Skip to main content

Advertisement

Advertisement

Save money, stay relaxed with a staycation

Travelling overseas for a holiday has become a ritual for many people here, whether it’s a less expensive trip to a nearby country or an extravagant holiday on another continent. For many people, though, spending their year-end break right here in Singapore has become a preferable hassle-free option and it saves them money at the same time.

For many people, though, spending their year-end break right here in Singapore has become a preferable hassle-free option and it saves them money at the same time. TODAY file photo.

For many people, though, spending their year-end break right here in Singapore has become a preferable hassle-free option and it saves them money at the same time. TODAY file photo.

Travelling overseas for a holiday has become a ritual for many people here, whether it’s a less expensive trip to a nearby country or an extravagant holiday on another continent. For many people, though, spending their year-end break right here in Singapore has become a preferable hassle-free option and it saves them money at the same time.

STAYCATION: HOW THE CONCEPT TOOK OFF

The concept of a staycation is easy. Rather than travelling overseas, you take a holiday in your own city, here in Singapore. You could stay at a hotel along the beach on Sentosa Island or in the shopping belt of Orchard Road, for instance, or even in a historic building refurbished as a hotel.

Staying in a hotel here can cost about the same amount as a hotel overseas, and since you won’t have to pay for airfare, you can save money.

While the staycation boom we see today took off after the global financial crisis in 2008 — with people trying take a holiday despite tighter budgets — the concept dates back far earlier. The Merriam-Webster dictionary found that the earliest usage of the word was in the American newspaper Cincinnati Enquirer, in July 1944.

Even so, those who stayed in Singapore for a holiday weekend used to keep quiet about it until the idea of a staycation began to take off around 2008.

Today, staycations have become more popular than ever. Research by online hotel booking portal Hotels.com showed that staycation searches in Singapore increased by more than 80 per cent from 2014 to 2015.

And data from Google shows that about four out of 10 travel-related searches by people in Singapore last year were linked to “staycations”.

Staycations are especially popular with millennials, with media company Skift finding in a global study last year that staycations make up 43 per cent of trips taken by millennial families, especially by those who want to reduce their environmental footprint or save for a longer trip in the future.

WHAT TO DO

A key reason that people take a staycation is that it is easier to arrange and they also have more time to relax rather than spending their time travelling. Taking a staycation means you won’t be exhausted by making your way through multiple airports and flights, and you surely won’t face any flight delays.

Rather than just getting caught up in your usual routines and going to places you know, the secret to a successful staycation is to change your routine and make it a real vacation. Do something that is totally fun and explore somewhere totally new.

If you enjoy visiting museums or eating out or going sailing when you travel abroad on vacation, do the same thing here

You can find a multitude of options online. Singapore Experiences on Airbnb, for instance, offers a wide selection: Record a song for your loved ones, take a history walk, learn how to cable-ski or take a cooking class.

You can also go online to sign up for walking tours of national monuments by the National Heritage Board (at just S$5), free tours of neighbourhoods such as Siglap that will take you into food shops or even homes, or somewhat pricier bicycle or experiential tours around the island. And there is no shortage of options for food, shows, shopping and more.

WHERE TO STAY

With staycations having become so much more popular, it is no surprise that hotels and online travel portals have come up with plenty of staycation packages. The options range from very basic hotels for under S$100 a night to suites in five-star luxury hotels, with quirky bed-and-breakfasts or hip new hotels in between.

What can work especially well is staying somewhere unusual or in a neighbourhood you don’t usually visit, with features you don’t have access to easily nearby your home.

Expedia offers perks during your staycation such as a late checkout, free breakfast or complimentary upgrades. Hotels.com offers Singapore staycation averaging from S$140 at three-star hotels to S$371 at five-star hotels. Or to try something different, Villa Samadhi boutique hotel offers stays in a 1920s black-and-white colonial garrison, in standard rooms or even a private villa.

Choosing a staycation that fits your budget can save you money, leaving you more to spend on presents or activities during the festive season. At the same time, avoiding the crush of holiday travel can keep you more relaxed.

Read more of the latest in

Advertisement

Popular

Advertisement

Stay in the know. Anytime. Anywhere.

Subscribe to get daily news updates, insights and must reads delivered straight to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, I agree for my personal data to be used to send me TODAY newsletters, promotional offers and for research and analysis.