Last Minute Asia Holidays
More and more travellers with a taste for the exotic, and the urge for a last-minute getaway, are finding one part of the world is increasingly attractive and accessible. Asia is an overnight flight away if you go direct and full of things to make even a week’s stay something unforgettable.
Places like Hong Kong, Singapore and Bangkok have regular, conveniently-scheduled flights that take a maximum of 12 hours to whisk you off to another world. The good thing too is that UK passport holders with at least six months left on their passport don’t have to spend ages getting a visa. In fact, Hong Kong lets you stay for 180 days without a visa, whilst the other two destinations issue a visa on arrival.
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Jetlag should not eat into your holiday time either, with a little pre-trip preparation. You’ll be travelling around seven hours into the future, so here’s what to do.
Three days before departure, adjust your sleeping patterns by going to sleep and rising an hour earlier. The second night, shift another hour back, and the third, yet another.
By the time you board your overnight flight, you’ll be ready for a sleep, so avoiding caffeine and alcohol, get your head down as quickly as possible. Adjust your watch to the new time zone, eat lightly and drink plenty of water as you fly. Then, when you arrive, don’t be tempted to have more than a 30-minute nap.
It’s worth remembering that places like Bangkok, Singapore and Hong Kong have climates that can be fairly extreme at times, so adjust your packing so you have the right clothes for the conditions. (Though, in this part of the world, picking up inexpensive clothes, even custom-tailored can be part of the fun.)
Hong Kong has summers that are hot and humid with plenty of thunderous downpours. Autumn is probably the most pleasant time of the year to visit.
One degree from the equator, Singapore is very wet during the monsoon deluges of November to January. Summer has plenty of sunshine if you are heading for the beach.
Bangkok has an all-year-round steady average temperature in the middle to high 20s. Most of their rain arrives in the summer.
If you are going further inland from the big cities, make sure you have enough local currency and your vaccinations are up-to-date. The latter might have to be done promptly so they start working before you get there.
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Experienced long-haul travellers know how to make things easier for themselves when they finally open the front door after returning from a holiday. A couple of frozen meals in the freezer will save you the hassle of a trip down to the shops, especially if you arrive late at night. A clean and tidy house is also a welcome sight when the last thing on your mind is getting the Hoover out. If you can wangle it, a free day before you get back to work will mean you arrive at your desk not just with a tan, but reasonably well-rested, and with your wits about you too.
If you are considering a last-minute trip to Asia, keep an eye on the internet for late-breaking bargains, especially the Netflights.com website for the latest deals. Good luck, and enjoy your slice of the exotic East.