenty of ways to experience the great outdoors besides trekking. Try rafting, bungee jumping, kayaking or even mountain biking. Himalayan Single Track offers cycling experiences for all skills levels – from beginners looking for a relaxing jaunt into the rice fields, to those looking for a challenging full-day endurance trail experience.
While in Kathmandu, soak in some culture at two of Nepal’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Boudhanath Stupa (one of the largest in the world), and the lively and historic Durbar Square where you’ll see royal architecture that dates back to the 17th century.
Return Air Fare: From SGD 958
Flight Duration: 4 hrs 45 min
Christmas: Wednesday, 25 December
Travel dates: 21-25 Dec (Sat-Wed)
Leave Days: 2
Start your trip with a visit to the Atomic Bomb Dome and the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, as well as the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum to learn more about the city’s tragic history. While a visit to the museum can be emotional and sobering, it is worthwhile to understand the devastating effects of the atomic bombing in 1945.
Spend the day at Miyajima island, which is a short trip and check out the famous floating Torii gate, one of the three best views in Japan. There’s plenty to do at Miyajima, from shopping along the Omotesando Shopping Street, to hiking up Mt Misen.
Hiroshima prefecture also has a 400-year history of farming oysters and supplies about two thirds of the country’s oysters. Yakigaki-no-hayashi in Miyajima is one of the most well-known oyster restaurants where you can sample several varieties of local oysters.[Image Credit: Takeharakou Japan]
Another option is a day trip to Ohkunoshima or Rabbit Island, which is home to over 700 wild rabbits. However, the island has a darker side as it housed factories that made poison gas during World War II.
Return Air Fare: From SGD 574
Flight Duration: 9 hrs 30 min (1 stopover in Shanghai)
As you’re planning your travels for 2019, don’t forget to get more bang for your buck by using the DBS Altitude Card for your travel-related purchases.
You can accumulate points from your online flight and hotel transactions (yes, Airbnb included), which can be converted to miles to be utilised for your next big adventure!
For a hassle-free travel experience, opt for the DBS Multicurrency Account that gives you access to 12 foreign currencies in one account. You’ll also be able to spend abroad with your DBS Visa Debit Card with no foreign exchange fees.
PS: Check out our video for more travel tips on everything from safety precautions to getting around.
Here’s to a year of new and unforgettable experiences!
If you’re in need of more travel inspiration, do check out our 2018 long weekend travel guide.
*The following Monday will be a public holiday.