Sunday Herald Sun - Escape - - WELCOME RAFFLES HOTEL, SINGAPORE -

Any­one else out there sift­ing through the de­tri­tus of the fes­tive sea­son? Are you faced with a mass of presents which, de­spite De­cem­ber 25 be­ing nearly two weeks ago, still haven’t been stowed in a per­ma­nent spot?

Is there an ever-grow­ing pile of long-for­got­ten clothes shoved in the back of your wardrobe, ob­ses­sions past their use-by date or dusty knick­knacks that will soon be do­nated to the lo­cal Vin­nies just to make way for more of the same?

Then to­day marks the start of a new ap­proach to gift giv­ing. It’s time to do away with ram­pant con­sumerism and re­place it with some­thing far more re­ward­ing: travel. Or, at the very least, an en­rich­ing ex­pe­ri­ence – the the­atre, a ma­jor sport­ing event, a one-day ac­tion-ad­ven­ture that can never be thrown away.

Grab your sig­nif­i­cant other, get out your diaries and agree on dates for your next hol­i­day. Make a pact for a new an­nual tra­di­tion which will see the costs of Christ­mas and birth­days chan­nelled into an un­for­get­table few days or weeks.

Sure, buy­ing an air­line or cruise ticket, book­ing into a ho­tel or putting down a de­posit for a tour does cost a bit more, but with some plan­ning, and the re­solve to not spend the money on tra­di­tional rib­boned-and-pa­pered gifts, it is doable.

Now is an es­pe­cially good time to start on this New Year’s res­o­lu­tion be­cause there are travel sales ga­lore. Turn the pages of to­day’s sec­tion and you’ll not only dis­cover deals and dis­counts aplenty, but tips and tricks from Amanda Woods, one of Es­cape’s reg­u­lar and most trusted writ­ers, on how to snare a bar­gain or get the best bang for your hol­i­day bucks.

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