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Budget Singapore Best ways to make your travel money go further

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Expert travellers often decide their next trip based on where they will get the most for their hard earned SGD. Expert advice from our travel team will soon have you cashing in too!

Thinking about…

1. Currency

One of the best ways to make the most of your travel money when converting SGD is to watch the exchange rates. If you can travel last minute, think about delaying or diverting your trip to get the best rates of exchange. Right now Australia, Russia, South Africa, Japan, HK and Malaysia give good value for money. If you head for the US right now, you’ll notice a large dent in your wallet.

If you’ve already sure of your destination, then it’s important to plan where you’ll convert your Singapore dollars into local currency. Many exchange centres, especially those at airports, have poor rates and rely on people using them because it’s convenient. Regularly check the rates online and be aware of what constitutes a decent rate of exchange. Local Singapore money changers often have the best rates for cash; that’s why those queues lah!

Be careful of credit cards that may charge extra for cash at exchange bureaus. Check the Ts and Cs for the small print.

Check whether your bank charges for spending on a debit card abroad. You may want to consider a prepaid debit card that involves loading up a card with cash before you travel. This works for older teenage kids going on a trip without mum and dad. Prepaid debit cards are safe and convenient, you can access via multiple currencies and can cross convert between currencies. Check if you can lock in an exchange rate, although this can work both for and against you. You can closely monitor your (and your kid’s) transactions online and check your spending.

When booking your holiday make sure you check out the Singapore AND the local version of the website. For example, Club Med has a Singapore website as well as a French and UK version, etc. Prices may vary because of the rapid change in currency rates, and it could be much cheaper to book in a local currency.

2. Tax

As a visitor, you may be eligible for tax rebates on purchases. To get the rebate, you will have to show your passport in shops, or you can claim back the tax at the airport. You must have your goods and receipts on you. Be aware that at a busy airport, like Heathrow in London, you could wait in a long queue. Get to the airport early if it’s worth claiming back.

3. Timing

Although it seems neat and tidy to take Monday to Friday off work, it’s better for your wallet if you travel mid-week to mid-week. “That way, you can take advantage of cheaper airfares. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are often the cheapest days to fly, so you can save hundreds round trip just by hacking your vacation schedule.” Travel writer, Shannon O’Donnell.*

In the next post, we’ll be helping you save while staying connected abroad – phones and wifi.


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