You can't complain about May - the month starts off with a holiday for Labour Day, and then depending on where you live, you'll get breaks for Vesak, Hari Raya, and Harvest Festival later in the month as well.

But with nowhere to go, as most borders are closed to contain the spread of COVID-19, do people feel the wanderlust pinch? It certainly seems like, as Expedia’s 2019 Vacation Deprivation Study finds out.

Following a survey of 11,000 full-time workers across 19 markets, including 300 respondents in Singapore, the study found that close to seven in 10 Singaporeans (67%) felt deprived of vacations in 2019, up from 63% in 2018 and 57% in 2017. These findings emerged even prior to COVID-19 putting a stopper to vacation plans of Singaporeans.

A later Expedia poll of 1,000 Singapore residents, conducted between 4 and 27 March 2020, showed that confidence in travel has been shaken by the outbreak, with over eight in 10 respondents expressing concern over their travel plans being affected if they booked a flight or a stayed at a hotel. Over half (50.4%) had also indicated that their travel plans have already been changed or cancelled due to the pandemic.

How do you achieve a 'vacation state of mind'?

Most of us would agree that vacations have a positive impact on our mental welfare, general health and wellbeing, help us feel rejuvenated and have a better outlook on life - what Expedia terms as a 'vacation state of mind'.

Currently, with the uncertainty about when Singaporeans can make their travel arrangements once again, the yearning for that much-needed getaway can be lessened with ideas prolong the vacation state of mind. In fact, close to four in five (79%) respondents said that they have tapped into their vacation memories to relax when they’re feeling stressed at work, 73% looked at photos from holidays on their phones when feeling overwhelmed, and 71% surrounded themselves with pictures, mementos and souvenirs from their vacation.

Across APAC, speaking with family (52%), travel companions (50%), and friends (47%) clearly triggered happy memories. Respondents from India (69%) and Thailand (57%) would listen to music from the vacation, while those from Malaysia (63%) and South Korea (56%) enjoyed browsing through printed photos from their trips, which served as mementos from their wonderful travel experiences.

In a world of ‘faster is better and bigger is best’, at some point the true meaning of ‘living’ can be lost. Fostering a vacation state of mind can provide relief from the growing feeling of vacation deprivation and encourage family connections and positive emotional responses through reliving fond memories created on previous holidays,” says Lavinia Rajaram, APAC Head of Communications, Expedia

5 ways to get into vacation mode without going anywhere

We know you're probably itching to pack your bags and get away for the long weekend, but since that's not going to be possible for a while, why not try the following ideas to get you into vacation mode?

  1. Speak with friends or family who you’ve been on trips with about your past vacations: Don’t just pick up the phone, get that face-to-face contact on a video call – some video call platforms let you add fun filters or change your background to showcase your favourite holiday destination.
  2. Look at pictures of vacations on social media: Not up for scrapbooking? There are many online services that can take your holiday photos and print them as a photo book or album, so you can flip through your most treasured memories any time you like.
  3. Plan for your next vacation: Remember to bookmark your favourites, so that you can easily create flight and hotel itineraries when you’re ready to make a booking.
  4. Wear the clothes that you have bought on your past vacations: Incorporate one piece of holiday clothing from your wardrobe while you work from home. You can even have themed days based on your most treasured pieces and destinations.
  5. Look at souvenirs from past trips: Souvenirs can make fantastic interior décor items, especially when it's a trinket that reminds you of your best holiday experiences.

Photo / 123RF