PHOTO: UNSPLASH/EYESTETIX STUDIO
If an uncanny number of Bali sunset photos have been showing up on your Instagram stories, you’re not alone. According to new findings from Google’s SEA Travel Roundtable 2022, Bali is Singapore’s number one most-searched destination city, followed by Bangkok, London, Kuala Lumpur, and Melbourne.
We can’t say we’re surprised, given how the lifting of travel measures throughout Singapore and Southeast Asia has fortuitously occurred during a month that has not one, not two, but THREE public holidays. Fully-vaccinated travelers entering Singapore no longer have to take COVID-19 tests, while Thailand has just announced that vaccinated travelers will be exempt from on-arrival testing starting May 1.
Here are some other interesting things we found out about everyone’s schemes for “revenge travel”:
Let’s go to the beach-each
Apparently, Singapore-based travelers have been hankering for quick seaside getaways: searches for “beach resort” went up 321% in 2022 vs. 2021. Which makes sense, given how convenient it is to book a last-minute trip to Langkawi, Phuket, or even Australia's Gold Coast without having to take much (if any) annual leave.
Searches for “luxury resorts” grew by 1962% percent in 2022. What can we say, splashing your savings on an over-water villa hits different when you’ve been island-bound for the past two years.
It doesn’t hurt to be a little kiasu
Travel insurance searches increased 11 times over, because as much as we want to YOLO, no one wants to catch COVID overseas without something to cushion the blow.
Singapore’s top local destinations are…
Family-friendly outdoor attractions. In order of most searched:
1. Gardens by the Bay
2. East Coast Park
3. River Wonders & Night Safari
4. Adventure Cove
5. Universal Studios Singapore
The SEA Aquarium and Sentosa also made it onto the list, so make sure you book your tickets early if you’re planning on visiting any of the sites listed above over the weekend.
The bottom line: if you’re craving a TOTAL escape – as in, a total respite from your friends, colleagues, or the sound of Singlish – we’d recommend forgoing the usual regional haunts for somewhere that’s a little slept on or perhaps a little far-flung, provided that you can afford the soaring ticket prices or the days spent in quarantine.
If you’d to read more about travel trends in Southeast Asia, you can check out Google’s blog post here. In the meantime, if you didn't manage to book tickets abroad, NO FOMO - check out our guide to Adventures At Home.