With overseas travel dampened for close to two years, it sure is delightful to know that Singaporeans can once again live out their long-held wanderlust dreams thanks to recently eased travel restrictions.
Looking to book a flight for your next getaway but feeling slightly overwhelmed with what seems like an endless checklist? It’s easy to overlook the travel essentials after periods of non-travel, but we’ve got you covered with this handy list! Whether you’re heading to Phuket, Australia, or any destination abroad, these essentials will adequately prepare you for a comfortable journey ahead.
1. Luggage lock
Imagine losing your essentials on a trip — not just your mobile phone or passport, but key documents like vaccine certifications and plane tickets. That would be one of the worst scenarios while on vacation! One way to safeguard your items while travelling is to have a secure and reliable lock, ready to protect your bags or luggage at all times.
The TAPPLOCK Lite & One+(S$218) comes with an advanced fingerprint technology precisely for added peace of mind. All it takes is 0.8 seconds for a fast unlocking thanks to its state-of-the-art fingerprint sensor. There’s also a Bluetooth feature, which allows you to manage permanent users and fingerprints easily through the TAPPLock app.
A second (and cheaper) alternative for added security would be Anytek’s Fingerprint Padlock (S$48). This not only comes with a waterproof and dustproof design; it even records a total of 10 fingerprints for easier access!
2. Passport holder
Needless to say, having a trusty holder helps prevent any of that anxious fumbling when passing through airport security. DQ & CO’s stylish passport holder (S$14.90) comes with hard-wearing fabric that helps protect important documents from wear and tear — it also features cardholder slots to keep things organised.
Those who’d like an upgrade can consider the Gulliver Cash & Coin Passport Wallet (S$185). This is exceptionally useful for storing essentials like your SIM card, card pin, coins, boarding pass, passport and notes all in one place. Not only does it boast full-grain waxed leather material, but it is also RFID-protected to keep you safe from electronic pickpocketing. Plus, it comes with two currency slots for you to organise cash effectively.
Phones and DSLRs often do the trick when it comes to capturing everyday moments, but they’re far too limited when it comes to action shots. Looking to hop into the clear waters of Bintan or visit a theme park in Korea? You’ll need a compact GoPro Hero 9 (S$634) to document those memorable days in stunning clarity. This model can now record up to a remarkable 5K resolution. It’s also extremely durable and waterproof (down to 10 metres underwater)! For a hands-free approach, consider adding the GoPro Mount (S$54.67) that’s specially designed for bike and water sports activities.
To keep things a little more old-school, get Fujifilm’s Instax Camera (S$185) instead. With this fuss-free device, all that’s really needed is to point and shoot. Add those beautiful polaroids into your physical album for a touch of nostalgia — just remember to stock up on enough film!
4. Travel-sized skincare
As much as we want to look good when travelling, the truth is that it can be hard when you have a fully packed itinerary. This makes travel-sized skincare all the more important. The Clinique Quench in a Clinch Moisture Surge Kit (S$27.10) is precisely what you need to achieve a fresh look in no time. Nourish your skin with its overnight mask for glowy and dewy skin in the morning. Top that with a drop of eye cream to reduce puffiness and under-eye circles, as well as the hydro plump treatment for dehydrated lips.
Want to truly pamper yourself on holiday? Go for a luxe alternative like the Est Lab Mini Glow Recruitment Set (S$80.00). This set has all the essentials like the LumiWhite 10% PHA Resurfacing Glow Serum, ActivCalm Skin Quenching Serum and SunShield for a my-skin-but-better look. Get that smooth, hydrated, radiant skin you love with Est Lab’s gentle and soothing products.
It’s always nice to have something on hand that can help kill time; especially if you’re going to be on a long flight. For bookworms, simply download some of your favourite e-books on the all-new Kindle Paperwhite (S$279)!
