Business+Leisure bucket list-worthy destinations for your upcoming trip!

INSIGHT

Business+Leisure bucket list-worthy destinations
for your upcoming trip!

As borders re-open and restrictions slowly ease, we see business travellers making plans again. Well, we know that travel has most certainly changed with the planning and journey looking a little unfamiliar to what travellers are used to in the past. However, with a little bit of planning you’ll soon be as confident as a lion when it’s time to take that trip.

While bleisure has always been on many business travellers’ radar pre-pandemic, this has really taken off recently as travel now becomes a reality again. Added complexities and increased restrictions have increased the desire for travellers to make the most of every trip, fulfilling that ‘travel less for longer’ mantra.

If you’re looking for some inspiration to jet outside of your business trip, we’d suggest eyeing up some VTL destinations for that much needed extension. Here are five destinations that are not only great for business networking, but ideal for that much needed vacay as well!

Bavaria, Germany

If you’re one who’s getting ready to belt out Santa tunes in November, Germany is your top pick. As one of the first countries to have a VTL arrangement with Singapore, Germany gets full marks on safe Covid-19 management, but it’s the nostalgic Christmas traditions like Christmas trees and gingerbread that’s going to swing it. What better way to enjoy a white Christmas weekend getaway than to immerse yourself in the birthplace of these Christmas traditions.

Top pick by Franziskus Bumm, General Manager, FCM Germany:

Bavaria is known for its Christmas markets but my favourite has got to be the one at Marienplatz with a history that dates back all the way to the 14th century. Here you’ll find hundreds of wooden stalls of traditional crafts and holiday goodies like Glühwein, roasted almonds and chestnuts, stollen and much more – against a setting to the backdrop of some of the prettiest Neo-Gothic New and Old Town architecture you'll ever see.

London, United Kingdom

London may be one of the world’s leading financial centres with Heathrow handling a record number of passengers annually more so than any other airports in Europe. But aside from the dapper, slick businessmen and bars that’s lining the city, it’s also a perfect place for some rural English rolling hills and thatch-roofed pubs ogling just a short train ride away. 

Top pick by Henry Jones, Director of Marketing, Asia, FCM Travel:

There’s a cornucopia of natural beauty all tucked away but the iconic Cotswolds west of London is the place you need to go. It’s one of UK’s best-preserved areas of natural beauty, oozing charm all-year round but especially so during the holidays. Rolling hills, rural lifestyle and quaint villages – it’s hard to imagine a place more authentic than this!

Seoul, South Korea

One of the most highly anticipated VTLs with Singapore, South Korea is a destination that’s not only high on the business and leisure radar among Singaporeans but also with the rest of the world, having made it to Conde Nast Traveler’s Top Ten Best Big Cities in the world in its annual Reader’s Choice Awards 2021. As one of the fastest growing and intriguing powerhouses of Asia where it has moved from an under-developed nation to an innovative manufacturing powerhouse in just four decades, South Korea has also found its way onto the global stage through the Korean Wave, popularly known as Hallyu through its now global superstars such as BTS, Blackpink, widely acclaimed films and dramas like Parasite, Minari, Squid Game, as well as Korean beauty trends. And since no visit is complete without several shopping sprees in Seoul, set aside time to stock up on some famous Korean face masks and lick your way through some Dalgona-inspired games.

Top pick:

Ikseon-dong is one of the oldest neighbourhoods of Seoul but it has undergone an organic revitalisation over the last few years. It’s an area that’s not mapped out well on google maps but start exploring the neighbourhood and you will find hanoks and quaint gems as you twist and turn into the different a-mazing alleys. Rustic vibe, vintage shops, authentic food, it’s simplicity at its best but with surprises at every corner!

Sydney, Australia

As Australia’s largest city and the capital of New South Wales, not only is Sydney a popular business travel destination, it’s also home to over 100 beaches, making it one of the most popular vacation spots down under. Engaging in the age-old battle with Melbourne, Victoria’s capital to score the top spot as Australia’s business capital and vacationers’ hotspot, it’s not all just work, beaches and no other play for this important South Pacific port. It has earned its name as the city as "an ideal getaway no matter the season", with many praising its al fresco dining, outdoor lifestyle and cultural calendar. So whether you are a holiday traveller who’s into the city scene for hotspots like Sydney Opera House, Darling Harbour, Bondi Beach or an adventure lover who views hiking, cycling as the perfect getaway, Sydney has the best mix of activities available for those who don’t wish to compromise on either.

Top pick by Scott Reddie, Director of Account Management, Asia, FCM Travel:

The Hunter Valley is only a short drive away and known for some beautiful walking spots, a great growing climate and some of the finest boutique wineries and food producers. We also get an enviable smorgasbord of fresh seafood from abalone to sea urchin and oysters where you can devour them raw or cooked to perfection at some of the best local restaurants.

San Francisco, USA

Culturally diverse with a highly intellectual business community, San Francisco is at the forefront of developing new tech. Whether you’re in the ever-iconic Silicon Valley with Meta, Google and Apple, or following the likes of Twitter, Airbnb and Zendesk to downtown San Francisco, the city boasts quite the selection of tech royalty. While it’s not exactly Miracle on 34th Street, the cable cars, Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary, Fisherman’s Wharf and never-ending hills sure makes San Fran a hella great place to work, live or visit.

Top pick:

The legendary family swimming and entertainment centre, and it’s actually more exciting than it sounds. Sutro Bath Ruins has such a storied history in the 1800s where it laid its claim to fame the world’s largest indoor swimming pool then. It was part of a lavish bath facility with six saltwater tanks, ingeniously flushed by the tides, along with over 500 private dressing rooms, restaurants and arcades that were enclosed by 100,000 square feet of glass. What remains now for visitors to see are these magnificent architectural ruins that are also rumoured to be haunted. If haunted ruins are not part of your plans and you plan to visit near Christmas, remember to check out Tom and Jerry’s house where it’s Christmas chaos + tacky + amazing all rolled up into one perfect union.