8 Epic Grad Trip Ideas For The Adventurous Clique - Take Your Pick!

8 Epic Grad Trip Ideas For The Adventurous Clique – Take Your Pick!

Don't know where to head to for your grad trip? We've got you covered.

After all the sleepless nights and stressful hours in front of your study desk, you’ve finally made it. Happy Graduation! It’s time to reward yourself for all the years of hard work, and the most fulfilling way to do that is with a trip abroad with your best buds!

But here’s the challenging part: picking the right place to travel to. There are way too many destinations to pick from, and deciding on just one can be rather tricky. To kickstart your plans, we’ve put together a list of 8 destinations (and ideas) that are not only perfect for an epic Grad Trip, but also extra fun to do when you’re with a bunch of friends.

But before you go, here’s a heads up: you’ll definitely be travelling in and out of the city, and even to the countryside, where Internet connectivity is probably weak. With that said, your portable WiFi ports and wireless routers may not even work. So why not make your life easier with M1 Data Passport?

M1 Data Passport lets you use your local data bundle while you’re abroad, with just a SGD2 one-time activation charge and a monthly subscription fee (which depends on the country you’re visiting). There’s no need for you to switch SIM cards, buy a local one, or splurge on anything else for that strong Internet connection. Once you’ve landed abroad, your connection will start right there and then!

Exceeding your data while overseas might sound like a nightmare, but it’s nothing to worry about when you can track your usage via My M1 App. Arm yourself with M1 Data Passport and have the ability to do so many things, such as update your social media, stay connected via WhatsApp (so no one gets left behind!) and navigate with GPS – wherever, whenever.

Ready to get going? Note that we’ve kept the destinations in this list generic, and included our recommendations on where to visit within each destination. Besides, since it’s going to be an epic grad trip, where’s the fun in only visiting one place?

1. JAPAN

🇯🇵 Proposed itinerary: Tokyo > Osaka > Kyoto 🇯🇵

Take a week-long trip across Japan and its beautiful cities then you’ll understand why the country is such a hot destination for travellers. But before venturing into the countryside and sightseeing all the historical and natural landmarks, you’ll want to begin your journey in Japan with the bustling city of Tokyo.

As soon as you step foot into Tokyo, you’ll notice skyscrapers and neon lighting everywhere – that’s only the beginning! Tech enthusiasts definitely need to visit Akihabara (the city’s electronic haven for otakus), just as fashionistas need to visit Harajuku (the city’s hub for youth fashion). Indulge in a hearty bowl of ramen, or crispy tonkatsu at the countless eateries in Shibuya. For an educational yet interesting lesson about Japan’s history, make a trip down to the Tokyo National Museum, Meiji Shrine, and the Imperial Palace.

Unlike Tokyo, Osaka is much less touristy and has more local vibes. You may not be able to experience the same wide variety of options and accessibilities (Tokyoites speak more English than Osakans), but the city is still worth a visit. For some good ol’ shopping and eating, head down to the districts of Dotonbori and Umeda. Don’t leave until you’ve tried Osaka’s local specialties: Okonomiyaki and Takoyaki! See the iconic Osaka Castle in person and escape from the city buzz at the tranquil Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine. We also suggest spending a day at Universal Studios Japan, where you’ll get to ride with your favourite characters, including Harry Potter and Spiderman!

Last but not least, we have Kyoto: Japan’s religious hub. The number of cultural landmarks in Kyoto are countless, which means there will be a lot of sightseeing to do. We suggest taking it slow and easy, and giving yourselves time to explore so that you can end off your trip on a good note!

The Fushimi Inari-Taisha Shrine, Kinkakuji Temple, and Kiyomizu-dera Temple are historic sites where you’ll get to learn about Japan’s deep history, and enjoy a moment of calm and peace at the same time. After that, head to Kyoto’s most famous geisha district, Gion, where you can shop and eat as geishas entertain. At Gion Corner, you can even watch a traditional tea ceremony and dance performance live.

