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Visiting Singapore: How to Spend Less and Enjoy More




Singapore is a wonderful place full of interesting sights, impressive architecture, and some of the best shopping in the world. There’s just one tiny thing—it’s super expensive! The cost of living in Singapore is the bane of all budget travelers who would like to experience this unique destination. However, visiting this city-state doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. Here are a few tips that will help you keep your trip within your budget. 

Use your legs

When you compare it to its other Asian buddies, Singapore is just a tiny dot on the map. This means you can move around in a very easy and quick way even on foot. Singapore has amazing Mass Rapid Transit that is actually quite affordable, some stops are so close together that it’s a better idea to save up some money and take a walk. In case you really need to get from one part of the city to the other fast and often, make sure to invest in an EZ-link card rather than pay for separate trips every time. 


Find a budget hostel

No matter where you are in the world, staying in lux hotels is expensive, and Singapore is not an exemption. However, no need to spend half of your vacation money on a room! Seek out certain budget hotels that will cost you only between $10 and $20. Sure, you will have to sacrifice some of your comfort and privacy, but if sharing a room with fellow travelers isn’t a problem for you, then you’ll definitely love budget hostels. Plus, you’ll get to meet amazing people which can be great, especially if you’re a solo traveler. 

Control your wallet

If you want to avoid spending too much money, then you’ll need to learn how to be disciplined with your credit card. Luckily, you can basically just look into some solutions such as applying for a new card, but your best option would be getting the best Singapore credit card for overseas use to get some cash back. This little trick will allow you to have good control over your expenses yet travel comfortably—this is every budget traveler’s dream! 


Look for free attractions

Sure, Singapore is expensive, but believe it or not, there are attractions that are completely free (no, it’s not just the national parks). For instance, taking a walk among the iconic Gardens by the Bay giant electric trees is one of the many free yet unforgettable things you can do in Singapore. You can also snap tons of photos of the world-famous Merlion, the symbol of the city, or get amazing views from the ION sky. Chilling at the beaches of Sentosa is also relaxing yet free. Want to get your art shot when in Singapore? Hit Esplanade—Theatres on the Bay and see whether they offer a free performance. Some museums also have free special exhibitions, so make sure to check their websites before whipping out your wallet. 


Hit the hawkers 

Singapore has a long list of famous and exclusive restaurants, but instead of wasting money on big names, hit a hawker center during lunchtime. If you’re not familiar with hawker centers, they are basically small food centers that have a variety of stalls selling different foods for very affordable prices. Hawker centers might not look perfect on your Instagram, but don’t let the appearances fool you! Once you get inside, you’ll find yourself surrounded by amazing and cheap foods that will please your stomach and your wallet. No matter what you’re craving—Malay, Japanese, Indian, Chinese, or Thai—you’ll find something that will satisfy every traveling nomad with a hungry stomach. 


Skip big shopping malls

No, don’t worry, you don’t need to stop shopping completely! However, what you should do to save some money is skip big shopping malls since you can find essentially the same items in other places for much, much cheaper. For instance, retail spaces like J. Avenue or SCAPE Underground all sell trendy clothing, and you can often find a steal at Bugis Street Market. If you’re lucky, you might even run into a flea market. Singapore flea markets are usually brimming with modern items, so it’s a smart idea to keep an eye on them. 

If you think your bank account is doomed if you decide to visit Singapore, think again. With these smart budget tips, you can have a wonderful Singapore adventure yet come back home with some money in your pocket.

Derek Lotts is a Sydney based writer and researcher, a regular contributor at Smooth Decorator blog. He writes about décor, gardening, recycling, ecology and business. He thinks all of these topics fall under the self-improvement category. He believes in the power of sharing ideas and communicating via the internet to achieve betterment.

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