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The Family Travel Association’s 2019 U.S. Family Travel Survey shows that 21% of parents and 42% of grandparents find that keeping children safe and healthy when traveling is a challenging issue.
And since clean and safe public areas, low crime rates and hygiene standards are a big deal when it comes to family travel, clients will be happy to know that Singapore ticks all of these boxes — and more.
Curious as to how the city is kept so clean, I asked a taxi driver about the lack of rubbish and graffiti. He explained that penalties for petty crimes and littering are high and have been for decades. As a result, crime rates are low, and guests will rarely see trash on the streets.
Families will also find it comforting to know that SafeAround, a website that assesses risk levels in more than 100 countries and cities worldwide, lists Singapore as the fifth-safest country in the world (the U.S. comes in at No. 49). And, according to the Singapore Food Agency, the country enjoys one of the lowest incidences of food-borne disease outbreaks in the world. (As a parent who has traveled extensively through Asia with children, I can vouch that we have never been ill in Singapore.)
Additionally, popular attractions are designed with families in mind, featuring kid-friendly areas and food options. Restrooms are clean and feature separate toilets and sinks at a lower height for children; elevators, escalators and moving walkways are abundant. Here are some top tips for traveling with the whole family in Singapore.
Explore the Jacob Ballas Children’s GardenThe Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden — the first garden in Asia dedicated to children — is free to visit and is a great recommendation for clients with kids under 14. Children can pretend to be adventurers, naturalists and gardeners for the day and follow carefully curated park trails. There’s also a water play area, a suspension bridge, a waterfall cave, a treehouse, a hedge maze, a nature play area and more.
Enjoy a Theme Park Adventure on Sentosa IslandSentosa Island is ideal if your clients fall into the 48% of families who plan to take a theme park vacation in the next two years, according to research from the FTA.
Once a British military fortress and now known as “The State of Fun,” Sentosa Island features tropical beaches, luxurious hotels and theme park attractions. Its Palawa Beach is recommended for families for its playgrounds, parks and lagoon.
Guests in the area can also visit one of the largest oceanariums on the planet at S.E.A. Aquarium; soar like a superhero at iFly Singapore; zipline on the MegaZip; and go wild at Adventure Cove Waterpark and Universal Studios Singapore.
Make Two stops at Gardens by the BayGardens by the Bay is a world-class attraction. In my opinion, clients should visit twice: once in the daylight, to visit the water play area, children’s area, Flower Dome, Cloud Forest Dome and Supertrees; and once at night, to experience the Garden Rhapsody music and lights show at the Supertree Grove.
Admission is complimentary, but there is a fee to enter the domes or walk on the OCBC skyway, a walking platform among the tops of the Supertrees.
Take in Views From the Singapore FlyerThe Singapore Flyer is a giant Ferris wheel located in the heart of the city. Families will reach approximately 541 feet at the Flyer’s highest point, and the whole circuit takes about 30 minutes. Expect great views of the Colonial District, South China Sea, Central Business District and Marina Bay.
Get a Dose of Culture in Little IndiaThe Little India and Kampong Glam areas of Singapore are best explored on foot. Families can seek out the Kampon Glam’s Sultan Mosque and street art, or go shopping at Little India’s Tekka Centre for Indian-style clothing and T-shirts adorned with kids’ favorite characters.
Get Back to Nature at Pulau Ubin IslandA day trip to Pulau Ubin is perfect for active, nature-loving families. The island can be reached by a 15-minute boat ride and offers kids the chance to experience a kampong (village) atmosphere.
Upon arrival, families can hire bicycles (kid-size bikes and seats are available) and cycle around the island at their leisure. Riding to Chek Jawa Wetlands on the southeastern tip of Pulau Ubin is a unique highlight; here, clients can walk along two different boardwalks to experience different wetlands’ various ecosystems. They should expect to see monkeys, lizards and birds, but remind them not to leave bags unattended — the monkeys are cheeky.
Getting AroundSingapore’s Mass Rapid Transport system (MRT) is affordable and efficient, and it connects most attractions. Clients can download the Moovit App, which provides details about which MRT line or bus to catch when heading toward a certain destination. If families prefer to travel by taxi, they can use Grab app to order a ride.
The DetailsVisit Singaporewww.visitsingapore.com