Travel Ideas For The Holidays

According to Milieu Insight, 81% in Singapore plan to travel on leisure holidays in the next one year, and a quarter (25%) have already booked tickets or accommodation. The top travel motivations across all age groups are that leisure trips abroad provide an opportunity to relax (86%), try new things (59%), bond with family/friends (56%) and appreciate nature (54%).

Are you one of them?

If you haven’t already booked a holiday, we have some ideas for you that encompass relaxation, trying new things and places you can bond with your family and friends. Furthermore, we’ve got some ideas where you can go to get prepped for your trip!

1. Austria

If you’re someone who loves food tours, Austria is the place to go. Not only do they conduct food tours, but the food is also fresh and available in small quantities, so you’ll always have an appetite to try something new.
In case you’re thinking of planning ahead, we have a series of food experiences and culinary trails that will leave you spoilt for choice:

  • Genuss-Festival, Vienna (12-14 May 2023): The largest culinary festival in Vienna is a presented by “artists of careful refinement”. Over 200 chefs and local producers come together on Mother’s Day weekend at Stadtpark. Taste wasabi from Burgenland, alpine caviar from Upper Austria, mushrooms and shrimp from Styria, spicy cheese from Tyrol and some unique products such as potato sausage.
  • Gault & Millau Gourmet Fair, Vienna (16-17 September 2023): Be pampered by top chefs at the “Genussmesse” (pleasure) festival of fine food and wine. Award-winning Gault&Millau “toque” chefs from the top restaurants of Austria and renowned winemakers will gather at the stunning Kursalon Hübner music hall for the most prestigious culinary event of the year. The Gault&Millau Genussmesse has become a fixture of Austrian gastronomy where food-lovers gather to try gourmet dishes, award-winning tavern fare and astounding avant-garde dishes.
  • Ostirrol de Luxe, Lienz (July to August 2023): The longest gourmet festival in Austria runs across 7 weeks in Tyrol, introducing the best of the region’s ingredients and products. Lienz’s main square becomes the “Gourmet Plaza” where East Tyrol’s award-winning culinary elites gather and serve up the best of Alpine farm-to-table cuisine. The festival also draws other chefs from neighbouring regions like South Tyrol, Salzburg and Styria.
  • South Styrian Wine Route, Styria: If you want to discover culinary highlights on your own, we recommend the south Styrian wine route, which covers 25 km through Styria’s top wine-growing regions. Located near to Slovenia, this region in the south of Austria enchants with Tuscany vibes. Here the warm hospitality of the locals, cultivated vineyards, fresh-fruity wines, excellent roadside inns and the “Klapotetz” (wind turbine) are omnipresent, visible landmarks that determine the pace of life.
  • Bregenzerwald Cheese Path, Vorarlberg: Hike your way along mountainous footpaths and visit Alpine dairies, farms, cheese cellars and restaurants. Cheese-hiking has a 2000-year-old history and this epicurean journey will uncover the centuries-old tradition of cheese-making of Austria’s westernmost province. Made up of a union of 17 Valley Dairies and 90 Alpine Farmsteads, the hiking trail spans about 48 kilometres, and cheese aficionados can enjoy stunning scenery while visiting Vorarlberg’s dairy-rich pastures.
  • Via Culinaria, Salzburgerland: Embark on a journey of discovery through Salzburgerland, the home of “Sound of Music”. Via Culinaria focuses on regionality, originality, quality and authenticity. Chefs and farmers have partnered to curate ten themed pleasure pathways introducing gourmet experiences for herb lovers, fish fans, meatatarians, organic connoisseurs, dessert-lovers and more!

2. Australia

From discovering more about Aboriginal history to experiencing unique stays built on the foundations of heritage buildings, you’re bound to be captivated by an experience that combines the nostalgic beauty of the past with all the wonders of everything that’s coming next.

Here are some of the experiences you’ll not want to miss:

  • Safari to River’s End Tour (Clare Valley, South Australia): This five-day, four-night tour offers the opportunity to experience two contrasting river landscapes in absolute luxury, from the redgum and red cliff lined Murray River to the spectacular white sands and dunes of the Coorong and the Murray Mouth. Guests will discover wildlife, history, meet Aboriginal elders and experience the Aboriginal dreaming and cultures along this meandering river.
  • Michael Reid Art Bar (Sydney/Warrane, New South Wales): Located at The Star Sydney, the new creative space morphs from being a gallery by day, to a bar by night. Created in collaboration with Australian gallerist Michael Reid, the Michael Reid Art Bar reframes what a gallery experience can be, allowing guests to enjoy art throughout the day, and enjoy locally-sourced cocktails and elegant light snacks by night.
  • Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (Darwin/Gulumerrdgen, Northern Territory): Be immersed in the richness and diversity of contemporary artistic practice from the world’s oldest living continuous culture at the 2022 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards held at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory. Witness a moving display featuring leading contemporary artists that amplifies the collective voice of First Nations culture from every corner of Australia.
  • City to Coral Tour (Brisbane/Meeanjin, Queensland): Experience the magic of Tangalooma Wrecks with River to Bay’s new high-speed boat tours. Located at the pristine and majestic Moreton Island, the iconic Tangalooma Wrecks is a favourite snorkelling spot featuring sunken ships and a marine wonderland with over 200 species of fish. The trip from Brisbane to Tangalooma Wrecks takes less than an hour, during which passengers can often spot wildlife such as turtles, dolphins, and dugongs.
  • Perth Coastal Explorer (Perth/Boorloo, Western Australia): Soak up some sun and see the best that Perth/Boorloo’s Sunset Coast has to offer on Western Australia’s only open-top double decker bus. The tour brings guests on a journey around the region’s most iconic beachside destinations – Scarborough Beach and Hillarys Boat Harbour – where they can participate in an abundance of experiences, from taking a dip in the Indian Ocean to exploring the Aquarium of Western Australia.

