There’s not been much to smile about this year.
Travelling abroad is no longer an option, leisure travel has been taken away, and we can’t fly to faraway lands for vacations anymore.
Reader: They’re are all the same thing.
I really miss travelling.
The inability to travel coupled with a prolonged stay indoors has sent some people over the edge, and understandably so.
After 11 months of anxiety, isolation, and way too much Among Us, Singaporeans desperately need to unwind.
While your first thought may be to book an expensive staycation for you and your family, there are a few things you should know before doing so.
10 things, specifically.
1. Only Adults Over 18 Will Receive the Vouchers
Only Singaporeans aged 18 and above this year are eligible for the vouchers.
This means that if you plan to book two rooms – one for you and your partner, and a separate one for your noisy kids – you’ll have to cough up your own dough for the second room.
Now, if you’re planning on bringing your family on a tour or to a local attraction instead, I have good news.
Adults Singaporeans over 18 can purchase up to six subsidised tickets for attractions and tours – each at $10 off – for those under 18.
2. You’ll Need a SingPass Account to Redeem the Voucher
Much like your anniversary, most people don’t remember their SingPass passwords.
But if you want that $100 tourism voucher, you’re going to need an account.
The vouchers are digital, meaning it will be used to offset ticket purchases and hotel stays the moment you pay for them, similar to vouchers on Lazada and Shopee.
It was recently announced that 66 counters will be set up across Singapore to help those without a SingPass account redeem their physical SingapoRediscover vouchers.
However, they will ultimately have to be used digitally, as the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) said it “will adopt a digital mode by default”.
3. You Can Start Using it On the First Day of Distribution
If you’re dying to get out of the house and have a nice staycation as soon as possible, you’d be happy to know that these vouchers can be used on the first day of distribution – 1 Dec.
With such short notice, though, your hotel of choice may not be available, but a slot for a tour or attraction might.
4. Vouchers Are Non-Transferrable
Even if you have money pouring out of your butt, you won’t be able to give away your voucher as a present for a friend or family member, as they’re non-transferrable.
As STB chief executive Keith Tan said, the use of SingPass will help avoid fraud and the unauthorised transfer of the vouchers to other people.
This is to prevent scalpers from reselling these vouchers at a higher price online, which will certainly happen if its allowed.
5. You Could Book a Cool Tour Instead
You might think that most of the tours listed are ‘touristy’ but this couldn’t be further from the truth.
79 tours will be available as part of the SingapoRediscovers scheme, which offers a vast variety of experiences.
For example, if you want to explore the spooky side of Singapore, try the Creepy Tales of Singapore tour by Oriental Travel and Tours.
The three-hour package, which costs $150, comes with “ghost hunting” equipment, a walk through a cemetery, and stories about World War II.
One tour on the list even offers an outdoor escape room game.
Use your detective skills to solve the Niu Che Shui Murder in Chinatown, as part of a murder mystery game organised by Tribe Tours.
Prices start at $50.
Also, for just $100, you could get a 2.5 hr private yacht tour to several historical places such as a Chinese Temple and a Malay Shrine on Kusu Island.
The deal includes a round trip cable car ticket for both Sentosa and the Mount Faber Line.
6. Some of the Attractions Might Be More Worth It
While you might scoff at Universal Studios or Wild Wild Wet, there are a host of attractions that you may enjoy more than a staycation.
One example is the Get Thrilled! Pass at AJ Hackett Sentosa, where you can go bungee jumping and even sky diving.
For just $106, you can engage in two of the three following activities:
- AJ Hackett Giant Swing with 20% off F&B
- Mega Adventure Park Megazip with ice cream
- iFly The Teaser Package (1 Skydive – Locals only) + $20 Merchandise voucher + 50% off merchandise (photos & video combos)
Do note that this promotion ends on 31 March 2021.
Or if you want to go ziplining, you could visit the Mega Adventure Park which is at Sentosa as well.
Kayaking adventures are also available at the Ola Beach Club.
7. Work From Hotel Instead & Have a Daycation
If you’re forever alone and the only thing you hug at night is the human-sized nugget pillow you recently ordered, a staycation may not appeal to you.
Plus, workaholics might find it difficult to get time away from work.
So, why not have a daycation where you can work from a hotel instead?
Klook, one of the five booking platforms that residents can use for their vouchers, is offering a 12-hour daycation at Hotel G Singapore so you can work in peace and style.
The $120 package includes a set lunch at Ginett Restaurant & Wine Bar and free-flow drinks.
As a Klook exclusive, you will also receive a complimentary bottle of wine from the hotel.
If you magically manage to find a date on the day, or want to work overtime even in a hotel, you could pay an additional $50++ to stay overnight!
Your partner will be allowed in after 7pm.
8. There Are Some Staycation Packages That Come With Tours
Can’t choose between a staycation or tour? Well, why not have both?
Fortunately for you, several hotels are offering promotions that include tickets to tours and attractions.
For instance, a stay at the Sofitel Singapore City Centre comes with a 2.5-hour cruise on a luxury sailing ship for two if you book through Klook.
For S$599, this nautical package includes a stay at a luxurious room, club lounge access for two, as well as evening cocktails for an hour at Club Millésime.
9. You Can’t Book Your Staycation Directly With a Merchant
Whether you have your heart set on a hotel, tour, or attraction, do note that you can’t make a booking through the merchant’s website.
The digital tourism vouchers can only be redeemed through an authorised booking platform, meaning you’ll have to book your stays and packages through one of the following platforms:
- Changi Travel Service
- Global Tix
10. Your Vouchers Can Be Spread Across Several Visits or Attractions
Now, since your vouchers will be distributed in denominations of $10, you don’t have to use them all at once.
Instead of blowing it all on a staycation now, why not use half and keep the rest for later?
Considering how likely it is for you to forget your anniversary, keeping a little money aside for next year could be useful.
The vouchers do only expire in June 2021, after all.
With a nice relaxing staycation, or an exhilarating adventure around the country, we might actually have a good conclusion to this torturous year.
Featured Image: Christian Heinz / Shutterstock.com