Fact Or Fiction: 4-day Trip To Singapore For Just ₱15,000

Fact Or Fiction: 4-day Trip To Singapore For Just ₱15,000

Singapore is not just one of the most expensive cities in Southeast Asia, but also in the world . However, just because this country holds such title doesn’t mean there’s no frugal way to get there and have a vacation that you’ll enjoy without spending a fortune! Let me tell you – it’s possible!

Booking a plane to Singapore

Probably one of the expenses that will eat up most of your budget is the airfare. Many pinoys hold back from travelling overseas because of the prices of the airfare. Travelling overseas isn’t cheap, that’s for sure, but it doesn’t have to be expensive either!

Here are a few tricks that will help you hunt for the cheapest air tickets:

Book in advance

The secret to every budget getaway is finding a cheap two-way airfare! And, in the Philippines, there are a number of airlines that offer economy seats at a very affordable price, even outside promo periods.

With that being said, you don’t really have to wait for Piso Fare or seat sales to afford a two-way ticket to Singapore. You do have to book a month or two in advance, though. The rule is, the nearer to the date of flying, the more expensive the airfare gets.

Untick your preset seat

It’s no secret that seat selection isn’t a compulsory add-on. When you’re taken to the seat selection page, click your designated seat again to remove it from the selection (the selected seat(s) are highlighted in a different color – dark blue for TigerAir).

Standard seats cost ₱245 – that’s almost half the price of the airline’s travel insurance which is ₱450. So, better save that sum for travel insurance instead.

Travel insurance

For your peace of mind, avail the travel insurance offered by airline companies. Trying to cut the cost for your airfare drastically by skipping this add-on won’t serve its purpose in the event of emergency. So, better be safe than sorry. Besides, travel insurance only cost ₱450 for a two-way trip.

Protip
Certain credit cards provide travel insurance to its users who use it in purchasing plane tickets.
Citi PremierMiles Card

Citi PremierMiles Card

Free Travel Insurance up to ₱10,000,000

Insurance coverage of up to ₱5 million (for PremierMiles®) or ₱10 million (for PremierMiles® Platinum) in case of loss of life due to accidents.

Recommended airlines

The airlines that offer the most affordable airfare to Singapore is TigerAir, followed by AirAsia, and Cebu Pacific. For people who are based in Manila and Cebu, you won’t have trouble finding cheap tickets from these airlines. For people who are based in Davao, though, your option will only be limited to Cebu Pacific’s Thursday and Sunday direct flights to Singapore, and cheap tickets to the island republic aren’t as frequent as TigerAir.

Here’s how much it will cost for return tickets from Manila to Singapore with travel insurance:

Source: Tigerair
Prices differ according to travel dates and promotional period. The price above is based on July 29 to August 1, 2017.

During the travel period used in the example above, the lowest price you can purchase a one-way ticket (Manila to Singapore) is ₱1,649, while the fare from Singapore back to Manila is around ₱4,257.

Manila to Singapore ₱2,500
Singapore to Manila ₱5,000
Travel Insurance₱450
Travel tax and terminal fee₱2,370
Total fare₱10,320

Cebu to Singapore

Source: Tigerair
Prices differ according to travel dates and promotional period. The price above is based on July 29 to August 1, 2017.

Cebu to Singapore₱3,500
Singapore to Cebu₱5,500
Travel Insurance₱450
Travel tax and terminal fee₱2,370
Total fare₱11,820

Forget hotels, here’s a cheaper option!

Airbnb is a cost-effective and highly efficient alternative for hotels. It provides tourists a home away from home – literally! Aside from that, the rates for a decent room here are fairly cheaper than hotels.  

The prices vary from location to location, however, you can easily filter the prices on Airbnb’s website to find one that suits you. Based on the image below, there are accommodations within Kallang and Lavender area that would just cost between ₱720 and ₱1029. These two locations are very close to the city center and tourist attractions; they’re also directly connected to Changi Airport by MRT. Finding your way here will be easier and less of a hassle.

Traveling from Lavender station to HarbourFront will take about 24 minutes. Orchard road, Merlion Park, Marina Bay Sands are even closer!

Average rate per dayNumber of days (nights)Total
₱8233₱2469

Staying in the city can be more expensive, but it’s easier and probably cheaper to get around compared to staying in the outskirt. Compare the cost of accommodation and transportation when you are deciding on where to stay in Singapore.  This brings us to the next point. how much do you need to allocate for transportation?

