The borders are open after two long years and with travel back in full swing, you’re all set to start planning your holidays (if you haven’t already). You already know the drill, the long weekends are prime time for travel. If you’re claiming your leave days, you want to leverage on the long weekends to maxi my days off work and stretch your holiday out for as long as you can.
We’ve done the work for you so you don’t have to.
Singapore public holidays in 2022 (long weekends)
|Public Holiday 2022||Travel period|
|Good Friday||15 to 17 Apr 2022 (Fri to Sun)|
|Labour Day & Hari Raya Puasa||29 Apr to 3 May 2022 (Fri to Tue)|
|Vesak Day||13 to 16 May 2022 (Fri to Mon)|
|Hari Raya Haji||8 to 11 July (Fri to Mon)|
|Deepavali||21 to 24 Oct (Fri to Mon)|
|Christmas Day||23 to 26 Dec (Fri to Mon)|
As you can see, there are actually 6 long-weekend public holidays. You’re in luck – you’ve plenty of opportunities for a quick escape!
11 Cheap travel destinations under $450
In general, you can score dirt cheap flights to most nearby destinations in Malaysia and Indonesia for under $200 all year round. And since they’re so nearby, you don’t really need a long weekend to head there.
As such, I’ve excluded them and included the more popular destinations you can fly to for a bargain (under $450).
Vietnam, Thailand & Indonesia – from $150 to $250
Ho Chi Minh City
Also commonly known as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) is just 2 hours away from Singapore. You’ll find an interesting mix of urban skyscrapers, ancient temples, as well as French colonial buildings. Top attractions within the city include the War Remnants Museum, Notre Dame Cathedral, as well as the Cu Chi Tunnel from the city’s dark past.
The capital of Vietnam, Hanoi is a great place to set up base at while you embark on your adventures across the city. Whether you’re a cultural history buff, party animal or nature lover, there’s something for everyone in Hanoi. If you’re travelling as a big group, you can count on Hanoi to please every type of traveller. Tickets to Hanoi are typically around the $200 range but it could fall slightly lower if you’re booking your trip months in advance.
Bali flights usually cost around $250, making it a relatively affordable travel destination to consider. Make sure you try the famous Babi Guling at Warung Babi Guling Pak Malen, it only costs $5 for a set of assorted pork dishes and rice. For some fancy drinks by the sunset, visit the Potato Head Beach Club. Weather getting too hot? Go for a splash at the award-winning water park, WaterBom. If you’re game, you may also venture out of the main Seminyak district and visit Ubud, Uluwatu, and even the Gili Islands.
A hot favourite among Singaporeans, Bangkok is great for cheap food and shopping, with the super popular Platinum Mall and night markets like Artbox and Talad Rot Fai. If you’re more of a culture buff, you can also head to the ancient capital of Ayutthaya for a crash course in Thailand’s colourful history. Tickets are usually around $200 if you book ahead of time. However, if you’re planning your trip last minute, it might be pricier.
Hong Kong & Cambodia – from $250 to $350
Yet another hit with locals, Hong Kong is an “easy destination”. It’s easy to get around with the city via the subway, and most streets have signs in English. Remember the good ‘ol days when flights to Hong Kong were easily under $200? Well, not anymore. While its pricier than it used to be, it’s still under $350 – pretty reasonable given the air fare hikes of late. You can hike around the famous Dragon’s Back, or eat your way around the city – don’t miss the OG dimsum at Tim Ho Wan! Hong Kong is also a great place for luxury goods shopping… which you can afford to do because you saved on the airfare, right?
Go off the beaten track and visit Cambodia’s capital city, Phnom Penhm. There is a dark charm to this intriguing city: You’ll find breathtaking Buddhist wats and palaces, but most of the tourism industry centres around its grim war-time past. Many travel here to see the Killing Fields and Toul Sleng Genocide Museum. For under $300, visiting Phnom Penhm promises an eye-opening experience that’s easy on the wallet.
Taipei, China* & Australia – from $350 to $450
Taipei is further away, so perhaps save it for an extra long 4-day weekend. Some say Taipei has the culture of a “mini Japan”, so if you can’t afford $800-something tickets to Tokyo or Osaka, head to Taipei. Flights are usually around $350 during off-peak months. Immerse yourself in the Taiwanese way of life by hanging out at the night markets and venturing out to Jiufen and Shifen.
Shanghai and Beijing are the most popular cities in China, but tickets there pretty steep. For a cheaper alternative, consider Guangzhou. The birthplace of Cantonese cuisine, foodies who love their soups and noodles can zip to Guangzhou for a short gastronomical adventure. Popular landmarks include the Canton Tower and the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall.
Another affordable Chinese city to visit is Shenzhen. Tickets are around the same price as Guangzhou. If you enjoy hiking, you can visit the 943-m Wutong Mountain, which is the second tallest in the region, losing only to Tai Mo Mountain in Hong Kong. For a panoramic view of the cityscape, visit the observatory decks at Ping An IFC and KK100.
For some reason, Perth is one of the cheapest destinations in Australia. Tickets to Perth are cheaper than those to popular cities like Melbourne and Sydney. For the most “shiok” weather, head to Perth at the end of winter when it’s around 18 degrees Celsius which is pretty much “air-con” temperature. In the day, visit the iconic Bell Tower or stroll along the popular Cottesloe Beach. When the sun sets, kick back and have a few drinks at any of the downtown bars. You can definitely score your tickets to Perth at just about $500.
Like Perth, Gold Coast is often outshadowed by the more famous cities in Australia, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth a visit. Especially since airfares are around $350. If you’re bored of the Bali coastline, Gold Coast is essentially a tropical paradise but with better weather. Not to mention, the cafe-hopping and nightlife options that it also offers.
*Do note that at the time of writing, the borders to China are still closed.
Have you planned your 2022 travels on any of the Singapore public holidays? Don’t forget your travel insurance while you’re at it!