4 quick getaways for parents who need a recharge

Love your kids, but really need a break without them? Get the respite you need at these charming tropical destinations…

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Parenting, though really rewarding, is often hard and exhausting. For stay-at-home mums and dads, it’s a full-time job that takes up most of your time and energy. You do it out of love and because you want to give your children the best care and attention.

But when was the last time you had some time for yourself, especially as a couple? Your mind and body are probably telling you that you and your spouse are desperately in need of a vacation, however, you find it hard to leave your kids behind.

But did you know having a kid-free holiday is the best thing you can do for your marriage? It gives you both quality time to connect as a couple without any distractions. You return to your kids well-rested, refreshed and ready to give more of yourselves.

Remember, happy children have happy parents. So, ditch the guilt and book one of these short sojourns, stat. All within Asia, these destinations promise you and your spouse a relaxing few days ― yet you aren’t too far away from the kiddos…

Doi Mae Salong is a village in the Chiang Rai Province, surrounded by mountains and valleys.

Doi Mae Salong, Thailand

Surrounded by mountains and valleys, this northern Thailand village in the Chiang Rai province is six- to eight hour flight from Singapore (including one stop over). If you’re looking forward to much-needed peace and quiet, this beautiful mountain destination is the place to be.

The climate in Doi Mae Salong remains cool throughout the year, though it gets really chilly and misty between December and February. Make sure to pack some sweaters, warm socks and shoes. Because it’s cherry- and white plum blossom season, expect more tourists during this period.
Things to do:
* Visit tea houses and plantations.
* Taste the local cuisine ― popular dishes include stewed pork leg and steamed buns.
* Check out the morning market, which sells one-of-a-kind items and accessories.
* Drive around to take in the fresh mountain air and stunning views.
Getting there: Fly to Chiang Rai (from $270 return), then take a cab (1¼ hours, 65km journey, about $40) to this scenic spot.

Gaya Island, Malaysia

Gaya Island is a mere 15 minutes away Kota Kinabalu, the capital of Sabah, Malaysia, and a two-and-a-half hour flight from Singapore. A treasure trove of jungles and rich marine life, you’ll have plenty of exciting things to do on this tropical island, especially if you’re a nature lover who enjoys snorkelling.

Stay at the Gaya Island Resort, which promises world-class service and pampering. You’ll be housed in elegant villas (from $290++ per night), enjoy the panoramic views and dine in a luxury setting.
Things to do:
* Go snorkelling and experience the stunning amazing marine life first-hand.
* Swim in the legendary beach at Police Bay known for its crystal clear waters.
* Take part in cooking classes or get a massage at the spa.
* Go on guided jungle walks to see the rich animal life.
Getting there: Fly to Kota Kinabalu (from $230 return). The resort provides return scheduled speedboat transfers to and from Jesselton Point.