Travelling within the city

The most convenient way to get around Singapore is by MRT. It’s connected to all key destinations in the city and it will take you right where you ought to be! When you arrive in Singapore, you should immediately purchase an EZ-link card for you to board any buses or train without a sweat.

The card would cost you S$12(₱430), and it contains more or less S$7 worth of credits. Depending on how long you will be staying, you should top it up with at least S$10 to cover your fare to roam around the city for the next five days.

EZ-Link Card₱430
Top-up₱360
Total₱790
Source: home.ezlink.com.sg

One-way fare would only cost you between S$0.83 and S$2.28 per trip! For example, if you are staying in Lavender and you would like to get to HarborFront, the fare is S$1.23 for one way.


Source: www.mytransport.sg

Assuming that you will be taking the MRT from Lavender to Sentosa, you will need to take the MRT to HarbourFront station, then take the Sentosa Express. Total cost for one way is S$5.23 (S$1.23 + S$4). A tourist pass is also available at S$10 for a one day unlimited train and bus rides, S$16 for two days, and $S20 for three days. However, if you are not travelling a lot daily, it will be quite impractical to purchase the tourist pass.

Traveling by taxi or by GrabCar and Uber isn’t really necessary in Singapore, since their MRT can take you directly to where the attractions are. However, because the MRT operating hours are from 5.30am to midnight daily, you may need to rely on other modes of transportation if you are our and above after 12am.  

Below is an estimate of the cost from Lavender to  Clarke Quay, the popular place for Singapore nightlife.


Source: uber.com

Remember that these are only estimated fares. Actual fares vary depending on traffic, weather and other unforeseen conditions. Tolls are not shown. On the other hand,If you’re going to ride Uber or GrabCar, you can expect a lesser fare estimate.

Budget attractions

In Singapore, you’ll never run out of places to visit without spending a dime! All you need is your EZ-Link card, a bottle of water, enough energy to spend on (a lot of) walking, umbrella, and your wanderlust… and you will be good to go! Below are the tourist attractions that you can visit for free.

  • Sentosa Park
  • Orchard Road
  • Gardens by the Bay (Bay East)
  • Merlion Park
  • Botanic Gardens
  • Marina Bay Sands
  • Sentosa Island
For Your Information
The casino inside Marina Bay Sands provide free entry to tourists and expats, simply present your passport. Inside the casino, you are entitled for unlimited free beverage such as coke, coffee, or Milo.

Experience the real taste of Singapore

Hawker centers are the way to go if you’re in Singapore. While they can be considered as the country’s version of Philippine’s carenderia, hawker centers are far more upscale. Despite that, they’re quite cheap considering it’s in Singapore.

The average cost of a complete meal that consist of viand, one bowl of rice (which is 2 cups in Filipino standards), and a bowl of soup would just cost you between S$3.50 and S$5. They have a wide variety of options, from their ever famous chicken rice, charsiew (BBQ pork) with rice, to Malaysia’s signature Nasi Lemak; you’ll never run out of options for a shoestring budget.

On the other hand, the cost for their beverages is just around 50 cents to S$1, or you can just buy at the nearest 7-Eleven.

MealsS$5
DrinksS$1
Number of meals in 4 days12
Total S$72 or ₱2,592
The estimates are higher than the actual average prices.

Quick breakdown of the expenses

If you’re traveling from Manila to Singapore, here’s how much you’ll be spending.

ItemManila to SingaporeCebu to Singapore
Two-way Airfare₱6,561.12₱6,781.12
Travel tax and terminal fee₱2,370₱2,370
Accommodation₱2,469₱2,469
Transportation₱720₱720
Food₱2,592₱2,592
Total₱14,712₱14,932.12

A little patience, a handful of research, and the guts to explore are all you need to go on an inexpensive adventure! You don’t have to spend a fortune just to have a quick tour in the city of Merlion. One of the reasons why the cost of living in this country is so high is because it has invested a lot in its infrastructures and attractions, so that tourist would love to come back.

Despite the stronger currency, travelling to Singapore doesn’t have to wipe out your finances. You just need to plan it in detail and stick to your budget.

For the most part, the cost for the airfare and the accommodation are what holds back most pinoys in booking a trip not just in Singapore but anywhere outside the country. However, in reality, budget airlines are there for a reason and that their prices aren’t really as intimidating as many of us think!

You just have to book ahead of time to ensure that you’ll get cheap fares. You can also use your accumulated points of your  travel credit card to bring down the airfare. There are many way to cut down your cost for a Singapore trip, you just got to be familiar with your resources.

Exchange rate as of May 26,2017.
Images from singaporeair.com and blog.nus.edu.sg

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