Travelling to and fro the three cities is more convenient and simpler than you think, thanks to the efficient public transportation system and Shinkansen (Japanese Bullet Train)! Sure, the subway maps may look a little intimidating at first, but after a few days of getting around on your own, you guys will do just fine, so don’t worry too much! If you need help navigating, just fish out your phone and put M1 Data Passport to good use.

2. TAIWAN

🇹🇼 Proposed itinerary: Taipei > Jiufen >  Kaohsiung > Hualien  🇹🇼

Image credit: cotaro70s

Taiwan offers a plethora of fun experiences for a large group of friends. The number of places to visit, foods to eat, and sceneries to admire are abundant throughout the country, but fret not; here’s a summary of things to do in the main cities of Taipei, Kaohsiung, and Hualien, which can be done over the rough duration of ten days.

Taipei’s known for its countless night markets, such as Shilin Night Market and Raohe Night Market. So when you’re there, satiate your hunger with tempting street foods like oyster omelette and black pepper buns. Or you could also go for trays of mouth-watering Xiao Long Baos (steamed soup dumplings) at Din Tai Fung, one of the country’s most popular eateries. Don’t miss Taipei’s beautiful skyline from the observatory deck of the iconic Taipei 101 building too!

Next up, Jiufen! The old town of Jiufen lies less than an hour away from Taipei. The town is situated on a mountain and you’ll find many teahouses, street-food eateries and souvenir stores in its alleyways. Jiufen is a great place to explore on an idyllic afternoon. When you’re there, take your time! Try out Jiufen’s signature Taro Rice Balls while admiring the breathtaking view of the vast ocean surrounding Keelung.

After two or three days of exploring North Taiwan, hop on the THSR (Taiwan High Speed Rail) in Taipei that will take you to Kaohsiung in less than two hours. While at Kaohsiung, play with your favourite furry friends at Shoushan Zoo, and admire the serene Lotus Lake from the Dragon and Tiger Pagodas.

Image credit: 陳 好酸

By now, you would probably be craving for some fresh air and greenery, especially after navigating through urban areas for the past few days. Thankfully, your last stop, Hualien, has none of that city chaos. In Hualien, you’ll get to relax in natural hot springs and discover waterfalls and hiking trails. Taroko Gorge, a large canyon with several interesting spots like The Eternal Spring Shrine and Swallow Grotto, is a place best explored as a group. Have fun navigating through the park and taking awesome group pictures within the area!

3. THAILAND

🇹🇭 Proposed itinerary: Bangkok > Phuket 🇹🇭

Image credit: aotaro

We’re pretty sure no explanation is needed as to why Thailand made it to the list. Like some of the other countries mentioned, Thailand has some of the best urban and country landscapes for its travellers, but the best part? Prices here are generally dirt cheap. So if you’re stuck with choosing between Bangkok and Phuket, why not travel to both on the same trip?

Prepare your wallets in advance because, as we all know, Bangkok is a shopping and food lover’s paradise – for both males and females alike! Pratunam Market and Chatuchak Market are two hotspots: here you’ll find all sorts of things to splurge on, from food and home decor to clothing. If those two places aren’t enough, there’s also Rod Fai Night Market, Siam Paragon, or Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. But there’s more to Bangkok than these commercial districts if you’re up for some sightseeing, visit the magnificent Grand Palace and Wat Arun. There’s definitely something to satisfy the entire squad!

Here’s a tip: The best and most efficient way to get around the city is via the Skytrain. Alternatively, you could grab a cab and, if you’re feeling extra touristy, ride a Tuk Tuk.

Image credit: edwin.11

Done with your city exploration? Take a domestic flight (that lasts not more than two hours) from Bangkok to Phuket, where you’ll be able to truly relax. And by that, we mean lazing by the beach with a margarita in hand. But of course, if the laidback vibe isn’t your thing, you can always participate in exciting water sports and activities: take turns parasailing, and scuba-dive through vibrant coral reefs together.

After that, we suggest heading to Kata Beach or Surin Beach to avoid crowds; these two places aren’t as close to Phuket’s nightlife as Patong Beach may be, but you’ll be able to enjoy a quieter afternoon with the same beautiful sand and sea.

