We are at the last quarter of 2013. Soon, 2014 will come flying in. It is time to start making travel plans for 2014!
This post will serve as a guide to plan holidays around the 11 days of public holidays so as to fully utilise all leaves entitlements. You will also find some destination ideas.
Please note that this is base on Singapore’s calendar with annual leaves of 21 days + 2 days of off in-lieu in view of public holidays that fall on Saturday. The highlighted dates in the calendar below are the dates recommended to plan your trips.
Public Holidays 2014 as follows-:
- New Year’s Day (1 January 2014 – Wednesday)
- Chinese New Year (31January – 1 February* 2014 – Friday & Saturday)
- Good Friday (18 April 2014 – Friday)
- Labour Day (1 May 2014 – Thursday)
- Vesak Day (13 May 2014 – Tuesday)
- Hari Raya Puasa (28 July 2014 – Monday)
- National Day (9 August 2014* – Saturday)
- Hari Raya Haji (5 October 2014** – Sunday)
- Deepavali (23 October 2014^ – Thursday)
- Christmas Day (25 December 2014 – Thursday)
* Assuming public holiday that falls on Saturday, off in-lieu will be replaced on the following Monday
**Public holiday that falls on Sunday, Monday will be a public holiday
^ need to be reconfirmed against the Hindu Almanac
Chinese New Year break (31 January – 9 February/ 1st February – 9 February)
Usually companies like to shut down for a few more days after Chinese New Year (CNY) and they are more likely to approve leaves taken after CNY because sales will tend to be slower in February.
For non-Chinese who does not celebrate CNY or people who tend to avoid it at all cost, by all means, fly on the eve of on CNY itself.
However I strongly encourage having reunion dinner with family on eve of CNY and spend the first day of CNY bonding with extended family before going for a long break.
Leaves to take: 4 days
- Japan – Sightseeing areas are not crowded during this season, weather will be sunny and dry. It will be colder in northern part of Japan and you may be lucky enough to watch snow fall.
- South Korea – It will still be cold in South Korea and you will be able to play winter sports like skiing! Shopping in Seoul and Jeju for its beautiful sceneries.
- Australia – If you think you are afraid of cold and you just want to explore another summer country, Australia is a good place to go. Take the scenic drive along the magnificent Great Ocean Road. The consolation is that the weather is really dry there so less perspiring and make up will stay on your face the whole day! Remember to pack UV products and moisturisers!
Good Friday break (18 April – 20 April 2014)
No Easter Sunday celebration, why not just go for a weekend trip?
Leaves to take: 0
- Genting, Malaysia – With the summer heat building up, escape to Genting for a cooling holiday! The coins clinking sound from the jackpots in the casino and children joyous laughters and excitement from the theme park, it is a happy heaven I say.
- Batam, Indonesia – A quick and simple getaway from the hectic life to rejuvenate yourself is just 45 minutes away by ferry.
- Bangkok, Thailand – Need a quick shopping therapy, not to mention the Thai massage and delicious food? You know where to go!
Labour Day break (1 May – 4 May 2014)
You deserve a break on Labour’s Day!
Leaves to take: 1 days
- Penang, Malaysia – Viisit one of the UNESCO listed site; George Town. It is a place with rich history and filled with many places of interest. How can you miss the yummy food in Penang?
- Bali, Indonesia – Fancy relaxing by a private pool with a can of chilled Bintang Beer on one hand and having scrumptious seafood while watching the sun sets by the beach? Just fly straight to Bali!
- Redang, Malaysia – Have you ever fancy going to where 夏日么么茶 (Momo Tea in Summer) movie was filmed? It is the picture perfect beach poster which you can to snorkel and sunbath under the sun. A great place for divers!
Vesak Day break (10th May – 14th May 2014)
There is nothing call excessive travelling!
Leaves to take: 2
- Perth, Australia – Escape the heat in Singapore by heading to Perth for an Autumn holiday. Wine tasting at Swan Valley and a walk around Fremantle.
- Beijing, China – The end of Golden Week will put China tourism at their capital less crowded. Go visit the historical places and get yourself impressed by China long and rich history.
- Hong Kong, China – The other shopping and food paradise. Enjoy the beautiful skyline of Hong Kong. Drop by to Macau or Shen Zhen for a day trip.
