Are you a frequent visitor to Singapore? Perhaps you’re visiting for business or are simply dropping by to see friends and family. Whatever your reason, it’s a good idea to take certain things with you to ensure a comfortable, hassle-free stay in this bustling city-state. Here are ten things you should either bring with you or purchase as soon as you land:
Make sure your passport, visa, and return tickets are all in order. Singapore has very strict entry requirements, so you might run into some inconveniences if your passport or visa is about to expire or has already expired. To avoid any issues upon entry, make sure your passport (and visa, if applicable) is up-to-date and valid for at least six months from your date of departure. Having confirmed onward or return tickets is also a good idea, as the lack of these can be a red flag to immigration officers.
Mobile Phone Plan
If you’re a frequent visitor to Singapore, then you have to consider getting a local SIM card to avoid hefty roaming charges when calling or texting people in your home country. While Singtel remains the largest local telco, the Singaporean market for SIM-only plans is becoming highly competitive, with several smaller players offering great deals. There are also those that offer convenient SIM-with-device plans. If you’ll take the time to compare mobile plans, you should be able to find an affordable option that will work for your needs.
Travel Adapters and Cables
Singapore uses the famously chunky British three-pin plug (also known as a Type G or BS 1363). If you’re coming from a country with a different plug type, you’ll need an appropriate adapter to charge your electronic devices. While you can buy these after you arrive, it’s probably a good idea to get your adaptors beforehand.
While credit cards are widely accepted in Singapore, you will still need cash for some key transactions, particularly food. Notably, most hawker centre stalls and several shops in the historic Chinatown district either accept cash only or have discounts for cash purchases. In any case, make sure you have enough physical cash in Singapore dollars on you to avoid any potential hassles when paying for various items.
Singapore is designed to be a walkable city, so if you’re interested in exploring, walking is the best way to do it. Unless you’re attending a formal event, leave the heels or dress shoes at home and bring breathable lightweight walking shoes instead. Singapore can get really hot at times, so you may want to avoid using leather boots or other less-breathable footwear as well.
Singapore is located very near the equator, which means the local weather is hot and humid year-round. Whichever time of year you’re arriving, it’s a good idea to prioritise lightweight and breathable clothing to stay comfortable. However, you should also remember to take a reasonably warm jacket or hoodie with you, as the air conditioners in Singapore are often cranked to levels that foreigners might find uncomfortable.
Sunscreen and a Hat
If you have especially sensitive skin or plan on doing a lot of exploring, you’re going to need to protect yourself from Singapore’s equatorial sun. A wide-brimmed hat or even a baseball cap can go a long way in helping reduce the intensity of the sun’s rays. Also consider taking a small bottle of high-SPF and high-PA sunblock with you, taking care not to exceed any limits on liquid volumes at the airport.
Singapore’s intense sunshine also means that exploring it can be a sweaty, thirsty affair. While you can easily buy bottled water in most places, it’s not exactly great for the environment. A better idea would be to take a refillable water bottle with you and top it up at any public tap. Thanks to decades of investment in water treatment technologies, Singapore’s tap water is among the safest in the world, making refillable bottles both an economical and eco-friendly choice.
Public Transportation Card
Singapore’s public transportation system is one of the most celebrated in the world, offering a great mix of both efficiency and affordability. If you’re planning to use the public transportation system a lot—and you should—preloaded cards like EZ-Link or NETS FlashPay offer hassle-free travel on most of the country’s commuter buses and trains.
Portable Charger and Extra Phone Cables
Portable chargers (called “power banks” here in Singapore) are a must-have when you’re travelling, even if your phone’s battery can get through a whole day at home. With all the exploring you’ll be doing, you’ll probably be using your phone a lot more than usual. Having a portable charger should help you avoid the anxiety that comes when your phone’s battery goes into the red. Additionally, depending on whether you own an iPhone or an Android device, you may want to take extra Lightning or USB cables with you, as these cables are just prone to getting lost or damaged at the most inopportune times.
While Singapore is a safe city, plenty of things can go wrong if you’re unprepared. If you’re a repeat visitor to the Lion City or plan on visiting for a few weeks, having these things on you will ensure a truly comfortable and enjoyable stay in this vibrant city-state..