Tips for Organising Your First Trip to Singapore
A unique and exciting city state, Singapore attracts three times more tourists each year than its total population. With 17.4 million annual visitors, this tiny country depends on its tourism industry, and is therefore incredibly welcoming.
With ultramodern architecture, beautiful beaches, luxury hotels, and the opportunity for tropical jungle exploration, Singapore packs so much into such a small island city state. However, it is important to do your research if you want your trip to be successful.
Being prepared is essential, as is taking into account comparatively high living costs and understanding the local laws and culture of this incredible region of Asia.
Singapore’s rules of entry can be complicated, so it is important to research their requirements. Citizens of America and the EU can stay in Singapore for up to 90 days without a visa, while Canadians, along with most citizens of Asian or South American countries, are only granted visa-free access for 30 days.
The process for these countries tend to be simple. You only need to fill out a form on the plane and ensure that you stay within the requirements and don’t overstay.
However, for other countries, such as much of the Middle East and North Africa, a visa application is required. Make sure you have obtained the legal right of entry before attempting to board an aircraft. In most cases, a visa will be granted, so don’t let the need to apply put you off you dream of visiting Singapore.
Furthermore, financial coverage for your trip is essential. As exemplified by the recent collapse of Thomas Cook, nothing is certain. Although Singapore is an extremely safe country, you cannot guarantee that there won’t be cancellations or illnesses.
In a part of the world where prices are high, it is even more essential that you have adequate travel insurance. This will ensure that you are prepared for every eventuality so that you can go about your journey worry free. If you are working while travelling, make sure that your insurance also covers the loss, theft or damage of your phone and laptop.
It is no secret that Singapore has an extremely high cost of living, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy it on a budget. Before you head out for the first time, research the ways in which you can save money to make your vacation more affordable. For instance, taking public transport like buses will make getting around a great deal cheaper than relying on taxis.
Unlike many countries, it is perfectly safe to drink the tap water in Singapore, so there’s no need to waste money on bottled drinks. When it comes to drinking, the steep price of a pint can be avoided by waiting for happy hour or buying alcohol from the store. While a bottle of beer in a bar can cost upwards of $8, the store bought equivalent is around $2.50, making it much more affordable.
In terms of food, visit a hawker centre, where you can eat like a local for the fraction of the cost of a touristy restaurant. Local, authentic cuisine in Singapore is healthier and more nutritious than the large and well-known chains that you will find around the city centre. By finding buying from street stalls, you won’t find it difficult to consume enough calories, even on a strict diet.
Observe Local Rules And Customs
Singapore has a unique culture, which differs from what is expected in the USA and Europe. To avoid any legal problems or social faux pas, ensure that you are aware of these differences. Some of the differences are positive and work in your favour, such as the fact that tipping is not expected. This means that while restaurant costs are higher, you won’t need to add on the extra 15% to 20% that you normally do after a meal out in the USA or the UK.
However, other activities that seem normal, or at the very least, not illegal, can come with a hefty punishment. Being aware of these before you set foot in Singapore will help you to avoid any nasty surprises. For example, chewing gum is banned, and could land you with a fine of a thousand dollars. Not flushing the toilet is also not just rude, but a criminal offence. Being aware of these differences is an important part of the preparation required before heading to Singapore.
A beautiful and vibrant city state, a trip to Singapore is a unique and exciting tourist destination. However, preparation is essential. Make sure all your travel documentation, including insurance, is in order. Be wary of the costs and how to keep them low, while understanding the laws and expected behaviour of the city. This way, you can help to ensure a successful and eye-opening vacation to Singapore.