The COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted countries around the globe, and leisure travel has come to an alarming halt as borders stay closed with strict measures in place. But a holiday doesn’t have to take a back seat – time to direct our attention and desire for a holiday towards our own backyard.

If you are looking for ways to unwind during the upcoming September holidays, here are four clever vacation hacks that will have you breaking down borders without actually leaving the country.

1. Have a Singapoliday!

Lauded as a world-class destination for tourists, how much do we really know about our wonderful red dot? Now that more places are opening in Phase 2 post-circuit breaker, perhaps a lesson in local Geography is in order. Gather the family together and plan a 3-day itinerary exploring our sunny island’s top sightseeing spots. Each family member can decide on an interesting spot to add to the list. Remember to take plenty of pictures to capture this unique time spent appreciating all things local!

2. Hunt for foreign cuisine on local ground

We can all agree that savouring foreign cuisine is a large part of a great holiday experience. So if you are craving that authentic bowl of pho or a slice of tarte tatin, you don't have to look very far. Satisfy your holiday food cravings and tantalise your taste buds by going on a culinary tour to check out international cuisine in our local restaurants.

3. Book a stay in a local hotel

Having a holiday and supporting our local economy is possible thanks to Singapore’s robust hospitality industry and reputable hotels that are guaranteed to give you the pampering you need. With the industry looking to restore businesses after the circuit breaker, discounts on hotels rooms are aplenty!

But if you are going for that truly authentic overseas experience, cross over to the sunny island of Sentosa and enjoy the sea, sand and local delights the island has to offer.

4. Bring your holiday home!

For some of us who are still erring on the side of caution when it comes to venturing outdoors, why not simulate a ‘holiday’ at home? Think of a preferred holiday destination – an experience that can be replicated easily through the clever use of scents. For instance, a beach holiday would smell of sandalwood, coconuts and the ocean breeze; and a spring holiday, of flowers and cherry blossoms. Once you have chosen the scents of choice, shop for aromatics like essential oils, incense, and scented candles to help you recreate the authentic experience. While you are at it, play some background music to add on to the overall ambience.

Then, set your worries aside and let your senses enjoy this holiday ‘experience’ in the comforts of your own home.