Updated: Feb 16, 2018
We are planning our trips after your holidays.
While most people are travelling during the year-end Christmas and New Year's Eve holiday season, we are still working. But, when the holidays are over and everyone is back at their work positions, we will be travelling!
In this post, I am going to share on our considerations while planning our trips around major public holidays in Singapore for the year 2018. Read on if you are wondering whether you should be travelling during public holidays and would like to get some ideas from us.
Singapore Public Holidays in 2018
Singapore has 11 public holidays each year (more on Ministry of Manpower website).
There will be 4 holidays resulting in long weekends:
New Year's Day (1 Jan, Monday)
Chinese New Year (16-17 Feb, Friday & Saturday)
Good Friday (30 Mar, Friday)
Hari Raya Puasa (15 Jun, Friday)
These holidays will be on weekdays:
Labour Day (1 May, Tuesday)
Vesak Day (29 May, Tuesday)
National Day (9 Aug, Thursday)
Hari Raya Haji (22 Aug, Wednesday)
Deepavali (6 Nov, Tuesday)
Christmas (25 Dec, Tuesday)
Notice that except for Hari Raya Haji on a Wednesday, the rest are mostly on Tuesdays and one on Thursday. By taking one day annual leave, each of the weekday-holidays can be "long weekend" too.
Flying in and out of Singapore during the holiday periods will be more expensive than usual. By trying to save one day of annual leaves by making use of a public holiday, you may be paying more to fly — you have to decide whether it will be worth it.
Remember, when someone works on a public holiday to serve you, they may be drawing double pay for that day, which is why prices are always high during holiday seasons.
Singapore School Holidays in 2018
Based on Ministry of Education (MOE) website, Singapore's school holidays will be as follow:
1st Term: 10-18 March
Mid-Year: 26 May - 24 June
2nd Term: 1-9 September
End-Year: 17 November - 31 December
Since Malaysia is the closest destination to Singapore, it is the most popular choice among many Singapore residents during the school holidays. Take note that Malaysia will also be having school holidays in June and December.
Our considerations are based on what we discussed earlier in this article:
#1. Not travelling on international holidays
International holidays will be New Year's Day and Labour Day, when the whole world is on holiday — expect crowds everywhere. Most local businesses may also close for the day, except retailers. Labour Day is also China's golden week when millions of Chinese tourists will flood China and nearby regions — except Taiwan.
International holidays will be the time we rest at home.
#2. Avoid Chinese places during Chinese New Year (CNY)
It is a major holiday for Chinese — especially in East Asian countries. All businesses will close on the first day of CNY. Most Chinese businesses may close shop for at least 2 days, whereas traditional businesses may close for up to 7 days or more. Chinese around the world will be on holiday and most will be travelling. The best place to travel will be to non-Chinese populated places, such as Australia, Europe or the American continents.
Places to skip during CNY will be China, Taiwan, South Korea and Vietnam. In Southeast Asian nations, CNY will affect mainly the Chinese populations and most tourist places should be opened except for the first and/or second day of CNY. Thailand, Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia will be less affected as their new year is in April but expect Chinese tourists to flood these places too.
#3. National Day will be good to visit other countries
Since National Day (9th August) is a public holiday in Singapore only, it will be best to travel out of the country to further destinations. Of course, air fares may be higher.
However, most Singapore residents will visit West Malaysia as it is the nearest destination for short holidays — especially Malacca. We will avoid Malaysia in August and early September. It will be better to plan trips to Malaysia before August or after mid-September.
Read this for more details:
In Malacca during Singapore National Day in 2013. We queued almost 2 hours just to try satay celup — a local specialty.
#4. Religion-related holidays are good for travelling too.
The rest of the public holidays are mostly religion-related and good for visiting places that do not celebrate the holidays. For travellers to Singapore, these holidays will not pose any issues in the multi-religion nation — most places will be opened for businesses.
To save on air fares, plan slightly longer trips, take annual leaves and fly outside of the public holiday period.
Other than the public holidays and school holidays, the other days will be cheaper for travelling, less crowded and easier to travel around. So, for those who want to make use of public holidays to travel, take note of our discussions above.
For us, we will be planning our trips in either January, April, July or October if we need to fly. In the other months, we will not fly during the public holiday periods. However, depending on where we are travelling to, there may be other factors — such as climate, travel safety, the destination's public holidays, etc — that may influence our actual travel period.
With a full year to plan for travels, don't wait until December.
Going to Malaysia during public holidays?