9 places to visit for the most memorable graduation trip

Here’s one for those who have just freshly graduated, at the cusp of adulthood and are seeking for a well-deserved break before you officially enter the workforce. After toiling three to four years burning the midnight oil, writing papers and slogging your days away for group projects, you are finally freed from studying-related worries.

But the next problem you have is deciding on where you should go for your ultimate graduation trip. Fret not, we are here to help! Here are 9 places to visit for the most memorable grad trip ever. We’ve picked destinations with varying ranges of affordability so even if you have a tighter budget, you will still have a fun time.

1. Phuket

For the beach bums, Phuket is definitely an ideal location for you to relax and chill. Think of basking in the sun, soaking in crystal clear waters while sipping a cup of mojito. One of Thailand’s most popular islands Phuket is an ideal graduation trip destination if you don’t want to splurge too much on your holiday. Also, since you have worked so hard getting your degree, it’s the perfect opportunity for you to just chill and relax by the beach.

Flight Tickets: Budget flight deals from Scoot or Jetstar will cost ~$100.
Accommodations: Guesthouses for < $30.
Estimated cost for Phuket for one week: ~ $500.

Top 3 things to do

  • Phi Phi Island – This island needs no introduction. Featured in the movie ‘The Beach’ starring Leonardo DiCaprio, you can’t miss this beach with the impressive views of limestone karst formation and its crystal clear waters. 
  • Bangla Road – This is the place to go to get a glimpse of Phuket’s night life. With neon lights, cheap bear and loud music, it’s definitely a place to hang out after the sun has set. 
  • Phuket Fantasea – This is Phuket’s cultural theme park, inspired by Thailand’s traditions and heritage. The show also infuses acrobatics, pyrotechnics and special effects.

2. Tokyo

Revered for its mouth-watering food and great hospitality, Tokyo is a popular destination for many fresh graduates. Pockets of tradition and history are found in a city filled with bright city lights, a reflection of how tradition and modernity co-exist in Japan. Tokyo definitely has a lot to offer for both history and city lovers.

Flight Tickets:  ~$400.
Accommodations: Capsule hotels are at ~$20, Hotels range from $50-$100 per night
Estimated cost for Tokyo for one week: ~$1500

Top 3 things to do

  • Temple/Shrine hopping -Tokyo is home to many historic temples and shrines. Take a tour around the famous temples/shrines to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
  • Feast- we have all got to admit that Japanese is darn amazing. You cannot say you’ve visited Tokyo until you have tried Ichiran ramen or Maison Tonkatsu.
  • Visit Harajuku – Harajuku is the most stylish district in Tokyo where you can see people in funky and quirky fashion styles. While you’re at it, indulge in some sweet treats like crepes or rainbow cotton candy.

3. New Zealand

For the nature lovers and thrill seekers, you will be spoilt by New Zealand’s majestic sights and the different types of adventures it offers. Comprising of the North and South island, you can expect a wide variety of activities to do and a diverse scenery that your eyes can feast on.

Flight Tickets:  ~$1000 – 1500+ via Qantas Airways
Accommodations: Decent hostel at ~$100 per night
Estimated cost for New Zealand for one week: ~$2000-$3000

Top 3 things to do

  • Hobbiton Movie set – For fans of The Lord of the Rings, the Hobbiton movie set is really a must visit. Be in awe with the intricate details of the set, as you stroll past the undulating landscapes embellished with hobbit holes. 
  • Sightseeing at Lake Tepako – Lake Tekapo is truly out of the world. With snowcapped mountains, bright blue skies and crystal clear water, the landscape of Lake Tepako will be sure to wow you. You can choose to have a picnic in the day or stargaze at night. 
  • Waitomo caves – The Waitomo Glowworm cave is one of the top most tourist destination in New Zealand. Enter the pitch black limestone cave and see thousands of glowworms in the roof of the cave.

4. London

A global hub and a pulsing, bustling city, London is definitely a place you have to visit once in a lifetime. Amidst the modern skyscrapers that embellish the city skyline, soak up in the rich and dramatic culture of London as you visit the various iconic landmarks and museums. It’s definitely going to be a memorable graduation trip if you head to London.

Flight Tickets =  ~$1200 via British Airways
Accommodations: Budget hotels for  ~$100 per night
Estimated cost for London for one week: $2000

Top 3 things to do

  • London bridge – Spanning across the River Thames in London, the Londen tower bridge is definitely one of the must-see landmarks. 
  • Borough market – Indulge in local delights in Borough Market, one of the largest and oldest food markets in London. Some of the must-eats include plump, fresh oysters from Richard Haward Oysters and some chorizo from the Brindisa Chorizo Grill. 
  • Catch a musical – Be wowed by London’s art scenes by catching award-winning musical productions.

5. Melbourne

Head down under for your graduation trip if you love to live in a thriving city but would also like to find yourself surrounded by nature. Ranked as the most liveable city in the world, Melbourne is definitely a city like no other.

