Travel now - or wait till it's safer?

Travel now - or wait till it's safer?

The authorities are adding more countries to ramp up international travel to and from Singapore.

SINGAPORE – For almost two years, holidaying abroad has been somewhat unimaginable due to travel curbs.

While the Government has decided to ease those curbs by introducing vaccinated travel lanes (VTL), some people are still understandably wary of booking a trip amid the pandemic. The new Omicron Covid-19 variant has also emerged.

However, those who cannot wait to travel again are elated at the prospect of jetting off during this holiday season.

Here are some pointers on why Singaporeans should travel now or hold off their plans.

Travel now: seize the day

Those in favour of travelling internationally in the immediate future can consider these factors:

Travel is safe, at least the Government believes so

Despite flare-ups in Covid-19 cases both in Singapore and the countries on the VTL list, the scheme seems to be here to stay.

The authorities are adding more countries to ramp up international travel to and from Singapore.

In the latest announcements, travel lanes with Indonesia, Finland, India and Sweden were established yesterday.

Overall, travelling from Singapore is deemed largely safe, provided you have been fully vaccinated and strive to be a responsible globetrotter.

Plenty of options for now

While Denmark reimposed quarantine on travellers from Singapore on Nov 11, that still leaves seven European countries that offer quarantine-free travel for Singaporeans.

However, there is no telling what will happen in the coming months as Europe prepares its pandemic response to stem a winter Covid-19 surge. It would make sense to opt to travel now while you can still do so with relative ease.

Travel is not as complicated as the alarming headlines may indicate

Despite the anxiety-inducing news, international travel is not as complicated as it once was.

Case in point: When Singapore was recently categorised as high-risk by Germany, it may have conjured up images of complicated entry rules or a lengthy quarantine.

In fact, Singaporean travellers simply took a few minutes to apply online for quarantine exemption by submitting either proof of vaccination or recovery from Covid-19.

Then on Sunday, Singapore was taken off the high-risk list. Residents of Singapore may now enter Germany without any prior electronic entry registration.

If you make sure you get the latest travel information from reputable travel blogs and government websites, you may find that current travel rules may not be as restrictive as you think. Wego, for instance, posts updated travel information and articles on its travel blog (blog.wego.com).

Travel now - or wait till it's safer?

The authorities are adding more countries to ramp up international travel to and from Singapore. PHOTO: WEGO

Vaccines smooth things out

Being a fully-vaccinated Singapore traveller means having more freedom than you realise, especially if you got the widely accepted Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.

Aside from being able to avoid quarantine, being fully vaccinated means VTL countries such as Canada, France, Germany, South Korea, the United States and the United Kingdom will require only polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing for entry. You may even skip testing if you head to Spain and Switzerland.

Flexible policies

The unpredictable nature of pandemic travel means that, sometimes, changes in travel plans are inevitable.

Perhaps the government at your desired destination has changed entry policies, maybe it is some bad luck. But it is good to know the airlines will be able to accommodate your emergencies.

Singapore Airlines, KLM and Air France, along with others offering designated VTL flights, generally have flexible policies on booking changes and have set up reliable online refund systems.

Be sure to read the fine print, as some online refund systems may apply only to certain types of flights and bookings.

Less crowded destinations now

With many people shelving their travel plans, destinations are likely to be far less crowded now.

A good example is Australia. Singapore citizens would be the second set of foreign travellers allowed entry into Australia, after New Zealanders on Nov 21.

South Korea is also a good option as it allows arrivals only from its established travel bubbles. As of this month, Singapore and Saipan are the only places that have such an arrangement with South Korea.

This may not last, however. After the announcement of South Korea’s inclusion to the VTL last month, flight searches for Singapore to South Korea on Wego jumped tenfold compared with the month before.

Based on Wego data, South Korea, along with China, the UK, the US and Germany, are among the most popular flight searches to VTL destinations in the last three months for trips up to January.

As more people get comfortable with the idea of flying again, interest in those countries and others may spike.

