What makes you happy? For many people, it’s having good relationships with family and loved ones. For some, it’s money and having a fulfilling career. Others would say health or faith.
For 51 percent of Asia-Pacific travellers, it’s, well, travel. According to Booking.com’s 2023 Travel Confidence Index*, more than half of respondents say that the secret to happiness resides in their travels throughout the world.
It’s no surprise. Travelling has the incredible power to bring joy and wonder into our lives. It opens doors to new experiences, fosters self-discovery and allows us to connect with the beauty of the world.
Despite recent macroeconomic headwinds, many have indicated that they will continue to travel over the next 12 months, with 80 percent of Singapore travellers already making future plans.
If you are one of them, and crave more blissful moments on your journeys, here are some tips on maximising your happiness quotient while travelling.
1. Embrace the art of slow travel
In a world obsessed with fast-paced experiences and instant gratification, slow down and savour the richness of each destination. Instead of rushing from one landmark to another, immerse yourself in the local culture, connect with the people, and let the destination work its magic on your soul.
Consider a resort like Avana Retreat in Vietnam. Located on a hillside, this luxury mountain retreat is a remote getaway that offers a chance to connect with local ethnic groups deep in the tropical forest.
2. Disconnect to reconnect
In this digital age, it’s important to take time to unplug and embrace the magic of the present. Take a break from your devices and immerse yourself fully in the wonders around you. By disconnecting from the virtual world, you’ll connect more deeply with the destination, allowing the sights, sounds and scents to captivate your senses.
Villa di Bias in Tirtagangga, Bali could be the place to help you disconnect (yes, it has WiFi but that’s not the point). Book one of its beautiful villas with gorgeous views of rice paddies, and spend quiet days watching farmers tending to their fields, and locals going about their daily lives. It’s a private spot on the eastern side of the island where travellers can experience the authentic Bali.
3. Embrace spontaneity
Always leave room for unexpected adventures and spontaneous detours. Say “yes” to unplanned hikes, off-the-beaten-path discoveries, and last-minute invitations – the thrill of spontaneity will surely add a dash of excitement to your journeys.
Naumi Hotel in Singapore is a luxurious boutique hotel with a rooftop infinity pool offering sweeping views of the city skyline. Its central location means guests are never far away from exciting events, activities and F&B offerings in the city state.
4. Step outside your comfort zone
Break free from the familiar and embrace new experiences. Dive into culinary adventures, engage in cultural exchanges, and embark on outdoor escapades. Embracing the unknown not only fuels your sense of adventure but encourages personal growth and fosters unforgettable memories.
So, how about staying in a houseboat? Spice Coast Cruises takes travellers on a journey through Lake Vembanad, Alleppy, in the south Indian state of Kerala. The accommodation is simple but comfortable, allowing guests to experience the beauty of life on the water.
5. Practice gratitude
Take a moment each day to reflect on the incredible moments, kind gestures, and beautiful experiences you encounter. Practising gratitude reinforces positive emotions, enhances your travel experience, and amplifies your happiness. Celebrate the little joys that travel brings and embrace all that you’ve experienced.
Baba House Melaka may only be a three-minute walk from bustling Jonker Street but the heritage building exudes old-world charm and is steeped in traditional Paranakan culture. Plus, it’s near historic landmarks for easy exploration of surrounding areas.
For more places to stay, visit www.booking.com.
*The survey was commissioned by Booking.com and conducted independently by Milieu Insight between April and May 2023. It involved over 8,000 travellers from 11 countries and territories across Asia-Pacific.