Cheap and chic

Monday March 3, 2014 | by ZUJI | In America, Asia, Europe

Can you believe it? 30% of Singapore-based travellers leave their toiletry bag at home before they go on a budget holiday.

The ZUJJ-dex quarterly travel report explores Singapore-based travellers' money-saving holiday inclinations.

Themed the 'Cheap and Chic Edition', the poll addresses some interesting budget travel inclinations from 1,879 Singapore-based participants, including:

  • HK_smallClose to 1 in 3 style-conscious Singapore-based travellers have rated Hong Kong as the #1 fashionable yet budget-friendly destination. Taipei and Tokyo are close behind at 19% and 17% respectively with their vibrant city and nightlife! 
  • Between buzzing, inexpensive Shanghai and historic, typically pricier London, budget travellers would still prefer to make the long trip to London (9%) over China (3%). London also happens to be one of ZUJI's most searched destinations!
  • Cheaphotel _smallThumbs up for a "kiasu" culture when going on a cheap yet chic holiday. Most economical travellers cut costs by booking cheaper accommodation (90%), while 3/4 of travellers prefer to go free and easy, avoiding paid tours. Other ingenious ways of stretching their travel budget include using the hotel toiletries (30%), drinking cheap duty-free booze (20%) and packing a secret picnic lunch from the hotel's breakfast buffet (20%). 
  • A lack of cash isn't enough to keep Singapore's shopaholics out of the malls! Even strapped for cash travellers prefer shopping holidays (40%) over relaxing (23%t scenic (20%), historic (9%) or adventure getaways (6%).
  • When cutting travelling costs, over half (62%) of Singapore travellers would rather spend a bit more on a budget conscious holiday, versus considering a one-cost backpacking trip.
  • Backpack _small An increasing number of Singapore-based travellers see backpacking as a travel experience rather than a way to save cash. 
  • Singapore's budget travellers still crave their creature comforts. The affordability of regional travel and excellent budget hotels in many nearby cities could be why close to 2 in 3 would not consider a budget backpacking experience.
  • Unglamorous budget backpacking can still be rewarding. Of those who went backpacking, 87% said their tight budget didn't hamper their experience.
  • Plane _small Backpackers and budget travellers alike both enjoy a little luxury while flying. Almost 3 in 4 Singapore-based travellers said they would only fly low cost carriers to regional destinations, with full-fledged airlines being a must for further travel. 
  • Boutique hotels are the preferred lodging for Singapore-based travellers with almost 3 in 4 (72%) opting for these over other accommodation.
  • Singapore's 'Tam Chiak' (love of food) transcends even national boundaries! Almost half (46%) of Singapore-based travellers would gladly spend their last S$50 on the destination's best local food they could find.
  • Koreanfood _small Singapore-based travellers would prefer to splurge on food, trinkets and spa treatments over treating themselves to cocktails (0.6%).
  • Even when on a budget, people still love to travel, and it's a 50/50 split on the type of holidays they book. Half of Singapore-based respondents prefer more extravagant, shorter-length breaks, saving on accommodation and indulging on niceties, while the other half choose to take fewer, lengthier trips for a more relaxing break.


The following travel insights were based on ZUJI booking data from October to December 2013 and highlight Singapore's ongoing interest in travelling around the region versus further abroad.

  • The top five flight destinations departing from Singapore include (1-5): Hong Kong, Bangkok, Shanghai, Seoul and Manila.
  • Short haul (>5 hours flight time) travel still remains the most popular, comprising 90% of flight bookings on ZUJI.
  • Of the longer haul bookings made, Australia and New Zealand were the most popular destination choices (37%), followed by Europe (32%) and the US (29%).
  • Interestingly, flights to North Asia (59%) are more popular than those to Southeast Asian destinations (33%).
  • We live in a culture of last minute bookings. The majority of Singapore-based travellers only book their flights 2 weeks before their holiday.
  • The top five hotel destinations include {1-5): Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Taipei City.
  • To get the most out of annual leave days, Singapore-based travellers opt for shorter trips to regional locations with an average stay of 3 days.
  • Interestingly, Singapore-based travellers stay the longest number of days in Turkey (8 days), followed by Peru (6 days) and the United Kingdom (4.3 days).
  • The budget goes out the window when travelling to glamorous locations like Mauritius and the United Arab Emirates, with the average hotel room spend per night totaling at S$806 and S$640 respectively.
  • For those looking for something a little easier on the pocket, the cheapest hotel average nightly rates can be found in Belgium (S$79) and Vietnam (S$79).
  • Singapore-based travellers are not ones for the simple life while abroad. Close to 1/2 of the hotel bookings were made at 4 Star hotels, and a 1/4 at 5 Star hotels.



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