by Value Penguin
Deepavali long weekend is just around the corner. Although taking a trip somewhere might be an awesome way to spend your vacation, you might be hesitant to do so because it might cost you too much money. For people who haven't booked a flight yet for the upcoming long weekend, we've prepared the below list to help you decide if and where you could visit between 18th and 22nd of October.
Nature, beach and resorts
If you are looking for a relaxing vacation on a beach, you may want to consider going to Cebu or Phuket. Direct round trip flights are still available for just over S$200, and both cities should have plenty of affordable lodging options, including Airbnb. Phuket is particularly famous for being an international magnet for beach lovers and serious divers. Blue lagoons and salmon sunsets make for a dream-like atmosphere, and indeed, a vacation here can feel a bit surreal. Bali or Ko Samui may be beautiful, but Phuket and Cebu's beaches are just as famous and flights cost only half as much. Nature lovers may also want to visit Kunming and its famous stone forest.
Cost of a round-trip flight to beach and resort Destinations
- Cebu City, Philippines: S$223
- Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia: S$227
- Denpasar (Bali), Indonesia: S$414
- Langkawi, Malaysia: S$483
- Dubai, UAE: S$612
- Jeju Island (1-stop), Korea: S$483
- Phuket City, Thailand: S$227
- Kunming, China (1-stop): S$370
- Ko Samui, Thailand: S$456
- Perth, Australia: S$500
- Visakhapatnam (1-stop), India: S$466
Foodies, shoppers & party animals
Eating out, shopping and enjoying the nightlife are core activities for urban travellers. If you are looking for a mix of these experiences, there are few places better than Vietnam, Thailand, Taiwan, Hong Kong Korea and Japan in Asia. Among these, a direct round trip flight to Ho Chi Minh City cost only S$111, while Taipei was also available for S$200. What better way to spend your weekend delighting in night market delicacies? Although it's a bit more expensive, Tokyo and Fukuoka are also well-known gourmet paradises worthy of a visit.
Seoul is another great option for "Hallyu fans" who love everything Korean. Although it may take a bit more effort to get there since direct flights aren't available, Seoul has everything you would want as a tourist: amazing gourmet scene with restaurants and night markets, some of the hottest clubs in the world, a UNESCO World Heritage Site Changdeokgung Palace and a big global fashion hub in Dongdaemun. If you are lucky, you may even run into a celebrity you've seen on TV.
The best aspect about these cities is that they combine amazing gourmet options with huge shopping centres and vibrant nightlife. If "fun" is what you are looking for, we highly recommend booking a flight to one of these cities soon.
Cost of a round-trip flight to urban destinations
- George Town, Malaysia: S$109
- Bangkok, Thailand: S$194
- Bandung, Indonesia: S$238
- Hong Kong, China: S$265
- Danang, Vietnam (1-stop): S$285
- Beijing, China (1-stop): S$369
- Seoul, Korea (1-stop): S$459
- Tokyo, Japan (1-stop): S$540
- Fukuoka, Japan (1-stop): S$630
- Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam: S$111
- Taipei, Taiwan: S$201
- Ipoh, Malaysia: S$250
- Colombo, Sri Lanka: S$436
- Shanghai, China (1-stop): S$332
- Vientiane, Laos (1-stop): S$379
- Hyderabad, India (1-stop): S$525
- Osaka, Japan (1-stop): S$626
Want to book with miles?
If you want to redeem your miles to book your vacation in October, the main concern you may be preoccupied with is the availability of tickets. Since long-weekends are popular travel seasons, airlines tend to not have that many tickets available for mile redemptions. We've run Singapore Airline's booking engine to see which destinations among the ones listed above are available for mile redemptions as of 27th Sept 2017. Please note, however, that most of these flights are actually "cheaper" with cash than with miles, since miles redeemed for economy seats are worth roughly S$0.01.
Destinations available for mile redemptions
- Denpasar (Bali), Indonesia: 30,000 miles (Standard)
- Dubai, UAE: 80,000 miles
- Bangkok, Thailand: 50,000 miles
- Hong Kong, China: 45,000-60,000 miles
- Shanghai, China (1-stop): 40,000-60,000 miles
- Kunming, China (1-stop): 30,000 miles
- Tokyo, Japan (1-stop): 90,000 miles
- Perth, Australia: 74,000 miles
- Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam: 50,000 miles
- Taipei, Taiwan: 60,000 miles
- Colombo, Sri Lanka: 37,000 miles
- Beijing, China (1-stop): 40,000 miles
- Seoul, Korea (1-stop): 90,000 miles
Lastly… pay with credit cards to earn miles
If you decide to go overseas in October, you should always try to use credit cards over cash when travelling as long as credit cards are a viable mode of payment in your destination. This is because banks tend to charge better exchange rates than money changers (local or overseas), a trend we also observed in other countries like Korea. Not only that, using cards has another advantage of earning miles or cashback on your card that can more than offset the foreign transaction fee that you incur. If you use cash, you will first lose out on the worse exchange rate, and then will also lose out on potential savings you could've earned via credit card bonuses. Using one of our recommended travel credit cards can help you also save money before you go on your trip by earning you discounts and miles on your travel bookings.
At ValuePenguin, we see our job as helping you maximise value of your money and afford things you want in life. Since travelling is one of the most effective ways of spending money to be happy, we prepared this guide to help you narrow down the list of possible vacation destinations this month. Regardless of you end up doing this upcoming long weekend, however, the most important thing is to spend time happily and safely. You don't have to break your bank to go overseas if that's not something you can easily afford. Instead, doing a staycation in Singapore or visiting water parks are perfectly fun ways to relax and de-stress over the long-weekend as well.
This was first published at Value Penguin's website, "Places You Can Visit for Under S$600 on Deepavali Long Weekend 2017"