10 Steps On How To Maximise Your Holiday Time

Remember when you were a lot younger and you seemed to have all the time in the world, but no money? Perhaps as a kid, a teenager or a university student. Back then when you took a holiday it was most likely a long one, for at least a few weeks, and it always seemed to recharge your batteries and leave you feeling fully rested.

That was then. These days, our careers and lives are moving at the speed of light, full of opportunities that we can’t miss. Items on our to-do or bucket lists just seem to always back up and the latter rarely get ticked off. We all know the importance of good work/life balance and the importance of good mental well-being. No-one wants to burn-out due to overwork or over-stress.

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Barista Coffee in Your Home

For me, the perfect day starts like this:

  1. I wake up naturally five minutes before the alarm, feeling refreshed
  2. I jump out of bed and spring straight into the shower
  3. Feeling refreshed and cleansed, I make a healthy breakfast
  4. I brew the perfect coffee
  5. Reading the news, I enjoy my breakfast and my delicious coffee
  6. I dive into my work for the day, with a smile on my face and a glint in my eye

As you can probably guess, the above list was created with my tongue firmly placed within my cheek. The truth of the matter is that none of those steps actually occur for me – except one.

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Why Business Class can be cheaper than Economy

This article may seem ridiculous, but please do hear me out. There are some circumstances where a Business Class flight actually does cost less money overall than Economy.

Before starting into my main points, it is worth pointing out that it is possible to get cheaper seats in Business than in Economy due to demand on the aircraft. Let’s say there’s a flight within Europe that has one free seat in Economy while up front it’s pretty much empty. In this case the Business seats will go for their normal price, but Economy will be two, three or even four times the price. This results in the unusual situation where Business is legitimately cheaper than Economy.

Business at £89 less then Economy? Yes, please!

Of course this is quite rare, and I had to scroll through a few different destinations over a number of months each on the BA website to find this example. Still – it’s nice when it happens and it coincides with your plans!

But let’s talk about a more common scenario. You need to take a flight because of holidays, visiting friends and family, or work. In this scenario, we would want to focus on flights that are greater than two hours, and for at least one week. The reason for this is that a shorter flight and one that is hand-baggage only probably doesn’t justify Business over Economy.

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Luxury in the Orient with Landmark Service

Tip: When in Hong Kong looking for hotels in a similar price range, choose the Mandarin Oriental The Landmark if you’re looking for good value for money. The service is so impeccable that you will feel well looked after and really listened to and you’ll be leaving relaxed and rejuvenated.

Beautiful and luxurious in every way possible.

Enter the magical door of the Mandarin Oriental The Landmark. Why is this door magical? It’s because it separates all your previous hotel stays from this one. From now on, you will know what the perfect hotel stay should be like.

Staff: It feels like the staff’s middle name is “thoughtful”. To give you an example, the hotel has a Guest Recognition Manager whose purpose is to make you feel recognised, welcomed and looked after. And she delivers. You know that PA who anticipates your needs before you even know you had them? It’s like that – but with velvet gloves. Our first encounter with the Guest Recognition Manager made us feel really listened to while she was getting to know us.

To give you an example, I was going to buy some tea for myself and for my family to gift after coming back home. I asked the Guest Recognition Manager about recommendations on where I can buy nice tea. There is nothing like local knowledge, right? I go on my search for tea and after I come back to my luxurious hotel room, I find a present on the table. It’s a pot of fragrant and delicious tea as part of a gorgeous tea making set! Accompanying the tea set were instructions on how the tea should be brewed for optimal results. That just made my day.

From conversation to gift. No detail is too small for The Landmark.

Room: Imagine the most beautiful room you have ever seen. It’s furnished with style, elegance and warmth. Its decorations sooth the eye. The room contains everything you need for an overnight stay and more. Even the toilet roll has its own elegant cover! Not forgetting there’s also a yoga mat and compressible water bottle if you want to exercise in the room.

If you prefer to exercise with an instructor however, the hotel has a yoga and wellness centre where you can attend a class. The class is usually small, so you get more instructor attention. It’s entirely possible – as it happened to me – that you will be the only one in the class.

Breakfast area: It can be an adventure in itself for the variety of dishes offered. It has both Asian dishes and a Western selection including a huge variety of fruit and muesli. You can push your culinary boundaries as much as you like in a safe and luxurious environment.

Location: Amazingly central. And if that wasn’t enough, if you don’t feel like going outside, you can get to many places from the hotel without needing to put your feet on the street. This might be a foreign concept to some, like it was for me, however the topography of this city is taken to the next level, figuratively and more importantly, literally. This intricate infrastructure of the city is an immersive experience in that there are multiple elevated corridors and foot bridges above the ground. Using these, The Landmark is joined with its sister Mandarin Orient hotel a couple of blocks away. On the way between the two there are shopping malls and restaurants, making the walk pleasant, filled with delicate perfume and with an optimal temperature all the way adding a little magic to every step.

Food: There are several good restaurants which can be reached through these corridors too. They offer a choice of cuisines including a number of Hong Kong’s Michelin starred restaurants.

Of course it’s a luxurious hotel and the price tag is not low, but the service is so outstanding that it is actually very good value for money. If you want to take your date there, there is a lot to impress with. If it’s a special occasion, the Guest Recognition Manager will make your stay extra special in their own thoughtful and subtle way.

Thoughtful and relevant in every way.

It’s places like the Mandarin Oriental The Landmark that help define luxury and help set the standards. Are there cheaper stays in Hong Kong? Absolutely. But within its class, The Landmark is a step above the competition, and Pullman and Four Seasons should sit up and take note of what The Landmark achieves on a daily basis.

The Value of Valet Car Park

Counter-intuitively, the luxurious lifestyle is often the most cost efficient.

The story I’m about to tell you was an eye-opener for me. Something I always considered a ‘waste of money’ played to my favour in such a smooth and brilliant way that it changed my approach to spending money and magnified the concept of value for money. This experience gave me the confidence in asking questions about an item or service to understand in detail what I am getting for what price, as opposed to dismissing it right after hearing the number.

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British Airways Loyalty Scheme

As an Aspiring Snob, one of the best ways to get started is by signing up to the free British Airways Executive Club (BAEC for short). As the loyalty scheme for BA, the BAEC offers two forms of “currency” that you may earn and spend.

The first form of currency is in the form of Avios points, as part of the Avois Program. You may have seen these before, especially if you’re based in the UK, and they can be earned from BA as well as oneworld alliance partner flights, shopping with partner sites and spending on a British Airways American Express card. It is also possible to buy Avios outright if you find yourself short.

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