5 Unforgettable Journey Concepts Beneath S$10,000 For Your Subsequent Trip

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5 Unforgettable Trip Ideas Under S$10,000 For Your Next Vacation

One of the main considerations when planning for a trip, aside from deciding where to go, is the budget to allocate for the whole journey. The dollar amount varies greatly and differs from person to person. Some may not set any budget at all and only have the destination in mind.

Regardless which of the two categories you fall under, it is safe to say that spending S$10,000 for a trip would allow for something rather comfortable, or even luxurious. Depending on the duration as well, one can squeeze in business class flights, stays in high-end hotels and resorts, degustation meals and perhaps even personal guides to show you around. Here are some of my top picks for that once in a lifetime trip.

Citi Credit Cards is running its Citi Great Giveaways and you could be one of the 5 lucky winners of a S$10,000 travel voucher (T&Cs apply)! There are 2 simple steps to join:

  1. Login to the Citi Mobile App® and click on the “Get More” tab to enrol.
  2. Charge a minimum S$2,000 in qualifying spend on your Citi Credit Card from now until 31st May 2023

Lavish Ryokan Stay in the Japanese Countryside

There is probably no better setting to experience the Japanese deep-rooted culture of “omotenashi” than by staying in a ryokan in a resort town or the countryside. Ryokans are usually all-inclusive affairs, with elaborate kaiseki meals to go along with the stay as well as onsen facilities. Some of the luxurious ryokans are family-owned, allowing guests to interact directly with owners who may have been running the accommodations for generations. Japan’s tourism sector is highly developed, with plush ryokans found in many corners of the country. For one that balances the quietness of the countryside with accessibility to urban comforts, the Hoshinoya Kyoto is situated at the very edge of Kyoto’s urban sprawl, at the foot of Mt. Arashi. 

How to get there: Fly to Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Sapporo or Fukuoka from Singapore direct followed by a train ride to wherever the ryokan is located. Check prices here.

Cost: A full-board rate in a luxury ryokan may cost well above S$1,500 per night during the peak season so a S$10,000 budget may last you around 5 nights after factoring in roundtrip airfare for 2 persons and ground transport/activities. 

Singapore to Bangkok in Style – Rail Travel on the Eastern and Oriental Express

The 3 day journey from Singapore to Bangkok aboard the luxurious Eastern and Oriental Express evokes an old-world charm, with carriages built with wood-paneled corridors and silken furnishings reminiscent of a time when traveling wasn’t so fast-paced. This is no ordinary train, and you’ll soon realize this when you inspect the E&O’s fabled carriages including dedicated ones for dining, an observation deck, a piano bar and even a saloon that serves as a library or for some quiet time reading. Accommodations are equally plush, with dedicated bathrooms, luxury toiletries and cabins that come with crisp linens that are set by service staff each evening. Mealtimes are usually characterized by immaculately plated courses, well-stocked drinks list as well as service staff at your beck and call.

A typical journey starts from Woodlands in Singapore where the train will make the 8-hour journey towards Kuala Lumpur and arrive just before midnight to pick up more passengers. From there, it’s another 8+ hour journey towards Kuala Kangsar where the train will make a brief stop to allow passengers to have a short excursion to see attractions such as the Ubudiah Mosque and some of the state museums in Perak’s royal capital. Afterwards, the train will make its longest nonstop journey of the trip, lasting about 24 hours until it arrives in Kanchanaburi where passengers may alight to visit the infamous “Death Railway” before arriving in Bangkok in the afternoon. 

How to get there: Journeys on the Eastern and Oriental Express trains departing for Bangkok can either start from Singapore Woodlands Station or Kuala Lumpur Rail Station. After getting to Bangkok, you can either take the return trip or fly back through the numerous air options from Bangkok to Singapore. Guests who have layovers in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur before boarding the train often stay at The Raffles Hotel Singapore and The Majestic Kuala Lumpur respectively. 

Cost: Around US$2,948 (S$3,950) per person for the entry-level cabins for the full Singapore – Bangkok journey. Factor in S$200 to S$500 if you plan to extend your stay in Bangkok as well as ~S$200 per person for the one-way flight (check prices here) back to Singapore. You can check out Klook for ground activities and hotels in Bangkok, and enjoy S$10 off with min. S$60 spend on your Citi Credit Card.

