Everything You Need To Know About Traveling The World's Best Destinations - GoBear's Ultimate Guide
Learn the tips and tricks about traveling the world's best destinations in this comprehensive guide by GoBear Singapore.
Travelling fills your life with adventures and stories you can treasure for the rest of your life. For many, a short journey means daring to live a life beyond comfort zones and exploring what the world can offer through different cultures, languages and tourism sites. GoBear understands your need to take that next safe flight to one of the world’s best destinations so here is your ultimate travel guide to equip you with practical know-how for a more meaningful tour ahead.
How to choose your next destination
If you find it hard to decide where to go next, here are a few things you should know to resolve for your next destination:
- Who are you travelling with – Are you going on a trip with the whole family including kids and elderly or are you travelling with friends and colleagues who enjoy the same type of activities as you do? Knowing your companions will help you pick the right destinations. Those fond of shopping can select from the world’s best places like New York, Tokyo, London, Kuala Lumpur, Paris or Hong Kong. Meanwhile, you can visit Canada, France, Switzerland, Colorado and Japan should you wish to have the best skiing experience.
- Match with your budget – Knowing your budget will help you rule out certain places easily. Those working with limited cash can choose from destinations that offer travel deals and discounts. It is never advisable to get into debt only to travel.
- Vacation allotment – Most employed individuals don’t have the luxury to travel, and vacations merely depend on leave credits approved by the company. Match your destination with an approved number of days that you can go on leave. Shorter time means finding a destination nearer to your country. Singaporeans can check out nearby tourist spots in China, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
- Safety concerns – Safety is an important consideration when planning a trip. To ensure your safety and security, pick the best travel insurance package while checking travel warnings and alerts issued by the government. At present, countries with warnings include Libya, Syria, Yemen, North Korea, Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan.
One of the significant backpacking, diving and camping destinations in the world is Australia. Dubbed as the 6th largest country in the world, Australia offers a lot of things to enjoy from snorkelling to eco-tours, scuba diving, sight-seeing, dinner cruises and wine tasting.
Credit card use: International credit card networks that are present in Australia include Visa, MasterCard, and American Express (to a smaller degree). Union Pay is also widely available, especially throughout Australia Post outlets, most major Aussie bank ATMs and POS terminals, and when paying for taxi rides via Cab Charge. Credit cards are accepted almost universally by most shops, however, do bring along Australian Dollar (AUD) just in case.
Medical services: Prescribed medication for personal use needs to be declared upon arrival when travelling to Australia. It is also recommended for Singaporeans to bring along prescriptions or letters from the doctor to certify the use of the drug.
Australia has high-quality medical services provided by both private clinics and public hospitals. For medical emergencies, call “000”. Singaporeans travelling to rural areas need not worry as the Royal Flying Doctor Service provides 24-hour assistance across the country.
Please make sure you have health insurance in case of emergency, to help cover the cost of medical expenses.
Telecommunications: The telecommunications network in Australia covers most of the urban and suburban areas, with substantial mobile network coverage throughout those areas as well as the major interstate roads. The two major Telco companies here are Telstra and Optus, with many other players using their infrastructure or rolling out their own. Wi-Fi is widely available everywhere you go in the cities, as is 4G LTE. Prepaid SIM cards are available at the airport.
The emergency number is 000 from fixed lines and mobile phones alike, and you can also try 112 from mobile phones.
Passport and Visa: Starting January 2018, Singaporeans who travel to Australia can secure an exclusive visa for up to three months. You can apply via the Australian Electronic Travel Authority system with an online service charge fee of AUD20.
Make sure your passport has at least six months from the expected date of return. Singaporeans need to apply for a visa when travelling to Australia. As the Electronic Travel Authority is issued based on passport number, do apply for a visa after passport renewal.
Things to do: Home to many exotic animals and blessed with some of the world’s most scenic natural landscapes, there is so much to see and do when in Australia! For those into nature, visit Kangaroo Island and observe wildlife from koala to sea lions up-close! If you are more into sports and adventures, scuba dive through the Great Barrier Reef which is one of the World Heritage sites, or abseils at the beautiful Blue Mountains. But be sure to check that the travel insurance for Australia you have covers all the activities you are embarking on!
