Whether it was a trip to Malaysia or Europe, many Singaporeans have been abroad at least once in their life. In fact, according to Singapore’s Department of Statistics’ 2018 Household Expenditure Survey, households here are spending more money on travel on average than they were five years ago! This growth is hardly surprising, given that travelling is more affordable now due to the availability of budget air travel options and the abundance of nearby countries that we can visit.
Even as we face significant social issues caused by the ongoing pandemic, some of us are still probably making lists of countries to visit, finding their famous attractions, and checking the prices of hotels and air tickets. It seems that Singaporeans are eagerly waiting for when travel for leisure becomes safe again. As such, let’s take a closer look at why Singaporeans love travelling so much.
3 Reasons Why Singaporeans Love Travelling
1. To buy goods at a cheaper price
Singapore might be a well-developed country, but it is no secret that it can be expensive. That’s why many Singaporeans often make trips to countries such as Malaysia, Thailand, and even South Korea as they believe that they can get quality goods at more affordable prices over there. Many of us probably had crossed the Causeway to buy groceries, clothes, and gas from Johor Bahru at least once. What’s more, some even make regular trips to these countries to get their hair and nails done!
Why do goods and services seem to be priced so cheaply overseas? Well, this may be because many Southeast Asian countries have a lower cost of living as compared to Singapore. Therefore, their products are relatively more affordable as well. Furthermore, the strong Singapore dollar often means that we get to enjoy more value for our money when it comes to travelling to these countries!
2. Experience new things and new cultures
Singapore is not called the “Little Red Dot” for nothing. With a total size of 728.3 square kilometres, most people can go from one end to the other in just over two hours. As a result, many Singaporeans assume that there is little to do here and they have to travel overseas to experience new things, eat different foods, and learn about diverse cultures. While a HappyDot.sg online survey revealed that 60 percent of respondents believe that Singapore is best known for its food diversity and religious and racial harmony (based on 229 people polled as of 13 July 2020), it is a drop in a hat compared to the cultural diversity of the world.
In addition, a survey by Skyscanner even indicated that 45 percent of respondents would like to visit a new destination or attempt a new activity. This goes to show that Singaporeans tend to be adventurous travellers! In essence, not only does travelling allow Singaporeans to indulge in new experiences, but it also exposes them to perspectives and social issues outside our country.
3. For relaxation / Spend time with family
Given that Singapore has one of the longest working hours in the world, many Singaporeans often consider life here to be fast-paced and stressful. As a result, many of us probably feel like we do not have enough time to relax or even spend quality time with our loved ones. To make up for the lost time, Singaporeans might book overseas trips to de-stress or bond with their family while sightseeing, sampling delicious local cuisines, and participating in new activities. Since travel is not possible now, achieving a better work-life balance is a major social issue for many Singaporeans who would like to dedicate more time to their personal lives.
While the situation regarding leisure travel remains uncertain, we can try to remain optimistic. With the recent announcement that the validity of Singapore passports has been increased from 5 years to 10 years, we can look forward to travelling to our heart’s content once it is safe to do so. In the meantime, we should take this opportunity to experience the pleasures of travel by rediscovering Singapore.