Every year, I ask our kids where they want to go on their birthday. We prefer giving experience gifts instead of actual things because things often just pile up, but memories are forever. So, last November, we went on a family trip to Singapore and Malaysia after Caleb asked to go to Universal Studios and Legoland for his 7th birthday. His birthday is actually not until December, but we did an early celebration since my husband can’t leave the country during the holidays for their holiday duty.
I actually hesitated a bit before finalizing our trip to Singapore and Malaysia. We were worried about going on an international trip with four kids, two of them are under two. Moreover, I just recently gave birth so Ava’s birth certificate, which she needs for her passport application, might not be ready on time.
But the Universe really wanted us to go on this adventure. Surprisingly, we were able to process Ava’s birth certificate within a month and her passport was released two weeks after our application. You can read more about how to process a newborn’s birth certificate quicker here.
Takeaways From Our Family Trip To Singapore
I can say for sure that we had a grand time in our first international travel as a family of 6. Tempers flared at some points, but it was mostly all fun and laughter. We had so much fun, in fact, that we’re planning for another international trip hopefully mid-2020.
Here are some big family travel tips we learned from our trip to Singapore and Malaysia with kids:
Have all important documents in one place. We had all our passports, airline tickets, and hotel booking in one plastic envelope. This made the immigration process easier for us since we didn’t have to dig deep into our bags to gather all the necessary documents.
If you work in the government like my husband, make sure you have your travel order ready. We also had the kids’ school IDs on them and brought with us the two babies’ birth certificates and our marriage certificate (just in case they ask for it!).
Pay for that check-in luggage! We didn’t buy check-in luggage so we had six carry-on bags in total. Man was that hard! When you have little kids in tow in an international trip, it’s best to have at least one check-in luggage then limit the carry-on bags. This will make the whole airport experience easier for you.
Plan ahead, but be open to adjustments. Before your trip, identify where you want to go and plot it on the train stations. This way, don’t go back and forth. Just hop on the train, go down a station, explore, hop back on, and move on to the next attraction. It’s good to have a plan, but be ready to adjust since you have kids in tow. Sometimes, they’d be too tired to go to another attraction so you just have to adjust.
Live like locals. Talk to locals, eat local food, walk instead of taking the bus. There are a lot of places to visit – not just the ones in tourist listings.
Just enjoy! Traveling with little kids is challenging. Kids are curious little beings so they tend to suddenly walk away when they see something interesting or make noise when they get excited. They whine when they’re tired, they cry when they’re hungry. What did we learn from our trip? Just let them be kids. Let them explore. Allow them to get excited. Of course, with supervision.
What we did here is we kept the younger ones in the carrier (we used our Baby K’Tan) and stroller, while the big kids were attached to us through an anti-lost kid safety strap. This way, they don’t go too far. Everyone happy!
Now, onto the part that everyone is asking about:
What was our itinerary and how much did it cost us? I went into detail in the part below. In case you have any questions, just comment and we’ll try to help you out!
4-Day Family Trip to Singapore and Malaysia (Budget + Itinerary)
We were in Singapore-Malaysia for five days, but for this breakdown, I’ll be sharing our 4 day itinerary since our fifth day was spent mostly at the airport already. This itinerary will show you an overview of where we went during our vacation and how much each destination cost us.
Note that this itinerary is very relaxed since we were traveling with four kids aged 8, 7, 1, and 4 months old. We only went to places the kids requested to see and sneaked in a few attractions that the adults wanted to visit towards the end of our trip. That said, we did miss a lot of destinations, but that’s fine. We can always go back, right? 🙂
Click the different days below to see what we did:
We arrived in Singapore at around 3:00pm. From the airport, we took the green line to Expo Station then transferred to the blue line heading to Bendemeer Station where our hotel is situated.
Because it had been a long day of traveling for us, we spent most of our first day lounging around and checking out what’s around our hotel. You can read more about our hotel here. It’s not the most luxurious, but it did provide a nice place for us during our stay.
If your arrival is the same as ours, here are some ideas you can do on your first day:
- Rest and prepare
- Explore what’s around the hotel (Check if there are nearby restaurants, shopping areas, parks, etc)
- Go on a food trip (Must try: Chicken Satay, Poh Pia, Laksa)
We dedicated our second day to Legoland Malaysia. This is, anyway, Caleb’s birthday wish. He’s a Lego-lover so I knew he’d ask for this trip on his 7th birthday.
We rented a van instead of taking a bus on our way to Legoland since we were traveling as a big family and with little kids at that. Charlie and Ava will surely want a comfy trip or else they’ll break into a crying fit so we invested on a van rental.
If you want to spend a little bit less, you can also head to Legoland Malaysia via bus.
