9 questions to ask before you book your next family holiday

December 04, 2016
  • 1. How do I get the best travel deals?
    1 / 9 1. How do I get the best travel deals?

    There are many, many tips for scoring travel deals, but just remember three over-arching strategies, distilled from the insights of travel experts: Just ask. Go the other direction. Do legwork. 

    Related: 5 best family ski resorts

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  • 2. What can I pack into my hand luggage?
    2 / 9 2. What can I pack into my hand luggage?

    Do you know what items you can put in your carry-on bag and what you should pack into your checked-in luggage?

    And do you know lithium batteries have to be hand carried?

    There are many who make the mistake of not verifying what is not allowed on board planes. Between January and September this year, travellers at Changi Airport had to surrender more than 142,000 prohibited items such as scissors and pepper spray canisters. Another 1.13 million items which were liquids, gels and aerosols such as perfumes and make-up that were not packed properly – or about 126,000 a month – were also confiscated.

    Related: Things to note when flying: what you can bring in carry on, check in luggage

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  • 3. How should I pack for the changing weather?
    3 / 9 3. How should I pack for the changing weather?

    Packing with the constraints of an airline baggage allowance can be frustrating. The worst case scenario? Wearing shorts and T-shirts in biting cold. When temperatures can fluctuate wildly in a matter of days, you don’t want to be unprepared.

    Related: 10 family-friendly Asian resorts to experience nature

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  • 4. What should I consider when buying travel plans?
    4 / 9 4. What should I consider when buying travel plans?

    Price should not be the only determining factor in purchasing travel plans, advised Ms Annie Chua, NTUC Income‘s vice-president and head of personal lines.

    “(Travellers) should look at the types of benefits and the coverage which are most important and relevant to them, as well as consider any exclusions and claim limits for each benefit,” she said.

    Also, don’t take the risk of travelling without insurance and check out travel coverage. 

    Related: 6 tips for flying with babies and toddlers

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  • 5. What is the cheapest way to stay connected on the go?
    5 / 9 5. What is the cheapest way to stay connected on the go?

    Data roaming can be prohibitively expensive, and even the smallest bit of overseas data use can result in a huge bill shock upon your return.

    However, there are ways to gain Internet access while overseas at affordable rates.

    It ultimately boils down to two things: the telco you are on and whether you want to swop your SIM card, or whether you want to carry around an external Wi-Fi device.

    Related: Where to find halal food in Japan

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  • 6. I am planning a vacation with friends. How do I make sure the trip is a success?
    6 / 9 6. I am planning a vacation with friends. How do I make sure the trip is a success?

    Taking a vacation with friends could turn out to be the getaway of a lifetime or one that is a total disaster. It is all about choosing the right travel partners and going in with some ground rules.

    Understanding your friends’ expectations and agreeing on how to track expenditure will help to make for a pleasant trip. 

    Related: Review: Genting Dream cruise Dream Palace

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  • 7. Do I need to pay GST for the bag I bought overseas?
    7 / 9 7. Do I need to pay GST for the bag I bought overseas?

    Travellers, including Singaporeans returning from abroad, need to pay GST on the total value of goods that exceeds the GST relief.

    The magic figures are 150 and 600.

    GST for goods valued below $150 is not applicable for travellers who are out of Singapore for less than 48 hours.

    For those who are away for more than 48 hours, GST is exempt for goods valued up to $600.

    Related: 6 things to do in Hokkaido for families

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  • 8. How do I guard against pickpockets?
    8 / 9 8. How do I guard against pickpockets?

    Travellers can be easy prey for pickpockets, but being vigilant in a foreign land goes a long way to not losing your possessions. 

    Many Singaporeans are victims of theft and pickpockets while travelling overseas.

    Related: What to do if you are robbed in a foreign country

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  • 9. What should I do in the event of an emergency?
    9 / 9 9. What should I do in the event of an emergency?

    Preparing for the worst – and finding ways to move around in a savvy, vigilant way – is important for the traveller’s peace of mind. And it might save life and limb.

    Related: Travelling safely for families

    A version of this story first appeared in The Straits Times. 

    (Photos: 123RF.com)

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