Changi Airport's free Singapore tour is famous. But is it more trouble than it's worth? Here's what you need to know before you go.
I love layovers and I love great deals - and everyone knows it! As such, the free Singapore tour out of Changi Airport has been on my radar for a long time. During our first visit to Singapore in 2013, our lengthy overnight layover of nearly 24 hours called for a hotel and some independent time exploring. But during our recent 2018 trip, our layover was closer to 12 hours - just the right amount of time to enjoy the free Singapore tour and explore the city a bit. What could be better?
Turns out, there's a catch to this story. Or rather, there are several. We soon learned the hard way that there are a lot of important rules that are rarely mentioned. If you're planning a layover in Singapore and keen to take in the free Singapore sightseeing tour, here's what you should know before you finalize your plans.
Staying in a hostel when you're in your 30s, 40s, or even beyond can feel a bit, well, strange. But it can also be wonderful! (And wonderfully frugal too...)
As a solo backpacker in my early 20s, hostels were invaluable to my budget travel strategy. Before online booking sites, this was back in the dark ages, so I accepted the hostel reviews in guidebooks like Let’s Go as the gospel truth. They never once steered me wrong, and despite having a minuscule budget, I always had a clean, safe, friendly place to stay.
Fast forward 10 years, and I was suddenly part of a couple. I had slowly drifted away from the hostel world in favour of shorter road trips. We embraced emerging travel tools, like hotel bidding sites, and we often found gorgeous rooms whose prices rivalled the cost of two hostel dorm beds. In Honolulu, for instance, we successfully blind bid on a 4-star hotel and were thrilled to pay just $90 a night – not too shabby when dorm beds would cost us about $30 each!
But even with the private balconies and plush beds, I missed the hostel community. I missed meeting new friends and the endless resources designed for budget-minded travellers. I missed the funky properties and craved more personality in my accommodations. But I’d been deterred by hostel horror stories of wild roommates and hoards of school groups. And, frankly, no one wants to be the weird old person, boring everyone with tales from your glory days! I tried to reconnect with the hostel world, but I needed the right place and hostel.
I got that opportunity in Sydney, Australia. I was eager to soak up the beauty and energy of downtown, but I knew harbourfront hotels cost a small fortune. Make that a large fortune – some were advertised for over $1000! If there was ever a time to see if hostels could work for a couple in their 30s, this was it! Thankfully, I found everything I was looking for - along with some essential lessons on hosteling for “grown-ups.”
Updated in 2022! Can you find a bargain in Perth? You bet! Here are the best free things to do in Perth - plus a few frugal meal suggestions too.
Note that some links in this post may be affiliate links, which means we are paid a small commission should you make a purchase.
Let's chat travel and economics for a moment, shall we? On some prosaic, theoretical level, I understand why many a price tag in Australia comes with sticker shock. For one thing, the cost of taxes and tips are included in the price you pay. Furthermore, I appreciate that Australia is an island - a lot of things are imported here and that means that costs are passed along. And of course, Australia also has a very high standard of living. The elevated cost of everyday items reflects the fact that the country has a correspondingly high minimum wage.
But you know what? All these sensible and logical explanations don't count for much when you're staring down $20 museum admissions and $50 bills for basic, boring lunches. Australia is an expensive travel destination. There's just no getting around it. And prices in Perth, the most isolated city not just in Australia but in fact the entire world, can sometimes feel like highway robbery. Rather appropriate, for a former penal colony settlement.
With a tight budget and a week to spend in Perth, I was determined to make our money go the distance. These are the best frugal and free things to do in Perth, with a focus on the city center. (Don't you worry - I'll be working on a list of the best free things to do in Fremantle and other nearby communities soon!)
Join us as we eat our way through the Eternal City on the best food tour Rome has to offer - and learn some important lessons about Italian cuisine along the way.
We were granted media passes to LivItaly's Rome food tour at no cost and we thank them for their support. All research, writing, and opinions are our own. Note that some links in this post may be affiliate links, which means we are paid a small commission should you make a purchase.
Are you ready for a culinary lesson, straight from the best food tour Rome has to offer? Here goes! There are three important things you should know when it comes to buying olive oil. First, always knock a year off the suggested 'best before' date. Freshness really matters when it comes to olive oil. Next, you should store it far away from your stove. While it might be convenient to have it nearby while cooking, proximity to heat can affect the quality of the oil over time. Finally, know that you usually get what you pay for. It's impossible to get a high quality olive oil for $7 a liter. Single source, cold pressed, extra virgin olive oil, a foundation of Italian cooking, is well worth paying a premium for.
If you're suddenly craving a loaf of crusty bread and a saucer of pungent oil for dipping, you aren't alone. It's delicious! So would it surprise you to learn that I didn't once try olive oil during our LivItaly small group Rome food tour? Everything I learned about olive oil came from a conversation with our tour guide, Dario, over glasses of wine and a platter of local cured meat, cheese, bread, and honey.
I'm not exactly sure how we got on the topic of olive oil but once we started asking questions, we couldn't stop. And we soon learned that the mark of a great food tour is that you're so busy chatting you scarcely notice the food at all, no matter how delicious it is. Within minutes, we weren't studious culinary scholars. We were noshing with a new friend and it felt like old times.
Read on to learn more about the wine, food, and conversations that flowed!
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