Travel experts share their tips on planning and saving money for a weekend getaway. By Yuen Yi Ying
Tips for planning that long weekend vacation. (Photo: Alexey Poprotsky / www.123rf.com)
1. Long Weekend Vacation Tip: Plan Your Leave Days Now!
Most public holidays fall near or just before a weekend this year – WOOHOO – so start planning your leave now. (Chances are your colleagues are doing the same, so it’ll be a case of fastest fingers first!) To get a block leave, take Thursday, Friday, Monday or Tuesday off.
If you haven’t already, mark these dates on your calendar and kick off your leave applications soon:
CHINESE NEW YEAR February 8, 9 (Mon, Tue)
GOOD FRIDAY March 25 (Fri)
LABOUR DAY May 1 (Sun) – May 2 will be a public holiday
VESAK DAY May 21 (Sat)
HARI RAYA HAJI September 12 (Mon)
DEEPAVALI October 29 (Sat)
CHRISTMAS DAY December 25 (Sun)
[Note: The other public holidays in 2016 are Hari Raya Puasa on July 6 (Wed) and National Day on August 9 (Tue).]
2. Long Weekend Vacation Tip: Don’t Return on a Sunday
Most weekend getaways go like this: leave on Friday, party on Saturday, return on Sunday. Wrong move. Return flights on Sundays tend to be pricier – so go on and take an additional day of leave to lounge on the beach instead.
3. Long Weekend Vacation Tip: Fly Somewhere Close
The ideal commute for a 3-4 day holiday should not last longer than seven hours. That means, you can still catch a play at the iconic Sydney Opera House in Australia, explore Tokyo’s Tsukiji Fish Market in Japan, or go diving at Seychelles – all three destinations are seven hours away from Singapore. Depending on the flight timings, this would leave you with at least two full days of exploration.
4. Long Weekend Vacation Tip: Plan the Itinerary Within Walking Distance
To minimise travelling time, plan your itinerary according to the proximity of the sights you want to see. Ideally, they should be within walking distance of one another. (Want ideas for an off-the-beaten track vacation? Check out travel apps like Withlocals or Field Trip for recommendations or private experiences – just like how the locals like it.)