A one-of-a-kind bus staycation - Angel is 14!

Posted by ~Summer~ on April 09, 2024
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As the kids grow older, birthdays gradually become more of intimate celebrations than themed parties. Remember how we held DIY parties such as Sylvanian Tea Party, Spy Party, Unicorn Party, Tangled Party for Angel and her friends when she was younger? Yup, those were the good old days and I hope they left behind beautiful memories for her in her growing up years.

Now that she is a teenager, she has outgrown the need for lavish parties and huge gatherings. So while I let have her own celebration with her friends, I still make a point year after year that we spend time together as a family and create lasting memories to remember her special day.

Last year, we did something truly unique and that was to have a 2D1N staycation in a BUS! Well, it was actually two buses since we are a big family and you can imagine the squeals of delight when the kids first stepped on board. I mean, they were all bewildered when I told them in the morning that we were going to sleep in a bus that night so they were really surprised to see that the buses were 'just like hotels'!

Here's sharing all about our fun experience at The Bus Collective.


Located conveniently at Changi Village, The Bus Collective offers a one-of-a-kind stay experience in 20 refurbished single decker buses. These are retired, decommissioned public buses previously owned by SBS Transit, yes, how cool is that, right? I love the idea that these buses have been repurposed into hotel rooms and it's the first of its kind in Southeast Asia. Changi has a rustic, quaint charm and the fact that it sits away from the hustle and bustle of the city is a plus point for me. 

Let's show you the interior of our buses, woohoo! While one bus featured a bunk bed and two single beds, the other had a unique round queen bed and even a bathtub. Yes, looks quite luxurious, right? We were so blown away and amazed by the fact that these buses had been transformed into 'hotel rooms' and just so you know, there are curtains all around so privacy would not be an issue.

The best part about these buses is that the driver's seat has actually been left intact, complete with gear, steering wheel and dashboard. The kids spent lots of time fidgeting with the buttons, pretending to be bus drivers and ferrying the family from place to place. The boys, not surprisingly, especially loved it and they would spend time 'driving' before they slept and right after they woke.

At every staycation, we will engage in family activities and spend time bonding together. My kids love outdoor activities so this time, we decided to go cycling since bicycles are provided for guests at the resort. The three older kids managed to find a bike for each of them, though Asher's one was actually too tiny for him, and Ansel was snug on the baby seat behind me. Let's gooooo!

We ended up enjoying the cycling so much that not only did we stay out for hours, we even did it twice, once on the first day and the other after we checked out on the second day. The hubby was with us first time round so we took some nice family shots with the planes that were constantly flying above us - we were in Changi, remember? - and went to the playground to let the kids have some fun. While Ansel happily played with the sand, the hubby taught the rest of us to jump out from a moving swing and it was a cheap thrill that got us squealing in delight and laughing at each other.

On the second day, it was a mum-and-kids outing and we set off in search of 'Changi Mount Fuji' that the staff told us about. I must say it was a far ride and we ended up cycling for more than 2-3 hours to and fro and clocking more than 10km. Yup, that was quite an achievement for sure! We ended up at Changi Bay Point which is a really scenic place with an awesome coastal view, what made the kids even more excited was seeing mudskippers, crabs and other marine creatures near the rocks. 

Guess what happened on the way back? Ansel fell asleep! His head would keep bobbing and not lean against my back so it was really hard for me to cycle, haha. That was tough! I think it was even tougher for Asher too because after cycling on the small bike for so many hours, including going up steep slopes, he was panting and feeling lethargic already but thankfully, he didn't give up and cycled all the way back to the resort. Yes, we made it and also returned with many priceless memories too.

We were supposed to go on a nature walk with a tour guide but alas due to the presence of lightning and bad weather, the trip got cancelled. Not wanting to let the downpour dampen our spirits, we armed ourselves with ponchos and umbrellas and decided to brave the rain, woohoo! The hubby, who works in Changi Naval Base, became our replacement tour guide and even though most of what he told us was about military and war related stuff, it was still nice to take a walk together. 

We took photos at Inscription of the Island, which is the finger statue, we walked for long to find a famous heritage tree, we picked up saga seeds along the way, we saw a handful of hornbills and we also took a leisure stroll by the beach before making our way back to the bus. The rain had cleared up in the end so it actually felt nice to enjoy the cooling breeze and I am glad we didn't give up on taking a nature walk.

Back at the bus, the highlight of our night was having a family barbecue! Yes, there are barbecue pits right outside the bus for you to utilise and there is a sink for easy washing too. The kids were excited to help to cook and we tucked into yummy food like chicken wings, sambal sotong, garlic bread, sausages, satay and more, yummy! The kids wanted marshmallows so we made our way to Changi Village to get them, along with some drinks and snacks for our movie night later. Yes, we always watch movies during our staycations.

Of course, no birthday is ever complete without a cake cutting ceremony so we made sure we did it in the comfort of our bus. We bought the big girl a chocolate cake that she loved and it still amazes me to know that she has turned 14 in the blink of an eye.

We sang the birthday song, we snuggled on the bed to watch a movie, we indulged in unhealthy snacks and we spent a night together with our hearts full. But, trust me when I say that beneath these happy pictures, there were plenty of bickers, tantrums and even meltdowns that had to be dealt with and it was just another day in the parenting journey. Still, we enjoyed this unique staycation and it's the first time that we slept overnight in buses and it's a story we will be able to tell our friends and remember fondly for years to come.


To my dearest Angel, happy turning 14! You are my pride, my joy and I love you with every beat of my heart. Venturing into teenage years isn't easy and I know there are many changes to adapt to and sometimes, our emotions can get the better of us. While you are learning your way through adolescence, so am I. It's something very new to me too so forgive me when I make mistakes or fail to be a good mum to you.

I hope you know how much you mean to me and I still remember the happy, fun days we spent in Sweden from the day you were born till you were nearly three years old. It was just you, me and Papa (actually, it was you and me most of the time) against the world and we were together every minute of every day, making memories, learning new things, enjoying the scenic town in Karlskrona and exploring as much of Europe as we could.

Let's hope we can one day bring you back to the place where you were born and I will have so, so many stories to tell you. Happy birthday, my baby girl, may your days be filled with love and joy and may you grow up to be a kind, helpful, caring and wonderful soul. I love you so much!



That marks the end of Angel's 14th birthday celebration and a fun-filled, out of this word family staycation. I live for memories and I am so thankful we just made another drawer of them to store in my heart for many years to come.

Till the next birthday celebration!


To see more happenings and highlights from our stay, watch the video below.


Read more on Angel's birthday parties here:

Angel is 13 - A one-of-a-kind bus staycation
Angel is 12 - A Surprise Staycation
Angel is 11 - It's a Magic Party
Angel is 10 - A Unicorn Party
Angel is 3 - My Bubbly Bunny
Angel is 1 - It's a RAINBOW Party


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