5 Spots for a Graduation Trip That Won’t Break the Bank

By the SMU Social Media Team

Just before you make the transition from student life to climbing the corporate ladder, maximise this once-in-a-lifetime window for a graduation trip to remember.

Escaping on a graduation trip is the best way to celebrate the end of your academic journey (and not having to mug for an exam again!), before embarking on the next chapter of your life. Grab your bags, grab your friends, and get out of the country without breaking the bank with these destination suggestions:


1. Bangkok

Colorful market in Ratchadapisek Bangkok


We’re not strangers to the land of smiles and Cha Yen (Thai Iced tea). Yes, Bangkok is the first (albeit most predictable) destination on the list simply because everything is so cheap! From $2 Grab/Uber rides to $1 brownies and $5 tops, it is no wonder that everyone flocks to this Thai capital for a budget-friendly holiday. Round up a few friends, share the cost of accommodation and you’ll have yourself an epic time in this city.


2. Palawan

Calamian archipelago, Palawan, Philippines.


This island is great for beach-loving vacationers who are sick of the uber touristy destinations. Boracay—also a popular beach destination in the Philippines—is great, but Palawan is a sanctuary of serenity in comparison with its gorgeous waters and scenery minus the rowdy party crowds. Water sports are slightly cheaper in Palawan than most touristy islands and accommodations on Airbnb can go as low as $68 per night for a 3-bedroom villa!


3. Mount Rinjani

Watching sunset at camp before attempting to summit Mount Rinjani the following morning.


Mention “hiking holiday” and often the image of sweating it out for hours and having to answer nature’s call, well, in nature rather than in a proper toilet comes immediately to mind. But what better way to celebrate a milestone than by literally conquering a mountain and be rewarded with breathtaking views of sunrise and the starlit night sky? Mount Rinjani is a dormant volcano in Lombok, Indonesia, that offers a stunning view of the light pollution-free sky. Prices range from $200 to $400 depending on the type of trekking and trail you pick. It also ranges from beginner trails to summit trails for the advanced climber so there’s something for everyone!


4. London



European countries are always a popular choice among graduates because of the weather, great architecture and culture. Flights to London start from just over $800 for a return trip on less premium airlines or even during the discount periods for premium airlines—if you book early. Airbnb in London is also extremely affordable, ranging from $80–120 per night for a decent room in the city! The best thing about London is that it is the best of both worlds. Museums and historical and architectural monuments line the streets for the knowledge-seekers; lovers of the arts and theatre are never bored with the plays, musicals and performances aplenty; and there’s Topshop and Primark for the shopaholics. It’s also a great base camp for exploring the rest of the continent.


5. Sydney

Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia on a summer's day


This may not be the most budget-friendly city in the world, but Sydney is the place to visit when you are conflicted as to the type of trip you want to have. Being a coastal city, Sydney is home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches and believe it or not, Bondi may not even be the best one. Sydney has beaches suited for all sorts of beach-lovers; from the wave-seeker to the bronzed goddess. Furthermore, Sydney boasts great nightlife and nature spots with jaw-dropping views.