Singapore Travel Hacks

Singapore is one of the world’s most fascinating destinations, but all come here at a price. Traveling to Singapore on a budget, apparently, may appear to be impossible. Contrary to this reputation and belief, the good news is that it’s possible to set a budget for your Singapore travel and stick on to it too.

And to help you make this happen, we’ve compiled here some

Essential Singapore Travel Hacks

which ensure that you don’t return home broke after a wonderful holiday.
Singapore Travel Hacks
Planning – Get This First Step Right

1. Know when to visit: This is the foremost of all steps to consider when you plan for a Singapore holiday. December to June is considered the most ideal to visit Singapore, especially for its outdoors, cool events, festivities etc. The months between August and October are dry and hence considered off-season, however this period allows for exceptionally cheaper travel.

2. Pre-chart your travel program: Once you determine when to visit Singapore, the next step is to decide the duration of your Singapore travel and plan a travel agenda accordingly. Make a thorough research or get the help of an experienced travel service provider in order to group or finalize what to fit in your travel program (as per your unique interests.)

3. Apply for a Singapore visa in advance: Barring European Union (EU) citizens plus the nationals of certain countries including Australia, Switzerland, and US, all other nationalities would need an appropriate Singapore visa to enter the city-state. So make sure that you apply it in advance through an experienced visa provider.

4. Book your airline tickets and accommodation in advance: This is inevitable no matter you’re planning to visit Singapore during peak, shoulder or off-season. Make sure that you do it at least three to four months before in order to save a ton on your Singapore airline tickets and accommodation. You can enjoy further savings on accommodation (just scroll this page down to ‘Stay on a budget in Singapore’).

5. Download the right apps: There are many resourceful apps in order to make your Singapore holiday a breeze. Download Grab on your phone or device which allows you to hire a vehicle according to your budget. Visit Singapore is another must-have app. Depending on your interests, you can also rely on apps such as Singapore Heritage Trails, Chope, and Tickle.

Gardens By The Bay

Save On Singapore Attractions, Events And Sightseeing

6. Buy the combo tourist pass: There is so much to see and do in Singapore that you would surely want to cram your travel itinerary. And the best way to save on all is via purchasing an all-in-one pass. This enables you to access and enjoy Singapore’s top attractions and experiences for one fixed price. At Rayna Tours, we allow you to customize your own combo pass with your desired Singapore experiences. More combo tours available here (provide link).

7. Consider an all-inclusive holiday package: If you want to save money while skipping all hassles and confusions, consider our all-encompassing Singapore holiday packages. This covers accommodation of your choice, all transfers, sightseeing, and your preferred activities, experiences etc. The best thing is that it’s put together at a price point that matches your wallet.

8. Make the most of Singapore’s free attractions: Not all of iconic attractions and experiences in Singapore are pricey; some are absolutely free to enter or visit. For instance, it costs you nothing to enter Gardens by the Bay, although a nominal fee is applicable to explore its Cloud Forest, Flower Dome etc. Another must-experience in Singapore which you can enjoy it for free is a click against the backdrop of the celebrated Merlion statue. You can further get a glimpse of Singapore’s flora and fauna on a free visit to the Singapore Botanic Gardens. Apart from these, Esplanade (one of the region’s hotspots) conducts free performances and shows from time to time. Best of all, don’t miss Spectra – the spectacular free light and water – at Marina Bay Sands.

9. Look for discounted deals and online promotions: It’s very likely that you’ll be able to grab some special discounts and coupon deals, especially if your Singapore trip coincides with some special events or festivals in the region. Before making booking, be sure to check out our dedicated coupons and deals page (provide link) for maximum savings.

Singapore Public Transport

Top Tips To Get Around The City

10. Purchase an EZ-Link Card: With this smart card, you can make payment for all transport including MRT, public buses, and taxis. It also comes as handy if you need to purchase food and drinks from stores, vending machines etc. As a tourist here, you can choose special Singapore Tourist Pass which lets you use buses and trains unlimited times. It’s available as one-day, two-day and three-day passes and its cost ranges from SGD 10 to SGD 20.

11. Use Singapore Public Transport: From the fastest Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system to reliable buses and spotless taxis, you can rely on Singapore’s public transport system to easily get around in the city. They are convenient and super affordable too. Additional savings come by way of early MRT check in (before 7:45 hrs). You’ll even get to travel free if the ride charge to your spot is less than $0.50.

12. Explore by Bicycle: This is another way to save on your transport expenses in Singapore. There are dedicated cycling paths means you can cycle around the city in utmost safety, without any hassle.

