We are seven couples, in our 30s and 40s, and we are planning a vacation to Singapore along with a four-night cruise in end April or early May 2017. We want to stay for four days in Singapore and then go for a cruise which returns to Singapore. Can you please suggest a budget itinerary from Chennai which includes flights, hotel stay, sightseeing, transport, food and visas? Our budget per person is ₹70,000-80,000 including the cruise. We are all non-vegetarian and there are a few children too in our group. Is it advisable to get the whole package from a travel agent such as Cox & Kings or SOTC? Or can we do the bookings ourselves?

Marco Says:

To answer your last question first: of course, you can make all bookings yourself. Many people prefer independent travel for the flexibility it affords them and the thrill of discovering places and experiences on their own. On the other hand, there are several advantages of letting a tour operator handle your holiday: cost savings (assuming you’re not looking for backpacker mode of travel—nothing is cheaper than that); the redundancy of research or nasty surprises (they’ve figured it all out for you and will offer a consistent product); and less running around (the operator will arrange for visas, insurance and the like). Especially since you’re going to be travelling in a fairly large group—more documents to handle, more flight tickets and hotel bookings to be worked out—I’d recommend that you use the services of one of these reputable agents. In fact, if you move soon, you should grab SOTC’s ‘Summer Cost Saver Singapore Surprise’: for a starting price of 66,000 per person, they’re offering 4 nights/5 days in Singapore, with flights, three-star hotel accommodation, two meals, sightseeing, transfers, visas and travel insurance. That’s a pretty good deal; scroll down on sotc.in/international-tour-packages/group-tours. A four-night cruise will be an expensive affair. I suggest you settle for the standard two-night sailings on Star Cruises’ SuperStar Gemini (they have an offer currently on for May departures of an all-inclusive price of 17,000 per person; see starcruises.com). There you go—a near-luxurious holiday close to your budget with next-to-no headache!