Now is about the best time to travel if you would like to avoid the crowd.

Travel now - or wait till it's safer?

Singapore citizens would be the second set of foreign travellers allowed entry into Australia, after New Zealanders on Nov 21. PHOTO: WEGO

Travel later: wait until things are safer

While restrictions are gradually being eased, uncertainties and challenges will linger for a lot of travellers.

The following scenarios may factor into your decision to postpone travel plans.

Lots of research required

Pandemic travel has added extra hoops for travellers to jump through. Not only do you need to bulk up your pre-travel preparations, but you also have to familiarise yourself with local restrictions at your destination.

Take Abu Dhabi, for example. When the United Arab Emirates is restored as a VTL destination, international tourists will need to upload their vaccination certificates to the Al Hosn app, the UAE’s Covid-19 contact-tracing app. Once completed, they will get the green status required to gain entry to public places.

You can easily find information and instructions on UAE travel online. However, some people may not wish to deal with the hassle and prefer to cancel or postpone their trip.

Extra expenditures

International travel in the midst of a pandemic will entail extra costs for testing, insurance and possibly quarantine stays.

Pre-departure PCR tests can cost from $125 to $200 a person. On-arrival PCR tests may also be mandatory. Travellers must also undergo pre-departure and on-arrival PCR tests upon returning to Singapore.

And in Europe, all Schengen Area countries mandate Covid-19 insurance for international arrivals, which means Singaporeans need to obtain insurance with coverage worth at least €30,000 (S$46,500) before visiting any European country on the VTL list.

Pandemic-related complications

While you should prepare for your travels to the best of your ability, there is the possibility of pandemic-related surprises.

For example, if you test positive for Covid-19 while overseas, most VTL countries will require you to quarantine for 10 days. Travellers will naturally cover the cost of the extended stay.

Getting caught in the middle of a change in travel rules when abroad – or worse, a nation-wide lockdown – are some of the other risks that may dissuade people from travelling in the near future.

To travel or not to travel?

There is no right or wrong decision, just an educated one.

Travelling can be safe if you and members of your household are fully vaccinated and are generally in good health. Under such conditions, a trip to a low-risk country can be uplifting after months of staying put.

But if any member of your household is immuno-compromised or you are simply not ready, it is best to play it safe and wait until things have significantly improved.

• The writers are editors at Wego, a one-stop travel marketplace offering products, services and content for travellers and business partners.

News Related

OTHER NEWS

Shu Uemura goes volcanic for latest collection

Shu Uemura is getting girls ready for the Chinese New Year with lips in volcanic red shades. The 2022 Rouge Unlimited Lush Lava Reds collection features Kinu Satin lipstick and ... Read more »

How much is too much? Local experts discuss if there is such thing as over-immunisation and the possibility of herd immunity

After the government approved the resumption of the Test & Go programme starting next week signalling a strong desire to restore the country's tourism and overall economy, the Ministry of ... Read more »

Paris Fashion Week returns to yet more mourning

Mugler died unexpectedly from ‘natural causes’ on Sunday PARIS: The haute couture week in Paris opened under another cloud of mourning on Monday following the death of designer Thierry Mugler, ... Read more »

Feeling better during Dry January? Here's how to keep healthy habits going all year

Did you start Dry January after having a few too many cocktails during the holidays? Are you coming up on a month of swapping out a glass of wine for ... Read more »

PA barber rebuilds after flood

Barber Chykeat Goodley works on his customer Michael Hargrove Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022 at New Levelz in Norristown, Pa. Barber Chykeat Goodley works on his customer Michael Hargrove Wednesday, Jan. ... Read more »

PA barber was on his own to rebuild after flood

Chykeat Goodley was denied any assistance when a flood severely damaged his barber shop in Norristown, Pa. Read more »

BMW's mighty R 18 gets a makeover

The Verona Motor Bike Expo was the ideal venue for showcasing two bespoke BMW R 18 motorcycles to Italian and European enthusiasts. The product of BMW Motorrad Italy, Italian magazine ... Read more »

