It’s not that visiting Singapore is always a nightmare for the middle class. There are ways you can travel Singapore and enjoy your vacations out there on a budget. Some people spend just around three or four days in Singapore as they have heard the stories that Singapore is a very expensive country for holidaying and therefore they miss on many important and entertaining things.
1. Buy a transportation card: It’s wise to buy a Singapore transportation card rather than buying bus and train tickets separately, which quickly pile up.
EZ-Link card is the best way to save money on transportation in Singapore, as it costs just S$15 and has nearly the same amount as credit. You can recharge it at various MRT stations and marts. It will also save you a lot of hassle buying tickets at metro stations. This card is used at all the modes of public transport such as MRT, LRT and buses. It is charged according to the distance travelled rather than on station to station flat rates. All you have to do is to tap the card on the magnetic reader inside the buses and at entry and exit points at MRT.
2. Avoid the Singapore Tourist Pass: It’s slightly expensive than EZ-Link card, but you can ride a number of times on public transport using this Pass. But, as the cost of this Pass is S$18, you have to travel at least five times to just break even the cost. If you are not travelling that frequently, you are wasting money on this Pass.
3. Drink Tap Water: Try drinking tap water in Singapore, it’s safe to drink. So, don’t waste your money on packaged water, instead have a water bottle and refill it every time you find a tap.
4. Eat at Food Courts: Food is extremely cheap at food courts and it is available at hawker stalls as well. You get quality food in these courts in as little as S$5. If you are okay with Chinese soups and noodles, the cost is even lower at $3. Food is always expensive at standalone restaurants and hotels and you can find food courts almost everywhere, the ground floors of high rise buildings and Chinatown etc. You can also try affordable food at places such as Lau Pa Sat food center etc.
5. Avoid Smoking and Drinking: Because of heavy taxation smoking and drinking is extremely expensive in Singapore. Just one drink in a night club will cost you around S$30 and a pack of Marlboro is worth S$12.
Those who are fond of boozing may buy it from 7-11 (store) near Clarke Quay, and enjoy it on a public place.
6. Enjoy sightseeing at parks: Singapore’s parks are interconnected via a skywalk and you can enjoy both the nature and the view of high rise buildings from here.
7. Save money through freebies: Many events of entertainment are organized at the Esplanade, City Center and along the river front, mostly on weekends. You can enjoy these freebies and save money watching public performances and displays at expensive places such as cultural centers or museums. You can check out the free attractions magazines of these places.
You can also buy a three day pass, which will allow many museum visits for just S$20.
8. Avoid shopping at expensive malls: Singapore is a shopping paradise and even its airport is nothing but a big shopping mall. However, it’s like drilling a hole in your pocket if you happen to buy anything from these malls. Try markets such as Chinatown and Little India, which are much cheaper.
9. Rent a hostel dorm: Instead of expensive hotels, you can rent a hostel dorm for just S$20.
10. Know local laws and avoid fines: Eating chewing gums, eating snacks in MRT, not using marked crosswalks and driving offenses can cost you dearly in Singapore, so know the local laws.