We all know a person – friend perhaps who’s never around when you call on them during weekends or the holiday season because they’re usually on overseas getaways. These people don’t even need to take leave in any case. A 2-day holiday is as good an excuse as any to have to apply for a quick travel insurance online and escape off to Bali, Bangkok or Penang.
By 2025, Singaporean households are expected to spend around $44.9 billion just on travel per year, which will make Singapore the world’s seventh highest-spending country on overseas travel. This is based on total spending, not per capita spending, which is quite amazing considering how small its population is compared to other nations.
Travel is definitely one of Singapore’s favourite activities—in fact, the only reason Singaporeans are willing to slog away at work all year is so they can afford to take that long year-end holiday to their dream destination.
So why are Singaporeans, such habitual travellers? Here are the reasons:
Singapore’s small size makes it easy to go out. When you know your way around even your favourite place, you start to think about going elsewhere. The fact that Singapore is a small country makes it easy for locals to go out.
In fact, it’s normal for Singaporeans to head to Malaysia to do their shopping or get a cheap massage – and this is technically going overseas. Budget airlines or cheap or affordable travel insurances abound, making it even easier for us to leave, even if it’s just for the weekend.
The limitation of activities to do here makes people want to spend vacation elsewhere. When asking for vacation or holiday leave, nearly every Singaporean heads overseas. If you tell locals you’ve decided to spend two weeks of leave just gaming in your bedroom, they might think you’re nuts.
As a small, crowded city-state, there are only so many surroundings and leisure activities Singapore offers. Sure, we’ve got the enormous shopping malls, the cool cafes and the cocktail bars, but little else. And then there’s the hot, humid weather.
Singaporeans who want to devote their free time choose locations where they don’t have to shove with crowds to enjoy nature, lounge by beautiful natural beaches at resorts they can truly afford and check out small, picturesque towns need to leave the country.
Singaporean dollars get more overseas. The rest of the world is getting cheaper compared to Singapore. A short vacation in a four-star resort in Bali now costs around the same price as a simple room here. An hour-long Thai massage will set you back the equal of 8 Singapore dollars, which can buy you so little or pretty much nothing in our own country.
Even developed countries now are relatively affordable thanks to the strong Sing dollar and economic sluggishness in the US and Europe. Singaporeans go to Prada and Louis Vuitton stores in Italy and France as their goods are inexpensive than they are back home, and purchase fast fashion in bulk in Seoul and Bangkok when the same items are being sold at Far East Plaza for as much as five times the price.
Ultimately, many Singaporeans simply feel that they can get more and better quality goods and services for their cash abroad. Thanks to the internet, it’s easier to acquire travel insurance and find information on what you want or looking for, even if you don’t speak the local language.