Planning Your Vacation Time in 2017? 5 Tips for a Drama-Free Holiday

Read these tips for a stress-free break!

Suffering from the holiday blues after the Christmas and New Year break? Already daydreaming of holidays with your loved ones?

Read these tips to maximise your time off!

Tip #1: Take advantage of long weekends

Looking at the public holiday table below, you can take 6 days of leave to enjoy 10 long weekends for the following holidays:

  • 11th and 12th of May (after the Vesak Day public holiday on the 10th)
  • 10th and 11th of August (after National Day on the 9th)
  • 19th and 20th of October (after Deepavali on the 18th)
Public Holiday table: Taken from the Ministry of Manpower website
Public Holiday table: Taken from the Ministry of Manpower website

 

Tip #2: Plan your holidays responsibly

One of the ways to annoy your boss and colleagues would be if you didn’t plan your holidays adequately around important projects. For example – if you had a big project or deadline due at end July, you may want to consider giving a buffer of a week or so before you skip town on that girls’ weekend you were planning on early August.

Ensure you have a comprehensive ‘handover’ list to your colleague who may take over some of your duties during your time-off

Some ways to do this would be to ensure you have a comprehensive ‘handover’ list to your colleague who may take over some of your duties during your time-off, or giving your boss and colleagues ample notice of your time off so they can be prepared.

If you don’t have someone with your skill set who can take over your duties, consider alternatives such as completing your task in advance so that it’s truly out of your hair.

P.S. As a precaution, you should also leave very clear procedures or instructions just in case a colleague had to step in, or do urgent work on your behalf.

Simply set a certain price you would perceive as a good deal – and make the booking when it hits that price, or close to that price.

Tip #3: Book your tickets in advance

Take advantage of sales and promotions by booking months in advance to ensure you get the best deals. In general, tickets such as airfares are cheaper on weekdays rather than weekends.

Booking your tickets, rooms, seats, in advance also means you have a better selection of choices. And while it is tempting to keep looking and looking for the best deal possible for weeks or months on end – don’t wait too long to book, or your choices may run out.

Simply set a certain price you would perceive as a good deal – and make the booking when it hits that price, or close to that price.

For example – if an economy class ticket from a good airline from Singapore to London is usually $1600, my ‘make the booking’ price could be $1400. Once I see a deal close to $1400 to $1450 range, I would hit the ‘buy’ button immediately. Sure, I may miss out on a deal where a fare hits $1200, but overall, I would have still saved money.

Tip #4: Use fare comparison websites

Use fare comparison websites and other resources to make sure you get the best deals. Sometimes you can save significantly from using different travel comparison websites. For example, I used Website A to save 30% off a hotel room rate, even though I usually use Website B, so my curiosity (and lack of brand loyalty … sorry brands!) was rewarded.

Sometimes discounts to various hotels are very much dependent on the website and the location – e.g. Website A might be better to get a discount for Hotel C, but Website B might be better to get a discount for Hotel D.

It is also important to travel with a companion who would understand your travel needs. If you travel alone, be sure to travel safely.

Tip #5: Know your travel style – and your travel companion/s (if any)

Some people are particular with their time and want an Excel sheet with very detailed, to-the-minute times of every type of activity they are doing on that day, while others prefer to make spontaneous decisions based on their daily mood. Others have a flexible approach of making a ‘wishlist’ of a few must-do activities, while the less important activities are more ‘negotiable’.

Whatever your travel style – it is important to travel with a companion who would understand your travel needs. And if you prefer travelling alone, then be sure to travel safely.

Everyone has their own, unique definitions of a dream holiday. For example, I enjoy travel best when it’s with just 1 other person, and I avoid vacation settings with too many people  — such as group holidays or group tours.  Of course, some occasions such as friends’ destination weddings or birthdays, call for socialising on travels, so if I am in invited to a special event or holiday overseas with a group of people – I pick and choose which days are the important, ‘social’ days to bond and have fun with a group, and which days are more ‘free’ days I have to myself.

I have also been in travel situations where I’ve seen holidays be ruined due to travel incompatibility – for example Person A had a very specific travel style, with a very clear list of must-see places and must-do activities, and was travelling with Person B, a sociable, spontaneous social butterfly who wanted to befriend random strangers, and make decisions on-the-fly.  The combination could not be any worse, and the differences were too large, in this particular case. The result? Disastrous … Yes, travel compatibility is a thing, and it is a vital part of ensuring you have a drama-free holiday!

What are some tips you use for a great holiday?

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