Make Copies Of Passports/Photo IDs
It’s important to make copies of passports or photo identity cards for you and your children and carry them everywhere as it could be handy during an emergency.
Lydia’s best tip is to save them on your preferred cloud service such as iCloud or Google Drive so they’re easily accessible wherever you go. Also keep copies offline on your phone should you not have Wi-Fi.
Save Important Phone Numbers
Keep the numbers of your airline, bank and hotel in your phone. For extra assurance, write them on a safe document, just in case your phone gets stolen.
Activate Credit/Debit Cards for Overseas Usage
Don’t forget to activate your ATM and credit cards for use overseas. This way, you can bring only as much cash as you need and can quickly access funds or make a large purchase in an emergency. Just take note that these transactions often have a surcharge to them!
Keep some local currency safely hidden in your hotel room so you have a supply to tide you over if your wallet gets stolen.
Apply For Necessary Visas
Traveling to a different country is a very exciting experience so don’t let a passport that’s close to expiry of a visa stop you! Many countries require travellers to have passports with at least six months’ validity before they are allowed to enter.
Get Travel Insurance
When it comes to traveling with children, it’s always good to err on the side of caution and that’s where a multi-purpose travel insurance plan comes in.
Sure, we’ve all had those moments where we thought an insurance plan could be a potential waste of money because of the many accident-free trips we’ve been on. However, did you know that insurance could actually reimburse you for things like your personal belongings in a lost baggage?
Travel insurance can be bought on an annual or per-trip basis for as low as S$15! Just be sure to read the find prints and check if any of the activities you’ll be doing could be classified under a ‘hazardous activity’ that some insurance companies might not cover.
Check The Weather
Days before you fly off, make an effort to find out what the weather at your destination is like. It also helps to check the geotags of the places you’re intending to visit on social platforms like Instagram and Facebook to see what’s happening in real time!
Get Your Preventive Shots
Check with your doctor to see if you require any sort of vaccinations or booster shots before you fly off.
Alternatively, make your very own mini first aid kid with band aids of different sizes, disinfectant and painkillers. You should also keep a bottle of hand sanitizer, tissue and wet wipes handy.
International Driving Permits
If you’re planning to drive overseas, consider getting an international driving permit that translates your license into 10 languages and is recognised in more than 150 countries.
The permit is valid for one year and can be obtained only in the country which issued your driving licence. In Singapore, it costs $20 and you can get it at Automobile Association of Singapore branches or online.
Buy Tickets In Advance
Often times, it’s best to book tickets for the attractions and rides you’d like to go on before the trip. This way, you might even score yourself some discounts and avoid wasting time in long queues.
Register With Local Embassy
Before any trip, register yourself and your loved ones with the local embassy so they can provide assistance during an emergency. Singaporeans can apply register online with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Learn Local Words
Learning key phrases like “thank you”, “excuse me” and “hello” in the local language of the country you’re visiting could help break the ice with locals.
While you’re at it, learn a bit about the local culture so as to avoid causing offence.
Charge Electronic Devices
Just before leaving the house, ensure that your electronic devices are fully charged. Keep a portable charger around and take along suitable plug adaptors so charging doesn’t become a problem.
Depending on the destination, it can often be best to rent a portable Wi-Fi router. Thankfully, Changi Recommends now have a 24-hour booth in every Changi Airport terminal that lets you pick up and drop off a pocket router for as low as S$5 to S$20 a day. Reserve them online (at least three days in advance) on Changi Recommends.
Get in the habit of downloading local apps from transport companies and city tourism boards to find out what’s going on in the city and get recommendations.
Even if you’re in a rush, plan the first day of your visit before you embark on your trip. It helps to know what is in the immediate vicinity of your hotel so you can minimise the chances of getting lost.