By Laura Garcia

The long Easter weekend is upon us. You have probably started to get that “vacay” itch and a close-to-home weekend getaway may be exactly what you need. Easter is a time for family, and although we all love and adore our little mini-me’s and all of their trappings, travelling as a family can sometimes be more work than play.

So, minimize the effort and maximise the fun with a nearby long-weekend outing – a quick respite from your on-the-go city life. Singapore is surrounded by beautiful islands waiting for you to explore, so if you havent already booked your getaway, here are a few of our favourite locations: 

Pulau Joyo, Indonesia

A private island haven, Joyo Resort is only three and a half hours from Singapore in the Riau Islands of Indonesia. Featuring seven magnificent and beautifully furnished palaces, the resort is the perfect retreat for friends and family, giving you that ‘aren’t we special’ exclusive, private-island experience. 

Find time to relax and break away from the norm by enjoying the white-sandy beaches that surround Joyo Resort, with stunning sunsets and poolside massages. And that’s just the beginning. Keep your brood happy (and perhaps even out of your hair) by exploring the crystal clear ocean with snorkelling, canoeing, surfing, and kayaking, or perhaps a little Indonesian-style fishing.

The resort also provides space for those in your party who like to stay active, featuring a volleyball court, pétanque, football, bocce ball, and more. Tack on a sumptuous dinner on the beach followed by s’mores over an idyllic oceanside bonfire. And since it’s Easter, how about capping off the night by lighting up the sky with a firework display? 

A stay at Joyo Resort will make your vacation a truly unforgettable experience.

Bintan Island, Indonesia

Bintan is Singapore’s closest neighbouring island, which is only a one-hour ferry ride away.  With 16 sailings per day, Bintan is perfectly located and well within a weekend-jaunt’s reach, making it favourite ‘go-to’ place for many Singaporeans. Enjoy a game of golf at one of the island’s four championship golf courses, or get your adrenaline pumping with water sports and land activities. Alternatively, you can enjoy some much-needed R&R–retreat and rejuvenate – at the spa, or treat yourself to some retail therapy. 

Bintan Resorts is an enclave of nine retreats with options ranging from romantic villas to family-friendly apartments and beachfront chalets. You should have no problem finding the perfect place with just the right vibe for you and your family. This is sure to be a tropical vacation ram-packed full of family fun.

Lombok, Indonesia

Looking for a little adventure? Then Lombok is your place. It’s less than three hours by plane and a lot less touristy than its famous neighbour Bali. You can enjoy all of the fun and beauty with a little less of the crazy in Lombok. Walk barefoot on white-sandy beaches or take advantage of the crystal-clear water among some of the best diving and snorkelling spots in Indonesia. You can surf until sunset, or trek the great Mount Rinjani– and don’t forget to take a dip in the Air Kalak Hot Springs while you’re there. 

If you’re looking for something a little different, you can spend a day delighting in the splendour of the waterfalls of Lombok or visit the indigenous village of Sasak. Peruse the resplendent textiles that the village has to offer, or get caught up in a lively performance. You may even find yourself in an interesting chat with the locals, learning about their unique marriage tradition, where the men kidnap their bride-to-be. This gem of an island has plenty to keep you busy or is just the perfect spot to do nothing at all.

El Nido, Philippines

As the Philippines is a predominantly Christian country, the Easter festivities are widely celebrated, making it the perfect getaway. Spoil yourself and your family with a stay that’s a little unique. Knock one off your bucket list and splurge on an over-the-water bungalow, snap some Insta-worthy shots while beachside glamping, or surprise the kids with a ‘made for TV’ treehouse

With over 50 beaches and more than 30 dive sites, cliff climbing, waterfalls, kayaking, and caves to explore you’ll be far from bored. But wait, there’s more. El Nido likes to keep its secrets, and once you see them, you may want to keep them a secret too. The enchanting secret lagoon and the secret beach can’t be missed – or forgotten.

Whether you jam-pack your schedule with family fun or spend the weekend chillaxing in the sand and sun, Easter is a time to rest, reset, and reconnect with family and loved ones. Whatever tickles your fancy, whether it is in a treehouse in the Philippines or your own private island in Indonesia, pack your flip flops and your suntan lotion and leave your troubles at home and your cares miles away. Get ready to relax. This is a weekend for fun, family, laughter, and unforgettable experiences.

Happy Easter Weekend everyone!