Australia also has a vibrant art scene, so wind down with a musical at the Sydney Opera House or walk along the Streets of Melbourne to admire its unique street art culture.
Australia has originated many iconic brands, including Billabong, Arnott’s, Boost Juice Bars and Harvey Norman. International retail outlets and brands are also found everywhere throughout the major cities and suburban shopping malls. For the best shopping deals, head to the outlet malls located in most states.
Have you ever thought about what will happen if your new purchase was stolen in Australia? Make sure you have travel insurance to Australia and stop worrying.
Food: Cuisine in Australia is multicultural, featuring mostly Western (and especially English-influenced) food. Fish and chips, roasted chicken and steaks are found in almost all casual and elegant dining restaurants.
There is also a reliable Italian, as well as Greek influence, so you will also find pizzas and pasta, as well as Mediterranean cuisines available throughout Australia. Chinese – notably Hong Kong - and other Asian food is widely available in the capital cities and surrounding suburbs.
While the food in Australia are made with quality ingredients, the high prices may not be for everyone’s budget. One tip for travellers on a budget is to visit ethnic restaurants like Vietnamese pho chains, where prices are more affordable than any other dining offers in the area. Alternatively, visit the local markets to get fresh ingredients for your meals.
Languages: Cantonese is widely spoken in the Chinatowns of each state as most of the Chinese migrants came from Canton (and more recently, Hong Kong), although Mandarin is also understood.
Time Zones: Australia is both the largest island and the smallest continent in the world. Because of its size, Australia is split up between several time zones; be aware of the potential difference in time zones if you intend to travel between several states.
Climate: Being in the Southern Hemisphere, the states with temperate climates experience summer towards the end of the year and winter towards the middle.
Travel insurance: Travelling in Australia can be dangerous- whether you are skydiving from 10,000 feet above land or driving along the Great Ocean Road, you want to make sure you’re having travel insurance for Australia. For example, AIG’s Travel Guard encompasses delayed flights, lost luggage, and emergency medical care, all under the same travel insurance coverage.
So, packing up for an adventure and getting off the beaten road is easier than ever with this Australia travel insurance that provides 24-hour assistance.
China has always been rich in history and culture. Today, it has become a melting pot of modern lifestyle and ancient traditions. It’s an excellent place to visit if you’re planning an Asian getaway vacation with the best value for your money. Since to China is not without risks, it’s essential that you travel with a travel insurance plan for China trips.
Credit card use: China is still considered as a cash-based economy, but different credit cards can still be used in varying degrees. You may use Visa, Mastercard, Discover, Diners Club and American express in hotels, restaurants and other businesses.
Medical services: Medical care in China can be accessed from the public and private healthcare facilities. There are a lot of public hospitals whose services and facilities vary depending on locations. Tourists bound to China are advised to consult their doctors about vaccines for yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis, typhoid, rabies and malaria.
Telecommunications: You need a China sim card to make calls, send SMS or stay connected online. You can consider China Mobile, the most extensive mobile carrier in the country. You may also want to use China Unicom which offers 4G and 3G bands that work best with phones bought outside China. You can top up the SIM card through Alipay or WeChat via the wallet section.
Passport and Visa: If you are travelling to China for tourism, transit, business or family visit purposes, you don’t need to get a new visa unless you want to stay there for more than 15 days via designated entry ports.
Things to do: Once you’re in China, you might be thinking along the lines of drinking tea, see the Great Wall of China, get up close to pandas, experience some Kung Fu, or visit the bustling capital of Beijing, China.
Visit the Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Olympic Village, or go to several impressive shopping malls in Beijing. Admire the colonial architectures of Shanghai or the ancient Jade Buddha Temple. Meet the Terracotta Army at Xi’an or visit the Great Mosque. If you are looking for natural landscapes, then visit Guilin with its natural limestone formation. These are just a fraction of all the China tourist spots.
