Being in Singapore means you have easy access to many nearby countries with a rich and diverse culture. With budget flights aplenty, Singapore is the perfect base to explore Asia on the cheap. While travelling is seen as a luxurious activity or hobby by some, it doesn’t have to be so. In fact, it should be a mandatory part of experiencing life! Here’re 5 tips we have for you to help you travel on the cheap and in comfort as well!

1.Fly on a Budget Airline

Singapore has some great budget flight airlines which go to a huge number of destination. While it used to be that the budget airlines here only go round Asia, now you’ve got those that flies to Australia or even Greece! Budget flights provide a low-frills way to go on a holiday and they aren’t really less comfortable compared to a full-service flight. Do however take note of various fees that are not included in the cost you see on the screen though. These include luggage fees, processing fees for credit cards and seat selection fees.

Want to save more on top of using a budget airline? If you fly frequent enough, consider credit card collaborations with some of these airlines, such as the Tigerair Platinum Credit card, or your Krisflyer card that allows you to redeem miles with Scoot and TigerAir.

2.Find Accommodation Using a Comparison Site

Use hotel comparison sites such as Agoda.com or Booking.com to source for your overseas lodging according to your budget. Not only that, you get to read up on user reviews as well, which provides a great way to gauge the quality of the hotels you are looking at.

If you are looking for something even cheaper, you can look up travel guides such as Lonely Planet which lists lodging according to budget, with lots of Bed & Breakfasts that are not even listed online. Other than that, Airbnb or Couchsurfing can be an alternative as well.

3.Make Good Use of Your Credit cards

The right credit card can provide a great deal of travel perks when making your bookings and even while you are overseas. For instance, travel cards earn you miles when you make your hotel and flight bookings with the cards, which you can then utilise for your next trips. For example, HSBC Advance Visa Platinum card can earn you 4 miles on your dining, entertainment and online shoppihng expenses. Other cards like UOB PRVI Miles card or Citi Prestige MasterCard card can earn you 2-2.4 miels per S$1 spent in countries outside of Singapore. Prefer to get immediate perks? Then use a cashback card, such as the ANZ Optimum World Mastercard card which gives you unlimited 5% cashback on travel bookings if you choose the travel category for the quarter. The CIMB Platinum Mastercard is also a good choice as it earns you a 10% cashback on travel-related purchases.

Some of these cards also offer cardholders free travel insurance, so remember to activate them before you go and save some $100 from having to take out your own travel insurance policy!

4.Eat on The Cheap

It can be pretty easy to eat on a tight budget while travelling. The key is to stay away from places that are full of tourist and go where the locals eat. Don’t hesitate to visit local markets or even make a simple sandwich lunch with bread and ham from the supermarket. Some places also offer discount food after dinner hours, so consider packing them to sit by the river for a romantic dinner with your partner.

There are also credit cards that offer regional discounts with dining partners – CIMB credit cards offer a number of discounts and privileges on dining in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand. Similarly, Maybank credit cards also provide a number of travel discounts and regional dining privileges in Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia and Philippines.

5.Use a Tourist Pass

Getting a tourist pass can be of great value especially if you are staying for at least 1 to 2 weeks in a single country. Other than providing cheaper public transportation options, some of these tourist passes also come with great perks, such as discount tickets to major tourist attractions and food outlets. One such pass is the Paris Pass, which gives you free entry to more than 60 Paris attractions and tours, unlimited travel across central Paris on its various public transportation systems and also fast-track entry to popular attractions. Amsterdam offers some similar travel passes for tourists as well, and Japan has its popular JR rail pass which gives you the  convenience of travelling across the country on its famous bullet train at affordable prices.

Article by Lynette Tan

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ValuePenguin is personal finance company based in New York. DJ is responsible for building ValuePenguin’s presence in Asia, from researching personal finance topics in the region to building relationships with financial and media institutions. He previously worked as an investment analyst at leading hedge funds in New York including Cadian Capital and Tiger Asia. His expertise is in the global technology, consumer and financial industries. He graduated from Yale University with a degree in Economics, and speaks Korean, English and Mandarin Chinese.

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