Gear­ing up for a great holiday

What makes a fan­tas­tic va­ca­tion? One travel in­dus­try veteran shares his views.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - TRAVEL - By CH­EStEr CHIN star2­travel@ thes­tar. com. my

ROBIN Yap knows bet­ter than to be­lieve that the grass is greener on the other side. He’s been work­ing with one com­pany for over 30 years, and that com­mit­ment has cer­tainly paid off.

To­day, the man is pres­i­dent of The Travel Cor­po­ra­tion ( Asia). Some brands un­der the in­ter­na­tional travel group in­clude Trafal­gar, Con­tiki and In­sight Va­ca­tions.

That ded­i­ca­tion also means that the 58- year- old is at­tuned to the no­table changes in the travel scene.

Tech­nol­ogy, says the Sin­ga­porean in an email, has to­tally changed the busi­ness land­scape. But he is un­fazed about fu­ture chal­lenges, thanks to his dear mother’s ad­vice.

“My mum told me that if you are not pre­pared, even if gold falls from the sky, you will be too slow to pick it up,” Yap re­lates. “I am al­ways pre­pared. And when you are pre­pared with con­tent and sub­stance, you have noth­ing to worry about.”

The in­dus­try veteran shares with Star2 some vi­tal in­for­ma­tion for a good holiday, and that one des­ti­na­tion where he has felt the hap­pi­est.

Have you re­ceived any funny or pe­cu­liar travel book­ing re­quests?

Once in Bhutan, a lady who is al­ler­gic to but­ter was served a main course of “But­ter Fish”. She screamed! The waiter calmly told her it’s the name of the fish. He ex­plained that it is not made of but­ter, just like but­ter­fly is not made of but­ter. There are some light mo­ments in our busi­ness!

What makes for a good holiday?

There is no per­fect tour, but there is the per­fect mind­set. Re­mem­ber that you are go­ing on a holiday and not on a fault- find­ing mis­sion. Things can go wrong at home or abroad. A pos­i­tive mind­set will al­low you to en­joy your holiday even if things do not turn out the way you want them to.

Travel with like- minded bud­dies who share the same view on truly want­ing a great time. Choose a des­ti­na­tion which suits your bud­get so that you need not re­strain your­self from hav­ing a great meal, buy­ing that gad­get that you have been eye­ing or vis­it­ing the mon­u­ment that you read so much about.

In nearer des­ti­na­tions, find­ing a re­sort to un­wind as a Free In­de­pen­dent Trav­eller ( FIT) is a good op­tion too. How­ever, if you are head­ing for des­ti­na­tions fur­ther, with dif­fer­ent lan­guages and driv­ing di­rec­tion, you must have a lot of time and pa­tience.

Last but not least, bring­ing your three- year- old on a long- haul, pro­gramme- packed group tour can drain en­ergy. Wait till they are older and more ready.

robin yap at tiger’s Nest ( also known as paro tak­t­sang), a prom­i­nent Hi­malayan Bud­dhist sa­cred site and tem­ple com­plex, lo­cated in the cliff­side of the up­per paro val­ley, in Bhutan. — pho­tos: rOBIN yAp

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