If you have a severe case of wanderlust and the only thing holding you back is the dread of having to organise the trip, you aren’t alone. A regional survey commissioned by Beringer Vineyards showed that 1 in 2 Singaporeans lose an average of 4 days of annual leave due to poor planning. 1 in 3 respondents also believed that they could make better use of their time off if they were better at planning their holidays. That’s why Beringer is here to shares 10 steps to better vacation planning over wine with friends
We all know planning is better when it is done with others, over a glass of wine (or two), so gather your travel kakis, crack open a bottle and start mapping out that well-deserved trip you’ve worked so hard for. Here are some tips to sort you out.
1. The Internet to the rescue
Holiday planning, where do we even begin?? You now no longer have to spend hours pouring over guidebooks, not with online resources such as TripAdvisor where you can read thousands of reviews and make bookings directly. Pro-tip: Head straight to the Beringer microsite on TripAdvisor to view trending destinations and travel hacks to help you get a head start on planning!
2. Gather the troops
With 4 out of 5 Singaporeans saying holiday planning is better when it is social and over a glass of wine, you can cheekily disguise your next travel planning session as a dinner get-together. Having face-to-face meetings speeds up the decision-making process and you can also encourage the non-planners in your group to pitch in. And wine makes everything better, doesn’t it?
3. Tackle the big ‘D’
The most important question to answer is ‘What is the destination?’. Whether you’re deciding between Maldives, Sri Lanka or Amsterdam, choosing your next vacation spot can prove to be challenging especially if you are travelling in a big group. Ask your travel partners what they are hoping to get out of their holiday – an adrenaline pumping adventure? A cultural experience? By answering these questions, you can consult TripAdvisor, narrow the list and vote on it.
4. Give yourself a budget
After agreeing on a destination, you should also decide on a budget that everyone is comfortable with. This will help set the tone for the rest of your trip, from selecting your flights to the type of accommodation and dining options. Setting a budget early on will also help narrow down what you do during the holiday and how you do it, making the rest of the trip planning less overwhelming.
5. How long can you go?
Do some research on how much time is usually spent at the selected holiday destination and use that as a guide. Then discuss with your travel buddies which date in their calendars are ‘no-go dates’ and how many days of leave they can spare first before identifying possible travel dates. Make sure to factor in additional “travel days” if you are visiting more than one city.
6. Is it a good time?
This is especially important if you are visiting for a specific attraction, as you don’t want to turn up at a beach destination during the monsoon season. Look up hashtags and geotags of the location to get a sense of what it looks like at different times of the year, and up-to-date from your fellow travellers! Pro-Tip: Go for holidays a week before or after the peak travel season so you don’t get overrun by other tourists.
7. What’s the plan?
Be realistic with your itinerary because even the best-laid plans don’t always pan out. You will not be able to hit all the Instagrammable spots in the city or cover the entire Louvre in a day. Instead, create a list of everything you want to see or do in order of priority and work your way down the list. Also, consider leaving a day free to explore and discover attractions that were not previously on your radar.
8. Divide and conquer
94 percent of respondents surveyed agreed that when the responsibility of vacation planning is shared, it makes the entire planning process more enjoyable and more likely to happen. Don’t always rely on the ‘responsible one’ in the group to get things done. Get different people to take charge of booking the accommodation, monitoring flights and coming up with a list of must-dine restaurants. With everyone responsible for different aspects of the trip, you won’t have to deal with the stress of vacation planning alone!
9. Create a packing list
Don’t leave packing to the last minute. Monitor the weather forecast in the weeks leading up to the trip and consider the activities you will be doing on your holiday so you can pack appropriately. Create a packing list and classify items as essential, somewhat essential and nice to have so that you can easily decide what you finally bring. Think about whether your accommodation will have laundry facilities and how you can creatively mix and match your clothes so you can have more luggage space for souvenirs and shopping.
10. Enjoy the fruits of your labour
Now that you’ve gone through the hardest process of the trip, give yourself a pat on the back and reward yourself with a glass of wine while you patiently wait for your vacation to start. Don’t forget to set a reminder a week before the holiday starts so you can sort out any last-minute details and of course, don’t forget your passports!