Budget airlines have made nipping away on weekend getaways a lot cheaper for Singaporeans. But in order to get those cheap tickets, you’ve usually got to plan ahead, sign up for budget airlines’ newsletters so you can receive alerts whenever there’s a sale, and be ready to book your tickets months in advance.
So much for spontaneity.
But there are some destinations that are still fairly affordable even if you book your tickets at the last minute.
Also, you can set up price alerts on sites such as Skyscanner to monitor for any last minute flash sales. This is extremely useful if you aren’t the sort who has the time to perpetually check on ticket prices every day.
So if you’re looking for a quick weekend getaway but want the freedom to book tickets at the last minute, consider these four destinations:
Singaporeans know Bangkok very well. Just approach a random Singaporean on the street and he’ll be able to rattle off a full list of favourite restaurants, shops, Chatuchak market stalls and massage parlours without hesitation.
Because of the frequency of flights to Bangkok, you can get the cheapest tickets to the Thai capital just by booking your tickets a month in advance. Even if you book on shorter notice, ticket prices still remain relatively affordable for much longer in comparison with other destinations.
Price: If you book a month in advance, you should be able to get return tickets for about $130 to $180.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Kuala Lumpur is the closest capital city to Singapore, and is a favourite party and foodie destination for Singaporeans who want to have a good time at a lower price than they’d pay back home.
So obviously, shopping, eating and partying play a major role in any trip to KL. Hit up some of the city’s best food courts such as the Chinese-themed Hutong Food Court at Lot 10 Shopping Mall, and KLCC’s two food courts.
In the evening, enjoy the best of what KL’s nightlife has to offer, whether you’re more inclined to party at Zouk or Neverland is more your thing. Or, if you’re feeling mellow, hit up one of the city’s sophisticated cocktail bars.
Price: Return ticket prices are as low as $60 to $80 when you book a month in advance.
Thanks to all the fuss about Mount Agung, tickets to Bali are now cheaper than ever. Whether you’re a Bali regular or are visiting for the first time, it’s definitely a good all-rounder when it comes to culture, activities and food.
Whether you’re checking out the beaches and surf, exploring hip restaurants at Seminyak and Sanur, visiting temples and rice terraces in Ubud or going on some yoga retreat, you’ll find it all in Bali.
Price: You should be able to get return tickets for $155 to $180 by booking a month in advance.
Taipei isn’t that close to Singapore, but ticket prices stay reasonably low up to a few weeks before departure.
It’s no secret that Taiwanese culture is very popular with sinophones in Singapore. Everything from drama serials and variety shows to the ubiquitous Jay Chou has proved popular.
But even if you’re not exactly into mandopop KTV songs, you can still enjoy Taipei’s night markets and museums, and visit the natural sights in the vicinity like Yangmingshan National Park, where you can do a spot of hiking.
Price: Tickets are available for about $330 to $380 when you book a month in advance.
What’s your favourite destination for a last-minute getaway? Share your recommendations in the comments!
Personal finance tips delivered to your inbox!
Receive news, subscriber-exclusive promotions and guides on how to become smarter with money.
We promise never to spam you!