The big kids had so much fun here! Our 8-year old and 6-year old were able to try all the rides in the park – even the ones I thought would scare them. 😀 Our 1-year old was only able to try the boat ride and watch the shows. They’re quite strict about their height requirement so they didn’t allow little Charlie even if we were willing to go with him.
When we asked the minis which part of our trip they liked best, it was Legoland Malaysia. It has less rides compared to Universal Studios, but it is more kid-friendly (perfect for our kids’ age range) and less crowded.
- Go on a weekday to avoid long lines.
- If you have little kids with you, upon entering the park, turn right. That’s where the kiddie rides are. Then, make your way around until you reach the big kids ride.
Things To Bring:
- Your passports and other important travel documents
- Extra change of clothes because you will get wet in Legoland
- Umbrella/Raincoat in case it rains
- Water (they allow park goers to bring water bottles) – Note, however, that there are no water refilling stations inside the park
- Cash/Credit Card – They accept Singapore Dollars here so don’t worry if you forgot to have your money changed)
- If you’re traveling with a baby, bring a carrier. We used our handy K’Tan.
- If you’re traveling with a toddler, bring a stroller so you don’t have to carry him/her around. We bought a double stroller for Caleb and Charlie.
We originally planned to go to Orchard Road after our Legoland Malaysia trip, but we were so tired that we all just headed to bed as soon as we arrived at our hotel. 😀 We all needed the rest because day 3 was going to be another adventure!
Park Tickets: PHP1,945 per adult, PHP1,590 for kids aged 3-11
We bought our tickets from Klook before our flight. Legoland Malaysia Klook tickets are discounted so I recommend buying your tickets from them.
Buy Legoland Malaysia Park Tickets From Klook – BIG DISCOUNT!
Still on a high from our Legoland Malaysia Trip, we were all so excited about Universal Studios. The park did not disappoint.
They have lots of fun and exciting rides for all ages. Unfortunately, it rained so we weren’t able to try all the rides. Also, they have a higher height requirement here so Caleb, our 6-year old, wasn’t allowed to go on all the rides he wanted to try. Charlie, our 1-year old, was only allowed to ride the tea cup-style Transformers ride with us, but wasn’t allowed on all other rides – not even the Elmo ride. 🙁
If you plan to bring the family here, the best time is when the kids are aged 7 and up. That’s the only time you can really enjoy Universal Studios. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself hanging out in the restaurants or shopping at the gift shops most of the time, like me. LOL
- If you have the time, get the 2-day pass. I read that it rains a lot in Singapore so in case the first day doesn’t go well (like what happened to us), you still have the second day to make up for it.
- Like I said, the park is best for kids aged 7 and up. There’s not much in there for little ones.
What To Bring:
- Bring water – one bottle for each person! Drinks inside the park are crazy expensive. A serving of soda is at S$16/cup!!! There are water refilling stations, though, so that’s good.
- Bring a change of clothes… or two.
- Bring an umbrella or raincoat (in case it rains and also to keep you dry when you ride some rides). They sell raincoats inside the park at S$5 each, but you can get cheaper ones in 7-11 at S$1 each.
- Baby Carrier/Stroller
Park Tickets: PHP2,810 per adult, PHP2,098 for kids aged 4-12, PHP1,611 for seniors aged 60+
Just like our Legoland tickets, we bought our Universal Studios tickets from Klook since it’s discounted.
Buy Universal Studios Tickets From Klook – BIG DISCOUNT!
The minis only asked to visit Legoland and Universal Studios so we spent the fourth day on attractions the adults wanted to visit.
Merlion Park is where the famous Singapore lion fountain stands. The best time to go here is early in the morning to avoid the crowd and the heat. If you find yourself here during your trip, there’s a milk tea place right smack in the middle of the park. Go try them out! 😉
Marina Bay Sands is a 20-minute walk from Merlion Park. You can take a ride on the city bus to get there, but we agreed to walk since the sights are pretty nice.
We hung out at The Shoppes, which is a huge mall linked to the famous hotel. You’ll find a lot of big brands here like Sephora, Louis Vuitton, Dolce and Gabana, etc.
What we went here for, however, is the Digital Light Canvas. For S$5, kids and adults alike can play with lights for an unlimited time. The minis spent a whole hour inside just running around, rolling, and playing with other kids.
Surrounding the Digital Light Canvas is the food court. You guys, the food there is SO DELICIOUS. If I had space left, I would’ve tried all the stalls. I got Hainanese Chicken Rice while Arjay ordered Duck Cooked Three Ways. The kids gobbled up four orders of siu mai – kasi nga super sarap!
After hanging out at The Shoppes, we went to Gardens By The Bay. We waited until around 3pm before heading there because it’s best to go there in the afternoon or at night if you want to enjoy the lights.
