Singapore is tiny, China is not. Yet a Visa survey discovered that we Singaporeans like to travel just as much,
“Affluent holiday-goers here go abroad about three times a year on average, tying with those from China as the most frequent travellers in the Asia-Pacific.” Straits Times, June 2015
And the travel bug is not limited to the wealthy. Dr Michael Chiam should know. He is a senior lecturer in tourism at Ngee Ann Polytechnic, he explains,
“Singaporeans love to travel for all kinds of reasons. You can observe the travel patterns – whenever there is a long weekend, the number of cars on the roads here lessen. Going overseas has become a habit.” Straits Times, June 2015
Chances are you’ll be planning your next trip before long. If you are driving across the border to JB, or planning your first skiing trip to the mountains of Japan, it pays to plan more than just your itinerary. Check out this travel advice from the experts. It could save you a whole heap of trouble when you’re overseas:
Before You Travel
- Ensure that your passport has at least 6 months validity.
- Check visa requirements of the countries that you will be visiting and transiting.
- Check health and vaccination requirements of the countries that you will be visiting and transiting.
- Apply for an Exit Permit (applicable to male Singapore citizen on National Service).
- Purchase full travel insurance to cover illness, injury and loss of money, baggage, tickets etc.
- Bring your doctor’s prescription if you have to carry medication or drugs. You may need to show this at the customs checkpoint.
- Carry photocopies of your identity card and passport data page, credit cards and note down travel cheque numbers if any.
- Check out the latest MFA advice about travelling to countries if you have safety or medical concerns.
- Leave a copy of your itinerary with your family/friends or inform them where you are going and how you may be contacted.
While You Are There
- Obey the laws and respect the local customs of the country you are visiting.
- Take special care of your passport and other documents of identification and keep them in a safe place, preferably separate from the rest of your luggage.
- Do not carry too much cash or other valuables.
- Never leave your belongings unattended.
- Never carry packages through customs on behalf of other people.
- Pay attention to the food and drinks you consume in areas where hygiene standards are low.
- Check out the customs regulations concerning import and export of items.
- If you drive, make sure that you have an International Driving Permit. Make sure you know the local rules of the road.
- Ensure that you, your passengers and the vehicle are covered by insurance.
- Read the fine print before signing car hire agreements.
- Stay in touch with your family in Singapore and inform them of any change in your itinerary or contact details.
Your Best Back Up Plan
There is one thing worse than being delayed, stuck, robbed, ill or injured. Having no back up plan. Your best back up plan = great travel insurance.