Robin Yap, head of The Travel Corporation Asia shares his top tips for making the most of your vacation.
1. Travel with like-minded buddies who share a same perspective on truly wanting a good 1 Travel with like-minded buddies who share the same view on truly wanting a great time. There is no right or wrong kind of travellers: some are more careful with what they spend while others are more generous. So, having the right company is important.
2. Choose a destination which suits your budget so that you need not restrain yourself from having a great meal, buying a gadget that you have been eyeing or visiting a monument that you have read so much about.
3. There is no perfect tour but a positive mind will allow you to enjoy your holiday even if things do not turn out the way you wanted. Remember you are going on a holiday, not on a fault-finding mission. You want to bring back beautiful photos and great memories, not learn to write a complaint letter.
4. The cost of your holiday is not the price you pay when you book. It includes all expenses incurred on the trip that are not included in the tour price. Thus, ensure you take time to understand the tour content. Don’t expect to pay for a low-capacity car and want it to perform like a sports car!
5. One of the greatest experiences I had travelling on international coach tours is making friends from all over the world. I learned how older Australian travellers age gracefully, how the American education system works, how Asians respect their elders while on tour, and I have also received invites to the homes of those I met on the tour.
6. For destinations close by, finding a resort to unwind as a independent traveller is a good option. For farther destinations with different languages and driving styles, you must have a lot of time and patience if you decide to travel independently.
7. A good and experienced tour leader is not someone put on a tour just to accompany the group.
8. Bringing your three year-old on a long-haul programme-packed group tour can be energy draining because it is not easy for little ones to keep up with the pace, schedule and time difference. It is better to bring them when they are older and more ready.