Hari Raya Puasa & National Day break (26 July – 10 August 2014)
With the 2 public holidays so closely spaced, here is the chance for a long trip!
Leaves to take: 9
- Europe – country focus or a mix of them all!
- United Kingdom — summer meaning longer day and shorter nights. Be awed by the beautiful sceneries in Scotland and enjoy the fresh air. Explore England, visit beautiful English countrysides and the famous landmarks in London.
- Italy — for its beautiful sceneries and cuisine. Get inspired by people watching in Milan, the capital of fashion. Visit Rome, one of the oldest cities in Europe and be impressed by their architecture. Tuscany for its beautiful landscape that make every picture seems postcard worth. Not forgetting Bologna, Florence and Venice.
- France – Romancing in Paris, gazing at the famous Eiffel Tower. Indulge yourself in a cultural experience by visiting the famous The Louvre museum for it has the most extensive and diverse collection of art pieces. Designer brands lovers’ paradise.
- United States of America – with the weaken exchange rate makes shopping the number 1 list on a woman’s to-do list. Nature lover, how can you miss Grand Canyon? Miami for party lovers and Las Vegas for the city which never sleep. The ever famous Big Apple and the golden bridge in San Francisco. The country is huge, there is something for everyone.
- Japan – Although Japan is no where as big as the Europe continent and USA, you can still travel around Japan in 2 weeks. Understand their unique culture. Visit the famous Toyko tower, Geisha spotting, shrines hopping, climb Mount Fuji, bring out the child in you again in Disney Land and be part of the crowd crossing the roads in Shibuya. Visit Hiroshima to understand more about the WWII. Hokkaido to get the freshest seafood around.
Hary Raya Haji break (4 October – 6 October 2014)
After the holiday drought in September, it is time for another short getaway!
Leaves to be taken: 0
- Malacca, Malaysia – Visit heritage sites such as Dutch Square, Baba and Nyonya Peranakan Museum and the museums. Forget about the calories and just indulge in the famous chendol and chicken rice ball and many more delicacies.
- Bintan, Indonesia – Just 45 minutes ferry ride away from Singapore to a relaxing getaway. There is something for everyone, golf, sea sports, massage, romantic walk down the beach during sunset and also seafood feasting.
- Tioman, Malaysia – Enjoy the last bit of a beach vacation just before the monsoon season kicks in. Snorkel, learn diving, swim with the fishes and work on a tan sounds like a great idea!
Deepavali break (23 October – 26 October 2014)
2 public holidays in October gives you more reasons to travel overseas.
Leaves to be taken: 1
- Cameron Highland & Genting, Malaysia – Go Cameron Highland for its cooling weather and for insightful educational tours. Visit the BOH Tea plantation, understand how tea leaves were being made, visit the vegetable farms and understand how crops are being grown. Lastly, do not forget to drop by one of the strawberry farms and enjoy the experience of handpicking strawberries. On the way back, get on to Genting for a couple of days for some relaxation before coming back home.
- Phuket, Thailand – Cannot get enough of the sun, sea and sand, this is a good place to go. Island hopping and chillax with a beer. What about learning Muay Thai in the country which originates this sports?
- Phnom-Penh, Cambodia – Visit the spectacular 7th Wonder of the World, Angkor Wat and be taken breathless by its beauty. Take a walk into the dark history of Cambodia at the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek and Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum.
Christmas and New Year break (25 December 2013 – 1 January 2014)
What would be better than counting down to a new year in other countries?
Leaves to be taken: 3
- Taipei Taiwan – Experience the cold winter and warmth from its people. Indulge in Taiwan delicacies from their night markets. View Taipei from the second highest viewpoint in the world. Join in the crowd at Taipei City Hall to count down to the new year with their yearly countdown concert. The warmth from the crowd will make the cold night HOT and watch out for the fireworks from Taipei 101 when the clock strikes 12.
- Sydney, Australia – Be sure to be up early and hit the shopping mall for their annual Boxing Day sale. Enjoy the nature in Blue Mountain and visit the beaches and their famous landmark, Sydney Opera House. If you are adventurous enough, be sure to climb Sydney Bridge. Be among the first in the world to welcome in 2015 with a string of events around Sydney Habour and of course the spectacular fireworks. It will sure be an amazing way to welcome a brand new year!
Have you start on your travel plans for next year? Share them with me!
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