Have you booked that holiday to Patagonia yet? Or are you about to fly to Phu Quoc? According to recently released Zuji data, the Singaporean traveller is evolving quicker than you can say “Krisflyer Lounge”. More of us are passing up on the usual shopping-and-eating holidays in popular cities, in favour of a different sort of trip.
Here are three of the fastest-emerging types of Singaporean travellers according to the data, plus some (really cool!) recommendations to feed that wanderlust from Zuji CEO and frequent flyer Chua Hui Wan.
Which type are you?
1. The free-spirited solo traveller
What you’re like: You like taking breaks from those around you and exploring places in your own way, at your own time. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re an introvert. You’re confident and sociable, so you have no worries about being lonely abroad.
What you want on a holiday: Freedom and a flexible schedule that you can change at a moment’s notice if it suits you. You love places where you can immerse yourself in a new culture and hang with the locals or like-minded fellow travellers. To steep yourself in this environment, you usually stay in budget accommodation with hangout zones where you can meet other people, and you go to spots that are far from the tourist traps.
Where you should travel to:
- Vientiane, Laos: A bit rough around the edges, this city and its authenticity are what draw lone-wolf travellers. Much of the original culture and environment has been preserved, though what most remember Laos for is its infamous river tubing in Vang Vieng – a must-do for those in for some adventure!
- Oslo, Norway: Norway is expensive but it has some of the most beautiful natural terrain in the world. City-wise, Oslo is a dream for solo travellers thanks to its efficient transport and friendly people. A must-see is the Viking Ship Museum, while those who like to hike should book a multi-day trek along the fjords.
- Kyoto, Japan: Tokyo is a chaotic delight, but it’s cultural capital Kyoto that will entertain solo travellers for days. Stay in a traditional ryokan, devour sushi alongside the locals and soak in an onsen after a day spent exploring samurai quarters.
Fun facts: According to Zuji, this is a huge growing trend – about 60 per cent of bookings are made by people travelling alone. And they’re doing it at a moment’s notice: There’s been an 88 per cent increase on average in the number of last minute (<48 hours) hotel bookings by single adults between May to July this year.
Says Zuji’s Chua: “One of the things I personally feel is that [the number of solo travellers may be on the rise because] more people are going for health retreats, and they usually go alone as they don’t want to be distracted when you’re trying to lose weight, meditate or detox. Even couples tend to go separately.”
2. The volunteer traveller
What you’re like: Just seeing the world isn’t enough for you – you’re looking for a more meaningful way to spend your vacations and enjoy the fulfilment of helping others. You’re okay with roughing it out on a volunteer trip, but also love treating yourself to a comfy experience before or after you’ve done your bit.
What you want on a holiday: Merely absorbing a different culture isn’t enough for you – you want to contribute to the community you’re visiting, be it helping to build houses or teaching disadvantaged kids.
Where you should travel to:
- Chiang Mai, Thailand: At Chiang Mai’s Elephant Nature Park and Baanchang Elephant Park, you can prepare food for elephants, bathe them and help with maintenance tasks.
- Phnom Penh, Cambodia: Join the Singapore International Foundation-initiated project Water For Life, which is installing bio-sand water filters in rural households so that residents have clean water to drink.
- Pokhara, Nepal: Volunteer with a Habitat For Humanity project and help build homes for disadvantaged across Nepal.
Fun facts: When it comes to volunteering overseas, 60 per cent of Singaporeans prefer to travel within Asia, says Chua. And just how big-hearted are these altruistic trippers? A sizeable 39 per cent say they’d give up buying luxury items so they can travel and support a good cause!
3. The adventure traveller
What you’re like: Who’s afraid of the big, bad wolf? Not you. You’re an adrenaline junkie who’s constantly seeking out action and new experiences. You love being on the go (no poolside deckchair holidays for you!) and recharge by lining up one hair-raising activity after another.
What you want on a holiday: Anything that tests your limits. You want to live on the edge and experience the extraordinary – everything that you can’t do from your office cubicle. Your to-do list is jam-packed with thrills like heli-skiing, deep-sea diving and kite surfing. Woohoo!
Where you should travel to:
- Wollongong, Australia: Get your skydiving fix here, 14,000 ft above sea level. There, you’ll free-fall at over 200km/h for up to 60 seconds before you’re floated down to the coastline…where you can do it all over again.
- Hakuba, Japan: If skiing is your poison, take it to the next level with heli-skiing. Here, you’ll be air-lifted to the untouched back country of the Tsugaike Highlands, then be released to ski 2,200m back down to the base of the mountains.
- Rovaniemi, Finland: Visit this entry point to the Arctic Circle in winter and you can go mushing with huskies, snowmobiling and Northern Lights-hunting. It’s heaven for adrenaline junkies – and you can leave your less adventurous pals at the nearby Santa Claus Village, the official home of Santa (yes, really).
Fun facts: Singaporeans’ top adventure destinations, according to Zuji, are Australia for skydiving and Thailand for mountain biking or rafting.
For more travel inspiration, visit Zuji Passport.
Photos: Go Japan, Baanchang Elephant Park, Skydive The Beach & Beyond and @travellerpix via Twitter