Little India

Stay On A Budget In Singapore

13. Stay a bit away from city centre: To save on your accommodation, ditch the city’s regular hi-fi spots like Marina Bay, Orchard Road, and the Quays, and instead choose an accommodation in areas like Little India and Geyland (which is located half way from the airport to the city centre). While staying centrally is always a good idea, Singapore’s exceptional transport system keeps you well connected with other parts of the city-state (if you choose to stay a bit away though close to the transit system).

14. Look for alternatives: Accommodation in Singapore is not all about its posh resorts or swanky hotels. There are some amazing alternatives which allow you to stay for a fraction of cost. You can stay in a pod (capsule) hotel or a neat hostel accompanied by decent comforts. For a homely ambience, you can rent an apartment (where you can cook your own meals) or consider a comfortable homestay which are absolutely safe, reasonable and complete with round the clock security services.

hawker centers singapore

You Can Cut Down On Food Expenses Considerably

15. Skip Fancy Restaurants: Instead, you can hit the city’s popular areas for street foods. You can also choose to dine at food courts, open-air food halls, hawker centers etc spread all over the city. From Hainanese chicken rice, char kway teow, and nasi lemak to satay, sambal stingray and chili crab, this gives you the chance to savor all must-try Singaporean delights at incredible low rates.

16. Hit Ethnic Quarters: This is another of the easiest ways to limit your food budget in Singapore. Be it Chinatown, Little India, Kampong Glam, or Katong, each of Singapore’s ethnic enclaves is distinctly vibrant and packed to brim with fantastic shopping, entertainment, and of course dining options (which are super cost-effective too).

17. Limit or Avoid Pub Visit: As an alternative for this, buy the required amount of alcohol from stores or supermarkets. This would considerably impact your overall savings. But know that these retail stores are not permitted to sell alcohol from 22:30 hrs to 07:00 hrs. Now if you can’t resist going to pubs or bars, you can still save by knowing their Happy Hours wherein you’ll get to enjoy beverages and cocktails at low rates for a few hours.

18. Don’t Purchase Bottled Water: Yes, while in Singapore, don’t waste your money buying bottled water. After all, tap water available anywhere in the city-state is absolutely clean and safe for drinking.

19. Don’t Tip: Tipping is not compulsory in Singapore. This is because most dining venues here incur the food bill inclusive of an extra 10% service fee. So it’s up to you whether or not to pay additional tip after meals.

Chinatown Singapore

Shop For Less

20. Shop at the right place: From mega malls and luxurious shopping centers (such as ones within Marina Bay Sands and Raffles) to vintage stores and boutiques, Singapore is an ultimate haven for shoppers. Imagine anything – it will be readily available here. So if you’re a serious shopper, be sure to prepare a checklist of things you would like to shop here. Do your part of research or more ideally sign up for a shopping tour – all these would help you to select the right spot to shop your favorites, thus allowing you to save both time and money on your Singapore shopping spree.

21. Don’t let go of discount deals, GST Refund, Tax Free Shopping etc: Apart from keeping a check on unbelievable discount promotions run by big names, look for shops or outlets that are a part of the Tourist Refund Scheme (TRS) and carry a sign mentioning ‘GST Refund’ or ‘Tax Free Shopping.’ This indicates that (as a tourist) you’re entitled for a refund of 7% Goods and Services Tax (GST) and this is applicable for purchases of over S$100 only.

22. Consider street markets for bargain shopping: It’s worth hitting the street markets and bustling shopping spots across Chinatown, Haji Lane, Little India, and Bugis Street. Beyond discount shopping, they allow you to own something really rare and unique merchandise.

Be Aware Of Local Laws And Customs

23. Yes, it’s vital to make yourself aware of the region’s strict laws before your Singapore travel. This keeps you away from both unnecessary troubles and hefty fine payment. There are some activities that are considered illegal in Singapore, such as:

  • Use of chewing gum
  • Use of drugs
  • Littering and Spitting in the public place
  • Smoking in public
  • Begging in the streets
  • Not flushing the toilet
  • Eating and drinking in a public transport
  • Disrespecting public servants
  • Getting drunk and disorderly conduct
  • Feeding local pigeons

Other Important Tips

  • If you’re on a strict budget, avoid traveling on peak months and important festival season.
  • Pack light and choose comfortable clothing for every season. Also, carry a rain jacket as you can expect downpour here without any warning.
  • Singapore is a safe city, but that doesn’t mean that you’re completely protected here. So get a travel insurance that offers coverage for any unlikely circumstances like loss of wallet, accidents, health issues etc.

This city-state is compact, packed, stylish and expensive, so it may seem hard to do Singapore on a budget. But, the top suggestions, insider tips and cool hacks that we’ve mentioned here would certainly help you to navigate the destination smarter and swifter.

Rezmin is passionate about traveling and curating content about history, traditions and other intriguing aspects that make a place attractive. In her spare time, she enjoys reading fictional books sprinkled with inspiration, humor and enthusiasm.

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