Everything you need to know before jetting off for your year end trip

Everything you need to know before jetting off for your year end trip

It’s that time of year again—time to clear leave! And after two years of wasting your precious vacation days on this island thanks to Covid, it’s time to escape overseas.

If this is your first time travelling since Covid, you might be feeling a bit rusty. To jog your memory a bit, here’s a quick guide to remind you about everything you have to do before you leave on that well-deserved holiday.

1. Work out your budget

Due to how travel-starved we’ve all been because of the pandemic, it can be tempting to put out all the stops and splurge on an extravagant trip. But we’re not called MoneySmart for nothing, so it’s kind of our responsibility to remind you not to go overboard.

Now that 2022 is drawing to a close, you should have a good idea of how much you’ve spent over the past year and whether you are on track to achieving your financial goals. That should make it easier for you to work out how much you can afford to spend on your year-end holiday.

First of all, remember to check how much annual leave you can afford to take, as that will directly influence the length of your trip.

Next, it’s time to figure out how much you can afford to spend on the whole trip. Maybe you forked out the cash for a huge expense this year like a house or a kid, or maybe you just went a little bit nuts on Shopee. Whatever the reason, if you have less cash than you anticipated for your dream holiday, you can opt to shorten your trip and/or head for a cheaper destination. 

2.Where are you gonna go?

The destination you choose will be directly affected by your budget and how much time you can spend travelling.

If you’re completely broke, you might be stuck going to JB. Another worst-case scenario is that you don’t have much leave left or your heartless boss won’t let you take time off, in which case you might be confined to weekend trips to nearby destinations.

On the other hand, with a bit more wiggle room in your wallet and your annual leave allowance, you might be able to opt for a further away or more expensive destination, if that’s what you want. That said, there’s nothing wrong with spending two weeks in Malaysia or Thailand, so don’t feel obligated to compete with other people’s Instagram photos in Japan or Europe.

Using the budget you worked out in the previous section as a guide, you should do price research on flights and accommodation, and have an approximate idea of how much you will be paying for food, transport and sightseeing. That should give you a good idea of where you can realistically go.

3. Itinerary planning

So, you’ve decided where you want to go, and now you’re about to figure out what you’re going to do there.

To be fair, the extent of your itinerary planning really depends on how organised you like to be. Some prefer to just rock up to their destination with a backpack and start looking for the cheapest possible hostel, while others want to have every hour accounted for on an Excel spreadsheet.

Whatever planning you decide to do, you can do it using tools and resources like Google Reviews, TripAdvisor and Wikitravel. Don’t forget to note the prices wherever possible to make budgeting a bit easier, and see if you can get discounts to attractions by booking online or reserving in advance.

4. Check on visa/passport requirements

If you’re a Singapore citizen, chances are you won’t need to apply for a visa thanks to our passport, which is second in the world in terms of visa-free access to countries. But you should still check as there are a handful of countries where Singaporeans still need a visa for, including India, Russia and Iran.

You should also make sure your passport will have at least six months’ validity when you travel. Due to not travelling during Covid, it is quite possible that you have not realised your passport is nearing expiry. If need be, you should apply for a new passport at ICA asap—the renewal process takes about one to two weeks upon receipt of your application.

5. Price watch for the best deals on flight tickets

Now that you’ve done all the necessary decision-making and planning, it’s time to get your ticket out of here, if you have not already done so.

But don’t just buy the first flight that pops up on Google. Use a search website like Kayak to look for flights, not forgetting to play around with the dates to find the best deal. If your trip is months away and not during a peak travel period, it might make sense to wait a bit to see if prices fall.

When booking flights, accommodation and other travel-related expenses, don’t forget to use a credit card that will reward you for travel spending or online purchases.

6. Buy travel insurance

Once you have confirmed your flight dates, make sure you buy travel insurance to protect yourself against anything that may happen. Travel insurance is now compulsory for travellers to certain countries, but even when it’s not, you should still not leave home without it.

Don’t want until you are about to leave Singapore to buy a plan, as travel insurance might be able to compensate you if your flight gets postponed or your trip gets cancelled for whatever reason.

Not sure which insurers to turn to? Here are five to consider.

Bubblegum – This new travel insurance plan comes to you from MoneySmart Financial! Yup, you heard that right, we’ve got our own insurance! We did the maths and came up with the only plan you’ll ever need, which should make it easy for you to choose. Did we also mention that it’s super affordable and covers both extreme sports and Covid-19?

Bubblegum logo

Total Premium

S$24.79

30% OffTotal PremiumS$35.41
MoneySmart Exclusive
Online Promo
YEAR END LUCKY DRAW | Best Value, Free Covid Cover
Med. Coverage (Overseas)
S$150,000
Trip Cancellation
S$5,000
Loss/Damage of Personal Baggage
S$3,000
Total Premium
Total PremiumS$35.4130% Off
S$24.79
MoneySmart Exclusive:

【Faster Cash Redemption | Travel Insurance 】
Get S$5 Cash via PayNow AND S$10 iShopChangi e-voucher (no minimum spend**) within 1 month* while enjoying 30% off when you purchase through MoneySmart!
PLUS, a chance to win over $35,000 worth of prizes in our year-end Lucky Draw! T&Cs apply.

