They cost a bit of money, but tailor-made tours save discerning Singaporeans lots of time on a truly unforgettable holiday.
Time is your most precious currency. You can use your time to make money, but no amount of money can buy you an extra minute. So why would you squander any of this irretrievable asset on anything you don't enjoy?
This is especially true when you’re traveling. The hands of time seem to move at double the pace when you’re on vacation and having fun. When time is already in such short supply, the last thing you’d want is to be trapped, helpless, in segments of a tour itinerary that you simply do not enjoy.
Forget run-of-the-mill tours, we say. When you’re planning a special sojourn, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime journey. There is no time to waste; every moment is to be cherished. You could spend months doing your own research, but on such an occasion, we’d entrust the experts to put together a bespoke itinerary that’s flawless, unforgettable and that fits you like a Le Smoking suit.
A bespoke trip — one that will take you to places you never even knew existed, and introduce you to tastes you’ve never experienced and adventures you’d savour for the rest of your life — will not come cheap. We are not ones to condone extravagance, but we believe that there are a few things in life that are worth dipping into the piggy bank for. This is one of them. Besides, you can — and will — use your time to make more money after the trip. Yes?
So without further ado, let’s go explore the bespoke travel package Singaporeans can book:
The promise: “Explore remote corners of the world at your own pace, savour the best of each journey.”
Basically, the Country Holiday folks have a team of travel specialists who have travelled extensively to the destinations on offer here. With first-hand knowledge, they vow to craft your excursions to include the best accommodations, dining venues, sites to visit as well as the best-kept secrets — in short, your dream holiday. You will have your own local guide, who speaks English, and has been meticulously selected to share their knowledge of the peoples, places and cultures of their homeland.
Forget fixed schedules and wake-up calls. Because it is your holiday, it is your choice where you want to eat and if you wish to sleep in for the day. Their bespoke tours cover a wide range of special interests including Great Walks & Hikes, Wildlife & Nature, Unchartered Destinations, Gourmet & Wine, Self-drive, and more. This means that whether you’re into vineyards with a view, fly-fishing in New Zealand, hilltop temples of Vat Phou, Laos, or wildlife encounters in the Galapagos, there is something here just for you.
Partners: The Ritz-Carlton Stars, Design Hotels and Starwood Luxury Privileges
Price: It ranges from something like S$800 per adult for a three-day getaway at the Four Season Langkawi (excludes airfare) to a 16-day luxury sojourn to the Antarctic Peninsular, which would require a five-figure budget. Airfare (before tax and surcharges) included. But you’re advised to read the fine print.
Saving Tip: When you go on your holiday, bring your DBS Altitude Visa Signature Card with you. From now until Feb 2, cardmembers earn 3 miles for every S$1 spent overseas.
The Promise: “Specialising in designer holidays to countries spanning 6 continents around the world… We seek to craft quality, once-in-a-lifetime experiences.”
Lightfoot takes pride in the fact that they recommend and use only first-rate properties that they have themselves experienced. The objective is to give travellers peace of mind, ensuring that they get only the best every step of the way. When it comes to the types of tours, there is also a wide selection here to cater to everyone’s fancy: Spa & Wellness, Wildlife & Safaris, Private Islands, Ski Trip, Designer Honeymoon, Family Holiday, you name it.
In their own words: “We offer something for just about everyone from private tours through the finest vineyards and champagne houses in France to a month-long journey through Southeast Asia tracing the origins of the Mekong. If adventure is more your style we organise trips ranging from multi-country ski safaris through the Alps to scuba diving expeditions in Raja Ampat — the most biologically diverse region in the world.”
Partners: Mandarin Oriental Fan Club, Dorchester Collection Diamond Club.
Price: To give you an idea of how much to save up, an 11-day “Beach and Culture” package in Central Vietnam is from US$2,465 per person based on 2 guests travelling. Excludes airfare. And a 4-day self-drive through Provence, France, in a classic Mercedes Benz-SL, is from US$2,785, based on 2 guests travelling. Excludes airfare.
Saving Tip: Spend on the Citi PremierMiles Visa Signature Card to earn up to 42,000 Citi Miles if you are a first-time cardmember. Earn an additional 15,000 Citi Miles if you spend S$10,000 or more with the card during the first 3 months.
Quotient Travel Planner
The Promise: Craft meaningful holidays that offer discerning travellers a real sense of freedom, discovery and understanding of the world.
Quotient Travel Planner is a bespoke travel agency born out of a passion for travel. The team’s philosophy is to dedicate themselves to building your dream holiday — one that matches your unique personality and travel style.
Expect a unique, tailor-made travel itinerary based on your interests and desires, whether it be safaris, cruises or retreats. They promise to fill your journey with authentic experiences, personalised service, flexibility and fine touches.
To get to know you and your dream holiday better, there’s a form to be filled out where you’ll be asked everything from trip dates, preferences in transportation, accommodation and activities, occasion of travel, and of course, budget.
Partners: include The PenClub by The Peninsular Hotels, Vita by LHW and Starwood Luxury Privileges. Which means special privileges like room upgrades, flexible check-in times and freebies.
Price: From S$3,500 (excluding airfare)
Saving Tip: Use the ANZ Optimum World MasterCard and select the Travel category before you book your holiday. You stand to earn 5% cashback on air tickets, travel agencies, and online travel portals.
Don't have a credit card? You can find the best credit cards for travel at SingSaver.com.sg.
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By Alexa Fang
Alexa is a pop-culture vulture. She lives to read, write and travel, and decided long ago that life is stranger than fiction. When she's having croissant, she thinks in French. "31 Rue Cambon" is her favourite address, and she believes that money one enjoyed spending is never money wasted.