Hitting the Road? Top Travel Tips For Your Post-Pandemic Wanderlust

It is time – after more than two years of being cloistered in our tiny island, smothered by travel restrictions, the gates stand ajar once again. With the holiday season in full swing, let our pandemic blues fade into distant memory and explore what the world has to offer! Europe, America, Africa, and the rest of Asia are all waiting to be traversed. But before you hop onto the next flight, there are a few things you can take note of to make the most out of your overseas adventures. 

Get Travel Insurance

You never know what can happen. Whenever possible, it is better to be safe than sorry, and you don’t want to be in a situation where you have to pay exorbitant amounts for a replacement flight or hospitalisation bills after an accident. Overseas experiences can be far from forgiving. Avoid your vacation from turning into a nightmare by paying the price sooner for a reputable insurance package rather than suffering the consequences later. 

AIG, AIA and AXA all have pretty solid insurance plans. There is coverage for a single trip, or you can choose the annual package if you’re a more frequent traveller. These generally cover medical expenses, trip cancellations and loss of personal belongings. 

Or if you or a family member has served National Service, you can opt to get Singlife’s Travel Insurance. Those with an active MINDEF & MHA Group Term Life / Group Personal Accident policy carried over after ‘ORD-ing’ can enjoy a 30% discount off their travel quote!

Apply for a Card With No International Transaction Fees

Banks will charge nasty transaction fees when you buy items in foreign currency or withdraw money from international ATMs. Currency conversion usually costs 3% and a small additional amount for using your card to pay for things overseas. While it may seem rather insignificant at first, these costs will all add up if you visit multiple countries. 

To avoid these needless expenses, carry cards that have no international transaction fees. A perfect choice is YouTrip. This is a multi-currency wallet linked with MasterCard. You can top up money in SGD on the app before converting it into 10 different currencies without any currency-changing fees. Just apply for it in Singapore, and the card will be delivered to you in a few days – free of charge. 

Choose Refundable Hotel Rooms 

Plans change all the time. Music festival gets cancelled at the last minute? A friend invites you to a party somewhere far from where you initially wanted to go? That calls for refunds on hotel stays, but you don’t always get them.

Book your rooms on sites such as and Airbnb to prevent losing all your money. These websites usually offer free cancellations, sometimes even on the day of the booking itself. 

Remember to Buy a Local SIM Card 

Phone data is a must-have for your travels. Imagine not being able to check Google Maps or uploading your best shots on Instagram while on the go. But once you land in a new country, data roaming will cost you a bomb without a local SIM card. The price will be dear, especially if you’re intending to stay overseas for an extended period of time. 

To avoid these burdensome costs, grab a prepaid SIM card in each country that you are going to spend longer than a week in. Though some telcos may offer data roaming packs for purchase, they tend to be rather pricey. SIM cards are comparatively better in value. 

There are many providers offering a variety of plans to cater to your data usage habits. Sometimes, you can find terrific deals too! For example, if you’re going to the Netherlands, look for Tele2. Their cards provide data within the country and all over Europe. I found their SIM-only plans to be the most value for money out of all the providers. But in general, for all countries, a trick is to avoid buying SIM cards at airports and do some research to find the cheapest phone shops nearby. 

Make Smart Decisions About Your Hand Carry

As a tourist, your number one priority is to avoid being robbed. Steer clear from wearing fanny packs or bum bags! That will immediately mark you as an outsider and make you an easy target for thieves. Instead, opt for sling bags that you can position in front of your body. If you are travelling with more items, consider investing in anti-theft backpacks from XD Design and Pacsafe

Bring a Soap Bar to Do Your Own Laundry 

Searching for laundromats can be cumbersome. So is paying your hotel to help you clean your laundry. Packing a nifty soap bar and clothesline into the luggage before leaving will save you the hassle. After all, many hotels also charge large amounts for the service. Simply hand-wash your dirty clothes in the sink or shower and hang them on the balcony to dry. 

This way, you are also less likely to lose any article of clothing. Using public washing machines always comes with the risk of finding your favourite shirts missing. Additionally, when you do your own laundry, you can also cultivate a habit of washing your clothes at night so that by the time you wake up in the morning, they will have dried and be ready for wear. 

Bookmark Instagram Posts for Travel Inspiration

Travel Tips: Bookmark Instagram Posts
The first step to embarking on an Insta-worthy vacation is looking at other travellers’ shots

If you’re looking for great places to visit, Instagram is one of the best ways to start. You can get so much travel inspiration from scrolling through photos with location tags. Discover both popular spots and hidden gems from your favourite travel influencers. Save these photos, and when you reach the place, you can open up your bookmarks again to search for the exact areas where those beautiful shots were taken – and recreate your own version. 

Keep Multiple Copies of Key Documents 

More often than not, places will request a form of identification – usually your passport or birth certificate. But carrying these important documents everywhere can be risky, so printing a few copies and stuffing them into your backpack is good. This way, you can whip them out and show them whenever you are asked to do so. 

Saving them as digital PDF files on your phone, Dropbox and Google Drive works as well. A trick for neater organisation is to store these documents in easily accessible folders to minimise any fumbling when the customer service officer requests to see them. 

Top Travel Tips

Preparation is key to ensuring that your vacation will be free from mishaps. With these tips, we hope that you will have fun exploring different cultures and making new memories with your loved ones. Safe travels, everyone – and happy holidays! 

Visuals courtesy of @odiin via Unsplash and @cottonbro studio via Pexels.

*Article updated with corrected name

Eunice Sng

Loves trying out new flavoured drinks and discovering the latest cultural events. Dyed her hair a thousand different colours in the last two years and should perhaps stop before all the strands fall out. Is also probably sleep-deprived.

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