Short trip from Singapore to recharge?

Plan a short trip from Singapore to make you happier, calmer and more energised!

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

Just a few days away will recharge your energy, mood, and health. Here’s how to pack maximum enjoyment into a mini trip.

<b>PHOTO</b> 123RF.COM
<b>PHOTO</b> 123RF.COM

Frequent getaways with little stress involved is a major perk of micro vacations or trips that last two to four days. People who take them tend to be happier, calmer, and more energised than those who rarely take time off, according to Jessica de Bloom, author of several studies on the health benefits of travel.

Shorter holidays also have distinct advantages over longer ones. Since you’re out of the office for only a short stint, you don’t have to do as much prep or catch-up work. Plus, while you’re gone, you fret less about what you might be missing, says Katie Denis, lead researcher of Project: Time Off, an organisation that analyses vacation time. 

“The fear of returning to a mountain of work is the No. 1 reason people don’t take vacations,” Katie says. “Shorter trips mitigate that.” In fact, quick getaways are so rewarding that more and more people are opting to take several short trips each year rather than a single longer block of time. 

Ready to plan one yourself? Here’s a checklist for packing the most joy, excitement, and relaxation into those few days away.

Be completely honest about your desires

With fewer days to explore a new place, forget anything that feels like a should and visit only the sights you really want to see. Vacationers who felt they had control over their itinerary scored greater health and wellness benefits, including less stress, extra energy, and a happier mood, one of Jessica’s studies showed.“We’ve found that the duration of a vacation matters less than the quality,” Katie says. The lesson: You can get more from two days of doing exactly what you want than from 10 days of activities you’re not so psyched about.

Make it an active escape

There’s nothing wrong with the lazy beach break, but when you have just a few days, staying on your feet (or bike, surfboard, or yoga mat) is a better bet. Physical activities help you unwind more effectively than lounging does, a study in the European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology found. The mood-boosting effects of the endorphins released when you exercise may speed mental recovery, the researchers say. In addition, lying around gives you too much time to worry about what’s happening at work, which negates the benefits of being away.

Extend the vacation vibe

Start thinking about your next micro vacation as soon as you get back from one. Anticipating such a break boosts your happiness, according to a study in the journal Psychological Science. “The best thing you can do for your health is to block off your vacation days for the entire year,” Katie says. “That way, you’ll always have something to be excited about and look forward to.”

Plan another trip

“Holiday memories enhance mood and well-being, and may act as a buffer against future stressors, even months later,” Jessica says. “People say they think about past getaways in difficult times, and that gives them back their happy vacation feeling.” However, she adds, the memories may fade with time. To keep them fresh, find unique items on your trips, and put them on your desk or display them at home for constant hits of getaway bliss.