4 Common Travel Planning Mistakes That Cost Singaporeans Dearly

4 common travel mistake Singaporeans make

Jeff Cuellar



For Singaporeans, holidays are about as necessary to life as air and water. Seriously, without regular holidays, I fear most of us would go insane from the long work hours and constant work-related stress that builds up over the course of several months.

No – “staycations” don’t count.

The point of going on holiday is to get away from the stress and suffocating congestion of Singapore – and that includes getting away as far as possible from sight, sound and kiasuism other Singaporeans.

Unfortunately, many Singaporeans make 5 common travel planning mistakes that end up costing hundreds of dollars. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather spend that money while I’m on holiday – not when I’m planning it!


#1 Booking Your Flight on the Wrong Date

This is by far the costliest mistake most Singaporeans make when it comes to travel planning. Booking your flight tickets at the right time is crucial, as booking too early or too late can end up adding hundreds of dollars to the cost of your ticket(s).

Instead of telling you the wrong time, I’ll tell you the right time to book your flight tickets. In our article choosing the right time to book your flight tickets, the best time is:

  • 6-8 weeks in advance if you want to get the best deal on international flights
  • 9-12 months in advance if you plan to visit a tourist “hotspot” during a peak period (ex. New York City during Christmas/New Year’s Day)

Also, don’t forget to be flexible with your flight dates!

While booking 6-8 weeks/9-12 months in advance will save you hundreds, you can save extra if you keep you flight dates flexible (ex. instead of just flying out on 8 October, check the cost to fly out on between 6-10 October and choose the cheapest date).


#2 Booking Your Flight at the Wrong Time

It’s not just the date that matters when booking a cheaper flight – the exact time that you book a flight can also have an impact on the ticket price.

I know, it’s so easy to get into the habit of either booking your flight tickets at work (don’t worry, I won’t rat you out to your slave driving boss) or during the evening when you get out of the office.

However, the best time to book is actually early in the morning between 12am-1am (preferably on a Tuesday or Wednesday). That’s because early in the morning is when the airlines release their fare specials and sales.


#3 Overpaying on Travel Insurance

Yeah, you’ll probably save a bit of money by going without travel insurance – oh wait, that’s IF you’re fortunate enough not to experience missed flights, lost/stolen baggage or injury/illness during your holiday.

Not to mention you’ll also be protected in the off chance that you get robbed or scammed during your holiday.

So really, purchasing travel insurance is in your best interest because you never know what might happen during your holiday – life just deals you a crappy hand sometimes.

However, you can still save yourself the trouble of overpaying on a per-trip or annual travel insurance policy (if you’re a frequent flyer) by doing the following:

  • Comparing travel insurance policies to find one with the best coverage and premium (you can check out our Travel Insurance Wizard and compare policies for FREE)
  • Checking your existing insurance policies to see if it includes travel insurance
  • Checking your credit card to see if it offers complimentary travel insurance (here are three credit cards that offer free travel insurance)


#4 Not Taking into Account Extra Fees

Planning isn’t just about booking tickets or making sure you have travel insurance – it’s also about planning for what you’ll bring back.

If you’re taking a holiday to the U.S. and you’re already thinking about back a few iPads and LV bags, that’ll mean two potentially huge expenses:

  1. The extra baggage fees involved with bringing back an extra bag, not to mention the added expense of paying even higher fees if your extra luggage is over the weight limit.
  2. The GST expenses you’ll be expected to pay once you come back to Changi Airport loaded down with plenty of expensive electronics and luxury goods (*hint* you might want to read this too)

Knowing exactly what you’ll be bringing back from your holiday (ex. a few souvenirs compared to bringing back enough goods to start a blogshop) can easily save you hundreds of dollars!


Have any expensive travel planning mistakes you wish to share? Share your experience with us on Facebook! For even more useful information on everything personal finance, visit MoneySmart today!


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Jeff Cuellar

I'm known by many titles: copywriter, published author, literary connoisseur, ex- U.S. Army intelligence analyst, and Champion of Capua.