For shoppers, Hong Kong is the shopping paradise. Want a piece of heaven? Go and visit Hangzhou. Looking for pandas? Go to Chengdu! If you want some adventure, go and trek the most famous Yellow Mountain and brave the trek to its summit. To be on the safe side, remember to get the travel insurance for China with a sports cover if you wish to go skiing or mountaineering or rock climbing.
Food: China’s most flavourful dishes are posted with traditional stir-fried pork and Chinese noodles. In Shanghai, you’ll find soup dumplings while in Beijing you’ll be served with Peking duck. Dumplings are filled with crab meat or pork blended in a savoury broth.
Language: The official language of China is Mandarin. Other major dialects spoken in the country include Yue or Cantonese, Min, Gan, Wu, Hakka and Xiang or Hainanese.
Time Zone: China expands to five time zones geographically which include Tibet, Zhengyuan. Longshu, Changbai and Kunlun. The standard time in Chinese Mainland, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau is UTC+8.
Climate: China’s complicated terrain causes the climate to radically vary from one area to another. The excellent times of the year to visit are May, April, October and September. During these months, you can make the most out of Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Xinjiang.
Travel insurance: Visitors bound to China are advised to buy comprehensive travel medical insurance. Choose a policy that covers medical evacuation, private hospital room allowance and translation services. A significant 25% of travel insurance claims cover cancelled flights in China. Around 25% of travel insurance claims cover cancelled flights in China, which means you are likely spend more should you fail to have your insurance cover this type of mishap. Perhaps it would be good to note that the average delay in major Chinese airports in 2016 includes 57.5 minutes for Shanghai, 51.9 minutes in Hong Kong, 50.4 minutes in Guangzhou and 48.1 minutes in Beijing.
Dubai and UAE
Dubai and the United Arab Emirates, as a whole, continue to lure tourists through modern attractions, shopping destinations and ancient cultural relics. In 2017, a whopping 15.8 million people flew to Dubai consisting of travellers from India, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom, Oman, China, USA and Pakistan.
Credit card use: Dubai recognises all major international credit cards. The average daily withdrawal limit is at $450 equivalent to dirhams. Most automated teller machines accept foreign credit cards entailed with fees once used by locally operated ATMs. Dubai acknowledges cashless payments for purchases, hotel bookings, car rental and other services.
Medical services: Dubai has continuously upgraded its medical services through building new hospitals and hiring healthcare professionals who are not only trained with global expertise but who also speak an average of 110 languages. The World Bank also recently hailed the city as the second most popular medical tourism destination.
Telecommunications: Dubai has telecommunication networks that function with the highest mobile band fitting the composition of internationally-manufactured mobile technology. Etisalat and Du telecom provide prepaid SIMS for tourists. Du visitor portable package is at Dhs35 or $9.5 while Etisalat is at Dhs100 or $27.
Passport and Visa: Singaporeans are not required to arrange UAE visa in advance. Upon arrival, proceed to the Immigration and have your passport stamped with 30-days visit visa for free.
Things to do: Dubai is home to the world’s most extensive, most beautiful, tallest and best that make it one of the top travel destinations in the world. Shoppers can stroll around Burj Khalifa before splurging in the massive Dubai Mall which is the world’s largest shopping centre. You can also visit the Burj Al Arab and the Jumeirah Mosque that towers the coast of Dubai Marina. Take a look at the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi featuring contemporary design and ancient skills blended in this picturesque Islamic architecture.
Food: The United Arab Emirates is a Muslim country where a significant number of restaurants do not serve pork dishes. However, you will get to indulge in sumptuous meals of lamb, beef, camel and chicken. Meat dishes are cooked with heavy spices served with the country's finest selection of herbs and chillies. Moreover, shawarma is an authentic Emirati dish dominated by spicy meat and served with salad and extra mint sauce.
Language: Although a lot of expatriates in the UAE speak English, Arabic is still the official language, and other spoken languages include Bengali, Urdu, Hindi, Tagalog, Persian, Malayalam and Chinese.
Time Zone: UAE utilises the Gulf Standard Time which means four hours ahead of UTC or GMT is co-linear with Oman.