Baby Benz makes luxury affordable The new entry-level A-Class comes in at under 2 million baht

Owning a Mercedes-Benz is a big thing in Thailand because there's a high price to pay for these German luxury cars. But for those who aren’t ready to cough up ... Read more »

Dealing with loss Children whose loved ones died during the pandemic have a need to understand and express their feelings, experts say

Author Preeda Punyachand. A little girl looks at an ambulance which comes to take her mother to the hospital. Sadly, the mother, who has Covid-19, does not return home. During ... Read more »

Better bitter truth than sweet lies

The Year of the Tiger has not been kind to Thais so far with the quick spread of the Omicron variant, vaccine confusion, ATK scarcity, pork shortages, rampant inflation and ... Read more »

Celebrate Chinese New Year with Iconsiam

Iconsiam’s River Park. photos courtesy of Iconsiam Iconsiam welcomes the Year of the Tiger in grand style with many exciting shows and activities during “The Iconsiam Eternal Prosperity Chinese New ... Read more »

CentralWorld art exhibition shares love with Bangkok

Groove Gallery Walk. photo courtesy of CentralWorld Stories of relationships of young people are presented through cute illustrations that decorate the walls of Groove Gallery Walk on the 3rd floor ... Read more »

Forget working from home -- why not live in an old office?

View of the 1425 New York Avenue NW building in Washington on Thursday. This office building will be converted into homes. WASHINGTON: Blocks from the White House, an unassuming edifice ... Read more »

Brave sister to the rescue, off his meds, sideline job

A woman points to the bed where Bee and Tee fell asleep. He fled into the bushes A young woman says she will not forgive the misdeeds of a contract ... Read more »

I've picked my 'word of the year.' What's yours?

For a few years now I’ve determined my own “word of the year.” It’s a word that is meant to highlight what I want to focus on during the year. ... Read more »

Freshly squeezed and full of goodness: 24 Oranges goes Dutch News

Photo: DutchNews.nl 24oranges.nl, the blog that is now a freshly squeezed column, will continue to press weird and fun Dutch things for your entertainment via DutchNews.nl. Although I’m trying to ... Read more »

A disinfectant made from sawdust mows down deadly microbes

A new, sustainable disinfectant made from sawdust and water can knock out more than 99 percent of some disease-causing microbes, including anthrax and several strains of flu. Widespread use of ... Read more »

These tiny beetles fly fast thanks to wing bristles and a weird, wide stroke

Featherwing beetles are some of the world’s smallest flying insects. Yet they can rocket along with the speed and agility of much larger insects. Now, scientists have figured out how ... Read more »

A ‘trapdoor' made of muscle and fat helps fin whales eat without choking

Some of the world’s largest whales feed by lunging through the water with mouths wide open. Scientists have long wondered how the animals withstand the tremendous pressure of water rushing ... Read more »

Rock icon Meat Loaf dies at 74 Burly Texan singer's 'Bat Out Of Hell' one of the all-time best-selling albums

Meat Loaf performs during a TV show in the southern German town of Boeblingen near Stuttgart in January 2003. (Reuters Photo) The American singer and actor Meat Loaf, famous for ... Read more »

Dubouloz joins mountain greats with solo climb of Grandes Jorasses

Charles Dubouloz is the first person to ascend the north face of the Grandes Jorasses solo and in winter CHAMONIX, France: After six days and five nights fighting against the ... Read more »

Luxury dog hotels give paws for thought

An employee tends to dogs in a room dedicated to small size dogs at SuperWoof, a luxury dog hotel, in Cape Town. (AFP photo) Cape Town: Three dachshunds lay claim to ... Read more »

Putting the humanity into history Graphic novel The King Of Bangkok captures a generation of Thai politics

The King Of Bangkok The King Of Bangkok The King Of Bangkok is a graphic novel that tells the story of Thai politics over a generation from 1982 to 2012 ... Read more »

Piecing together a lost night Riveting Photocopier places spotlight on sexual abuse in Indonesia