Flight Tickets: ~$450 via AirAsia or Scoot
Accommodation: Hotels starting from $80
Estimated cost for Melbourne for one week: ~$1000

Top 3 things to do

  • Great Ocean Road- Be greeted with a spectacular view of the magnificent ocean and dramatic coastal cliffs as you take a drive along the Great Ocean Road.
  • Get a mean coffee fix – Home to some of the most accomplished roasters, you can get a good fix of caffeine each morning on your trip.
  • Flinders Street railway station – The Flinders Street railway station is Melbourne’s oldest train station. It is definitely one of the landmarks you can’t miss in Melbourne with its green dome atop the rustic, yellow building.

6. Bangkok

If you’re someone who’s not looking to splurge too much on your graduation trip, then going to Bangkok should definitely be on the top of your list. With an assortment of delicious cuisine to try and clothes to shop, you would not be bored in Thailand.

Flight Tickets: ~$120 via Scoot.
Accommodation: ~$20 per person, if you’re going with around 4 people or more.
Estimated cost for Bangkok for one week: $300-400.

Top 3 things to do

  • Chatuchak Market – Get your shopping done in Bangkok’s largest weekend market. With 8,000 over market stores, you can get just about anything here.
  • Grand Palace – Get your dose of cultural and historical sights at the Grand Palace. Get a glimpse of the palace that is the home of the highly revered Thailand king, the Royal court and the administrative government while being in awe of the intricate architecture.
  • Have a Thai massage – surely you deserve a pampering Thai massage after studying so hard for the past few years. You don’t have to shell out a lot of money in Thailand for a good massage, unlike back home. 

7. Busan

Most people visit Seoul if they head to South Korea. But If you’re looking for a place that’s not too overrated in Korea then perhaps you should visit Busan. Located in the Southern region of Busan, it is a seaside town teeming with beaches and fresh seafood. Here’s the time for you to laze and chill with good food all day with your mates!

Flight Tickets: ~$400 via AirAsia
Accommodation: Budget hotels starting from $40
Estimated cost for Busan for one week: ~$1300.

Top 3 things to do

  • Haeundae – Soak in the waters off Busan in the Hauendae beach. You would definitely have a refreshing time here, especially during summer. You can also partake in a variety of water sports if you’re seeking for some sort of adrenaline rush.
  • Gamcheon cultural village- Dubbed as the Santorini of South Asia, Gamcheon Culture Village will be sure to impress you with their colourful, artsy houses and wall murals. It’s definitely one of Busan’s most picturesque spots.
  • Jagalchi market – For the seafood lovers, this market is not to be missed! Indulge in fresh mackerel, oysters and even whale meat if you’re the adventurous sort. Most of the fishmongers are female, who are also referred to as Jagalchi Ajumma.

    8. New York

It’s New York, New York, New York! A city dubbed to be the home of possibilities and dreams, going to the Big Apple would definitely be the perfect destination for you to go on a graduation trip and reflect on the dreams you want to achieve in life.

Flight Tickets: ~ $1100 via Air China
Accommodations: Hostels starting from >$100
Estimated cost for New York for one week: Around $2000-$3000.

Top 3 things to do

  • Empire State Building – No one leaves New York without visiting the world-famous Empire State Building. Offering one of the highest vantage points in New York, you will be able to get a 360 view of the spectacular New York city skyline.
  • Times Square – When you think of New York, the billboards and brightly lit neon signs would surely be part of your imagination of the city. Time Square is one of the attractions that has captured the hearts of many travelers around the world and you shouldn’t miss it.
  • Central Park – Get away from the hustle and bustle of the city life in New York, and head to Central Park. You and your best friends could even hold a picnic in this urban park and it’ll definitely be a picnic that you would never forget.

9. Mongolia

This is for the ones who are adventurous, and want to have a graduation trip that’s off the beaten track. A land rich in natural landscapes, history and culture, Mongolia is a country that’s definitely worth visiting. It may not have the most developed tourism landscape but don’t let that deter you from going there.  

Flight Tickets: ~$1000 via Air China
Accommodation: from $50 – $80.
Estimated cost for Mongolia for one week: ~$800.

Top 3 things to do

  • Visit the Gobi Desert -Choose to ride a camel in the Gobi Desert and be surrounded by the seemingly endless sand dunes. Not only will you be able to get many insta-worthy shots, you’ll also have an experience of a lifetime that you and your friends cannot forget.
  • Ulaanbaatar – The capital city of Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar is home to many monasteries and museums. Learn more about Mongolia’s heritage as you wow yourself with their delicate paintings, silks and carvings.
  • Gorkhi-Terelj National Park – A national park with hot springs, the Gorkhi Terelji national park is a popular tourist attraction. Here, you can hike, rock climb, raft with your friends. Plus points if you go in winter because you will be able to skate on the frozen winters. It’s definitely a picturesque attraction with its granite cliffs and rivers.

With a wide range of graduation trip destinations at varying prices, you’ll be sure to find one that suits you and your friends! No matter where you go, remember to let your hair down, chill and live in the moment. After all, this is likely to be one of your most stress-free break before you enter adulthood! Enjoy!

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