Merlion facing Marina Bay Sands and Singapore Flyer

3-Day Singapore Trip With A ₱20,000 Budget

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 a 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, with some pre-trip preparation and a plan to pay for your holiday!

1. Booking flights and accommodation

Many Pinoys hold back from travelling overseas because of these expenses. 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 down the best deals.

Try these tips to cut back on airfare

Probably one of the expenses that will eat up most of your budget is the airfare and accommodation.

Timing is everything – you don’t really have to wait for Piso Fare or seat sales to find a cheap two-way airfare but 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 – seat selection isn’t compulsory. The fee to preset your seat costs ₱230 or ₱460 for a roundtrip – that’s almost half the price of the airline’s travel insurance which is ₱1080. 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 an emergency. 

Pro tip

If you really want to squeeze every penny that you could on your airfare, unticking your free in-flight meals could save you ₱249 for one way and ₱498 for a round trip! 

Budget airlines – One of the most affordable airfares to Singapore is from Cebu Pacific, followed by AirAsia and Scoot. 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 may have a different frequency.

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

Prices differ according to travel dates and promotional periods. The price above is based on January 18 to 21, 2020.

During the travel period used in the example above, the lowest price you can purchase a one-way ticket (Manila to Singapore) is ₱4,513, while the fare from Singapore back to Manila is around ₱5015.

Manila to Singapore (with travel insurance)₱4,513
Singapore to Manila (with travel insurance)₱5,015
Travel tax and terminal fee(₱1,620+₱750) ₱2,370
Total fare₱11,898

Stay in a hostel or Airbnb

Hotels in Singapore are ridiculously expensive. Either way, if you want to travel on a budget, you need to look at other options.

Hostels are the way to go This is the best bet for budget travelers. You might be sacrificing privacy but it comes with perks too – from free breakfast to meeting people from all over the world.

On average, hostel prices would range from ₱800 to ₱1,200 per night, depending on the day you booked or the season, and the deals offered by booking sites like this one from Agoda

Average rate per day₱1,000
Number of days (nights)3

Try Airbnb – The rates here are fairly cheaper than hotels but still pricier than hostels. The good news is, they have a promotion for first-time users on their platform. When you sign up using a referral link, you can get up to ₱2,020 off on your first booking worth ₱3,550. Some of the cheapest accommodations via Airbnb in Singapore range from ₱902 to ₱1,165. 

These might actually be hostels, capsule rooms, or small rooms in an apartment. Keep your expectations low as what matters is you have a place to rest and freshen up. 

Pro tip

For an even more cost-effective option, book hostels for the free breakfast. You’ll save tons of money in Singapore just by taking advantage of that free breakfast option offered by hostels.

2. Getting around Singapore

You need to plan ahead if you want to get around the city on a budget and still have a good time. Here’s how to cut your transport cost and make use of free attractions.

Traveling around the city

The most convenient way to get around Singapore is by MRT. 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(₱446), and it contains more or less S$7 worth of credits. You might need to top it up with at least S$10 to cover your fare to roam around the city for the next three days.

EZ-Link Card₱446


There are also tourist passes that will grant unlimited public transport access for certain days. S$10 (₱372.20) would grant you 1-day unlimited access, S$20 (₱744), and S$30 (₱1,116). But practically speaking, you won’t be able to make that much trips in 3-days to fully make use of its total cost. 

Total cost for your one-way trips to the attractions which we will discuss next is only S$1.89 (₱71) and S$3.78 (₱142) with return on the average, give or take. This is assuming that you will be staying at Lavender district where many affordable hostels are located. If you’re staying somewhere else, the cost may vary by a small margin.

Here’s a quick breakdown of your transport cost according to the fare calculator on Singapore’s public transport site.

Trip 1MRT/LRTFrom Lavendar (EW11)To HarbourFront (NE1/CC29)7.9kmS$1.29
Trip 2MRT/LRTFrom Lavendar (EW11)Bugis (E12/DT14) 1.1kmS$0.06
Trip 3MRT/LRTFrom Lavendar (EW11)Orchard (NS22)4.9kmS$0.20
Trip 4MRT/LRTFrom Lavendar (EW11)Bayfront (CE1/DT16)3.3kmS$0.12
Trip 5MRT/LRTFrom Lavendar (EW11)Botanic Gardens (CC19/DT9)6.5kmS$0.22

Quick estimate

Total transportation cost using Singapore’s LRT is roughly around ₱300 to ₱500. Purchasing the Ezlink card and topping it up for just S$10 will be more than enough for this quick adventure, which equates to about ₱818.20.

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, an 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
Touristy tip

The casino inside Marina Bay Sands provides free entry to tourists and expats. Simply present your passport. Inside the casino, you are entitled to unlimited free beverages such as coke, coffee, or Milo.

3. 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 consists of viand, one bowl of rice (which is 2 cups in Filipino standards), and a bowl of soup would just cost you between S$5 and S$7. 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 around S$1 to S$2, or you can just buy at the nearest 7-Eleven.

Number of meals in 4 days12
TotalS$108 or ₱4,020

Note: The estimates are higher than the actual average prices.

How to afford a Singapore holiday 

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

ItemManila to Singapore
Two-way Airfare₱9,528
Travel tax and terminal fee₱2,370

In a perfect world, everyone would have the budget to take that break that their soul desperately needs. If you have been putting money aside diligently to pay for a holiday getaway, using your savings is the most sensible option.

How to pay for your holiday

In the real world, that isn’t always the case.  If you end up short of your target especially if you need to pay upfront for certain parts of your trip, taking out a personal loan to make that much needed holiday a reality can be a viable solution.

Instead of maxing out your credit card and coming back to deal with the high-interest charges, a personal loan typically has lower interest rates and you can budget ahead on the repayment schedule. This means you can enjoy your holiday and know what to expect when you return home. 

Budgeting ahead gives you peace of mind in knowing how to manage your finances after your holiday and the duration needed to pay off the loan. For starters, find a low-risk high reward type of loan such as Asteria Personal Loan. You only need one valid ID to apply and the funds are disbursed within 24 hours from the time of application. 

How to apply for Asterial Personal Loan

  • Log on to their website.
  • Register by clicking the APPLY NOW button
  • Fill out the online application form and upload the necessary documents.
  • Wait for 24 business hours after you have uploaded the complete documentary requirement.
  • Notification via text message and email will be sent to the borrower upon loan approval. Alternatively, borrowers can log on to their Asteria online account to check the application status.
  • Repayment instructions are also provided in the notification upon loan approval, it can also be found on the borrowers’ Asteria account online.

Asteria Lending Personal Loan

Asteria Lending Personal Loan

Fast Approval Loan With No Collateral.

Cash is disbursed in as fast as 48 hours.

Prudent financial planning and spending is still the key to making sure that your finances are in order, whether you’re taking a personal loan for your vacation or not. It’s all about borrowing responsibly and having a plan to pay it off.
Personal loans can be a key to reaching a short-term goal faster and easier. However, just like any other big life decisions, you must approach this sensibly.

Planning ahead with a little patience, a handful of research, and the guts to explore are all you need to go on an inexpensive Singapore adventure!

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