A Unique, One Of A Kind Holiday
Travelling the cliched way gets boring. For most Singaporeans, it’s the same few places every holiday – sign up for a tour package to Japan or Europe, visit the main attractions and return disillusioned about the true idea of travel.
If you’re tired of the same old drill and want to shake things up a bit on your next holiday, here’s a list of 10 alternative vacations you can plan. Whether you’re an avid explorer, animal lover, a health junkie or a history buff, there is an interesting way to spice up your holiday for everyone.
1. Live Like a Local
El Camino Travel
“Be a traveller, not a tourist”. El Camino travel promises to give each traveller a unique and one-of-a-kind experience. Yes, you will not be visiting those overcrowded tourist spots we all seem to love and hate at the same time. El Camino takes you to the freshest food markets, the best surf spots, private beaches only the locals know about, the back alleys of vibrant villages and so much more.
Each group will be provided a dedicated photographer, so you’ll constantly be able to update your social media with pictures that’ll make your friends wish they were living your life. El Camino works with small local businesses, and 10% of the trip’s profits go to local social entrepreneurs who are the driving forces of change in their country.
Dinners with these entrepreneurs are also frequently arranged, so you will get a better understanding of what they do and how you as a traveller can play a part in building their economy.
Price: Starts from a deposit of $440 for a tour in Colombia
2. Go on a Detox Retreat
Absolute Sanctuary, Koh Samui, Thailand
This Moroccan-inspired boutique hotel has been featured as one of the best wellness resorts by The New York Times. With award-winning detox, yoga, spa and pilates programmes, this is a haven for dedicated health nuts. All programmes are also customisable to suit your concerns and needs.
You’ll leave this place an improved version of yourself – stronger, healthier, rejuvenated and well-rested.
Price: From $220/night
3. Glamping in an African Wildlife Resort
Singita Safari Lodges
Instead of the usual holiday visits to Sydney’s zoos, you can go glamping (glamour camping) in an authentic African Wildlife Reserve! Singita’s mission is to share this beautiful part of the world with travellers, while preserving and protecting the African wilderness for future generations.
With lodges and glamping sites in South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe, Singita promises an educational and fulfilling journey as you learn more about conservation efforts and bask in the success of having spotted the big 5 game animals (the elephant, rhinoceros, buffalo, lion, and leopard), the most difficult in Africa to hunt on foot.
Price: From $1,425/night
The Farm at Cape Kidnappers, New Zealand
The Farm at Cape Kidnappers is not your average farmstay. Not only does it boast acres of picturesque tumbling hills housing a working sheep farm, the property is also home to spectacular works of mother nature. Dramatic coastlines, plunging cliffs and gorgeous beaches are just a stone’s throw away from the farmhouse.
Enjoy a leisure game of golf at the private golf course, embark on a scenic hike along the stunning coasts and pristine forests, go mountain biking, quad bike riding, hold a kiwi animal in your hands and watch the shepherds herd their sheep under a lazy afternoon sun.
Price: From $1,836/night
5. Trace Your Ancestry
Whether you’re a true-blue history buff or just craving for a more authentic and fulfilling form of travel, genealogy tourism may be the niche for you. I’ve had cousins who’ve gone back to China to trace their ancestry. They visited their ancestors’ villages, temples, tombstones, and even dug up records of their family lines in the village museums.
One thing’s for sure, this is no typical form of travel and it’s bound to contribute to your personal enrichment. Find out the 4 steps to begin your search here.
6. Learn to Survive in the Jungle
Amazon Antonio Jungle Tours, Brazil
If you’re game enough, you should definitely spend a night or two learning to survive in the Amazon. Tour operators such as the Amazon Antonio Jungle Tours organise tours lasting up to 4 days that’ll teach you the basics of jungle survival, while ensuring you a great time.
You will be able to learn about the different sorts of trees and wildlife during hikes, fish for piranhas, hunt for caymans before releasing them, feast your eyes on spectacular sunrises and sunsets, and sleep in a hammock under the stars and among the oddly comforting, yet terrifying shrills of the forest.
Price: Available upon inquiry at their website
7. Surf Camp
You beach bums will love a vacay like this. With Mojosurf Camps, you can spend anywhere from 2 to 14 days picking up this adrenaline-pumping sport in the most beautiful and remote surf spots in Australia.
Mojosurf allows for a complete immersion in the beach lifestyle, with daily surf lessons, teepee accommodations by the shore, bonfires in the evening under the stars with newfound friends, and a wide array of activities like volleyball, kayaking and even skydiving.
Price: From AU$265
8. Culinary Tours
For the aspiring masterchefs, why not use your next holiday to hone your cooking skills while exploring the culturally and historically rich regions of Italy?
Featured on National Geographic Traveler, Cooking Vacations pride themselves in being the leaders in culinary tours, providing hands-on cooking classes, fresh food market visits and cultural adventures. From the stunning Amalfi Coast to the grand villas of Florence to the romantic gondola rides of Venice, Cooking Vacations immerses you in the best of what Italy has to offer, while teaching you the essentials of Italian cooking.
Price: From US$195 for a 1-Day tour
9. Ninja Camp, Bali
Bali is such a hot tourist destination for Singaporeans. The next time you’re there, squeeze all you can out of your vacation by signing up for Ninja Camp! No, unfortunately, you won’t learn to be a real Japanese ninja here.
Ninja Camp Bali aims to stimulate the mind and rejuvenate the body with physical fitness training, tailored gourmet nutrition, luxury accommodation and thrilling adventures such as canyoning. This is definitely no typical Balinese holiday, and you’ll be able to pride yourself in having gone through this daring and intrepid experience!
Price: Available upon inquiry at their website
10. Actual Ninja Camp, Japan
After that disappointing lead on, we’re here to restore your faith. Actual ninja camps do exist! With a proud ninja history dating back to the 15tt Century, Iga, in East Osaka, Japan, is encouraging tourists to enrol in its ninja-training school and learn the art of warfare.
The dreams of all you aspiring ninjas will come true as you learn to scale vertical walls and undergo star-throwing target practice. Be prepared – the boot camp you will have to endure is rigorous and serves as a great test to your mental and physical strength. But hey, you’re training to become a real ninja so It’ll be more than worth it!
Learn more about authentic ninja culture here.
Price: $10 for a 90-minute training session
Plan Your Next Adventure
With all these ideas for a unique, alternative vacation experience, we hope never to hear complaints about unpleasant experiences at crowded tourist spots ever again!
If you’ve got any other interesting ideas for an alternative vacation, feel free to share them with us in the comments below!