Valid until 27 Nov 2022
Apply NowApply directly on MoneySmart

Allianz – There’s a plan for everyone with Allianz. Their Platinum plan is pretty comprehensive with both Covid-19 and extreme sports coverage. For those on a tighter budget, the more affordable Bronze & Silver plans also cover Covid-19.

Allianz Travel logo

Total Premium

S$50.05

23% OffTotal PremiumS$65
MoneySmart Exclusive
YEAR END LUCKY DRAW | Best Medical coverage
Med. Coverage (Overseas)
S$500,000
Trip Cancellation
S$10,000
Loss/Damage of Baggage
S$5,000
Total Premium
Total PremiumS$6523% Off
S$50.05
MoneySmart Exclusive:

【Faster Cash Redemption | Travel Insurance】
Get up to $70 Cash via PayNow AND up to $20 iShopChangi e-voucher (no minimum spend**) within 1 month* while enjoying 23% off all plans when you purchase through MoneySmart! PLUS, a chance to win over $35,000 worth of prizes in our year-end Lucky Draw! T&Cs apply.

Valid until 30 Nov 2022

FWD – One of the most affordable insurance plans out there. Covers many outdoor activities, and also offers Covid-19 coverage if you purchase an add-on Covid rider.

FWD logo

Total Premium

S$19.44

40% OffTotal PremiumS$32.40
MoneySmart Exclusive
Online Promo
YEAR END LUCKY DRAW | Lowest premium
Med. Coverage (Overseas)
S$200,000
Trip Cancellation
S$7,500
Loss/Damage of Baggage
S$3,000
Total Premium
Total PremiumS$32.4040% Off
S$19.44
MoneySmart Exclusive:

【Faster Cash Redemption | Travel Insurance】
Get $10 Cash via PayNow AND $10 iShopChangi e-voucher (no minimum spend**) within 1 month* while enjoying 40% off when you purchase through MoneySmart! PLUS, a chance to win over $35,000 worth of prizes in our year-end Lucky Draw! T&Cs apply.

Valid until 30 Nov 2022

MSIG – Premium travel insurance plan with three tiers. With plans that cover the loss of wedding related items as well as entertainment and sport tickets, you should definitely go with MSIG if you’re travelling for those reasons. Each tier also includes Covid-19 coverage!

MSIG logo

Total Premium

S$40.20

40% OffTotal PremiumS$67
MoneySmart Exclusive
YEAR END LUCKY DRAW | Most Comprehensive Plan
Med. Coverage (Overseas)
S$250,000
Trip Cancellation
S$5,000
Loss/Damage of Baggage
S$3,000
Total Premium
Total PremiumS$6740% Off
S$40.20
MoneySmart Exclusive:

【Faster Cash Redemption | Travel Insurance】
Get up to $20 Cash via PayNow AND up to $20 iShopChangi e-voucher (no minimum spend**) within 1 month* while enjoying up to 40% off when you purchase through MoneySmart! PLUS, a chance to win over $35,000 worth of prizes in our year-end Lucky Draw! T&Cs apply.

Valid until 30 Nov 2022

Starr – If you’re the sort of person who has very specific needs and concerns during a trip, Starr allows you to debundle and personalise your plan! It comes with compulsory medical coverage, and Covid-19 coverage is also included for free. 

Starr logo

Total Premium

S$30.55

35% OffTotal PremiumS$47
MoneySmart Exclusive
YEAR END LUCKY DRAW | Free Covid-19 Coverage
Med. Coverage (Overseas)
S$500,000
Trip Cancellation
S$10,000
Loss/Damage of Baggage
S$5,000
Total Premium
Total PremiumS$4735% Off
S$30.55
MoneySmart Exclusive:

【Faster Cash Redemption | Travel Insurance】
Get up to $20 Cash via PayNow AND up to $20 iShopChangi e-voucher (no minimum spend**) within 1 month* while enjoying 35% off when you purchase through MoneySmart! PLUS, a chance to win over $35,000 worth of prizes in our year-end Lucky Draw! T&Cs apply.

Valid until 28 Nov 2022
Travel Insurance Premiums Covid-19 Coverage Emergency Medical Cover Trip Cancellation
Bubblegum Travel Insurance $20.06 Yes $150,000 $5,000 
Allianz Travel Insurance $43.12 – $101.20 Yes $200,000 – Unlimited $5,000 – $15,000
FWD Travel Insurance $22.50 – $39.60 Add $15.45 – $28.93 $200,000 – Unlimited $7,500 – $15,000
MSIG Travel Insurance $36.60 – $68.40 Yes $250,000 – Unlimited $5,000 – $15,000
Starr Travel Insurance $22.10 – $34.45 Yes $200,000 – $1,000,000 $3,000 – $7,500

Note: premiums are calculated based on a single 7 day trip to Thailand for one person.

Plus stand a chance to win a Rolex Watch, iPhone 14, Macbook Air and over $35,000 worth of gifts when you purchase with any of these providers.

Click here to find out more.

So, which travel insurance plan is right for you? You can find out by using MoneySmart’s travel insurance comparison tool to find the best prices and features.