We’ve also prepared a list of hip places for food and drink:

  • Altitude (Sydney/Warrane, New South Wales): As the sun hits the sails of Sydney Opera House, guests can enjoy opulence like no other with a lobster breakfast and a glass of Veuve Clicquot, accompanied by a spectacular view. After a delicious banquet, breakfast lovers can opt to round off their morning meal with a bit of indulgence with Black Oscietra Caviar served with blinis, crème fraiche, chives, and a glass of Dom Perignon to wash it down in style.
  • The Porter House (Sydney/Warrane, New South Wales): Paying homage to its merchant past as a tobacco factory, the heritage-listed Porter House building has been restored and transformed into a multi-level foodie destination with its first two hospitality offerings now open. Pop by Dixon & Sons to indulge in a menu grounded in French technique while featuring Asian touches and Australian native ingredients, or enjoy some of your delicatessen favourites at Henry’s Bread and Wine.
  • The Telegraph Hotel (Hobart/nipaluna, Tasmania): After a transformational renovation, the heritage pub and Hobart icon has been restored to its former glory but with a modern twist, including a revitalised ground floor public bar, a stylish first floor dining room and an inviting rooftop terrace that overlooks Hobart’s waterfront. The new menu offers favourite pub classics alongside modern, produce-driven dishes that make the most of Tasmania’s local ingredients.
  • EziStreat (Melbourne/Narrm, Victoria): EziStreat is North Melbourne’s hottest foodie destination. The food hall, beer garden and events space is housed in a 600-square-metre warehouse space and celebrates street food and community spirit. Discover cult food favourites from the 12 different vendors; from bibimbap to burritos; gluten-free ramen to gnocchi and a huge selection of street food from Melbourne’s much-loved kitchens.
  • Pirate Life (Perth/Boorloo, Western Australia): Head over to Pirate Life Perth, the largest brewpub in the CBD, Pirate Life Perth, as it welcomes two new exciting additions. CRUSH is a bright and breezy Cali/Mex meets Palm Springs inspired space serving up colourful and fruity drinks. Meanwhile, Honey is a broody and intimate space that showcases an impressive ten-metre-long cocktail bar, where darker spirits play the hero alongside a selection of tasty bar bites.

3. Croatia

Immerse yourself in Croatia’s vibrant cafe culture, or hunt for truffles with the locals! Here are some of our recommendations:

  • For those looking for an adventure off the beaten track, visit the charming village of Motovun to experience the life of a truffle hunter and learn the art of foraging truffles with the locals in the beautiful forests of Istria. Enjoy your well-earned efforts with a hearty lunch paired with a tasting of local truffle delicacies.
  • History and culture lovers will adore the historic Judita Palace in Split, whose architecture is a fascinating mix of Roman, Gothic and Renaissance influences. Its internal courtyard also overlooks the main city square, making it the perfect base to explore the city.
  • In the beautiful mediaeval town of Rovinj, you’ll find the Monte Mulini nestled amongst the green pine trees, a quiet, intimate property which boasts incredible views of the Adriatic Sea.

4. Greece

Bask in the sun in Greece’s idyllic islands, or revel in chic waterfront restaurants in the ancient capital city of Athens and more! Here are some of the best activities to do in Greece:

  • Search for the best beaches island hopping around the idyllic Greek Islands such as Zakynthos, Milos and Naxos your very own private yacht.
  • Unwind in complete isolation on your own private beach at the award-winning Porto Villas & Spa, is an elegant choice for those who wish to explore the beautiful island of Zakynthos at their own pace.
  • For a romantic getaway, opt for The Romanos, a tranquil resort nestled amidst lush olive groves, vineyards and groves that overlook the cerulean Ionian Sea.

5. Italy

In Italy, get ready to be whisked away on a magical ride on the famed Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, or you can choose to indulge in a grand meal on one of the terraces of a stunningly well-preserved palace in Noto while listening to live Baroque music and entertainment.