Netfix Thailand Gender inequality, sexual abuse and societal attitudes towards women are common issues in Southeast Asia, yet not many dare to bring such a topic into a story especially ... Read more »

A new take on an old teen drama

A scene from Rebelde. Mayra Ortiz/NETFLIX With Latin vibes and swag, Rebelde — Netflix's latest Mexican teen drama to kick off 2022 — has the winning combo of a simple ... Read more »

Defeating the odds Thai-American director Pailin Wedel has raised the bar for local cinema with the Emmy success of Hope Frozen

The moment when Hope Frozen won Best Documentary at the 49th International Emmy Awards. Netflix Thailand During the 49th International Emmy Awards — held in New York City and broadcast ... Read more »

Ain't no party like a Lambo party

From left, Supasara Chongkolrattanaporn, Thananant and Tanida Jongkolrattanaporn, and Nutthakarn Klovuthi-anun. Customers and members of the Lamborghini Club Thailand walked the red carpet at the glitzy “Lamborghini Night” party to ... Read more »

Celestial beauty Vacheron Constantin's exquisite Les Cabinotiers Grande Complication Bacchus is much more than a watch

The bas-relief sculpture features vine leaves and clusters of grapes set with rubies in a nod to Bacchus. Back in the 18th century on the top floors or under the ... Read more »

Palate-pleasing K-BBQ If you're looking for Seoul food and a place to eat, arrive early at Ssamthing Together

Over the past few years, the cosmopolitan food scene in Bangkok has relentlessly been entertained by Korean culinary culture. Ssam, or to wrap the meat in vegetables, is typical to ... Read more »

Make your home sustainable with Not Too Virgin

For environmentally-conscious art lovers, Not Too Virgin Design Lab is offering a sustainable and innovative lifestyle by creating custom-made furniture from recycled plastic slabs from Thailand and the alternative material ... Read more »

Trauma isn't just psychological. It can impact your body too.

It may feel like you’re on edge. You may start to sweat. Your heart may race, your fists may clench. Trauma isn’t only a person’s emotional and psychological reaction to ... Read more »

How to improve your gut health with exercise

These targeted exercises can help with bloating, inflammation and gas. Read more »

Coronavirus at work: can your boss ask if you have been vaccinated?

Photo: Shutterstock The employment law experts at GMW lawyers share insights on your rights in the workplace regarding corona vaccination, and when it is worth contacting a lawyer. The rules ... Read more »

Elton John says hello again with resumed goodbye tour

Elton John performs as he returns to complete his Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour since it was postponed due to coronavirus disease restrictions in 2020, in New Orleans on Wednesday. ... Read more »

South Africa's luxury dog hotels give paws for thought

Dogs can stay in the budget section of the hotel, where they hang out together, or have a private ‘presidential suite’. CAPE TOWN: Three dachshunds lay claim to a big ... Read more »

Beatles producer signed Fab Four because they were 'good people'

The Beatles. (AFP photo) LONDON: The Beatles producer George Martin signed the legendary rock band in its early days more for its four members' endearing personalities than for their music, ... Read more »

Tory unveils Tanya for resort wear collection

Symbolising strength, Tanya the Tiger has taken over Tory Burch's Chinese New Year wardrobe, which features limited-edition items from the holiday/resort 2022 collection. Photos courtesy of Tory Burch Matched with ... Read more »

Lucky red Salvatore Ferragamo celebrates Chinese New Year with new accessories

Salvatore Ferragamo celebrates the upcoming Chinese New Year by taking an adventure along with the tiger in an enchanting wonderland. The digital campaign uses surreal cinematography to present a magical ... Read more »

Prada enlists artists to help save tigers

Photos courtesy of Prada Although tigers are a symbol of majesty and power, they are also at great risk of extinction. Prada is raising awareness of the plight of the ... Read more »

Bangkok's fragility examined through art

photo courtesy of Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC) The “Bangkok Bang-Krob: Bangkok Through Crusty Frames” mixed-media show by art and musical group Pink Sky Orcas offers a reflection on ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic