Getting the basics out of the way

This is a sub-article and forms part of the first time traveller series. This article focuses on itinerary planning and covers basics such as “How to have a longer holiday” and administrative matters should should get out of the way.

Not many of us have the luxury of being an undergraduate student (those days are long gone for me) where you have all the time in the world to go on a month long holiday in Timbuktu. Instead, our holidays would be determined by the number of days of leave we intend (or can) take. So consider extending the length of your getaway by:-

  1. throwing in a designated public holiday for a longer break; and/or
  2. applying for leave blocks beginning on Mondays and ending on Fridays so as to benefit from the weekends before and after.

E.g. National day this year falls on a Wednesday (9 August 2017). Applying the two “rules” above, you can get a getaway of up to 9 days (5 August 2017 to 13 August 2017) for 4 days worth of leave. What a bargain!

As to where to go, this is a question you have to answer yourself. But the usual questions that would run through my mind are:

  1. How long is my holiday? (anything less than 14 days, I will confine myself to Asia/Australia);
  2. What is my budget? (depending on my budget, I may prefer a cheaper destination like Vietnam/Cambodia as compared with Korea/China);
  3. What is the purpose of the trip? (if I’m looking out for a cultural experience, places like Siem Reap might be attractive);
  4. Am I going to visit multiple cities within that country or am I going to visit multiple cities in different countries? (this is important as it would factor into the planning stage).

We covered how to get the best prices (and also maximise your air miles at the same time) in another article [insert link].

Booking aside, you have to consider whether a multi-city ticket is worth while for your personal getaway (it normally is!). A multi-city ticket can be booked in two situations. The first, as its name suggests, is when you are travelling from city to city. An example here can be Singapore – Istanbul – Paris – Singapore (see image below). The second involves just three destinations. An example can be Singapore – Istanbul (1 leg) and Paris – Singapore (1 leg). The difference between the two situation is that for the former, you will just be visiting Istanbul and Paris (and areas around those cities as day trips). The second option gives you the freedom of planning your getaway (from exotic Turkey to beautiful France) so long as you reach Paris in time for your return flight.

Flight Multi-City

Please remember to always check for the validity of your passport and also whether visas are required. If your passport is expiring less than 6 months from the departure date, be sure to renew your passport or you will likely be turned back at customs.

Let me know in the comments section below if you have any helpful comments that I may have missed out.

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Click here to go to the next sub-article: Planning your itinerary.