While holidays are undoubtedly exciting, especially with recent travel fairs and promotions up for grabs, the fun can sometimes be overshadowed by a whole laundry list of responsibilities and missed details.
Travelling can get stressful if you’re not careful during your planning, and this is especially true for those of us who may have dependents or elderly loved ones who require dedicated care and support. But fret not — here are all the tips you need for your holiday preparation. Check these 10 things off your to-do list for an enjoyable trip for you and your loved ones!
1. Check your passport and travel documents
This is just as important as ensuring that you remember to take your passport with you before you step into the taxi and go off on your merry way to the airport. After all, what good is your passport if it’s expired or if you’re missing a necessary visa for the country you’re visiting?
And so, the first step to any holiday preparation checklist is to make sure that you and your loved ones’ travel documents are in order. Ensure that your passports have at least six months of validity as most countries require this for entry.
As for visas, Singapore’s passport is one of the most powerful in the world so you shouldn’t need one for most countries popular among Singaporeans, such as Japan, Korea, Thailand, or Taiwan. You should, however, still do your due diligence and check if a visa is required as countries may still change their travel restrictions for a variety of reasons. A quick search online should suffice!
2. Protect yourself with travel insurance
No matter how lucky you are, unfortunate events can happen during an overseas trip. That’s why it’s all the more important that you get protection for yourself and your loved ones in the event of any travel exigencies that may arise over the course of your trip. This is where travel insurance comes in.
Think of it as a safety net that allows you and your loved ones to bounce back and recover even when untoward circumstances happen during your trip. Travel insurance protects your dream holiday trip by providing coverage for medical emergencies, trip cancellations, and lost or damaged belongings, offering you financial protection as you travel and safeguarding your peace of mind.
3. Plan your itinerary to a T
Even if you’re going on an impromptu trip, always make your reservations for hotels, flights, and experiences in advance. Preparing a well-organised itinerary is often, the most important step in ensuring that your dream holiday trip is a success for everyone on the list. You should also communicate your itinerary to your loved ones clearly, and involve them in the planning and decision-making. Perhaps someone in the family is more attracted to museums while others are clearly more enthused by a day spent in retail therapy. That’s when a solid itinerary plan can help make sure everyone has a good time enjoying themselves while also ensuring everyone spends some quality time together.
4. Come up with a packing list
Packing wisely is also important to keep your dream trip going smoothly! Do your research and consider what the climate at your destination will be like, as well as the activities that you‘ll want to do during your trip.
The right type of clothing, like winter clothing and jackets, summer hats, raincoats, or gloves shouldn’t be forgotten whether you’re heading off to a winter wonderland or a hot summer beach. Other essential items like medications and a first aid kit shouldn’t be forgotten as well.
Start making a packing list early. If you’re up for it, you could even design a master packing list with must-haves for all overseas trips. In the future, you could simply replicate or print this list and customise it for each destination you visit and each family member!
5. Plan your family members’ care arrangements
If you have young children or elderly loved ones, care arrangements will be an especially crucial aspect of your holiday preparations. If you have extended family members who can step in to help provide temporary care and support, be sure to reach out early and express your gratitude for their help. Of course, ensuring that your family members, especially the elderly, have the support they need can be a tall order.
6. Prepare your home
During the time that you’re gone, it’s also important to protect what you’re leaving behind. No one wants to return home after a holiday to a burgled or unkept house, or week-old trash and food that has gone bad.
As such, securing your home before you leave is an essential step to remember. Lock your doors and windows, throw out trash, and turn off non-essential appliances. If a family member is staying at home, ensure they have a trustworthy person they can reach out to for assistance if needed.
7. Settle your finances and budget
Travel expenses can add up. Thankfully, budgeting and saving up for your trip in advance can help you to avoid incurring unexpected expenses. Create a financial plan with your loved ones and commit to it with regular savings to work towards your holiday goals together. This will make your journey stress-free and all the more sweeter once it comes to fruition.
Of course, don’t forget to prepare for how you can pay for your items while you’re overseas. It’s always helpful to search for which payment methods are preferred in the country you’re visiting.
For instance, cash may be more common in some countries, while card and mobile app payments may be preferred in others. If you’re looking for ways to pay by card without hefty transaction fees, consider multi-currency cards, such as those offered by YouTrip, Wise, or Revolut.
8. Bring along essential medication
Medication is so essential that it deserves a special shoutout on this list. Make sure to bring any common medications such as painkillers, ointments, or bandages.
Next, ensure that you have important medications specific to any particular medical condition such as hypertension, gout, or arthritis ready to go with you for the trip. You may wish to prepare a designated medical travel bag so that you’re well-prepared for future trips as well.
9. Remember to stay in touch during your travels
Going on a trip without anyone knowing should be avoided in case you encounter any emergencies or other troubles on your travels. Share your itinerary with a friend or family member, so they know your whereabouts. Travelling with a friend? Let your family know who you’re heading overseas with, and provide them with your friend’s contact number, if possible.
During your travels, it won’t hurt to keep your loved ones and friends updated, too. A simple text message to tell them where you are and where you are heading would do wonders to reassure them that you are safe.
10. Get acquainted with emergency contacts
Knowing how to get help in an emergency is the most important thing you can do as part of your holiday preparation. You should provide emergency contacts and register with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Singapore so they can offer consular assistance in emergency situations. You can also consider downloading dedicated travel support and security applications like International SOS app for guidance in case of emergencies.