Travel Insurance

Average Cost of Vacations 2018

The average cost of a week-long vacation can fluctuate between S$140 to almost S$8,000. Read on to find out where you can afford to go on your next trip.

Singaporeans love to travel, with a majority of people taking more two or more vacations per year. However, with the cost of a vacation varying wildly due to a plethora of factors ranging from amount of people traveling to airline costs to food choices, it can be hard to figure out the true cost of getting away for a few days. Below, we break down the average cost of a vacation for Singaporeans, as well as the cost of trips to popular regions.

Average Cost of a Vacation for Singaporean Families

According to the 2013 Household Expenditure Survey, the average Singaporean household spends S$2,285 per year on vacation, or S$662 per person for a household of 3.4 people. This would imply that the average Singaporean household spends about 2.2% of their annual income on travel—amounting to 1-3 vacations per year. Around 60% of the travel budget was spent on flight and hotel packages as opposed to direct bookings, most likely due to perceptions that packages offer better value.

Income QuintileAverage Annual IncomeAnnual Expenditure on Travel% of Annual Income

Furthermore, we found that income level had a direct correlation with how much consumers were willing to spend on their trips. For example, the lowest 20% of household earners spent S$710 on travel per year, or 2.3% of their total annual income. On the other hand, Singaporeans in the top 20% of income bracket put aside the most to travel, at 2.8%, and spent an average of S$7,554 per household, more than 10 times higher than the lowest 20th percentile.

Average Cost of Vacation by Destination

The cost of a vacation varied dramatically by destination. For example, travel within the ASEAN region was the cheapest, averaging around S$389 to S$1,412 per person for a 1-week trip. Popular destinations in East Asia and Australia cost a bit more at around S$1,251 to S$3,346 per week per person. Travel to the United States is the most expensive out of the destinations we studied, due to the long-haul flights and expensive accommodations that can set you back between S$200 and S$700 per night.

DestinationRoundtrip TransportLow End HotelHigh End HotelMid-Range MealCheap Meal1-Week Cost/Person
Asia & OceaniaS$571S$66S$322S$32S$11S$1,251-S$3,346
Europe & North AmericaS$1,611S$133S$551S$87S$14S$2,813-S$6,245

Cost of Vacation in Southeast Asia

The average cost of a long weekend trip within the ASEAN region is S$250 to S$620 per person. For week long trips, you can expect to pay an average of S$389 to S$1,412. The main reason why the cost differs so much is due to your choice of accommodations. 2 star or budget hotels can cost between S$13 (or even lower) to S$17 per night, whereas 5 star resorts cost upwards of S$140 on average. For luxury seekers, the most expensive portion of the trip will be 5-star hotels, which will make up up to 65% of the trip's expenditure. On the other hand, food costs are some of the cheapest, with a cheap meal costing less than S$4. This region is affordable for the majority of Singaporeans, as total costs can be as low as S$140 per person for a 4 day stay in Batam.

DestinationRoundtrip TransportLow End HotelHigh End HotelMid-Range MealCheap Meal1-Week Cost/Person
Kuala LumpurS$95S$13S$139S$17S$0.50S$198-S$1,293

Cost of Vacation in East Asia & Oceania

An average one-week vacation to destinations in East Asia cost between S$1,251 and S$3,346 per person. Flights can cost anywhere from S$260 for a roundtrip flight to Hong Kong to almost S$800 for a roundtrip flight to Sydney, Australia. If you choose to stay in 5-star hotels, accommodations and eating out can take up up to 85% of your budget. Alternatively, if you spend your time in budget hotels, your highest expenditure will be the flight, constituting less than 40% of your overall trip cost. Food is generally inexpensive, costing less than S$15 per person for a cheap meal. Singaporeans who make around S$6,000 or more per month will be able to enjoy a trip a year to this region.

DestinationRoundtrip TransportLow End HotelHigh End HotelMid-Range MealCheap Meal1-Week Cost/Person
Hong KongS$260S$44.81S$289S$39S$9S$736-S$2,853

Cost of Vacation in the US & Europe

The average cost of a vacation per person to Europe between S$2,500-S$5,321 and S$3,267-S$7,631 for a luxury one week trip to Los Angeles or New York, respectively. Accommodations in major U.S. cities will be the most expensive part of the trip, with budget hotel options costing as much as a roundtrip air ticket. If you want to stay in a 5-star hotel, you can expect accommodations to cost almost 3 times as much as your flight. However, larger metropolitan cities can also offer means for savings. In Europe, for instance, hostels are great options and cost about 80% less than 5-star hotels. While you won't get luxurious amenities, European hostels are known to be clean, safe and have options for completely private suites. Both the United States and Europe also offer plenty of opportunity to save on food expenses, and you can get a cheap but quality meal in any large city for less than S$15.

DestinationRoundtrip TransportLow End HotelHigh End HotelMid-Range MealCheap Meal1-Week Cost/Person
Los AngelesS$1,392S$233S$783S$44S$13S$3,266-S$7,705
New York CityS$1,740S$183.01S$685S$58S$13S$3,268-S$7,557

What Does This Mean for Vacationing Singaporeans?

If the average Singaporean vacation budget is around S$2,300, it would imply that about 50% of Singapore's households cannot afford a vacation outside of Asia every year. With roundtrip flights costing more than the total annual travel budget for the bottom 40% of households, even 1-person households in this income bracket will have a hard time budgeting for a week long trip to the United States or Europe. However, this does not mean that the lower 40% cannot afford a vacation. Nearby popular destinations such as Batam, Malaysia or Thailand are affordable for most Singaporeans, especially if they have family in these places or if they're going for long weekend trips.

On the other side of the coin, top Singaporean income earners will have the means to explore a variety of destinations. Wealthy 1-person households can take a luxury trip to the US or Europe every year with enough money left over to take another trip to a nearby tropical destination in Southeast Asia. High income families of 3-4 people making over S$8,000 per month will be able to take a couple of Asia trips (provided they mind their food spending) or a week-long trip to Europe if they book during non-peak seasons, utilise a generous travel credit card for discounts and travel to destinations that are cheaper, such as Croatia, Greece or Spain.

Nonetheless, Singaporeans prefer to stick close to home when vacationing in exchange for being able to take them more often. This is evidenced by annual expenditure for packaged trips being allocated the most to Asian and Southeast Asian destinations and the fact the average length of a vacation is between three and six days.

Anastassia Evlanova

Anastassia is a Junior Research Analyst at ValuePenguin Singapore, focusing on insurance. She graduated with Honors from Mohawk College with a postgraduate diploma in International Business Management, and also has a B.A. in Economics from New York University with prior experience working in the capital markets sector.

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