You can also soak in the full buzz and glory of Rome at the stately Hotel de Russie, which is situated right between the Piazza del Popolo and the Spanish steps. Nearby, you’ll find some of the hottest restaurants in the city set under stunning terraced gardens and intimate courtyards alike.

Of course, on the Puglian coast of Southern Italy, you’ll find the historic Borgo Egnazia, a sprawling property reminiscent of ancient Rome with some 30 villas, each boasting private, panoramic views of the Adriatic sea.

6. Thailand

Immerse yourself in Thailand’s luscious natural landscapes with these unique experiences:

  • Experience an innovative dining experience in a Tree Pod: Guests will be elevated five metres into the tree canopy for a unique meal with a view. Food is delivered to you by a flying waiter attached to a zip wire who will leave you to enjoy the surroundings.
  • Relax in style at the Six Senses Yao Noi, a private boutique resort that offers magnificent views of Phang-Nga Bay’s magical limestone formations.
  • For an exciting safari-style adventure, stay amongst Thailand’s exotic bamboo jungles with the Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle, where one of 15 supremely luxurious tented accommodations – which come with roll-top baths – await you.

7. Vietnam

Here are some recommendations for you to discover the cultural heart of Vietnam:

  • Discover the customs and traditions of Vietnam’s Tay ethnic group and soak in the breathtaking views of the famous rice fields and waterfalls of the Red Dzao village in Nam Toong.
  • With more than 250 art galleries to visit, Vietnam’s cultural heart, Hanoi, is a must-visit for art aficionados.
  • Situated on the dramatic coastline of the Nui Chua National Park, which is perched at a height of 1000m above sea level, the tranquil Amanoi clifftop resort makes for the ultimate relaxation retreat, especially for those looking to reconnect with nature.
  • Experience barefoot luxury at its finest at the Six Senses Ninh Van Bay. Situated in the secluded Ninh Van Bay and at the end of a jungle-clad peninsula, the scenic property is only accessible by a resort speedboat, ensuring the utmost exclusivity and privacy.

For those who’d like to travel to a winter wonderland

With this long list of different location you can visit, you also want to ensure that you have the necessary clothing for your trip. Gear up for travel in every season and you need not spend a fortune as there are places such as Decathlon, which offers all that you would need to get ready for a fun-filled trip at reasonable prices!

It is essential to stay warm and comfortable when planning trips to places with a cold climate:

  • The Wedze Winter Gloves 500 (S$20.90) isn’t just waterproof and sturdy, it’s also wonderfully soft and keeps you warm. Designed with an elastic cuff, it is not only adjustable but easy to wear as well.
  • A winter jacket (S$99.90) is essential for the cold as well. The Wedze Ski Winter Jacket is designed with 5 pockets and a soft, warm collar for user convenience and comfort.
  • Choose the SH500 Snow Hiking Boots (S$64.90) to keep your feet warm and dry: These boots are designed with side zip, and a snow-contact sole, providing excellent grip and traction.

For those headed to hike, or to the jungle

  • If you are planning to trek through the outdoors, the MT100 TEX Trekking Boots (S$109.90) are what you would need to traverse comfortably among nature. Made with a long-lasting cushioning material and flexible sole, these boots are both comfortable and provide great support.
  • Protect yourself from both the sun and rain with the Trek 900 Waterproof Sun Hat (S$24.90). Made with a 3-layer fabric, this hat is tear resistant and durable as well.
  • Keep all you would need for this trip with the Forclaz Trekking Duffel Carry Bag (S$89.90). It is a versatile carry bag with a comfortable carry system emulating that of mountain backpacks. On top of that, it is abrasion resistant as well, thanks to its fabric and reinforced seam.

For those headed underwater

  • The SUBEA 90L Scuba Diving Travel Bag (S$104.90) is the ideal bag to set off on a one-week trip with all your diving equipment. Made with a heat-formed rigid back, this bag has a hard shell that will protect all your equipment.
  • Stay protected from harsh UV rays with the Long-sleeve Neoprene Top 900 (S$35.90) designed with UPF50 sun protection! It is also made with a comfortable neoprene material that allows for user comfort and freedom of movement, ideal for exploration under the sea.
  • Move elegantly and easily under the water with the SUBEA SCD 500 Fins (S$40.90). Designed with side ribs of variable thickness and side wings, these fins provide great power and stability for underwater adventure.

For those travelling somewhere warm

  • The Quick Drying T-Shirt (S$7.90) is definitely a need when travelling somewhere warmer. Made with moisture-wicking fabric, this shirt will keep you dry and comfortable even in warm weather.
  • Designed with a wide waistband and moisture-wicking fabric too, the Quick Drying Shorts (S$7.90) is comfortable and ideal for warm weather. It also has a pocket to keep your belongings safe as well.
  • For shoes, the ActiveWalk Protect White (S$35.90) will bring you through long walking distances during travel. It is suitable for daily usage and easy to clean as well, designed with synthetic uppers. It is the perfect blend between comfort and style!

Images: Austrian National Tourist Office, Tourism Australia, Scott Dun, Decathlon

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