For such a small country, the cost of living in Singapore is insane.
It was a challenge for me to survive in Singapore for 5 days with a minimal budget. I only brought PHP 10,000 (USD 190) with me and I intended to use PHP 8,000 (USD 160) only.
Take note that I didn’t go to most of the top must-see places in SG because those spots would get a big chunk of money from my wallet. I always have this thinking that these countries won’t go anywhere and that I can come back anytime.
I bought the ticket out of spontaneity…and jealousy. During that time, Clare was my ex and she was on a video call with someone and they were talking about their Taiwan trip. Since I was a bitter fool, I instantly booked the cheapest roundtrip ticket I could find on the internet.
I booked around December 2016 for a February 2017 trip without airfare promos. It was a good deal but unfortunately, I didn’t read Jetstar’s policy.
I booked the ticket using Clare’s credit card because they won’t accept my debit card at that time.
What I didn’t know is that Jetstar has this strict policy of using someone’s credit card because of fraud. If you’ll use someone’s credit card, they should either be with you on the same flight or the both of you should go to their main office before the flight to present the card.
I tried giving them an authorization letter, a photocopy of her IDs and credit card with three signatures on it but they won’t budge. The kind lady at the check-in counter held off my preferred seat and gave me time to withdraw money from the ATM because they don’t accept debit card. She informed me that I’ll get the refund within 7-14 business days.
Manila/Singapore via Jetstar (Economy Class, Roundtrip) = PHP 6,533 / USD 132
I tried getting a host in Couchsurfing. Someone named Alicia accepted my request and we talked for months before she accepted my request. I was supposed to stay at her place for the whole duration I was in SG but Clare made me book the last 2 nights to a hostel because she didn’t like the thought of me sleeping in a naturist’s home.
Good thing I listened to her.
Days before the flight, Alicia’s still not replying to my last message. I was asking for her mobile number so I can contact her once I land in Singapore. I just thought that she’s busy so I didn’t mind much about it.
Hours before the flight and still no reply from her, I did a last minute request on Couchsurfing to possible hosts. On a brighter side, Chloe replied to my request but I held it off first because there is still a possibility that Alicia might reply.
After staying for 3 hours in the airport, I didn’t get a reply from both Alicia and Chloe so I did a last minute request on Couchsurfing again while traveling to Bayfront Blvd to check out Marina Bay Sands and Gardens by the Bay to kill time.
After everything I did in that area, I still didn’t get a reply from Alicia and Chloe. Out of desperation, I searched Chloe’s name on Facebook and messaged her. In less than 30 minutes she replied! She saved my ass and my wallet. LOL
Couchsurfing via Chloe (1 Night) =PHP 0
Checkers Inn (1 Night with SGD 10 refundable key deposit) =PHP 735
Bunc Hostel (2 Night with SGD 10 refundable key deposit) =PHP 875
TOTAL = PHP 1,610 / USD 32
I bought an unlimited 3-day tourist pass and the local’s reloadable transportation card to move around Singapore.
If you have plans to go back to Singapore, EZ Link is a good choice because the card lasts up to 4 years and you can load whatever amount to it and use it when you go back. Plus, you also don’t need to fall in line every time you ride the train or look for an exact amount of money when you ride the bus.
*Singapore Tourist Pass+ (PHP 1,260): An unlimited train and bus ride pass for 3 days that comes with
- Free entrance in Chinatown Heritage Center
- Free Nasi Lemak at any Crave branches
- Free Singaporean Slingshot at D; Happy Factory in Clarke Quay
*As of Dec 2017, STP+ gives you an option to choose 4 out of 9 perks. Do check out singaporetouristpassplus.com.sg to know more about the pass.
EZ Link Pass: A reloadable transportation card which lasts up to 4 years. The card’s minimum balance is SGD3.
= PHP 420 (SGD5 card fee + SGD7 stored value for use) If buying the card from the train station.
=PHP 350 (SGD5 card fee + SGD5 stored value for use) if buying the card from 7-11.
PURPLE STAMPS TIPS:
- Buy the tourist pass+ and use it to go to far destinations or spots where you need to ride multiple bus and/or trains. Fee starts at approximately 1SGD per station and .50SGD (more or less) for the bus.
- You can use the freebies from the tourist pass+ even after expiration. Just show the card and you’re good to go!
- Download Moovit to navigate SG’s bus and train route smoothly. Just type in your destination and it’ll show you the possible routes and also the schedule. The app also notifies you if you need to turn to this street or you need to get off at a certain station.
SG Tourist Pass = PHP 1,260
EZ Link Pass = PHP 560
TOTAL = PHP 1,820 / USD 36
Singapore has a lot of Hawker Centers for cheap delicious food. Hawker Centers are like their version of Food Parks.
Most hostels have the free breakfast gig but usually, those hostels offer an unlimited supply of bread and tea. Areas like Bugis, Chinatown and Little India also offers affordable food.
Expenses: PHP 2,500 / USD 50
Travel Tax: PHP 1,620 / USD 32
Airline Tickets: PHP 6,533 / USD 132
Accommodation: PHP 1,610 / USD 32
Transportation: PHP 1,820/ USD 36
Food: PHP 2,500 / USD 50
TOTAL = PHP 14, 083 / USD 282
Traveling to Singapore doesn’t need to break the bank. Research and plan if you want to know what to expect in a country. Also, don’t forget to never lose your temper in situations where an airport staff is involved; whether it’s the lady at the check-in counter or an immigration officer. They have the power and authority to not let you on board. Always smile and keep your cool in front of them.