Preparing for my trip to Singapore – Before You Go Checklist

I can feel the excitement mounting, my trip to Singapore is only 10 days away and my planning is well underway. I love this part of my adventures, but always have to keep in mind that I need to make sure I’ve checked everything off my checklist as I do get a little carried away with the excitement of it all.

For this trip, I decided to support my local travel agent for my flights.  I have to admit, this was a little strange for me as I haven’t used a travel agent since the late 1980’s.  The agent was very helpful, and managed to work with me to find the best value flights.  I needed an airline that partner’s with my preferred airline, in order to ensure, I take advantage of my frequent flyer status and still earn points. No problem!  I will be flying Singapore Airlines and will still have access to the airline lounges as part of the partnership with Virgin Australia. With my desire to stay away from the maddening crowds, the agent had some suggestions on the areas to stay in too.  He understood my desire to plan this part of my trip myself.  I now understand that using a Travel Agent is a great option if you have an aversion to having to organise it all yourself or indeed, if you are about to embark on your first solo adventure.

I’ve organised my Travel Insurance and made sure that it covers me for all the things I need to be covered for on my trip.  I use World Nomads for my travel insurance as I have found it to be the best for my needs and covers the things I do on my journeys.  (Yes I am an affiliate for World Nomads and do receive small commissions for referring people, however, I only partner with companies that I use myself and trust.)

So plane tickets in hand, now do I need a visa? Many countries do not require a visa but may require you to apply for a visa waiver, so its always best to check out a country’s official sites to check this out.  Okay, most visitors don’t require a visa for Singapore, but there are some that do.  You can check out whether you require one here.

Now for accomodation. For this trip, I am using some of my frequent flyer points for my accomodation.  I’m staying a little out of the madness, but have checked to see that the hotel has easy access to transport, and it has a free shuttle bus into the main areas of the city.  I always check out multiple websites for hotel reviews, but usually only take notice of whether it is clean with a comfy bed.  I take no notice of comments like “the lift or the room was small”, hotels are just places to sleep after my day’s adventures to me.

For this trip, I’ve pre-booked a hop on hop off bus tour.  These are great for solo women travellers, a great way to see the attractions and decide where you would like to see.  Each of the stops is a great starting point to get lost.  You can have a quick look at the attractions then take off.  These buses usually cost around $30 for a 24 hour period, so they are also a reasonably cheap way to get around a city.  You can also decide the places you would like to visit again.

Pagoda of the Chinese gardens in Singapore
Pagoda of the Chinese gardens in Singapore

I’m hunting my way through the miriad of websites for things to do in Singapore.  This is the most frustrating thing for me to do as I prefer the off the beaten track things.  Yes there are some resources online to find these, but most of the travel websites only suggest tours.  I do know, I want to check out the street hawkers for the best local food and I’ve discovered a little heritage trail that I would like to see.  Note to self, keep hunting.

Now what to pack for my trip.  As I am only away for 4 nights this time, I will be able to get away with a carry on bag.  I’ve checked out that the average temperature in Singapore in November is 30C, and November is when the monsoon season is in full swing.  It will be humid!  I will need to make sure that I pack lightweight clothing that protects me from the sun and an umbrella. Knowing that the heat takes it’s toll on a not so young woman and my feet may well swell as a consequence, I will need a comfortable pair of walking shoes and socks that breath.  Oh and some nice sandles just in case I have a night out. I’ve checked out Smart Traveller and I will need to pack some insect repellant due to the transmission of mosquito borne viruses like Zika are prevalent in tropical climates.

Most of the things I need to do are checked off.  Can’t wait to see you Singapore!

Here’s a checklist you can use for your travel planning.

Before you go checklist:

  • Passport – Is it up to date? Some countries need you to have a certain number of months left on your passport so check this out before you go.
  • Visa – Do you need a visa or a visa waiver?
  • Entry Requirements – Check this out before you go
  • Vaccinations – Are you visiting a country where there are diseases you need to protect yourself from?
  • Travel Insurance – Check your travel insurance covers you for all of your activities.
  • Safety – Check out any travel advisories.
  • Money – What currency? Is it easy to access your money?  Have some cash exchanged before you go.
  • Booking – Make sure you have booked accomodation for at least the first night or so.
  • Transport – How will you get to your accomodation?
  • Getting Around – Check out the local transport options before you go.
  • Driving – Do you need an international licence?  What are the local driving conditions?
  • Phone – Data roaming is expensive, make sure you have an international SIM card if you can.
  • Apps – Download maps and local guides onto your phone.  Make sure you have some off line maps and guides just in case.
  • Medication – Make sure you can take your medication into the country you are visiting.

Happy Travels

@Julie Beckers

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