Climate: They say that the UAE has two primary seasons which are hot and hotter. Tourists flock to the country during the winter months from December to March.
Travel insurance: Dubai offers one of the most expensive healthcare services and is considered to be one of the most expensive destinations for travel. This is the reason why travellers to UAE are advised to buy travel insurance that provides comprehensive coverages for emergency medical treatment, repatriation of remains, emergency transportation and baggage delay.
Dubai recently imposed its minimum requirements for health and travel insurance which should include the following:
- Emergency medical care and hospitalisation (at least $100,000)
- Medical evacuation coverage (at least $50,000, depending on how far you’ve travelled)
- Return of mortal remains
- Reimbursement of trip deposits
- Compassionate bedside visits
- Accidental death and permanent disability
- 24/7 emergency hotline
France has retained its prestigious title of being the most visited country on earth with over 89 million visitors in 2017. France takes pride in its natural scenic spots that is a perfect blend of sandy beaches, vast countryside and even snow-covered mountains. France is also home to 39 of Unesco’s World Heritage list including museums, galleries, artefacts and artworks.
Credit card use: Credit cards are used throughout the country and merchants accept most networks such as American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa. ATMs that are compatible with international banking are also available in cities. However, for smaller purchases do bring sufficient Euro (EUR).
Medical services: France has high-quality medical facilities that located across the country. Most doctors and pharmacist in larger cities can communicate in English.
For medical emergencies call 112. For any non-emergency medical issues, you can get a doctor to visit you by calling 3624 and telling them the department of France you are in. Treatment will cost approximately €50-€70. However, you may not be guaranteed an English-speaking doctor.
International health insurance will give you the added assurance and keep you covered for any emergency medical needs overseas.
Telecommunications: France has network coverage in all urban areas and most of its countryside. To stay in touch, a tourist with unblocked mobile phones can purchase prepaid SIM cards from the airport. For example, data only SIM cards can be bought from LeFrench Mobile at €19.95 euro for 1Gb of data.
Many cities in France also provide free unlimited Wi-Fi (some are renewable every 30 minutes). For instance, in Paris, there are about 400 Wi-Fi hotspot locations. Alternatively, cities like Lyon, Bordeaux and Sainte-Maxime offers pocket Wi-Fi for rent that provides 4G connections throughout the city.
Passport and visa: For visits not exceeding 90 days within six months from the date of initial entry, Singapore passport holders will not require a visa. However, ensure that your passport has a minimum of 6 months’ validity from the expected date of return before travelling. Passport renewal can be done online at ica.com.sg.
Things to do: Other than drawing up a travel insurance plan for France, here are some things you need to know to prepare for your trip. France is a country with rich culture and history. Home to the iconic Eiffel Tower, there are many other historical sites worth visiting. Take a day trip to the magical Mont Saint Michel, or the hill towns of Luberon.
Food: A holiday in France will provide the ultimate gastronomic experience for your taste buds. From Michelin-starred meals, up-market eateries, to a bowl of the local delicacy in a simple café, you will be spoilt for choices. One thing to note is that tipping is a culture in France.
Some of must try when in France includes cheese, wine and a whole assortment of Authentic French cuisine like Confit de Canard (Duck Confit), Ratatouille, Fondue Savoyarde and more.
Language: French is the official language in France, and in some regions, dialects like Basque are the preferred language for communication. While most French can understand English, slow down when trying to communicate with them. It is also helpful to have a phrasebook or several keywords in French on hand, to help ease the language barrier.
Time Zone: Metropolitan France observes the Daylight-Saving Time starting from the last Sunday in March and ending in October. Its official time zone is the Central European Time Zone which is UTC +1:00
Climate: Depending on what you are looking for, there is a different charm to France in each season. Winters and summers are peak season for travel. If you prefer visits with fewer crowds, visit during spring between March and May, or during autumn from September to October, where the weather is comfortable for travelling.
Travel insurance: While violent crimes aren’t common in France, tourists are often vulnerable to thefts and other petty crime. Get travel insurance for France to cover any loss of belonging, medical expenses and trip cancellation, at prices as low as S$24 for a five days’ trip. Ensure you get the best deal when choosing your France travel insurance by using GoBear’s comparison platform to see plans offered by all leading providers.