The best way to capture those idyllic aquamarine waters, and the spectacular scenery before your very eyes? With the Samsung Galaxy Note8 of course! The Dual Capture mode uses both rear cameras to take two shots simultaneously – one close-up shot from the telephoto lens and one wide-angle shot that shows the entire background. Now, you will not have to miss any epic moment with Dual Capture.

While you’re at it, why not use the enhanced S Pen to scribble a message on your Phuket photo and send it as animated GIF message to your loved ones? This is a new way to communicate creatively with Live Message!

4. AUSTRALIA

🇦🇨 Proposed itinerary: Sydney > Melbourne 🇦🇨

There are many cities in Australia worth exploring, but we’re going to look at the two most popular ones Sydney and Melbourne today, due to their rich culture, nature and wildlife.

The first place that you’ll want to visit after arriving in Sydney is the beach; and it doesn’t matter which one, because most beaches in Sydney are worth visiting and pretty much picture-perfect! Bondi Beach is the safest and most famous, with bars, cafes, theatres, and galleries situated nearby. You could also take a ferry across the harbour to Manly Beach to avoid crowds, or to Taronga Zoo to see a koala up close. Speaking of the harbour you’ll want to see the iconic Sydney Opera House in all its glory while you’re in the city. Catch a performance there, and end off the night with drinks at nightlife spots in Surry Hills.

Melbourne is a vibrant city that will be fun to discover, especially when you’re with a group of friends. Whether it’s the CBD or the beach, there are loads of places with scenic views (to capture that perfect Instagram shot), eateries, museums, and parks that the lot of you will enjoy exploring. When you’re in the CBD, visit Queen Victoria Market for all kinds of local produce and goods, then stop by Federation Square and lose yourself in Melbourne’s arts and cultural scene at the National Gallery of Victoria. Spend the next day at St. Kilda’s Beach kiteboarding or taking a road trip along the Great Ocean Road to see the famed Twelve Apostles.

5. SOUTH KOREA

🇰🇷 Proposed itinerary: Seoul > Busan > Jeju Island 🇰🇷

Image credit: Sean

If you’re thinking of how to have the ultimate grad trip in South Korea, we recommend an adventurous two week-long trip across Seoul, Busan, and Jeju Island. You’ll want to start with Seoul, where you can get the most out of shopping and eating. Shop till you drop at Ewha Women’s University and sing your hearts out at a Noraebang (private karaoke rooms). Don’t forget to have a Chimaek (fried chicken and beer) session at one of the many eateries along Hongdae –in South Korea, eating is socialising! On the next day, the bunch of you could visit Everland, the country’s biggest theme park, hike up to Namsan tower, or cycle along the Han River.

After Seoul, make your way to the coastal city of Busan via the KTX (Korea Train eXpress). Upon arrival, treat yourselves to some yummy traditional Busan cuisine like Ssiat Hotteok (sweet pancake with sesame seeds) or some fresh seafood at Jagalchi Market. Now onto your exploration of the city: stroll through the quaint Gamcheon Village, discover breathtaking views from Taejongdae Park and Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, and challenge yourself to a walk on Oryukdo Island’s glass bridge. And just because a trip to Busan isn’t complete without a visit to the beach, you can also spend a few hours basking under the sun at Haeundae beach.

Image credit: Hyun Woo Kang

Next, head to Jeju Island, an island filled with natural wonders. Mount Hallasan, the country’s tallest volcanic mountain, is a must-see, with many choosing to watch the breathtaking sunrise from Seongsan Ilchubong. Have a good laugh at the humorous erotic sculptures at Jeju Loveland, and feast on a large pot of Haemultang (spicy seafood stew) where the live seafood literally cook before your eyes. Check out Seopjikopji for a gorgeous view of Jeju’s coastline, and Sangumburi Crater for many photo opportunities!

However, navigating around Jeju Island can be a bit of a challenge, because the main mode of transportation is by bus, and the bus schedules can be erratic and difficult to decipher. One option is to hire a taxi driver but if you’re travelling with a large group of friends, it’s definitely more effective to opt for a car rental. Put your M1 Data Passport to good use and use your data plan to navigate with Google Maps. Fast and seamless connectivity, check!

