Planning a holiday? Here are 10 tips for your year-end getaway

Whether you have had your trip planned for months or are scrambling to book a last-minute getaway, we have you covered.
Whether you have had your trip planned for months or are scrambling to book a last-minute getaway, we have you covered.PHOTO: ST FILE

The year-end school holidays are drawing near, and for most Singaporeans, it is time to go overseas.

Whether you have planned for months or are scrambling to book a last-minute getaway, we have you covered.

Here are some travel tips for a hassle-free holiday.

1. Pick the right destination


Social media is a good place to start when deciding on your next holiday destination, as it gives you a visual idea of what you can expect. PHOTO: HAWAII TOURISM AUTHORITY/TOR JOHNSON

Social media is a good place to start when deciding on your next holiday destination, as it gives you a visual idea of what you can expect.

Travel sites such as TripAdvisor are also great for searching for your next getaway, with fellow travellers providing reviews of what they enjoyed and did not.

For the uninspired, check out the top picks for your next vacation spot here.

2. Get the best deals for your trip


Check different travel agencies and airlines to get the best deals for your trip. ST PHOTO: KHALID BABA

Travelling at the end of the year can be expensive, with the school holidays and festive season driving up the prices of flights and accommodation.

Check different travel agencies and airlines to get the best deals for your trip. Sites like Kayak, Booking.com and Expedia allow you to compare flight and hotel prices, and also have flash promotions sometimes.

Travel fairs may also be handy for finding some last-minute deals.

For students and young adults under 25, consider booking through a student travel agency for discounted airfares. Some airlines such as Air France and Finnair also offer youth fares for their long-haul flights.

3. Minimise your luggage


Travelling light can make your trip a lot breezier. PHOTO: ST FILE

Baggage comes at a premium on most budget airlines, and travelling with a large suitcase can be cumbersome as well. Travelling light can make your trip a lot breezier. If you are travelling with young children, packing light might be tricky, but it will save you some trouble during your holiday.

If you have only hand luggage, remember to check the airline restrictions for carry-on baggage before embarking on your vacation.

4. Check the essentials


Ensure that your passport is valid for your trip. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

Singapore may have the second most powerful passport in the world, but the travel document is useless if it has expired. Ensure that your passport is valid for your trip.

Citizens travelling abroad are also advised to register their travel with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which will allow the ministry to provide emergency assistance should the need arise.

5. Buy travel insurance


Insurance coverage will come in handy if last-minute changes have to be made to your travel plans. PHOTO: SHIN MIN DAILY NEWS

Travel insurance comes in many forms these days, covering more than just the basics of missing baggage, cancelled flights or trip delays. Some insurers also offer policies catering to adventurous holidays and alternative getaways.

Newly-weds-to-be can seek coverage for their destination weddings and overseas photo shoots. Insurance coverage will come in handy if last-minute changes have to be made to your travel plans.

6. Secure your valuables


Tourists are often the target of scams and theft. PHOTO: CRISTINA MENINA FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

Tourists are often the target of scams and theft, but you can protect yourself and your belongings by being alert to your surroundings and securing your valuables. Separating your sources of money and keeping your valuable electronics out of plain view are good ways of ensuring that your trip will be a pleasant one.

7. Keep the family occupied


Consider an active holiday with your family, and involve your children in the trip planning as well. PHOTO: ST FILE

Keeping children happy and occupied on a trip can be a tricky affair. Consider an active holiday with your family, and involve your children in the trip planning as well.

Flying long-haul with young children? Here are some tips that may come in handy.

8. Consider budget alternatives


Low-cost carriers ply several popular routes out of Changi Airport, including to Osaka and Berlin. PHOTO: ST FILE

Travelling does not always have to be an expensive affair. Low-cost carriers ply several popular routes out of Changi Airport, including to Osaka and Berlin. If taking a connecting flight is not an issue, non-direct routes can often be found for lower prices as well.

While staying at a hotel is usually the most convenient and luxurious option, there are many affordable alternatives, such as homestays and hostels. These are also good ways to meet locals and other travellers, who could make your vacation just that bit more memorable.

Cities are shopping and dining havens, but they can also be pricey to visit. Venturing to small towns and nature reserves could be a more affordable option.

9. Stay connected


Having a reliable Internet connection can be useful for getting around. PHOTO: ST FILE

Wi-Fi during a flight used to be a luxury. Not anymore.

If you need to stay connected during a flight, most major airlines now offer in-flight Wi-Fi. According to a study, 82 airlines now have in-flight Internet - which is a 17 per cent increase from 70 last year - and speeds are getting better.

When you reach your destination, having a reliable Internet connection can be useful for getting around. Most Singaporeans consider an Internet connection key to their travel, as an Expedia survey found.

Telcos have different roaming plans for various needs, while mobile Wi-Fi devices are a good option for those travelling in groups. Alternatively, consider buying a local SIM card upon your arrival. 

10. Start planning for 2019


There are four long weekends in 2019 waiting to be used for your next trip. ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

It is never too early to plan a holiday - there are four long weekends in 2019 waiting to be used for your next trip. Here are some tips to maximise the 11 gazetted public holidays.

And with Jewel Changi Airport launching next year, your holiday can begin even before you take off.