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How to save on a vacation to Singapore

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Chudiya

As you know, Singapore is one of the most expensive countries in the world not along Asia but it's also an attractive travel destination amongst SEA first time travellers. I recently visited this country and would like to share some tips for future travellers who plan to visit it for business/pleasure.

  • Flights and Accommodation: Plan your trips just before or after the peak seasons. February, June-July, September (F1 season) are considered peak seasons. I booked my flights about 2 months in advance and got a roundtrip flight for under ₹18K and that too with Singapore Airlines. If solo or with 1-2 friends, I suggest either a hostel or if with family I suggest you get a service apartment via Airbnb. Most budget hotels in there are very compact. I've found Agoda, Ixigo to offer the best deals.
  • Travel and Communication: You can pre-book (at a discount) a 2 in 1 tourist EZ-Link travel card from Klook or Agoda and pick-up at Changi Airport on the day of your arrival. I pre-booked and got a card with free $3 loaded. Singapore has an extensive public transportation system made up of metro and buses and travel on these requires an MRT card (no tickets) or a credit/ debit card with tap and pay. You can load these cards with money at all metro stations via cash/CC/DC. Grab/Gojeck are most used cab hailing services and prices are comparable to Uber in Indian metros during peak time.
  • Food and Drinks:  Eating out in Singapore is an expensive affair but they have a huge hawker centre culture where you can get an average meal at $5-$15 with a variety of Asian options. An apt comparison for hawker centre would be the food court in malls with a common seating area. It's self-service and after eating you're expected to return your food trays to the designated station. Alcohol is pricy due to high local taxes, so I suggest you pick-up your booze from Changi Duty Free during arrival or depend on convenience/grocery store if you want to get tipsy.
  • Activities: You can save a lot on your activities if you pre-book on Klook/Agoda. Personally, I used Pelago (owned by Singapore Airlines) and Agoda. If you fly via SIA you can use your PNR to get 30% discount ($20 cap) twice for bookings on Pelago. I was able to save $20 on a Universal Studio + meal + SEA Aquarium combo pass and collectively saved $50 on across all bookings.

Miscellaneous tips and tricks

  • Card acceptance is universal, just enable tap and go but do carry USD to convert into SGD for your food expenses since hawker centres are mostly cash only. Rates are similar across forex dealers.
  • Singapore is a shopper's paradise with great deals available on certain categories and there's also a GST refund scheme for tourists. If you shop over $100 in a single bill at a physical retailer, you can avail the scheme. Just need to mention at billing and give your passport to map the transaction. During departure, you can go to GST refund self-service kiosk where you insert the passport and validate your transactions to get the refund on your CC/DC. (valid only on non-consumables and make sure to visit the counter before you check-in baggage cause sometimes you may need to show that the goods are with you, and you've not abused the scheme for a local friend/family)
  • Mustafa centre is like an all-in-one mega retailer where you can buy everything from gold (rates are good and low workmanship charges) to groceries. If you want to get huge discounts from brands like Nike, Coach, Michael Kors, Steve Madden etc, I suggest you go to IMM which is an outlet mall where you get almost 50-80% discount throughout the year. I managed to save 60% from Nike outlet store and even saved 15% on a watch and sunglasses purchase.
  • You can carry snacks into most attractions as baggage checks aren't that thorough.
  • Changi Duty Free has cheaper rates compared to Duty Free in India (ishopchangi even offers $20 off 1st purchase if you prebook) for liquor/chocolates/beauty products.
  • 6-7 days is enough to explore Singapore and cover top-rated attractions and activities at a leisure pace.

Do fell free to add more tips.


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Super Moderator Super Moderator
Moderator
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Can you please mention your total spends on the trip and the break-up. Thanks

Deal Subedar Deal Subedar
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Airfare: ₹18K round-trip
Stay at hostel: $50 per day (with breakfast) 
Meals: $10-15 per meal
Transportation: $50

Overall, I spent approx. ₹100K since I did a lot of activities/attractions and shopped a bit.
Post Emperor Post Emperor
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@Chudiya please repky

Deal Subedar Deal Subedar
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@RajaNageshwarNath Day 1: Land in Singapore + Explore Little India (exchange curreny +travel sim) +Explore Haji Street+ Explore Chinatown+ Explore Bugis

Day 2: Vist Singapore Zoo+ River Wonder + Night Safari

Day 3: Visit Merlion + Art science museum+ National gallery + Gardens by the bay + end with seeing night view at Marina bay skydeck

Day 4: Universal Studio

Day 5: Museum+ Buddha Tooth relic temple

Day 6: SEA Aquarium+ any other activitiy in Sentosa
Deal Subedar Deal Subedar
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I don’t have content writing skills, just trying to convey my experience no copy paste.