Instead of lugging around physical books, this lightweight and compact travel companion will keep you entertained in between naps, long-haul travels on buses and trains, or during potentially tiring immigration queues. The 11th generation model comes with up to 10 weeks of battery life — all it takes is a single charge via USB-C. This is also built to withstand accidental immersion in water, so it’ll be safe to carry around even on the sandy beaches of Fiji.
6. Eye mask
If you’re someone who’s sensitive to light, an eye mask is definitely a must-have on every trip. Make sure to include this in your packing list — it’ll be useful when catching some of that much-needed shuteye on your flight, or even on light naps during a car or train ride.
This Travel Blue Luxury Travel Eye Mask (S$14) does the trick for all you light sleepers out there — not only does it block out harsh light, it also comes with gentle paddings to add extra comfort for the eyes.
7. Neck pillow
Speaking of restful sleep, what you’ll need next is a solid neck pillow on your travel packing list for an optimal snooze fest. Bid goodbye to uncomfortable positions and numb limbs with Travel Blue’s Tranquility Memory Foam Travel Pillow (S$49). This pillow screams comfort — it’s ergonomically-shaped and purposefully designed for maximum neck support. Portability is another strong factor. Simply fold it away and store it in the pouch provided!
A less muted and kid-friendly alternative to that is Travel Blue’s Chichi The Panda Neck Pillow (S$30). Sporting an adorable colourway (black and white with pink highlights) this adorable U-shaped pillow makes for a cuddly and comforting travel companion for the little ones.
8. Noise-cancelling headphones
Nothing beats the pain of hearing piercing cries of babies on a flight. Oftentimes, you can have everything set up for a good sleep and still be beaten by the wails that can come from aisles away. Familiar with such situations? Block out any of these unwanted sounds with the Sony WF-1000XM4 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones (S$307.60)! Despite its small size, these headphones support high-resolution audio, and are able to reproduce dynamic sounds with a rich bass range.
For an on-ear option, get the Philips Wireless Headphone (S$59). These deliver crisp sound and a punchy bass that last for a total of 15 hours playtime on full charge. Despite its hefty size, these headphones still make for an ideal travel companion, all thanks to a compact fold design that makes for quick and easy storage.
9. WiFi router
WiFi is life these days; that’s no doubt a first-world problem. That said, the majority of us rely on connectivity to communicate and get around. Lost when figuring out your way around a foreign country? Launch Google Maps and everything’s A-OK.
Give yourself peace of mind by renting the ChangiWiFi router! With this, you'll enjoy reliable 4G internet speed with no daily cap on your device. Prices vary depending on your destination. Rental of routers for Australia, for instance, costs S$7.50 per day and prices can go as low as S$3-4 daily when travelling to South Korea or countries like Japan, Taiwan and Vietnam. Do remember to key in the respective promo codes (found on the site’s homepage) to get these promo prices!
10. Power bank
Speaking of first-world problems, battery juice on devices is definitely crucial when travelling. Imagine working your way up a mountain only to realise that your phone is completely dead when you reach the peak (oh, the horror!). The Ah Mi Power Bank 3 Pro (S$58.50) is essential to prevent such modern tragedies.
With an incredible capacity of up to 20000mAH and a triple port design (including two way charging and a USB-C port), your batteries will never run dry while on the trip. Besides mobile phones, this device is also powerful enough to charge laptops, mini fans, and even Nintendo Switch consoles.
And if you haven’t heard, Changi Recommends have also recently launched an online foreign exchange service. What this means is that you’ll get to lock in the best currency rates in the comfort of your home. That’s right; no longer do you need to hunt for brick-and-mortar money exchangers before flying off — just pre-order currencies online and collect the cash at Changi Recommends’ booth that’s located at Terminals 1 and 3.
Getting started on a travel checklist can often be easier said than done. There’s so much to consider when it comes to travelling in the post-pandemic age, let alone deciding what should go into a packing list for the carry-on luggage. Regardless, we hope that this list has helped you to figure out some key essentials you’ll need for your upcoming trip! For tips to ensure a smooth check-in, read here.
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