In recent years, there have been a number of studies done to better understand how people derive happiness. Articles have detailed the importance of spending money on experiences rather than material possessions to be truly happy.
There are noteworthy reasons for this. When you plan to spend money, you are more likely to be excited counting down to the date of your vacation or concert but impatient if you're waiting for the delivery of an online purchase or when you have to save up for a new mobile phone.
When you buy material products, you are more likely to compare it against similar products other people own as well as constantly seek upgrades. Many people also purchase branded products to look good or mask their insecurities.
On the other hand, when you pay to experience skydiving or going to Malaysia on a durian tasting tour, it will always be personal and incomparable even if another person has experienced something similar. At the end of the day, experiences make you feel good as you will always have your unique story to share.
For all these reasons, these studies conclude that people tend to lead happier and healthier lives with less stress and more meaningful social interactions if they spent money on experiences rather than material items.
Here is the Singaporean version of how you can spend your money and time on unique experiences on our tropical island.
1. Thrill and fun at sentosa
Today, Sentosa is an oasis of fun and games in hectic Singapore. There's never a shortage of entertainment with numerous accommodation options and attractions for an exciting staycation.
One of the most appealing attractions on the island, Universal Studios Singapore (USS) was voted Asia's best amusement park by TripAdvisor travellers. Along with the neighbouring Adventure Cove Waterpark, the entire family can enjoy a fun-filled day of rides, games and performances.
Beyond that, there are other attractions for all members of the family. For the thrill-seekers, this includes the iFly Singapore, the world's largest themed wind tunnel for indoor skydiving, and Mega Adventure Park, Southeast Asia's steepest flying fox. For those who want to unwind and catch up on a book can visit any of the three tranquil beaches to soak in the sunshine. For nature-lovers, the Animal and Bird Encounters shows at the Palawan Amphitheatre or the interactive Butterfly Park & Insect Kingdom at the Imbiah Lookout beckons.
Those who prefer to learn more about Singapore can visit Madame Tussauds Singapore to rub shoulders with actors portraying everyday Singaporeans in the pioneering generation. Built in the 19th century, Fort Siloso also offers a glimpse into World War II and the Japanese Occupation, where you can explore trails in the fort and transport yourself back in time to relive momentous events in Singapore's history through an immersive show.
To cap off a beautiful day at Sentosa, you can enjoy the multi-sensory show, Wings of Time, displaying water, laser and fire effects set against the backdrop of the open sea while having your dinner.
2. Experience luxury at the marina bay sands
Since it was opened on 27 April 2010, Marina Bay Sands (MBS) has been a Singapore icon. Photos of the Singapore skyline from the infinity swimming pool on level 57 of MBS has come to epitomise a Singaporean experience.
Be ready to part with upward of about $500 a night for a room if you want to enjoy this one-of-a-kind view as only registered hotel guests are allowed in the infinity pool.
Billed as the world's most expensive standalone casino property, MBS packs 2,561 rooms, the infinity swimming pool and observation deck set atop the world's longest public cantilevered platform and the world's largest atrium casino.
Visitors can also immerse themselves in curated showcases such as the cutting-edge installations and performances at the ArtScience Museum, enjoy a regular repertoire of world-class shows at its theatres, savour dining experiences at award-winning celebrity-chef restaurants, experience the most luxurious brands from around the world and spend a night out relaxing at the rooftop bar or party the night away at its nightclubs.
3. Adventure on Pulau Ubin
A sleepy island off the Northeast coast of Singapore, Pulau Ubin offers you a peek into idyllic kampong or village life during simpler times. Just a 10-minute bumboat ride from Changi Beach, Pulau Ubin allows you to escape the frantic pace of the concrete jungle and soak in landscapes of actual lush green jungles filled with wildlife.
Once on the island, you can either trek or rent a bicycle to discover the island on your own, rent a kayak to paddle the waters surrounding the island or eat at a handful of seafood eateries in the kampung.
Those cycling and trekking can head east to explore old restored houses, a variety of trees and flowers as well as the bio-diversity of the Chek Jawa Wetlands. You can also stop at various quarry points across the island for short hikes or climb up its peaks to take in stunning views of the island.
There were once up to five active quarries on Pulau Ubin from the mid 1800s up until 1999 when the last quarry closed. Granite mined from these quarries were used to build roads, the causeway and even early Housing & Development Board (HDB) flats.
Remember to bring along sufficient cash before hopping over as there aren't any banks or Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) on the island. Also note that there is no portable tap water or public electricity on the island. If you wish to stay over, you can sleep under the stars at campsites on Jelutong and Mamam beaches, just ensure you have enough food and water as well as sleeping gear and insect repellent.
While exploring unique Singaporean offerings, you should actively work towards a healthier lifestyle. This will allow you to experience life to the fullest.
To help you get started, AIA Vitality encourages members take charge to of their heath by completing an online health assessment to find out which areas of your health you need to improve and take a Vitality Fitness Assessment to help you understand your current fitness levels. You can also go for comprehensive health screenings and undertaking mental wellbeing assessments to identify your risk for chronic lifestyle diseases and stress triggers respectively.
By taking these proactive steps to lead a healthier life, members will be awarded AIA Vitality Points to improve your AIA Vitality Status and ultimately earn an annual cashback of up to $120, insurance premium benefits and other rewards.