Gearing up for a great holiday
What makes a fantastic vacation? One travel industry veteran shares his views.
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