Now that travel is finally back in full swing, my Instagram feed has been flooded with aesthetic posts of snow-capped mountains and pristine beaches. Sometimes, a quick scroll is all it takes to make me long for my next vacation. I know, the holiday season just ended — but you can never have too much fun, right?
When planning my next getaway, one thing I always consider is definitely how to make the most of my trip. This is the perfect guide to the best and worst months to visit these holiday destinations popular among Singaporeans.
Apart from the recommended months, another thing to consider may be shoulder seasons. For the uninitiated, shoulder seasons refer to the travel period between peak and off-peak seasons. If you can, avoid large crowds by going during shoulder seasons, when weather conditions are still pretty ideal.
Whether you prefer sunny skies or magical snowy nights, there’ll definitely be something that piques your interest!
If there’s one thing we Singaporeans absolutely love, it’s food. More specifically, Japanese cuisine. Of course, number one on the list of go-to holiday destinations is Japan!
Ever since its reopening in October 2022, Japan has once again moved to the top travel spot, which comes as no surprise – it is an attractive destination almost all year round.
In the spring of late March to early April, witness the famous cherry blossoms in their full glory as they bloom across the country. It is, after all, the perfect time for picnicking and hanami (flower viewing)!
Another beautiful period to visit is during the months of October and November, as the leaves turn an intense shade of red in autumn. The beautiful foliage makes for breathtaking views as you indulge in your favourite sashimi and ramen.
From July to September, Japan experiences a hot and humid summer with temperatures that can go up to 32 degrees. As this is the typhoon season, there also tends to be more rainfall during this period. Since we already have so much rain and humidity on our island, I would definitely try to avoid these months if I could.
2. Bali, Indonesia
Given that Bali is only about a short three-hour plane ride away, it’s no wonder that Singaporeans flock to the island in droves.
Bali sees drier weather from April to October, which is the perfect time of year to hit up beach clubs, engage in watersports, and go on treks up Mount Batur.
However, you are warned: during the months of November to March, greyer skies and a lot of rain are to be expected. Given that the bulk of activities in Bali take place outdoors, this would likely put a damper on your plans.
3. Bangkok, Thailand
Of course, there’s no forgetting one of our favourite shopping paradises. Bangkok’s plethora of malls and night markets means that if you can think of it, you probably can buy it.
Although Bangkok is consistently warm all year round, temperatures are generally a little lower from November to March. This makes for a slightly more pleasant visit, although do bear in mind that most tourists tend to visit at this time of year.
Temperatures rise in April and May, plus it tends to get rainier from June to October as well. While this shouldn’t impact your experience much if you’re mostly looking to spend time canvassing their megamalls, some of the popular outdoor markets do have rather limited shelter.
4. South Korea
K-drama fans, this one’s for you. As one of our top holiday destinations for shopping (fashion, skincare needs, you name it!), eating, and sightseeing, Korea has remained one of the top countries visited by Singaporeans.
In order to enjoy that perfect weather that’s not too cold or too hot, it’s best to plan your trip during the seasons of spring (April to June) and autumn (September to November). To really enjoy these temperatures of 15-18 degrees, I recommend indulging in Korean barbecue (sizzling charcoal grilled meats, anyone?), street food, and of course, piping hot ramyeon.
You might even be able to catch the elusive cherry blossoms if you visit from end-March to mid-April.
Most would say that the ultimate holiday to Seoul isn’t complete without donning a pretty hanbok and wandering the streets of Gyeongbokgung Palace.
However, the harsh and bitter winters during December to February, combined with the thin hanbok material, make for a less-than-pleasant experience. Unless you’re looking to enjoy winter activities like skiing or snowboarding, this might not be an ideal time to plan a visit.
Conversely, the summer months of July and August bring hot and humid weather — sweating buckets may not be ideal, especially when you’re posing for those IG-worthy photos.
Ah, the land of bubble tea, night markets, and dreamy sky lanterns!
This country needs no introduction. From its culinary delights to the many famous night markets, Taiwan is defo one of our favourite holiday destinations.
Taiwan’s subtropical climate means that it doesn’t usually have four distinct seasons. However, the months of February to April and September to November do see cooler and drier conditions, so that is when you should live your best life at Spirited Away’s Jiufen or Beitou’s various hot springs.
From May to September, you can expect warmer and wetter weather. If you’re heading down to the famed night markets, beware — the general lack of shelter means that a sudden downpour may leave you stranded. Furthermore, this monsoon season may come with typhoons, so outdoor plans will definitely be affected should your visit coincide with one.