6. HONG KONG

🇭🇰 Proposed itinerary: Lantau Island > Kowloon > Victoria Harbour 🇭🇰

Ah, Hong Kong, the land of Dim Sum. Indeed, although a tray of Har Gow (prawn dumplings) is a good enough reason for us to fly to Hong Kong, there are tons of other reasons why you should visit this metropolitan city.

For starters, there’s Hong Kong Disneyland. The theme park has both thrilling and kid-friendly rides, and has all things Disney (yes, even Mickey-shaped waffles) and a little bit of Marvel in the mix. There’s really no reason why you guys should deprive your five year-old selves from living their childhood dream. The theme park is also located on Lantau Island, where the Big Buddha and Po Lin Monastery sits. To get there, you’ll need to take a Ngong Ping 360 cable car ride, which offers a breathtaking view of the island from above.

Lantau Island aside, the bustling city of Kowloon awaits. Tsim Sha Tsui alone has many points of interest, such as the Avenue of Stars, Hong Kong Space Museum, and Kowloon Park. But the ultimate must-visit attraction? Victoria Harbour. Located at the heart of the city, Victoria Harbour is where you’ll be able to board a harbour cruise tour and watch the city landscape come to life with its daily light show, A Symphony of Lights.

Image credit: Mikel Santamaria

Last but not least, we have The Peak (or Victoria Peak), which has an observation deck that offers a panoramic bird’s eye view of Hong Kong’s skyline. Madame Tussauds Hong Kong is also located at the Peak Tower nearby, perfect for some group shots with your favourite Hollywood celebrities. Go on, recreate some iconic movie scenes while you’re at it!

7. NEW ZEALAND

🇬🇸 Proposed itinerary: Queenstown 🇬🇸

Everyone knows how beautiful New Zealand is; there are absolutely no words that could ever describe the country’s extraordinary landscapes and natural charm. If you have no idea what we’re talking about, you should binge-watch The Lord of The Rings movies or, even better, visit New Zealand itself!

Queenstown is a town popular amongst tourists and New Zealanders for its huge range of adrenaline activities and scenic spots. This is the perfect place to bungee jump, zipline, kayak, and snowboard because you’ll get a free bonus: a stunning view on top of it all! And if adrenaline activities aren’t your thing, you can always join a scenic tour and explore the many mountains and rivers. For the ultimate alpine adventure, check out Milford Sound, Routeburn Track, and Ben Lomond.

Pop by wineries in Gibbston and treat your tastebuds to some of the best Pinot Noir at their wine tasting sessions. Go fishing along the tranquil rivers and practice clay target shooting at Queenstown Hill, all while you’re surrounded by natural beauty of Queensland. Sounds perfect, no? Rent a campervan with the entire squad and get ready for an epic road trip adventure!

Since you’ll be travelling in and out of the wilderness, a strong Internet connection is important you don’t want to risk getting lost in a foreign country! If you’re thinking of investing in a wireless router: it’s not a bad idea, but do you really want to carry an extra weight everywhere? Probably not. And there’s also the worry about your wireless router running out of battery and leaving you stranded in the middle of nowhere. Thankfully, with M1 Data Passport, you can use your local data bundle overseas just the same as at home.

To activate your M1 Data Passport, what you need to do is pay a one-time activation fee of SGD2 and a monthly subscription fee of SGD10 for New Zealand, and you’ll be connected instantly the minute you touch down. You don’t have to worry about exceeding your data either, as you’ll be able to track your data usage easily through the My M1 App.

8. EUROPE

🇮🇹 🇨🇭 🇫🇷 Proposed itinerary: Italy > Switzerland > France 🇮🇹 🇨🇭 🇫🇷

Image credit: Mike Beales

Thinking of exploring Europe but not sure of where to begin? Fret not, we have the dream line-up for you: a two-week trip across Switzerland, Italy, and France. These three cities are not only top destinations in Europe  they’re also easy to travel to and fro, since they’re all next to each other!

