As featured in Issue 295 of The Finder, these 6 Finder Insiders share their exclusive tips for travelling, including food and staycation preferences.
Indian expat Namita loves taking a holiday in Sri Lanka. Why? “The food is phenomenal, the people are warm and friendly and it’s just a really beautiful and diverse country,” she shares.
Her Ideal SG Staycay
“Somewhere green, lush, tranquil… the beautiful Capella Singapore in Sentosa is perfect! I like to sit by the gorgeous pool with a book and spend lots of time at the phenomenal Auriga Spa – I am obsessed with it!”
Tips for Trips with Kids
“Do your homework – read blogs and research on Instagram about the best kid-friendly experiences. I find it’s best to be prepared and take everything you might need in terms of meds, snacks, etc., just to ensure a stress-free holiday!”
Jassmin Peter-Berntzen, Freelance Editor/Writer
“I travel so much, and now that I have a 4-year-old kid, I need a checklist so I don’t forget anything, especially his stuffed dogs!” says this Singaporean mum, whose work appears in top SG magazines and sites.
What Solo Travel Means to Her
“In my 20s, I was lucky enough to travel extensively for work and always took a few days extra to travel by myself. It taught me grit, forced me to come out of my comfort zone, be more outgoing and independent.”
Her Biggest No-No When Holidaying
“Packing too much into your itinerary and feeling so beat by the end of the vacation that you need another break just to recover from it!”
Singaporean Michelle describes herself as a “water baby” – which likely explains why her fave vacation destination is the Maldives. “No matter how stressed out I am, the turquoise ocean you can see straight through lulls me instantly to a peaceful calm.”
Her Ideal SG Staycation
“I head to the lovely for the weekend – mainly because of the incredible dim sum buffet at the restaurant, Jade.”
Her Travel SOP
“I am insanely meticulous when travelling alone. I like to wring the most out of every second, so the second the ticket is booked, I am listing out where I will eat, where am I laying down for the night, what am I wearing each day and so forth. Yes, overplanning is my middle name!”
Why She Goes Solo
“I love it when I don’t have to talk to anyone. I do talk for a living.”
Mel Rice. President, American Women’s Association of Singapore (AWA)
This American expat’s top holiday experiences range from (where she learned to surf) to Spain (where she enjoyed numerous fiestas and festivals throughout Barcelona, Valencia, Granada, Seville and Madrid).
Her Must-Have Holiday Item
“I love the versatility of lightweight sarongs – long pieces of cloth traditionally wrapped around the waist and worn in Southeast Asia. They can be worn as skirts, various styles of dresses, shawls, swimsuit cover-ups, shoulder bags or even as a blanket.”
Her Number One Travel Rule
“I think it’s important to remember – wherever and whenever you are traveling – to always treat people and their cultures with courtesy and respect.”
Derek Yan, Group Director of Sales, Park Hotel Group
Aussie Derek says his only trip must-brings are a “book of the season and quality headset or portable speakers”. However, he also admits, “Minimal planning is my travel style – except when making a reservation at a 3 Michelin-starred restaurant, which always requires advanced booking.”
How He Preps for Trips
“I fully charge every single electronic device and my power bank; read up on the culture and history of the destination before going to appreciate it more; and I always have extra local currency. Never rely on credit cards only.”
His Best Holiday Experience
“While I was in Cambodia, I visited the rural areas. I brought some sweets with me and gave them away to the children in the village. It was rewarding to see the joy on their faces.”
Like a true practical Singaporean, Kelvin must have a power bank because he “hates worrying about the phone when it’s at 20% battery life” and travel insurance when going overseas. “I’ve had cancellations due to illness – it matters.”
His Road Trip “Romance”
“My best holiday trip to date: A USA West Coast road trip from Frisco to Vegas. Long drives down farmland, Yosemite, rustic ribs and American fast food. Also: the night sky, clear, with constellations vividly in sight. Oh, and Vegas, of course. I love Vegas.”
His Ideal SG Staycay
“Beach – with a kids’ club that’s safe and has tonnes of fun activities for my kid, so I can have a vacay myself.”
By Sara Lyle Bow, The Finder Issue 295
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