Maximising Your Leave Days In 2023: How To Plan The Perfect Vacation
Let’s face it, leave days are the ultimate treasure and we want to make the most of ’em. But with only 11 days of public holidays, Singapore isn’t exactly the best country to easily achieve work-life balance (Myanmar has a whopping 32 days!).
Don’t fret, though. With a little bit of creativity and smart planning, we’ll help you make the most of your leave days. These are our secrets and loopholes on how to plan the vacay of your dreams.
Take leave in blocks (and plan ahead too!)
This may sound easy but is, in fact, quite hard to execute. For parents, leave plans essentially revolve around the school holidays while having to juggle work considerations. There’s a trick to making it all work - the key to optimising your leave is to plan ahead. Ideally, at least six months in advance. This offers you ample time to give your boss and colleagues a heads-up, and so that the work schedule can be adjusted to accommodate your time off work.
Another pro tip to make the most of your leave days is to look for ways to combine them with public holidays. This is a common move by Singaporeans to extend their vacay, but it can also lead to higher airfare prices (boo). The solution? Plan ahead and book your tickets as early as possible - like, a full year in advance. Trust us, this one step will save you from getting hit with surge pricing.
Craft a productive itinerary
Having pulled off the perfect leave plan, crafting the ultimate itinerary is the secret to making the most of your time off. Think about all the amazing things you wanna do - like checking out new spots, trying new food, or just chilling out. Give each activity and the place you want to go a priority level, then divvy up your time accordingly.
Don’t forget to schedule some much-needed downtime and a little wiggle room for any unexpected adventures that come your way. Stay flexible and roll with the punches, but remember to stick to your original goals. With a solid plan in place, you’ll have a blast, and return feeling refreshed and ready to take on the world.
Explore nearby destinations
If time is a luxury, you might not want to spend 1 or 2 leave days cooped up in an airplane cabin. Consider a getaway to one of our neighbouring countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, or Thailand where a flight or ferry ride is only a maximum of two hours. Stumped for ideas? Don’t worry, we got that covered: try these scenic hikes or spend your holidays basking in the sun on these hidden beaches.
#SupportLocal, Do a Staycation Instead
When was the last time you explored this little sunny island we call home? Before you dismiss the idea of a local vacay, Singapore has plenty of adventures at home that can make the idea of being a tourist in your own country an attractive one.
One can combine a staycation at any of our world-class hotels with a sightseeing and makan tour. Don’t forget to throw in a little R&R for everyone in the family – be it a spa session, lounging by the pool with a good book, or building a sand castle. It’s natural for us to crave for a change of scenery once in a while, so ditch your usual routine and invite spontaneity into your life (at least for a weekend), so that you’ll truly feel like you’re on holiday even when you’re still in the country.
Fancy a workcation?
You’ve heard of staycation – but what about a workcation? Combining a holiday with remote working, a workcation is the perfect way to ensure you can preserve those precious leave days for when you really need it. Workcation is a fluid term that ranges from working remotely on a beach while sipping mai tais to fitting in a few days after the end of a business trip to explore the surrounding cities.
On the downside, you won’t be able to fully disconnect from work and sometimes, unexpected work commitments might eat into your scheduled relaxation time - which is why a workcation is not for everyone. It’s ideal for someone who is adept at optimising their work schedule, does not need to conform to the traditional 9-to-5 working hours, and does not need long periods of time to recharge (think vacation, power-nap style).
Take a chill pill
Perhaps cramming a myriad activities into a holiday isn’t your idea of a perfect getaway – and that’s okay, too. Don’t succumb to FOMO and overextend yourself by making full use of your time off. It’s perfectly acceptable to be lazing at home, meditating on a beach on Sentosa, or even practising some self-care by taking long walks along our various PCN’s. Remember, the most important goal to achieve out of taking time off is to return to work feeling recharged and refreshed.