6. Sydney, Australia
The land down under can be an amazing place for nature lovers and cultural enthusiasts alike. Its unique geographic position means that it experiences summer while most other countries are deep into the freezing cold winter.
It’s spring in Sydney from September to November, which means temperatures of around 10-20 degrees. Even though peak tourist season is from December to February in the summer, I would recommend visiting in the spring — here’s why.
I don’t know about you, but I always look forward to escaping Singapore’s heat and humidity when I go on holiday. The weather in spring is warm enough for sunbathing on the beach or even strolling along Sydney Harbour Bridge, but it doesn’t get uncomfortably hot (like our sunny island most of the time).
Fall occurs from March to May, which is also one of the best times to visit. Plus, it’s also the start of the whale-watching season, if that’s your cup of tea.
From April to July, the city experiences the seasons of autumn and winter. It gets awfully cold, rainy, and the days are shorter, especially in June — I would consider a vacation elsewhere during this period.
7. New Zealand
If you’d like to fully immerse yourself in nature, consider paying New Zealand, one of the more underrated holiday destinations, a visit. Calling all adrenaline junkies — how does skydiving over the Bay of Islands sound?
In the summer months of January to March, the days are longer and the weather is warmer. During this time of year, the conditions are perfect for sightseeing and plenty of adventure (like taking on some of New Zealand’s abundant hiking trails).
Roadtrippers may also find that one of the best times to visit is from March to May. In autumn, you can even enjoy picturesque views of golden leaves as you take a leisurely drive through the country. Consider renting a campervan to soak in the beauty and sleep under the stars!
Since a large majority of the attractions are outdoor-based, it might not bode well to plan your trip during the period from June to August. Depending on which parts you want to visit, the winter is usually rather mild — however, the rain during this season may affect your experience. For a more smooth-sailing vacation, avoid these months if you can.
Although Switzerland is known for being pricey, it’s definitely one of those bucket list holiday destinations you need to visit at least once.
To most, Switzerland might be synonymous with winter sports such as snowboarding and skiing. However, one of the best times to visit is actually from June to August! During these summer months, you’ll get to explore snow-free alpine trails and witness awe-inspiring views from mountain peaks. Conditions are also excellent for activities like biking and paragliding.
You might be thinking of visiting during winter, especially if you’re headed to the Swiss Alps to try your hand at some skiing.
However, avoid planning your vacation during November and early December. During this time, many popular outdoor attractions like cable cars and winter sport activities are not in operation due to the weather — think rain and sub-zero temperatures and barely any snow.
9. Paris, France
Audrey Hepburn once said that ‘Paris is always a good idea’, and I must admit that I do agree. With buttery croissants, super gao hot chocolate and all the luxury shopping at Champs-Élysées, what’s there not to love about the City of Love?
Summer in Paris occurs from May to July, and this is the best time to stroll the streets of Paris and picnic along The Seine (while having your own ‘Emily in Paris’ moment).
This might be the hottest time of year here, but temperatures generally don’t go above 25 degrees (sans the occasional heat wave, because global warming). This is also the only time to catch the popular night fountain shows at the Palace of Versailles.
If you prefer colder weather, temperatures are a little lower from September to November in autumn. It’s also not the highest peak season, excluding Paris Fashion Week — attractions may be more affordable then.
If there’s one month you should try to avoid, it’s August. Parisians tend to leave the city for holiday, so the majority of smaller shops or restaurants may be closed.
Finally, we have one of the most popular holiday destinations in Europe (AKA the home of Oktoberfest) — Germany. Known largely for its beer and bratwursts, Germany boasts beautiful architecture in both its major cities and rustic little towns.
From May to September, enjoy balmy summer temperatures in the various Biergartens (beer gardens) or explore charming villages filled with cobbled pathways (guaranteed to make you feel like you’re in your very own fairytale).
If you can, extend your stay to mid-October to catch Oktoberfest in Munich, the exact city where the festival originated!
Winter in Germany (December to March) tends to be freezing cold with shorter days, so this period may not be ideal if you want to make the most of your vacation.
However, if Christmas is your favourite season of the year, it might actually be worth experiencing the festivities in Germany. The famous Christmas markets are bound to put you in a merry mood!
Armed with a full list of holiday destinations and the best and worst times to travel, where will you be heading next?
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