travel advice for a perfect holiday
13 Feb 2019

9 tips to help you holiday like a pro

We’ve all been there before. Holidays where you rush from destination to destination, only to end up feeling like you need a holiday after your holiday. Follow these tips to help ensure that the only rush you experience is in deciding what souvenirs to buy back home.

1. Book your flights and accommodation (way) early

To avoid paying a premium for your flights and accommodation, be sure to book your tickets at least two months in advance. If your travel companions are not picky about the choice of airline, try using flight-booking apps that automatically seek the lowest fares. Reserve your hotel rooms early, especially if you are travelling for international festivals where bookings are often filled up quickly.

2. Free time out from your itinerary

join a cycling tour

It’s easy to be overly ambitious with your itinerary when planning for a new destination. A common mistake is to cram your travel days with activities and forget to leave some time to catch your breath. This isn’t ideal, as you’ll soon be dizzy rushing from landmark to landmark. Tightly packed activities also do not take into account the chance of delays due to getting lost. And then there is jet lag to consider. Set aside some time each day to metaphorically smell the roses. You are on holiday after all.

3. Pack light and pack smart

pack light for your next holiday

These days, even carry-on bags are weight limited. To avoid excess luggage charges, be ruthless and cull your packing to absolute essentials of clothes, toiletries, medication, and travel or insurance documents. Start packing a week prior to your trip to allow for swopping of items, and create extra room in your luggage by rolling up your clothes. Packing in an extra duffle or tote is a good idea should you go overboard on souvenirs.

4. Let the weather dictate your outfits

Pack according to the local climate, not fashion. After scanning ahead for weather forecasts, pack suitable clothing that can serve double duty. A jacket that is fashionable and water resistant? Perfect. Modern synthetic thermals and under garments are much lighter and effective than traditional materials for surviving cold weather while foldable ponchos are almost weightless, and come in especially handy for sudden rainy weather. No matter the weather, a compact foldable umbrella is always handy.

5. Make a copy of important documents

Losing your personal effects while on holiday ranks as one of the most infuriating events that can beset your holiday. Remove non-essential cards before your trip, and keep handy a photocopy of your travel documents - passport, driving license, and insurance details. These should be kept apart from your originals, and will help to ease the hassle of knowing which documents or cards to cancel in case of theft or loss.

6. Stock up on medication

Before leaving, visit your doctor and address any medical concerns you might have. Pack not just your existing prescription, but also medication for common ailments such as fever and colds. Medication for diarrhoea, antihistamines, vitamins, and plasters take up little space, but save you the cost of visiting a pharmacy while on holiday.

7. Always get travel insurance

We recommend signing up for travel insurance for all of your holidays, and not just reserved for far-flung locales. Travel insurance is essential should your belongings get lost or damaged, or if you encounter a medical emergency and need treatment or surgery. For your luggage, we advise taking photos of each item before they are packed – these records will help to ease the claims process. In the event of loss, a police report in the country of loss will have to be made, which should include details of the lost or stolen items and receipts for recent purchases, if available.

8. Travel like a local with a Multi-Currency Account

Tired of long queues at the money changer? Worried about petty theft overseas? Before you travel, set up a DBS Multi-Currency Account (MCA) that allows you to exchange up to 12 foreign currencies online at your own convenience. Simply perform a funds transfer when rates are favourable to get the best value. Then spend overseas in the foreign currency you exchanged for with your linked DBS Visa Debit Card without incurring any foreign exchange conversion fees*. So forget about carrying a thick wad of cash around and travel with ease!

9. Collect your hotel’s business card upon checking in

keep a copy of your hotel’s card

Have a copy of your hotel’s card handy – this helps locals to point you in the right direction when you lose your bearings. In countries where you don’t speak the local language, having this card is especially helpful when hailing taxis.

*To enjoy direct foreign currency payments, ensure your DBS Visa Debit Card is linked to your MCA as the primary debiting account.

Singapore dollar deposits of non-bank depositors and monies and deposits denominated in Singapore dollars under the Supplementary Retirement Scheme are insured by the Singapore Deposit Insurance Corporation, for up to S$100,000 in aggregate per depositor per Scheme member by law. Foreign currency deposits, dual currency investments, structured deposits and other investment products are not insured.