TRAVEL

Flash­pack­ing is a bud­get-friendly op­tion when hol­i­day­ing with kids.

Simply Her (Singapore) - - Contents - BY SA­MAN­THA ANN YOUNG

Think of flash­pack­ing as an up­scale ver­sion of back­pack­ing. It’s for bud­get trav­ellers with a lit­tle more cash to spend for greater com­fort, who pre­fer to stay in more up­mar­ket digs, and who want free Wi-Fi or LAN thrown in be­cause they usu­ally travel with their gad­gets.

IT’S GREAT FOR FAM­I­LIES

Adler Poh, founder of lux­ury hos­tel Adler Hos­tel in Sin­ga­pore, says flash­pack­ing hos­tels of­fer a good en­vi­ron­ment for fam­i­lies be­cause of the per­son­alised ser­vice. “In a hos­tel, the cus­tomer is treated more as a friend. Staff aren’t desk-bound, and they’re en­cour­aged to min­gle with guests. Some­times, they plan small gath­er­ings or games, and even go out with guests for a meal. Th­ese are things that aren’t pos­si­ble in a ho­tel set­ting.”

It also means great sav­ings for fam­ily groups. In­stead of book­ing sev­eral small rooms at a ho­tel, you can book a big pri­vate room. Heng Choon Boon, founder of Wink Hos­tel, a bou­tique hos­tel in Sin­ga­pore, adds that flash­pack­ing hos­tels are a hit with fam­i­lies be­cause they of­fer good value, a ca­sual en­vi­ron­ment and more per­sonal ser­vice.

Where to Go

• LOOGCHOOB HOMES­TAY IN BANGKOK, THAI­LAND

Lo­cated in the heart of Bangkok within a few min­utes’ drive of the city’s down­town, this is an in­ti­mate five-room inn that pro­vides you with a com­mon guest area and ho­tel-like room fa­cil­i­ties. It also of­fers free Wi-Fi.

For Fam­i­lies Up to three peo­ple can stay in the Ju­nior Suite, which has a king-size bed and a sin­gle bed. The Fam­ily Suite has a liv­ing room along with a king-size bed and two sin­gle beds. Each has its own shower and bath­tub.

Prices From 3,300 baht (S$135) a night for a Ju­nior Suite; from 3,800 baht a night for a Fam­ily Suite. E-mail info@loogchoob.com or loogchoob@gmail.com; www.loogchoob.com

• BACK­HOME IN KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA

Lo­cated in the heart of Kuala Lumpur’s fi­nan­cial and his­tor­i­cal dis­trict at the top end of Jalan Tun H.S. Lee, this bou­tique back­packer hos­tel is housed in a row of colo­nialera shop­houses. You can ac­cess Wi-Fi for free at the lounge or pay a small fee to surf the In­ter­net us­ing one of the com­puter ter­mi­nals. For Fam­i­lies Back­home rec­om­mends book­ing a mixed four-bed dorm or a three-bed loft. The mixed dorm in­cludes two bunk beds and in­di­vid­ual lock­ers, while the loft has a queen-size bed with a sin­gle bunk over­head. Both have wash­basins but no en suite bath­rooms. The hos­tel prefers child guests to be at least 12 years old, so if you have young kids, drop Back­home an e-mail to pre­pare the staff be­fore­hand. Prices From RM48 (S$20) a bed for one night in the mixed dorm; from RM165 a night for the three-bed loft. E-mail info@back­home.com.my; www.back­home.com.my

• STUDIO41ST HOS­TEL GUEST­HOUSE IN SEOUL, KOREA

Studio41st Hos­tel Guest­house is lo­cated in a quiet res­i­den­tial area near trendy Hong­dae Street. The near­est train sta­tion is a 10-minute walk away. There’s free Wi-Fi and wired In­ter­net con­nec­tion.

For Fam­i­lies The Fam­ily Rooms ac­com­mo­date up to four peo­ple, al­though there’s an ad­di­tional charge for the fourth per­son. There’s also 4Be­d­room, which has two bunk beds that can take four. Ev­ery room has its own en suite bath­room, kitch­enette and wash­ing ma­chine.

Prices From 120,000 South Korean won (S$134) a night for the Fam­ily Room (with an ex­tra charge of 10,000 won for a fourth per­son); from 130,000 won a night for the 4Be­d­room. E-mail studio41st@gmail.com; www.studio41st.com

• HOP INN IN HONG KONG

Hop Inn has two branches in the heart of Tsim Sha Tsui in Kowloon – on Hankow Road and Carnar­von Road. Both are a few min­utes’ walk from the train sta­tions. The rooms are de­signed by lo­cal artists and il­lus­tra­tors, so no two are the same. You’ll get free Wi-Fi ac­cess and even the op­tion of bor­row­ing a lap­top or tablet.

For Fam­i­lies A Triple Room has a sin­gle bed plus ei­ther a dou­ble or a bunk bed. A Quadru­ple Room can take up to four peo­ple, and in­cludes a dou­ble bed and a bunk bed. All rooms come with a pri­vate bath­room. Prices From HK$650 (S$106) a night for a Triple Room; from HK$1,020 a night for a Quadru­ple Room. E-mail en­quiry.hopinn@gmail.com; www.hopinn.hk

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