Begin your trip with the fashion capital of Milan. Visit the iconic Duomo, the third largest church in the world. When you’re there, admire the gothic cathedral’s stunning architecture and view the city from the top. Afterwards, stroll through Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, the world’s oldest shopping mall, which houses some of the oldest restaurants and shops in Milan, and Italian luxury retailers. End off the night with a performance at La Scala, a renowned opera house where great artists from Italy and all over the world have appeared in. On the next day, head to Sforza Castle and Santa Maria delle Grazie, the latter of which contains the famous mural of Da Vinci’s The Last Supper.  

Image credit: Atibordee Kongprepan

Now, to get to Switzerland from Italy, take the Bernina Express, a train which connects Tirano, Italy, and Chur, Switzerland. The train ride takes less than six hours, and passes by the Swiss Alps, offering some of the most scenic views you’ll ever get to experience. After arriving in Chur, get on a TGV Lyria train to Zurich.

If you don’t already know, Zurich is one of the world’s most liveable cities. Perhaps, after this trip, you’ll understand why! For your first stop, visit the medieval town of Altstadt, which has rows of cobblestone streets and beautiful houses, making it a quaint Renaissance-era neighbourhood that’s popular not just among tourists, but locals too. There are several attractions within the neighbourhood itself, including the Grossmünster. Lake Zurich has incredibly picturesque sceneries which you can stare at for hours, before exploring the famous Lindt and Sprungli chocolate factories nearby. And just because it’s a rare opportunity, get an up close look at art by Monet, Picasso, and Van Gogh at the Kunsthaust.

Done with Milan and Zurich? Paris still awaits. To get there, board a TGV Lyria train you should reach the French capital in four hours.

We all know that Paris is home to several iconic landmarks, like the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, and the Notre-Dame. But the City of Love is more than that it’s a global center for art, fashion, culture, history and so on. Besides the aforementioned sights, here are some other places you’ll want to visit: Jardin du Luxembourg, Tuileries Garden, Belleville, and Montmartre. Don’t forget about French cuisine too! Start your day with a croissant and coffee at Aligre Market, then at night, have a one-of-a-kind dining experience on the River Seine. Imagine digging into your creme brulee whilst cruising along the river with good company, as the Eiffel Tower shines in the distance. Doesn’t that sound like a dream?

It would be a waste to not snap a proper picture then — a moment like that doesn’t come by so easily! So make sure you have a good camera with you. Upload your photos on the go, or seamlessly share them among the members of your group using M1 Data Passport, which allows you to use your local data bundle overseas! Skip the hassle of queuing for a SIM card once you touch down at the airport; because with M1 Data Passport, your connection starts the minute you reach your destination!

Shoot like a pro with Samsung Galaxy Note8! Capture sharper shots with its Dual Camera, Dual Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS). Don’t let darkness get in the way of an epic night shot! The Samsung Galaxy Note8 allows you to take splendid low light shots with its f1.7 lens that captures more light. What’s more, take stunning portraits with Live Focus, where you can control the depth of field by adjusting the Bokeh effect in real-time and even after taking the photo. Hook up your Samsung Galaxy Note8 with M1 Data Passport that is available in 56 destinations across Asia, Europe and the United States from just SGD10/month per destination, and you’ll be all set to share your gorgeous photos on the go!

Whichever destination you pick, you’re bound to have a good time, especially when you’re with good company. Before we go, here’s a pro-tip from us: travel with a small group of friends, instead of a large group. This will allow you to better manage the group dynamics, manage the wants and needs of the entire group, and minimise the possibility of losing sight of each other in crowded places. Once again, happy graduation, and have a good trip – you and your friends deserve it!


Brought to you by M1 and Samsung.

About Author

Teri Anne Tan

If she's not binging on Korean BBQ on a night out with her friends, Teri Anne is most probably at home rewatching Studio Ghibli films or planning her next trip abroad. She loves reading, indulging in clothing hauls, and listening to hits from both K-pop and '80s British Rock. Her ultimate dream? To enjoy a mug of hot chocolate under the Northern Lights in Iceland.

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