Singapore is a small city-state with stunning views, an amazing metropolis, a booming economy, and culture-rich traditions. It can be quite intimidating seeing as the country is always on the list of the most expensive cities in the world. While in some cases that is true, a true Singapore experience doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, you can tour around Singapore with just $500 in your pocket or sometimes, less than that.
From cheap accommodations, flight deals, and discounted food deals, Singapore is a place for everyone. Kids and adults alike will find something to enjoy in this Southeast Asian gem. And with only $500, you can actually have the time of your life visiting one of the most modern nations in the world.
Flights and Accommodations
First and foremost, select a budget airline. There’s no use for you to pick a luxury airline since, depending on where you come from, you won’t likely have to stay there for a long time. If it’s a long-haul flight, there’s still plenty of options for you to get the best deal. When it comes to booking flights, timing is everything. The rule of thumb is to book two to three months in advance. The nearer you book to the flight date, the more expensive the ticket is going to be.
As for your accommodations, stay in a hostel or share a room with other travelers. A backpacker’s hotel is also more economical than Airbnb. If you want to save more, choose accommodation with a common bathroom compared to having your own in the room. You can get a hostel room for as low as $25 a day in Singapore.
The most expensive part of traveling is the food. You’ll have to buy your food from breakfast to midnight snacks. Singapore isn’t exactly known for being a cheap city to travel to but when it comes to food, you’ll have plenty of options. There’s Chinatown for some cheap finds and the various other hole-in-the-wall restaurants that serve anything from Kaya Toast to wonton noodles for breakfast.
At night, make sure to grab a bottle of beer at Clarke Quay but finish that off with a celebratory toast back in your hotel room. Beers are cheaper from a convenience store. Ready-to-heat food packs are also cheap and convenient. They’re one less thing to worry about. You can also check your credit card points. They usually have good deals that you can use overseas.
Singapore has a great public transportation system. You can choose between using the MRT or the taxis. And while taxis are certainly more convenient because they can drop you off at your preferred destination, MRT is way more practical. When you get there, buy an MRT card because you get it for a discounted price. For the next three to four days, top it up with at least $10 to cover the total cost of your fare for the duration of your trip.
You will need less than S$1 to travel to HarbourFront, Bugis, Botanic Gardens, Bayfront, and many others. It depends on where you come from, but that’s the most you will need to pay. The total transportation cost of touring around Singapore for three to four days will equal just $10 to $20.
There are plenty of free attractions in Singapore. You don’t even have to try hard enough since they’re all easy to find. Sentosa Park, Sentosa Island, Orchard Road, Marina Bay Sands, Merlion Park, Gardens by the Bay, and Botanic Gardens are free attractions. Even its Changi Airport is a tourist destination nowadays. You can get lost at the airport for hours and forget you’re roaming a passenger terminal.
Can You Afford Singapore?
Definitely. Think about it. With $500 to spend, you can afford to travel to a lot of countries as long as you are willing to make some considerations and sacrifices. Should you mind not sleeping in a five-star hotel? No. You’re not going to be there for a long time anyway. You’re only going to be in the room six to eight hours max in a day, so why should you spend $100 every night just to sleep? Unless you’re in Singapore for a staycation, a hostel room is good enough for a tour.
Most people cannot fathom the idea of traveling to a new country with just $500 in their pockets. As a general rule, you always need an emergency stash just in case something happens during your travel. It’s like your own kind of insurance. But for the most part, you can get by with only $500 in Singapore, provided you won’t get drawn to the boutiques.