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5 Graduation Trip Ideas for less than $1,200 - DirectAsia

5 Graduation Trip Ideas for less than $1,200

Congratulations on surviving your last few years of school! Before you move on to join the rat race, you might have considered spending some time discovering the world with your friends before you sell your soul to a company. Depending on whether you are looking for a luxurious getaway, a life-changing journey or an adventure with your buddies, here are 5 cool graduation trip ideas for you!

We’ve kept it to under $1,200 for the entire trip of 7 days, but it really depends on the type of trip you are looking for. We’ve included some great budgeting tips to eat cheaply and sleep well for wherever you choose to go as well. But before you go, don’t scrimp on travel insurance! Get your friends to buy it together and get it cheaper here with DirectAsia!

1. Melbourne

If you’ve only been to Asia, Australia can be an appealing destination for you. What’s more, Scoot and Jetstar both flies to a number of cities in Australia. Melbourne is easy to get around (read up on the free tram zone) and offers plenty of different things to do. What’s more, the presence of many historical buildings gives it a more “European” vibe compared to Sydney.

A couple of free activities you should definitely keep in mind includes a visit to the lively Queen Victoria Market, take a ride on the free City Circle Tram, head to St. Kilda for a seaside escape and explore the laneways for colourful street art. The city also has an awesome art culture, so lose yourself at one of the many museums and theatres, not to mention sipping coffee in the many cafes around.

If you or your friends hold an international driving license, you can consider a road trip out on the Great Ocean Road, or just a short drive to Phillip Island to see the great wildlife Australia has to offer!

Air Tickets: $506 with Scoot

Accommodation: Average $40 per person per night for a motel

Total for 1 week excluding food: $786

Travel Insurance: $25 for an individual or $67.50 for a group of 3 or more ($22.50/person)

2. Taiwan

Raohe Street Night Market in Taipei.

Taiwan offers a number of different travel experience depending on the area you go to. Spending a day or two in Taipei is always good for a taste of their delicious street food and fashionable shopping. Otherwise, head out on day trips to picturesque places likes Jiu Fen, Shi Fen waterfalls or a nature escape in Yangmingshan National Park.

Air tickets: $195 on Scoot

Accommodation: Average $30 per person per night for a bunk bed in a dormitory

Total for 1 week excluding food: $405

Travel Insurance: $25 for an individual or $67.50 for a group of 3 or more ($22.50/person)

3. Bali

Looking for a lazy beachside holiday where you can simply tan on the beach, surf on the waves and drink cocktail all day? Bali has it all; and if you feel like you need some Zen after that, head out to Ubud for some Yoga and raw food haven for a detox.

With cheap delicious food and affordable accommodation, you can easily rent a villa with a few friends for a few days before moving on to explore different parts of Bali. If you budget well, $1,000 can even last you 2 weeks!

Air tickets: $208 on Air Asia

Accommodation: Villa rentals start at about $850 for 6 nights, which average $35 per person per night for a group of 4.

Total for 1 week excluding food: $453

Travel Insurance: $$20 for an individual or $18/person in a group of 3 or more.

4. Osaka, Japan

Japan isn’t really a cheap location for travel, but you can still have an affordable holiday if you plan your trip well. To optimise your trip, we suggest going to Osaka instead of Tokyo so that you can visit Nara and Kyoto on day trips without paying for the expensive JR pass.

Spend your time eating street food at Dotonbori, have a takeaway bento at the Osaka Castle Park, have fun taking selfies with the deers at Nara Park and visit the many beautiful temples in Kyoto.

Deer in Nara, Japan

Air tickets: $480 on Scoot and AirAsia X

Accommodation: Average $30 per person per night for a bunk bed in a dormitory

Total for 1 week excluding food: $690

Travel Insurance: $25 for an individual or $67.50 for a group of 3 or more ($22.50/person)

5. Seoul and Busan, Korea

K-pop fans and ladies who love Korean fashion and make-up will likely have the ultimate grad trip in Korea. You’ll want to start off in Seoul, the heart of shopping and eating. Walk the streets of Myeongdong, spend your day shopping at Dongdaemun and  visit some of their magnificent palaces. Spending 2 to 3 days here before you visit the coastal city of Busan via the Korea Train eXpress.

Here in Busan, a trip isn’t complete without a visit to the beach, so spend a few hours basking under the sun at Haeundae beach. Being a coastal city, Busan is well-known for its fresh seafood so treat yourself to some of their freshest at the Jagalchi Market. Spend the next few days exploring the city: stroll through the “Santorini of the East” at Gamcheon Village, discover breathtaking views from Haedong Yonggungsa Temple and challenge yourself to a walk on Oryukdo Island’s glass bridge.

Air tickets: $396 on AirAsia X with 1 stop or fly direct with Korean Air at $670

Korea Train eXpress: $66 one-way to Busan

Accommodation: $75 – $80 per night for a hotel room for 2 in Seoul, $60 -$70 per night for a hotel room for 2 in Busan.

Total for 1 week excluding food: $808

Travel Insurance: $25 for an individual or $67.50 for a group of 3 or more ($22.50/person)

Good Budgeting tips to keep travel costs low

Unless you’ve got generous parents who are willing to sponsor your entire trip, most graduates tend to be on a limited budget on their graduation trip. Savings from holiday work can come in handy here, but you also don’t want to overspend since you’ll likely need to start paying your study loan soon as well.

  • Air Tickets

Look out for budget airlines promotions and subscribe to their email list. If you are looking for a free and easy package with friends, certain travel agencies can provide pretty good deals as well.

  • Where to stay

Staying in hostels and backpackers are obviously the cheapest accommodation, but if you are travelling with a group of friends, it can sometimes make economic sense to rent an Airbnb that can accommodate all of you. What’s more, some of these places allow you to cook your own meals, which can help you save on eating out.

  • Eating on the cheap

We are blessed with an abundance of cheap food in Singapore but eating out in other countries can be more expensive than you think. What you can do to make your food budget last longer is find ways to make cheap meals fun – pack some sandwiches for lunch for a picnic with friends, cook “gourmet” instant noodles when you can or share a huge upsized fast food meal with your buddy. Of course, you should probably splurge on at least one proper local meal in a restaurant as part of the entire trip.

Going for a graduation trip does not have to cost you a bomb – it really comes down to how you stretch your dollar. Always remember to get your travel insurance before you go so that you do not incur unnecessary financial losses when things go wrong. Ask for a quote with DirectAsia today!