While more than nine tenths of Filipinos long for the next long break, about 62 percent admit that they could have had a grander time on holiday if they were better at planning trips, according to a regional survey released September 8, 2017.
The survey, commissioned by Napa Valley, California-based winemaker Beringer Vineyards, also found that 64 percent of Filipinos rolled over their annual leave to the next year or lost it.
“The main reasons Filipinos are not maximizing annual leave include challenging work schedules/responsibilities (70 percent) and conflicting schedules of travel buddies (44 percent). Moreover, 11 percent shared that they find vacation planning so overwhelming that they shut down completely,” Beringer Vineyards said in a statement.
Beringer, a winemaker established in 1876, said it commissioned the survey to understand attitudes towards vacation planning. It covered 5,000 respondents aged 25 to 65 years old in the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia, in July 2017.
“We were shocked to find that there’s a growing trend of Filipinos who are short changing themselves when it comes to getting the most from their annual leave, given that they work so hard to earn it,” commented Chris Thomas, Regional Marketing Director, Beringer Vineyards.
“In response to the findings, Beringer has launched a campaign on the world’s largest travel site, TripAdvisor, to inspire a holiday planning revolution. We want people to see that making vacation planning a social occasion is the way forward. A little bit of planning can have a huge impact on the kind of holiday you experience and it’s well within everyone’s reach. We believe that vacation planning is always better when shared with others over a glass of wine,” added Thomas.
The survey also found that Filipinos only start vacation planning just eight weeks or less before their departure date. They spend only an average of eight hours to explore destinations and firm up the best transport, hotel and other deals. Only a tenth say they would plan a trip seven months ahead.
Yet, up to 83 percent of Filipino respondents plead guilty to complaining about travel plans they didn’t help develop. On the other hand, 60 percent of those who worked on the plans “feel frustrated when they face criticism over travel plans that they have been forced to plan alone, and often feel on edge for most of a trip.”
If Filipinos could change anything about their vacation experience, the top three items, according to the survey, would be: taking advantage of lower cost travel by booking early (78 percent), better destination research (55 percent) and encouraging social planning with friends to make planning more enjoyable (47 percent).
Beringer suggested five planning hacks for more enjoyable holidays:
1. Be first – If getting your annual leave approved is tricky, apply at least six to nine months ahead of time. You don’t need to finalize your travel plans then, but it’s highly likely that your request will be signed off quickly as it’s unlikely to clash with others and it’s typically too far ahead for work clashes to be predicted.
2. Be social – You are statistically more likely to maximize your annual leave if you schedule face-to-face meet ups to plan together with your travel buddies. Disguise these as regular get-togethers over a cheeky glass of wine, so as not to scare off the non-planners in your group!
3. Be single minded – Don’t try to set the date, destination and itinerary at once. This will most likely lead to your group failing at the first stage of planning and paying a higher price if you are fixed on a destination.
4. Slow and steady wins the race – Once your date and destination are set, slow down and make time to plan your itinerary together. Research shows that sharing the responsibility of vacation planning is more enjoyable than going solo.
5. Public holiday panic – It’s true, the thought of not maximising every public holiday is sinful, but the reality is that no matter how quickly you move, airlines and hotels already have these dates marked too, so you’ll already be paying a premium. Given using leave is more of an issue in Philippines than not having enough, consider using a public holiday to get together with your group to plan the best trip ever.