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Things to Prepare When Going Overseas on Holiday

A short city tour, an overseas culinary experience, or even just enjoying yourself at a beautiful beach on an exotic island - It’s an exciting time for those planning a vacation overseas, after 2 years of restricted travel during this pandemic.

As of today, most countries have opened their borders and have eased travel restrictions to re-welcome tourists to their country. So, are you ready for a holiday overseas in this new normal? While you grab your luggage from beneath your bed and dust off those dust bunnies, you should spend some time preparing your travel plans and documents so that you can finally start your long-awaited holiday with a ease of mind.

To help you get started, here’s a list of things to check before heading to the airport:

1. Did you bring your passport?

Most countries require a passport valid for six months after your return date, so please check your passport validity before you book your flight. If it expires soon, you will have to renew your passport before booking your flight.

2. Did you apply for the necessary visas?

Some visa applications require additional processing time before they can be granted. If you want to visit a country that requires a visa, you will need to apply for the visa in advance.

3. Did you get travel insurance?

Not all health insurance covers you while you’re travelling abroad, so don’t forget to consider buying medical evacuation and emergency medical insurance for your trip. Some insurance policies also cover the possibility of a Covid-19 infection, in which case you will have to recover from, before returning to Singapore.

4. Are you vaccinated?

Most countries require you to have at least a second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine before allowing entry. You should complete as many booster shots as you are eligible for and ensure that you have proof of your vaccination readily available.

5. Do you have enough funds in foreign currency?

Research the cost of living in your destination country, and budget your spending accordingly. The price of accommodation, transport, food, and the like vary across different countries. (Tip: it is usually cheaper to use a Credit Card for purchases in malls, shops and restaurants, while it is easier to use cash for bus fares, tips and smaller neighbourhood shops.)

6. Did you pack the right things?

Research your destination in advance. You should be aware of the temperatures or weather conditions in the destination country so that you will not be too unprepared. Ensure that you have the right clothes too, so don’t bring summer clothes to a country in the middle of winter! Don’t forget to leave extra space in your luggage for souvenirs, too!

Additionally, here are some additional to-dos for those departing from Singapore:

1. Check requirements imposed by foreign authorities

To enter another country, you may need to fulfill some additional requirements not imposed by the Singapore Government. Please refer to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs travel guides which include the appropriate foreign authorities’ websites/contacts.

2. Check requirements for returning to Singapore

Do ensure that you will be able to return to Singapore before booking your flights. For details on entry requirements into Singapore, you can refer to the Travelling to Singapore page.

3. Obtain a Pre-Departure COVID-19 Test or Proof of Infection/Recovery in Singapore for Overseas Travel

Travellers who are required by their destination country/region to take a pre-departure COVID-19 test must book an appointment with any clinic found on this list that provides such services. If one has recently recovered from Covid-19, a Recovery Memo from the Ministry of Health is required.

4. Ensure you have a Digitally Authenticated Outbound Pre-Departure Covid-19 Test Result

If you have taken a COVID-19 PCR test or Antigen Rapid Test (ART) in Singapore for overseas travel, you will receive a digital test result certificate. Those who are unable to receive a digital certificate or have taken a COVID-19 test that is not a PCR test can request a hardcopy certificate from the clinic instead.

5. Ensure that you have a Digitally Authenticated Vaccination Certificate

All hardcopy vaccination cards issued in Singapore, as well as vaccination records found on mobile applications such as TraceTogether and HealthHub may not be accepted overseas. You will need to prepare the appropriate documents and research on your destination’s requirements for vaccination proof.

After all your preparation, and more than two years of travel restrictions, are you ready to explore the world again and visit your favourite holiday locations?

- Written by: Patricia Shareleen and Asahi Yip, Cayman Management Consultants


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