Great Tips Before You Travel (Adapted from MFA Singapore)

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) website provides some useful travel tips before you travel. While some of the travel tips are applicable to Singapore citizens venturing overseas, we have extracted a few general tips which are applicable to travelers of all nationalities and be it for business or for pleasure.

Tip 1: Check the visa requirements of countries you intend to enter or transit in. As visa requirements can change at short notice, we advise you to check with your travel agencies or the relevant foreign embassies to ensure that you have the most updated visa information. Please note that visa requirements may also differ for holders of Singapore Temporary Travel Document.

Why do I need a visa?

Every country has the right to bar you entry if a visa is required but absent. If you do not possess an appropriate visa, you may be denied entry to the country you are visiting or transiting in, ending your trip before it has even begun. We are unable to assist you in such a situation as we cannot intervene in another state’s immigration policies, just as how they cannot interfere in Singapore’s. Visas are issued for different purposes such as study, tourism, or business. Please ensure that you obtain the right one for your purposes, or you may be refused entry to the country.

Tip 2: Purchase comprehensive travel insurance which includes medical evacuation in case you encounter any unexpected emergencies. Be familiar with the terms and coverage of your policy.

Why do I need insurance?

Possessing the right travel insurance can save you a great deal of trouble should adverse situations occur.

A healthy Singaporean visiting China suffered a sudden brain haemorrhage and had to be hospitalised. Given his critical condition, the Singaporean remained hospitalised for two weeks and chalked up a daily bill of S$1,000. When he was eventually cleared by the hospital for medical evacuation back to Singapore, the flight evacuation cost almost S$60,000. Unfortunately, the Singaporean had not purchased any travel insurance and his family had to foot the entire hospital bill as well as the cost of medical evacuation amounting to S$74,000.

If you do not have suitable insurance, you or your family and friends will be required to bear the burden of these expenses, which can be extremely costly. We therefore strongly advise you to purchase a suitable insurance policy and know the terms and conditions of your policy, before travelling abroad. UOB Travel offers a range of travel insurance policies from leading insurers like AIG and UOI (United Overseas Insurance) to meet this need.

Tip 3: Check the health and vaccination requirements for your destination(s). which includes medical evacuation in case you encounter any unexpected emergencies. Be familiar with the terms and coverage of your policy.

Bring your doctor’s prescription if you have to carry any medication, as you may need to show this at the customs checkpoint(s).

Tip 4: Check the customs regulations concerning import and export of items for the countries you are visiting. Some countries require travellers to declare items that are under their quarantine restrictions at the entry checkpoint.

Tip 5: Check travel advisories and security/risk situations for your destination(s). ). Sources include UOB Travel, MFA, Travel Security solutions providers (e.g. International SOS), online news sources and tourist information offices.

Tip 6: Ready important documents and make copies e.g. Passport data page, credit cards, air/hotel bookings in case you lose any of them. Leave copies with your family and friends as a contingency and tell your friends and family where you are going and how to contact you. Ensure that your passport has at least 6 months’ validity. Apply for an International Driving Permit if you plan to drive overseas.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Singapore