Do you make your travel bookings less than a month in advance? Well, as it turns out, you are not alone! According to Expedia’s travel booking data from the summer months of June to August, Singaporeans tend to be last-minute travel planners, with 50% of Singapore travellers making their travel bookings barely a month in advance!
For those of you who enjoy planning your travels spontaneously, you will be mighty pleased to know that last-minute Singapore travellers really know how to seize a good travel deal when they smell one. Check out our 3 travel hacks below to get you out of the country fast, and on budget!
Tip 1: Book your flights between seven to 13 days in advance for greatest savings
Expedia’s data showed that the cheapest airfares, up to 10 percent cheaper than the average fares during the same period, were booked between seven to 13 days in advance of the travel date, showing that Singaporeans know how to seize a good travel deal when they spot one.
Data also showed that flights can cost up to 25% more when booked more than 3 months in advance! Sometimes even the early birds don’t get the best deals…
Additional tip: Booking your air tickets on a Sunday and save up to 16% on airfares, and always include a Saturday night stay in your bookings.
Tip 2: Follow the crowds and hop on the next plane to Bangkok, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur or Manila
Among the most popular city destinations for last-minute travel bookings, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong and Manila emerged as the top four cities for Singapore travellers.
Bookings made for travel to Kuala Lumpur tend to be made closer to the actual travel date, with 65 percent of travel bookings made less than two weeks in advance. Last-minute bookings to Manila, Bangkok and Hong Kong took 45 percent, 40 percent and 35 percent of the total bookings to these destinations respectively.
Getting around these cities is also easy and fuss-free, with affordable and well-connected public transport options such as the MTR, buses and trams in Hong Kong, the MRT and Skytrain (BTS) in Bangkok, the LRT and MRT in Manila, as well as the LRT, MRT and the monorail in Kuala Lumpur. It’s so easy to travel around these cities that little planning needs to be done beforehand. Plus, these public transport options are best for avoiding peak-hour traffic jams. For more information on the kind of train and tourist passes available at these cities, check out our handy guide here.
With the wide variety of hotels to stay at in various districts, accommodation options remain aplenty – even when you’ve booked your trip at the last-minute! Many hotels are centrally-located and have major attractions and plenty of F&B options within walking distance.
Tip 3: Keep ready-made travel itineraries on hand
Getting out of the country becomes super easy when you don’t have to worry about planning ahead.
Whether you’re a shopaholic, a foodie or an adrenaline junkie, the Expedia blog is a treasure trove of itineraries and travel guides to help plan your weekend. Check out our ready-made itineraries for Bangkok and Manila + surrounds, as well as the list of top attractions in Hong Kong and alternative attractions in Kuala Lumpur for a start!
Here are some quick recommendations for all travellers if you’re looking for a fuss-free way to spend the weekend ahead at these destinations:
KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA
As the closest capital city to Singapore, Kuala Lumpur has its unique charm with an eclectic mix of cultural attractions, shopping landmarks and finger-licking good food.
If you’re here for the weekend, spend up to a day at the Bukit Bintang fashion and entertainment district – home to some of the city’s most recognizable malls such as Pavilion KL, Berjaya Times Square and Starhill Gallery; and continue by eating your way through the Jalan Alor – one of the most famous roads in Kuala Lumpur for food. Also, take time to immerse yourself in local culture by visiting the Malaysia Heritage Walk or the Chan See Shu Yuen Temple and Sri Mahamariamman Temple close by.
If you have plenty of time on your hands and are looking for adrenalin-pumping fun, make plans to visit Sunway Lagoon, which is home to a theme park, water park, zoo and a mall all in a single location; or visit the District 21 indoor theme park at IOI City Mall Putrajaya.
For more ideas, check out this list of alternative attractions in Kuala Lumpur.
As one of Singaporeans’ favorite cities, Bangkok is an incredibly fascinating destination with a myriad of shopping options, unique bars and cultural activities.
To experience the best of local shopping, go market-hopping! Chatuchak Market is the obvious choice for the day, with over 15,000 stalls selling everything you could imagine. Another great option is Artbox Bangkok, a night market set within a cluster of containers where you can find lots of interesting knick-knacks designed by the locals, creative food options, as well as live music to keep you entertained through the night.
Rooftop bars are hugely popular in Bangkok, especially since The Hangover 2 featured a scene at the stunning Sky Bar at Lebua State Tower. For equally spectacular views minus the crowds, head over to Vertigo at Banyan Tree Bangkok or the Octave Rooftop Bar at the Marriot Hotel Sukhumvit for 360 degree views of the city.
For more ideas, check out this Bangkok itinerary.
Known as the ‘Pearl of the Orient’, Manila is one of Asia’s most underrated cities, that offers way more than just vibrant shopping and delicious local food.
If you are here on a short trip, take some time to immerse yourself in local culture by visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Manila, the Cultural Center of the Philippines and the Marikina Shoe Museum. The latter is home to a staggering 749 pairs of shoes from the former First Lady, Imelda Marcos, amongst others, and shoe-lovers will feel right at home at this fascinating place.
If you fancy a piece of the city’s colonial history, head over to the walled area of Intramuros – Manila’s most historic district – to learn about its Spanish colonialism past.
As one of the world’s most densely populated metropolises, Hong Kong is a melting pot of Asian and Western cultures. While this gives the city its unique appeal, Hong Kong also offers a variety of sights and sounds that appeals to all kinds of travellers.
Topping our list of ‘must-visit’ sites is The Peak, which offers fantastic views of the city, a riveting tram ride and plenty of shopping and dining options. Another fascinating attraction – the Big Buddha at the Po Lin Monastery on Lantau Island – offers some serenity away from the crowds of the city, making this a worthwhile visit as well.
For deal-hunters, check out any of the street markets in Hong Kong, including the Ladies’ Market for fashion, the Temple Street Night market for souvenirs and local snacks or the Apliu Street Flea Market for electronics.
If the markets aren’t happening enough, check out the famed Lan Kwai Fong – Hong Kong’s most popular nightlife spot that is home to over 90 restaurants and bars. For those who prefer a more relaxed night out, take a night cruise from Victoria Harbor and be dazzled by the stunning city lights.
With all this information at your fingertips, getting on the plane for your next getaway can be as easy as ABC! So don’t fret or postpone your travel plans just because it seems “too late” to book a trip. Time to fly away with Expedia!