One of the biggest perks of homeschooling is the ability to go on vacations or visit local attractions during off-peak seasons.This is extremely helpful when we travel as a group of 9 out of Singapore!
Locally, we get less crowds at playgrounds, swimming pools, the Singapore Zoo or even eating at popular hawker stalls and restaurants. In fact, we are so spoilt now that we cringe when we see crowds 😛
Travelling overseas during off-peak seasons definitely give us greater savings in both travelling and accommodation costs. And the chances of getting interconnecting rooms, even higher! Yes, now that we have more adults (almost all hotels consider children 12 and above adults!) than children, we are often forced to book a minimum of 3 rooms. So we need/prefer interconnecting rooms whenever possible, which the hotels often cannot guarantee during peak seasons.
The past few years have seen us at the various resorts at Batam or Bintan, Club Med Bintan for our 20th wedding anniversary, Perth and Gold Coast, Australia – all booked during off peak season. Yes, it is still expensive because we are a large family. But this is one area that Henson and I have decided that we will spend on. It is our yearly vacation to bond (I won’t say relax, coz you know kids and all that!) and to have a change of environment and routine.
Most of the time, we plan our off-peak fun trips after PSLE since I most certainly need a break from it! But this year, we have an 18 year old whom we thought was due to enlist in the army in June (we have since been notified that he is due to enlist in October!). So we brought forward our family vacation dates – again, the flexibility of homeschooling!
Boring us went to Club Med Bintan, again! Lol! And it must be even more off peak than October as the prices were lower than what we remembered paying for the last time. Yay!
The last time we went, the place was so empty that they got to go on the famous Club Med trapeze multiple times! David and Henson were so good at it that they were offered a chance to do the CATCH segment where they swing from one trapeze to another! This time round, the resort was relatively empty until the last day when a group of Japanese high school students descended on the resort. They were there as part of a school field trip! Imagine going to Club Med as part of your school’s field trip?!!?
I know most families have no choice but to work within the confines of the official school calendar and work schedule. So we are very grateful that we are able to enjoy this flexibility! With the children growing up and the possibility of them entering our local institutions of higher learning, our days of travelling as a complete family and enjoying this flexibility is probably coming to an end. So we will have to adjust our expectations and schedules in time to come. Meanwhile, we are going to milk it for all we can!
*Because God…The last few trips we made to Club Med saw Anna refusing to go near the beach after the 1st time there stung her raw and itchy eczema afflicted skin. This time round, she agreed to go with her sisters. At first I thought she would only play with the sand but she actually went into the water and sat in it and played for the longest time. The only thing she did not like was the seawater splashing into her mouth! It is indeed such an amazing sight to behold. And I have much to thank God for even though we are currently battling eczema with Sarah. It gives me hope to know once again that God is faithful.
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