Voyage to the Antarctica by Cruise Ship

Often considered as the ultimate frontier, the southern continent of Antarctica is often in the bucket list of the more intrepid travelers (and those with a clear intent to visit all 7 continents). The journey to Antarctica is an adventure in itself, often involving a few transits including some time spent sightseeing in Argentina or Chile before boarding a cruise ship headed for the southern continent. 

How to get there: The usual mode of entry to Antarctica is via a ship that departs from the southernmost tip of Argentina, in Ushuaia or from Punta Arenas in Chile. From Singapore, flights to Buenos Aires can be done via transits in the USA or in Europe. From Buenos Aires, one can take domestic flights to Ushuaia. You can compare prices for various route possibilities here.

Cost: Cruises to Antarctica from Ushuaia, Argentina start from S$6,500 and may go up to above S$10,000 for the more luxurious ones. Factor in another S$2,000 to S$3,000 for air tickets to South America. 

Animal Spotting Through a Luxury African Safari Experience

mara plains camp africa

Africa’s top safaris cater to different budgets and luxury ones often include plush safari lodgings, chef’s table dining experiences, dedicated guides as well as smaller group sizes. Some of Africa’s top safaris include the Masai Mara Nature Reserve in Kenya, Kruger National Park in South Africa and Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania. A typical trip will involve a layover in the big city before taking a regional flight or private car to the park. The lodges are normally all-inclusive affairs involving full-board meals as well as predefined activities such as animal viewings or bush walks that come with the stay.  

How to get there: Direct flights connect Johannesburg and Singapore via Singapore Airlines. With Citi Cards, get an American Tourister Flashflux Spinner 68cm/25” Exp Luggage when you spend at least S$2,000 on Singaporeair.com or on the Singapore Airlines mobile app. For safaris in other African countries, you can either take a regional flight from Johannesburg to other African cities such as Nairobi (Kenya) or Maun (Botswana).

Cost: The price varies depending on the lodge but high-end ones can cost approximately US$750 (~$1,000) per person per night for a full board experience. A S$10,000 budget may suit a week-long luxury safari stay, coupled with round trip air tickets to Africa (approximately S$1,500 per person), regional transfers to the safari and a stopover in an African hub such as Cape Town or Nairobi. You can check out fares with Trip.com and get up to S$100 off flights with Citi Cards.

Backpacking in Europe for 2 months

S$10,000 is a large sum that can last one a couple of weeks when traveling on a budget. For those with time to spare, a backpacking trip across Europe lasting 2 months is doable. Europe is one of the most well-trodden places for backpackers, with a well-developed infrastructure as well as plenty to see. 2 months is enough for one to go through the usual destinations such as London, Paris, Rome, Barcelona and Amsterdam as well as other equally stunning destinations such as Prague, Budapest, Berlin and Vienna. Europe is comprised of 44 countries and a 2 month trip will only allow one to scratch the surface so it might be wise to focus on a particular area – such as Eastern Europe if you’d prefer to stretch your dollar even more. 

How to get there: There are direct flight connections from Singapore to multiple European cities such as Munich, London, Barcelona, Milan, Frankfurt, Berlin, Athens, Paris, Rome, Zurich, Istanbul and Amsterdam. Check prices with Trip.com here.

Cost: Assuming trans-continental and regional flights costing S$3,000; you can still factor in a daily budget of S$116 per day for a 60 day trip which is more than enough for a comfortable trip in the Eastern parts of Europe and a relatively modest trip around Western Europe.

Even without S$10,000 to spend for a trip, you can take advantage of the following offers with Citi Cards this month for additional savings on your upcoming trips:

  • S$10 off minimum S$60 spend on Klook until 30th June 2023
  • Up to S$100 off flights and hotels on Trip.com until 30th June 2023 (limited redemptions)

Accelerate Your Holiday Plans

Earn up to 4 Citi Miles per S$1 qualifying spend in foreign currency from now till 30 June 2023 with Citi PremierMiles Card. Don’t have one yet? Receive up to 30,000 bonus Citi Miles* when you apply for a Citi PremierMiles Card as a new cardholder. The Citi Miles don’t expire, so you can accumulate them for your next adventure.

*T&Cs apply. Welcome miles is valid till 30 June 2023. Applicable for new Citi Credit Cardmembers only. Find out more here.

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Let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment below. Alternatively, you can also email me at b i n o (at) iwandered.net. You can follow I Wander on Facebook, Telegram, or Instagram.
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