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This year marks Singapore’s 50th year of independence, and the country is going all out with its festivities. Travelers are reaping the benefits of the occasion, too. Take for instance the 50 Days of Special Airfares promotion from Singapore Airlines. With it, round-trip flights in economy to select Asian cities are priced from $850 for travel between this September 1 and May 31, 2016 – just book by September 27.
We know you’ve been wanting to visit Singapore since we — surprise — added it to our Top Budget Destinations of 2014. Good news: One year later, it’s still a great time to visit. The city is currently celebrating its 50th year of independence with a whole host of events, like last week’s big Jubilee Weekend, and “Sing Love,” a music project that brings together local talents and will result in the release of an album. A ton of the festivities are being held at Singapore’s Botanic Gardens, which also recently became the country’s first UNESCO World Heritage Center.
In order to meet the demand of its influx of visitors, Singapore opened 1,400 new hotel rooms in 2014, with 4,600 more in the pipeline from 2015 to 2018. We’ve already shared some of our affordable favorites in town, but with so many additional choices, we had to take a second look — especially for those who are looking for an immersive experience. Here, three new hotels with lots of style, each with distinctly prime locales.
Where are the best trips to be booking right now? Our monthly Where to Go column tells you the smartest places to go each month for savings, special events, and all around great experiences. Here’s what’s hot for August.
For the Epic Long-haul Trip: Singapore
If you’ve yet to cross Singapore off the bucket list, now’s the time. Characterized by fantastic street food, urban greenery, and of course diverse culture, this Asian destination has become increasingly popular over the years. And August is one of the best times of the year to create an epic itinerary, thanks to the plentiful events packed into the month. Dive right into Buddhist and folk traditions during Ghost Month, when you’ll see locals making food offerings on the streets and hosting live stage performances meant to entertain the spirits. On the last two weekends of the month, street performers, local and international artists, and interactive light installations take over the city for the Singapore Night Festival. And that’s not to mention the International Festival of the Arts, running through most of August and into September, that hosts 36 theater, dance, and music performances for just $25-$50 SGD ($19-$37 USD) each.
Many American airline carriers now offer enhanced economy options for fliers, which usually entails just a sliver of extra legroom, often at the front of the plane — all for an exorbitant price. Luckily, this isn’t the case with Singapore Airlines’ new premium economy class, which debuts on August 9, Singapore’s Independence Day, with service from Singapore to Sydney. Stateside, the service is launching from Los Angeles and New York in December, followed by San Francisco in January. In the meantime, here are five premium economy perks that go above and beyond the extra legroom.
Sometimes, the best trip is the one you take with yourself. When you’re traveling solo, you get to explore a destination on your own terms with no compromise — and to fully engage with the destination. Here are just six places that we think are great for one.
Is Asia the new Caribbean? For thousands of experienced cruisers ready to visit exotic places — such as China, Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Indonesia — the answer is a resounding “yes.”
While some first-time cruisers set off for Asia, most are intrepid travelers who have already island-hopped in the Caribbean and sailed the familiar cruising grounds of Europe and Alaska. Now, they’re venturing off the beaten path — and cruise lines are delivering with more routes and better ports. Here’s a peek at what’s hot.
If you thought that light shows were reserved for children at theme parks or at techno shows for young adults, think again. Each year, each day, cities around the world ignite their skies with colorful arrangements of phosphorescent lights. From decorative cranes at an old Croatian navy yard to entire harborscapes like those in Hong Kong and Singapore, there’s a delightful journey in some of the world’s finest light shows. See our favorites here.
On any given day in Singapore, you’ll be confronted with a million ways to spend your time. Endless shops, world-class museums, outdoor dining, canal ferry rides, beach parties in nearby Sentosa – the list goes on.
But some travelers – especially budget-minded ones – might be keeping Singapore off their travel itineraries because of the city’s reputation for luxury and exclusivity. As we saw from many comments on our Top Budget Destinations for 2014 story, it’s a widely held perception. And while it’s true that places like Marina Bay Sands Hotel and retail heaven Orchard Road aren’t for the cost-conscious, there do exist many other more cost-effective ways to experience this culture-rich city. We thought we’d show you a few additional ways to do just that: Read more
Whether it’s a packed cruise ship unloading throngs of boisterous passengers, or a mob of thirty college students tearing through town, an excess of tourists can make a destination go from in-demand to insufferable, just like that. Consider avoiding these played-out locales and shift your attention to nearby spots that are lesser-known, and more worthy of the term “vacation.”
Ah, airport layovers. Few of us will ever actually look forward to them, but there are some airports where top-notch facilities make waiting for a connection much easier. Here’s a list… Read more
Take a few flights outside of the United States, and you’re likely to notice a slightly disappointing observation: Many U.S.-based carriers simply don’t measure up when it comes to perks in economy class. Whether it’s a free snack, or real wine glasses filled with (free!) vino, here are a few coach class airline perks we love on the foreign carriers… Read more
When it comes to Americans making their way to Southeast Asia, there are often two costs that they consider carefully before making a single reservation. The first is the literal cost of the trip in dollars; and the second, and perhaps an even bigger barrier for some, is the “time cost” that it takes to get there. It’s one thing to pay close to $1,500, but when the total travel time approaches the 24-hour mark (as it does in the case of Malaysia), that can cause some travelers to skip Asia as a travel option altogether.
The good news is that Southeast Asia is trying – really trying – to make it easier on tourists who travel long distances by uniting its ten member countries into a single destination. (The tagline “Ten Countries, One Destination” has been officially coined.) From new rail lines to pedestrian bridges to the deregulation of the airline industry, these integrative measures are all part of the ASEAN Tourism Strategic Plan, which aims to significantly increase the number of international visitors to the continent by 2015.
Here are a few ways upcoming projects will save you time, money, or both, as you plot your excursion to Southeast Asia: Read more
We travelers jump at any chance to explore nature, whether it’s a sweaty hike through the Amazon, or maybe an afternoon spent flower-gazing on a mountain in South Africa. This is what travel is all about: seeing all the beauty the world has to offer. But what about sites that weren’t created by nature? Sometimes, they can be just as impressive. Below, we’ve rounded up eight man-made attractions around the world that you can visit for free… Read more
When it comes to traveling on a budget, you can’t really get more affordable – or more basic – than sleeping dorm-style in a bunk bed with a free breakfast. We’re talking, of course, about hostels – the cheap, stripped-down alternatives to hotels that are popular with backpackers and college students. But it’s not just young people who are welcome, says Generator Hostels chariman Carl Michel. Below, we’ve listed some reasons why travelers in their thirties, forties, and beyond might consider this ultra-budget-friendly way to stay: Read more
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