Vacation Hack Long Weekend August 2019
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Vacation Hack: 8 Days Annual Leave For 16 Days Off Work

4 min read

So you’re aware of the long weekends for 2019, and you’ve even got your leave strategically planned out for the year.

Good for you.

But what if you haven’t planned a getaway for yourself this year? And you loathe the idea of clearing leave in December when it’s the peak season for travelling, and everywhere and everything is either ridiculously crowded or overpriced?

Well, thankfully for you, I’m sort of a guru when it comes to taking the least number of leaves while maximising the number of days off work. ?

(Editor’s note: SLACKER!)

And guess what?

*whispers* I found a way get 16 days of holiday this August with just 8 days of leave…

Ice Cube And Chris Tucker Going Damn
Source: Friday | giphy

TL;DR: Be The Envy Of Your Colleagues With This Vacation Hack

Upcoming gazetted public holidays:

  • 9 August 2019 (Friday) – National Day
  • 12 August 2019 (Monday) – Hari Raya Haji

The 8 days of leave you need to apply for are:

  • 5 to 8 August 2019 (Monday to Thursday)
  • 13 to 16 August 2019 (Tuesday to Friday)

You’ll officially be away from 3 to 18 August 2019. That’s 16 days of vacation!


What Do You Need To Do Now?

Here’s a simple 3 step process that you need to follow to a T:

  • Apply for leave and get it approved
  • Book your flight NOW
  • Share this article with your friends and gloat
SpongeBob SquarePants Out The Door
Source: SpongeBob SquarePants | giphy

If you really want to get the best price for your flights, Skyscanner recommends:

  • Booking an international flight 5 to 6 months in advance (so now is just nice for your August vacation)
  • Booking your flight at 5am
  • Avoid booking between 8 to 11pm
  • Book on Tuesdays for domestic flights and Wednesdays for international flights

I’ve no idea if they mean Greenwich Mean Time (FYI: we’re GMT+8) or Pacific Standard Time though… So let me know in the comments below?

Now that you have 16 days off work, where should you go?


Where Can You Go?

With a whopping 16 days off work, you’ve got plenty of options.

Soo… How about a summer in Europe?

Summer In Europe Meme
Source: imgflip

WAIT. I KNOW. I KNOW.

June to August is notorious for being the peak travel period in Europe. Plus it’s damn hot there and all that jazz…

But hear me out.

Summer is when you’ll also get the best weather, especially in Northern Europe, and you won’t be encumbered by heavy winter clothing. In fact, it’ll probably be the best time to visit the UK without having to bring an umbrella along everywhere you go – I speak from personal experience.

In mainland Europe, the temperatures will be perfect for unhurried picnics in the park and for swimming in the ocean. Summer also brings plenty of outdoor festivals all over Europe, including live music concerts and parades.

But yes, the crowds are a pain, because that’s when EVERYONE IN EUROPE is on summer vacay.

Alternatively, this is the perfect time to go off the beaten track and experience Europe the unconventional way. Flight tickets to these places are also comparatively cheaper.

Don’t believe me?

Check out this list of ‘not so popular’ European cities, which you can fly to from Singapore, that – according to Skyscanner – are cheaper this year as compared to 2018:

DestinationsAverage Flight Prices In 2018% Drop In Average Flight Prices In 2019
BelgradeFrom $1,78755.90%
StuttgartFrom $2,18350.90%
GenevaFrom $1,92336.20%
VladivostokFrom $1,32730.60%
DusseldorfFrom $1,68423.90%
BudapestFrom $1,87122.50%
GothenburgFrom $2,71516.30%
GlasgowFrom $1,82516.30%
FlorenceFrom $2,55415.90%
NewcastleFrom $1,79615.80%
ReykjavikFrom $2,35215.70%
BrusselsFrom $1,70714.70%
StockholmFrom $1,65614.20%
HamburgFrom $1,82113.00%
BordeauxFrom $2,40910.60%
SantoriniFrom $2,5948.80%
BerlinFrom $1,1028.70%
ManchesterFrom $1,8576.90%
DublinFrom $1,6695.70%
AmsterdamFrom $1,6095.50%

Note: Percentage savings are based on the average price for that route across July, August, and September 2018 and 2019

Here at Seedly, we’re all about prudent spending and expense management.

So Geneva might be a tad expensive for a spontaneous mid-year getaway – unless it coincides with a honeymoon or it’s your once-in-a-year trip that is.

And Santorini might be a little too crowded in August:

Santorini Crowd
Source: The Sunday Spritz

Ugh.

So how?

Here’re my recommendations based on my personal experience:

Explore Europe From Brussels… Or Dusseldorf

It’s a city that isn’t located in the centre of Europe but it’s probably one of the most convenient cities to travel around Europe from.

Once you’re done with the sights and waffles, beer, and fries in Brussels, you can choose to travel via bus or train to:

  • France (just avoid Paris, unless you die also want to see the Eiffel Tower)
  • Luxembourg
  • Netherlands (like Amsterdam)
  • West Germany (think fairy-tale towns, ancient cities, and picturesque hamlets)
Burg Eltz Castle West Germany
Source: @_christophpartsch | Instagram

Alternatively, Dusseldorf is also one of the lesser-known, but still very beautiful city in West Germany to start your travels around Europe from.

Trust me. Europe is more than just London and Paris.

Go On An European Road Trip

Fancy a multi-country European road trip? Then you might enjoy this itinerary I stole from one of my friends who went recently.

Grab one of those cheap flights and fly to Berlin, Germany to absorb the historical significance of the city.

Once done, rent a car and take to the Autobahn where the minimum speed you need to meet is 110km/h on your way to Prague, Czech Republic.

Savour a trdelník (a kind of sweet pastry) as you stroll past baroque buildings, gothic cathedrals, and the Prague Astronomical Clock in Old Town Square.

Trdelnik in Prague
Source: @ellieatscake | Instagram

After being in the city for a couple of days, head out into The Black Forest – often associated with being the inspiration for Brothers Grimm fairy tales – and rent a cottage. Be sure to take Route 500, a famous trail from Freudenstadt to Baden-Baden that offers a gorgeous, scenic drive with views of tall pine trees, glacial lakes, and majestic mountains.

Jump back in your car and take the Alsace Wine Route, in eastern France. You’ll pass by fairytale-esque villages along the way, like Colmar:

Colmar France
Source: @tt.apricot | Instagram

You’ll find yourself walking along cobblestone streets lined with colourful half-timbered buildings, flowers everywhere, French bakeries around every corner, as well as gourmet restaurants that should satisfy even the most pickiest of gourmands.

End your road trip in Zurich, Switzerland, and get lost along the medieval streets of Altstadt before catching a flight back to reality.


Long Weekends For The Win

This upcoming long break in August – whether you decide to satiate your travel lust, or just stay home to relax.

In A Relationship With My Bed
Source: @fashionairy | Instagram

Schedule some time out to review your personal finances with the help of Seedly‘s FREE expense tracker app, or even just to talk to your partner about saving up for your common goals.

It may not seem like the most fun thing to do, but getting your finances in order will definitely help you sleep a little better. And help you enjoy life a little more with the assurance that your life is not in a complete mess. Don’t believe me? Try it out and see for yourself.

Oh, and start chope-ing your leave now. Before all your colleagues go:

The Trickster With Leave Application
Source: SpongeBob SquarePants

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