Finally, you have decided on your vacation destination and the dates of travel. Now the fun starts and you need to start thinking of all the things you need to do to prepare for your trip before you can sit back and wait in anticipation while the day draws nearer.
The Best Travel Checklist
For the bargain hunter, it is usually good to plan a major trip at least 3 to 6 months in advance, so as to take advantage of promotions for accommodation and flights offered by hotels and airlines. It also gives you time to take care of your checklist of things and to be able to relax and really enjoy your next holiday:
- Passport: You do need to have valid passports with at least a 6 months of validity. For more information please refer to ICA.
- Visa: Apply for necessary Visa. For many countries, you need to apply for a visa. This process often takes a long lead time. For example, a trip to Bhutan will require you to apply for the visa through a licensed Bhutanese tour operator or a foreign travel agent. Lucky for you, more and more countries offer online applications for visa, or visa on arrival.
- Driving: Bring your International Driving Permit if you are renting a car to drive. You do need to apply for your permit ahead of time at AAS or any of the AA Singapore outlets. Don’t forget to arrange for car hire since it is often more expensive at airports. Do take note of the size of the vehicle, the kind of vehicle and also of course insurance.
- Confirmations: Check if you need to confirm your accommodation arrangements. Certain websites offers booking of accommodation with free cancellations but the price is reduced when you opt for non-refundable deals. You can also download travel guides to attractions as well as dining and shopping options near to your accommodation and the city that you are visiting into your mobile phone or tablet.
- Insurance: You need to arrange for Travel insurance for either single or multi-trips. We can help you find the travel insurance that best fits your needs, so you can quickly cross it off your list.
- Transport: Arrange for airport parking or taxi pick-up from home to airport and airport to home. Often you can arrange airport transfer to your hotel/ accommodation via an email to the hotel/ accommodation for airport transfer.
- Money: Double check if you have the correct currency for the destination/s and get the currency exchanged at money changers/bank. When you are flying to your destination, you can exchange your Singapore Dollars at the airport. Do remember to inform your credit card company and bank to activate the cards for the destinations before you take off.
- Reservations: If you want to get the most out of your holiday, make reservations at favourite/ popular restaurants in advance and also book tickets for plays, opera, activities and museums. Often it is cheaper to book in advance online than get it over the counter. Also, do not forget to use tourist cards or promotions.
- Public Transport: Purchase promotional tram/ train/ bus tickets for the destinations.
- Prepare: Make sure you check-in online to save time at the airport. Many airlines offer e-tickets via apps or email, so you don’t have to print it all. Make sure to save all your tickets in the cloud and your phone for easy reference.
- Protect your home: Arrange for newspapers and any publications to be interrupted for the duration of the vacation. Check your Home Insurance and make sure you are covered while absent. Also, ensure you inform someone to take care of your pets and plants when you are away in advance.
Documents to bring on your holiday
Never forget these important documents when you are on holiday. Have your documents for your flights, accommodations, restaurant bookings and such saved to both your mobile or tablet and in the cloud for easy access. However, do note that paper copies of the following documents are better:
- Photocopy of Passport, email a copy to yourself
- International Driving Permit (valid for one year) + Singapore License
- Photocopy of visa documents
- Photocopy of credit cards
- Email copies of Travel Insurance to yourself, keep the text of the details and the hotline number in your mobile phone. When you have bought your Travel insurance on Insurance Market you don’t need to do this because you can always check or download your policies from your online account.
- A copy of the accommodation booking
- A copy of e-tickets/ boarding passes
- A list of essential telephone numbers
- Some cash in hard currency (to cater for ATM / Currency disturbances)
The most essential items
Do not forget to bring your essential Items. Typically pack these in one day before leaving for the trip. Think of these items that need to be packed in your carry-on and check-in baggage:
- Mobile phone: write down the IMEI number of your mobile; necessary when you need it to report lost or stolen
- Bring your keys
- Wallet/ purse: it is easiest to separate the currencies so that you can keep track of how much you have
- Watch/ alarm clock: (to be packed in the check-in luggage)
- Spare spectacles / case
- Sunglasses/ shades
- Spare contact lenses/ case with travel pack of lotion
- Hearing aid
- Bring sufficient supply of medication; at least bring for an extra week than your trip duration. Ask your doctor for some “first response” medication if your destination requires.
- Store your credit card details, bank account numbers, Travel Insurance, ID numbers in an app such as 1Password
Organise your electronics
Electronics and equipment all the chargers could be checked-in but the rest of the devices and power sources i.e. batteries and power bank have to be in the carry-on.
- Mobile phone and charger
- Electronic plug converter: ensure that the electrical plug and voltage information for the destination is correct so that the correct adapter is bought for all electronics
- (Noise cancelling) Earphones or headphones
- Tablet or iPad and charger
- Laptop and charger
- Kindle or other e-Reader and charger
- Camera and camera charger & all accessories
- Music player (iPod or another mp3 player) and charger
- Batteries or power bank
- Power slab: allows you to charge all electronics at the same time e.g. camera, mobile, laptop and tablet
Toiletries and personal items
We advise you to keep a small travel pouch with a few necessary items such as toothbrush, toothpaste, face wash, face moisturiser, tissues, lip balm and hand sanitizer in a carry-on
- A copy of prescription in case there is a need during an emergency
- First aid kit
- Tampons and sanitary towels
- Antibacterial hand gel
- Wet wipes
- Hand cream
- Hand sanitizer
- Deodorant / Perfume
- Face wash
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Face and body moisturiser
- Lip balm
- Sun cream
- After sun
- Mosquito repellent
- Hairdryer only if the accommodation does not provide. Check its website for on-site facilities.
- Hair clips and ties
- Jewellery and a lockable case for valuables
Other useful items to bring
these items are useful in helping the traveller enjoy the trip better.
- Neck pillow
- Eye mask
- (noise cancelling) Earplugs + converter for the plane
- Books & magazines
- Phrasebook/ app for country you are visiting
- Playing cards
- Sealable plastic bags for toiletries
- Extra plastic bags for dirty laundry
No excuse to forget to bring anything with your next holiday
The checklist is very comprehensive for most trips and you can tailor it to your own personal needs. As for appropriate clothing for the trip will depend on the kind of weather, season and culture of the countries the travellers took.
While you are in the holiday mood, do not forget to compare and buy your Travel Insurance now.
We hope this helps and wish you a wonderful trip!