Gardens By The Bay is huge so we didn’t get to explore the whole place. We did get a chance to go around the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest. Make sure you bring sweaters because it’s cold inside the domes.
After Gardens By The Way, we went back to The Shoppes to watch the first light show, which was at 8:00pm.
The light show schedules are: 8:00pm, 9:00pm, and 10:00pm.
Airfare: PHP43,726 (roughly)
Hotel: PHP9,716.24 for three nights (promo price)
Transportation In Singapore: PHP3,000 for four Singapore Tourist Passes good for 3 days
Transportation Going to Malaysia: PHP12,000
Legoland Malaysia Park Tickets: PHP7,070 for two adults, two kids (our two babies went in for free)
Universal Studios Park Tickets: PHP9,816 for two adults, two kids (our two babies went in for free)
Food: S$25/day (PHP950) for 5 people
TOTAL EXPENSES: PHP90,078.24 for a family of 6
(two adults, two kids, one toddler, one infant)
Where We Stayed: RedDoorz Near Lavender Street (The Noble Hotel Singapore)
I’ve been hearing a lot about RedDoorz and my cousin, who also stayed in a RedDoorz hotel during his Singapore trip, vouched for it. We gave it a try and ended up book RedDoorz Near Lavender Street. I booked two rooms: one for our family and one for my dad and my sister who went on the trip with us.
What I loved about RedDoorz Near Lavender Street (The Noble Hotel) is that they offer affordable lodging that’s comfortable and easily accessible.
Although the room is smaller than the usual hotel rooms we stay in during our staycations in the Philippines, it provided us a comfortable place to rest after our jam-packed days exploring Singapore and Malaysia. I appreciate, too, that they changed our beddings and gave us fresh towels, new toiletries, and bottles of water every day.
The hotel is also surrounded by restaurants and it has its own lobby restaurant so finding a place to eat wasn’t hard at all. There’s a nearby 7-11 where we bought extra bottles of water and snacks. And Bendemeer Train Station (Blue Line) is just a few minutes’ walk away.
PHP9,716.24/room for three nights
Going Around Singapore
We arrived in Singapore at around 3 in the afternoon. From the airport, we took the green line going to Expo Station then transferred to the blue line and headed to Bendemeer Station where our hotel was located.
We bought Standard Tickets on the first day since we were heading to Malaysia on our second day. If you plan to stay in Singapore for consecutive days, get their tourist pass. The Singapore Tourist Pass (STP) gives you unlimited travel on Singapore’s MRT, LRT, and basic bus services for 1 day (S$10), 2 days (S$16), and 3 days (S$20). Children aged 6 years and below are free to ride all transport. You can purchase an STP from TransitLink Ticket Offices, which you can find in MRT stations.
Note that the Singapore Tourist Pass (STP) is not accepted by buses heading to Resort’s World Sentosa. If you plan to head there via bus from Harbour Front, you need to pay S$1 per passenger.
IMPORTANT REMINDER: Do not lose your Singapore Tourist Pass. When you get one, you are required to deposit S$10, which you can refund once you return to the card to the transport authority.
PHP375-750 per person (this depends on which STP you buy)
Traveling from Singapore to Malaysia
If like us, you plan to spend a day at Legoland Malaysia, there are many ways to go there from Singapore. There are tourist buses available, but since we’re traveling with little kids, we decided to rent a van.
I highly recommend that you rent a van if you’re with kids instead of taking public transport because it’s much more comfortable and hassle-free. Our driver picked us up at our hotel at 8 in the morning and we arrived in Legoland Malaysia at around 9:30. We had breakfast the B.I.G. Supermarket then started our Legoland Adventure right after.
Since you’ll be crossing borders when you head to Legoland Malaysia from Singapore, make sure you bring your passports and travel documents with you. These will be checked at the border immigration.
Transportation Budget (SG-MY-SG):
SGD330 or PHP12,000/van good for 8 people
We’ve long planned our first international trip with all kids. We kept putting it off, though, and choosing to travel with just one child at a time prior to our trip to Singapore and Malaysia with kids – all of them. Taking our little ones on an international trip was a scary thought for us. I mean, so many things can happen when you have kids in tow!
Can we handle all four kids?
Can we afford it?
Will all family members enjoy the trip?
I can tell you, though, that it’s worth it. Experiencing a foreign land with the whole family is definitely one we’d do over and over.
We learned so many things. Not just about the culture and history of Singapore and Malaysia, but also about ourselves. We learned to be more patient; more understanding; less conscious about what other people might think. We learned to just enjoy every moment of our trip and just let the bad moments slip.
Will we do it again? OF COURSE!
Where should we go next? Send us your suggestions in the comments section below!
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