The Independent

6 Inexpensive Holiday Ideas for the Good Friday Weekend

 

A Good Friday weekend break is a ‘good’ idea – take off to a nearby destination for a short, rejuvenating break. Here are some ideas for solo, couple, and family trips.

Solo trippin’

1. Bangkok, Thailand

Think short, cheap weekend trip, think Bangkok. The Thai capital draws you into its streets with its countless shopping malls and yummy street-eats. Hop across to the buzzing city to redo your wardrobe – whether it is those tailored suits, your work clothes that need revamping, or the rest of that drab wardrobe, Bangkok is the place to do it wisely.

Cheap, fashionable shopping is the name of the game here – spend most of your time at the likes of Terminal 21, Platinum Mall and the amazing Chatuchak Weekend Market. And while you are at it, overhaul your electronic stash at Pantip Plaza. We know many malls stay open till late, but try to pull yourself away and head to RCA or Khao San Road for fun evenings full of drinking and dancing. And do remember to take enough food breaks to get your fill of its famed street food as well.

Travel tip to Bangkok: Use the UOB PRVI Miles Card for your shopping in Bangkok. You earn 2.4 miles for every S$1 you spend abroad. You can also read our review of forex cards here.

2. Kyoto, Japan

Another destination that requires your full attention as a solo traveller is pretty Kyoto. Possibly at its dreamiest in the month of April, the sakura lined streets and parks of Kyoto make for delightful walking paths. It is also home to some of the most beautiful shrines and temples in the country, which are also popular sakura viewing spots. It is selfie-galore here in April!

Kyoto also hosts the Miyako Odori, one of the best Geisha events in Japan, through April at the Gion Kaburenjo Theatre. History and culture take a front seat in this former capital city with its imperial palaces and traditional wooden houses.

Travel tip to Kyoto: April is a busy month for tourism in Kyoto, so you are not actually going to be ‘alone’ for your solo trip. Remember to book your accommodation in advance if you wish to stay on the right side of your budget.

Couple canoodle

3. Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

Rekindle the romance with a short and sweet vacation to one of the most beautiful destinations in South-East Asia – Ha Long Bay. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is heaven on earth with its beautiful beaches, emerald waters, grottoes, and forested limestone islands. Weather-wise, April is the best time of the year to visit Ha Long Bay.

Given the short duration of your break, a great way to enjoy it to the fullest is booking yourselves on a romantic cruise in the cool and pleasant weather. Save time with a sleep-on-board within the bay cruise option. If you max out romancing, there is always more action – scuba diving, kayak tours, hiking, and rock climbing.

Travel tip to Ha Long Bay: Use the Standard Chartered Visa Infinite Credit Card with its high miles earning rate. You get 3 miles for every S$1 spent abroad. You can read our review for best cards for travel here.

4. Lombok, Indonesia

Not enough time to do the Lombok-Gili Islands-Bali triangle over the short Good Friday weekend, but you could catch your breath and rejuvenate in quiet Lombok instead. Relax in the equatorial beauty of the island with your significant other – all white sand beaches, forested interiors, and terraced rice fields in the backdrop of the mighty Mount Rinjani.

Smart travel tip: April is right at the end of the wet season in Lombok, and prices will be in your favour, so book yourselves in a luxurious resort for less! Remember to use the DBS Altitude Card for 3 miles for every S$1 spent on your flights and hotel bookings.

Related: 4 Top Secret Romantic Island Retreats near Singapore

Family time

5. Langkawi, Malaysia

Langkawi is more accessible, cleaner, quieter, and cheaper than a lot of other popular beach destinations. With all that is there to do, it is a great choice for a short break for the family. Stay busy with the many activities that are on offer from snorkelling, hiking, and parasailing to fun island hopping and boat tours. There is a healthy and not so sleazy nightlife scene as well as a host of relaxing spas. A complete holiday package for the family; just like Phuket but without the price tag!

Travel tip to Langkawi: Since April is the beginning of the low season in Langkawi, you will find yourselves some super deals for hotels and even car rentals.

6. Siem Reap, Cambodia

Foodies, culture vultures, bargain hunters, adventure junkies – you will find them all in Siem Reap. A gateway to one of Asia’s most iconic sights, Siem Reap has always been synonymous with Angkor Wat. The buzzing city has now evolved and has an identity of its own. A wholesome trip for the family, this trip can just about be ‘done’ in three days. Get templed out at the Angkor Wat complex, indulge the glutton in you in Siem Reap, and generally absorb an ancient culture while having a great time.

Travel tip to Siem Reap: April is low season for Siem Reap so you will get some good hotel rates. But be sure to book a hotel with air conditioning as well as a generator because April in Cambodia gets quite hot.

Related: 4 Vacations to Historical Places that you must Plan with Your Kids

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