by Value Penguin
The end of the year is a popular time for traveling with Christmas and New Year just around the corner. If you are looking for a special way to end the year at an exotic location, there are few better ways than to do so at beautiful places that you've never witnessed before. If you still haven't decided on your travel plans for the year end, here is a list of a location that are both affordable and popular at this time of the year. The flight prices reflect travel dates between 22 December and 1 January.
Nature, history and relaxation
For travel buffs who love seeing beautiful sceneries or being surrounded by ancient buildings, we recommend making a visit to Myanmar. First, direct, round trip flights are still available for around S$450 from Singapore to these locations. Myanmar's Bagan is particularly famous for having 2,000 ancient buddhists temples; witnessing the 2018's first sunrise atop one of these archaeological wonder (or atop a hot air balloon) presents some of the most unforgettable sights one can see. For those who prefer the tropical beaches, flights to Phuket and Malé are available for around S$500 to S$550.
Cost of a round-trip flight to nature, history & relaxation destinations
New year parties and shopping
Another set of popular Christmas and New Year destinations are party cities. For this purpose, it is tough to beat locations like Phuket, Bangkok or Hong Kong. Thailand is famous for its Full Moon Party both for Christmas and for New Year's Eve, while Hong Kong is well-known for having everything for everyone, like shopping centres, clubs and even Disneyland for families.
Round trip tickets to these cities are still available for around S$500-S$600. The best aspect about all of these cities is that they combine amazing gourmet options with a variety of activities and a 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
Sometimes cheaper to redeem miles over holidays, subject to availability
If you are sitting on a lot of miles, this December might not be a bad time to redeem them for a free flight. Because air ticket prices rise during busy holiday seasons while miles required for redemptions don't change, miles offer a relatively cheaper way of booking your trips. However, the availability of miles rewards tickets is one thing that doesn't come by easily. We've run Singapore Airline's booking engine to see which destinations among the ones listed above are available for mile redemptions as of 5 Dec 2017. When comparing the cost of booking with miles vs cost of booking with cash, please note miles redeemed for economy seats are worth roughly S$0.01.
Destinations available for mile redemptions
Financial advice on travelling this holiday season
If you decide to take a year end holiday, you are likely to benefit from using credit cards over cash as long as credit cards are a viable mode of payment in your destination. First, banks tend to charge better exchange rates on credit cards than money changers. Secondly, despite the fact that credit cards in Singapore charge transaction fees (while top credit cards in the US don't), their credit card rewards are rich enough to more than offset this cost. 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.
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 holiday as well.
This was first published at Value Penguin's website, "Places You Can Visit for Under S$600 During Christmas and New Year Holiday 2017".