Also no travel operator can you offer you a cheaper deal than what you self-plan cause they add their margins to everything.

Benevolent Benevolent
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@Chudiya

Ignore him. Yea shorts Banda he din bhar scroll karta reheta he. 

38 Comments  |  
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Super Moderator Super Moderator
Moderator
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Can you please mention your total spends on the trip and the break-up. Thanks

Deal Subedar Deal Subedar
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Airfare: ₹18K round-trip
Stay at hostel: $50 per day (with breakfast) 
Meals: $10-15 per meal
Transportation: $50

Overall, I spent approx. ₹100K since I did a lot of activities/attractions and shopped a bit.
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Deal Newbie Deal Newbie
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> carry USD to convert into SGD

Where do you recommend I do USD to SGD conversion? At airport or outside somewhere?

Deal Cadet Deal Cadet
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outside, I found Mustafa to be very competitive, it's in little India.
Deal Cadet Deal Cadet
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Only way to save big is by not going on vacation

Deal Subedar Deal Subedar
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arey aage btao bhai, investing in stock market
Benevolent Benevolent
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Avoid shopping. Prices are too high. 

Deal Cadet Deal Cadet
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Very honest n personalized review visited sg in past 7-8time last visit was in 2023 things have changed really I was stayed earlier in hongkong Street for 2000 per day fare now 2000 is not enough for dormitory but really small n beautiful country 

Deal Newbie Deal Newbie
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If you want to spend a little more and travelling couple, below is the breakup for visiting singapore, visited in March 2024:

Airfare: 36k round for 2(from pune)

Hotel: 6k per day

Travel: 4k for 2. Travelled only by metro

Cab: 2k - one time from hotel to airport

Tickets: 32k for 2, covered almost all.

Shopping: 10k - street, mustafa, chinatown.

Food: 20k for 2

Total approx 1.25-1.3L for a couple.

I save 20$ for travel card I already had 2cards lended by frnd.  

Card used: Idfc wow, niyo, hdfc(rare case)

I discussed with local people, airbnb is illegal in singapore,  so watch out while booking

Deal Subedar Deal Subedar
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Yup airbnb like hosting in Singapore should be of a minimum 3 month contract else it’s illegal

Generous Generous
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-ek to copy-paste essay writing band karo 

-look for some travel package/contact local tour operator they often have better deal 


Deal Subedar Deal Subedar
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I don’t have content writing skills, just trying to convey my experience no copy paste.

Also no travel operator can you offer you a cheaper deal than what you self-plan cause they add their margins to everything.

View 2 more replies
Deal Cadet Deal Cadet
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Any recommendations on how I can save cost for Malaysia trip.

Planning to visit Kuala Lumpur, Cameron highlands Lankavi, Malacca

Benevolent Benevolent
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Don't look for saving in trips. It just ruins experience. Spend extra and enjoy.

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Deal Cadet Deal Cadet
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how to save on vacation is by going in your dreams 🤣 joy

Commentator Commentator
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thanks for the info!!

any credit cards used?

Deal Subedar Deal Subedar
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I used my Jupiter DC which had no forex fees upto ₹25K and carried some USD
Deal Cadet Deal Cadet
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You covered very well brother. We visited Singapore recently. My sister family staying in Singapore hence we did not face any issues with Stay and food. Transport facility is too good here hence we choose public transport for all places.

We spent more money on flight tickets due to sudden trip.

Helpful Helpful
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Your flight ticket was non-stop?

Deal Subedar Deal Subedar
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Yes

Deal Newbie Deal Newbie
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The security frisking is way too much in Singapore. There is not much to see, better go to Bali

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