Hong Kong is one of the most significant financial centres in the world. Continuously, Hong Kong is considered as the freest economy and the most competitive due to its simple taxation scheme, well-developed public transport and a well-traded currency.
Credit card use: Most credit card networks can be used in Hong Kong such as Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Diners Club. These are accepted at most retail shops, restaurants and hotels across the country. However, travellers are still advised to carry along sufficient Hong Kong dollars (HKD) for their trip.
There are many ATMs conveniently located in the city that accept international cards. Moneychangers can also be found in central locations.
Medical Services: For medical emergencies, Singaporeans can call 999. All visitors are required to pay HKD$990 per attendance for Accidents and Emergencies. As treatments in Hong Kong can be expensive for foreigners, it is best to purchase travel insurance for Hong Kong before your visit.
International health insurance can also help pay for your overseas medical expenditures. Clinics can be easily found on Hong Kong’s Yellow Pages, and medical practitioners are fluent in English. Remember to bring along your passport and keep a copy of all receipts for your travel insurance claims if applicable.
Pharmacies can also be easily located across the island, and are marked by a red and white cross. Here tourist can easily purchase non-prescription drugs.
Telecommunications: Singaporeans can easily stay connected when in Hong Kong. Prepaid SIM cards can be easily purchased at major convenience stores in the airport or even in town. Purchase the “Discover Hong Kong Tourist SIM Card” at the airport and get up to 5GB of 4G Mobile data, unlimited csl Wi-Fi, unlimited local calls, and more.
Free Wi-Fi service is also available at many locations across the country such as the airport, MTR, and various shops. Singaporeans can also check out Changi Airports travel Wi-Fi rental service that frequently offers discounts.
Passport and Visa: Singapore passport holders planning to visit Hong Kong do not require a visa for trips not exceeding 90 days. However, do check that your passport has at least six months of validity from the expected date of return. Keep your boarding passes, for all your travel insurance claims.
Be sure to get travel insurance for Hong Kong, to travel with a peace of mind. Familiarising yourself with the following information before your trip will help you be a prepared traveller.
Things to do: Some of the must-dos in Hong Kong include midnight shopping along night markets such as Temple Street Night Market, visiting theme parks and various tourist locations like the Avenue of Stars and the Big Buddha at Ngong Ping.
However, if you are looking for a genuinely different Hong Kong experience, here are some activities to consider. For the more adventurous, pack your hiking gear and take a hike up to the Peak Tower and continue to Pok Fu Lam Reservoir. This trail will allow you to see the best of Hong Kong, from its beautiful skyscrapers to its lush forests.
Spending days in a crowded city can be tiring, take a relaxing day trip to Kowloon Walled City Park and be immersed in Hong Kong’s rich history.
GoBear tip: All retailers in Hong Kong are now required to charge a Minimum of HKD$0.50 for plastic carriers. So, it is best for all shopaholics to bring along a recyclable bag for all your buys.
Food: You will be spoilt for choices during your trip! Food in Hong Kong is affordable, and you can quickly get a filling meal with just S$5 at local tea cafes. Explore the various food options from tea cafes, dim sum restaurants to more exciting experiences like dining on a cruise with the beautiful Victoria Harbour as the backdrop.
Look out for the Quality Tourism Services (QTS) signs for restaurants that are certified hygienic with excellent customer services. And while the street food in Hong Kong can be ever tempting, take note that most street carts are not licensed, and the food may be unhygienic.
Some tea cafes not to be missed are the Australia Dairy Company at Parkes Street and Lang Fong Yuen at Gage Street Central. The daily long queues are a testament to how good the food is.
Language: Singaporeans will have little problem with communication when travelling in Hong Kong. While most Hong Kongers communicate in Cantonese, as it used to be a British colony, English is the preferred language in the government, and all official signs are bilingual.
Most taxi drivers and service staffs at restaurants and malls will be able to understand you in English.
Time Zone: Hong Kong Time (HKT) is 8 hours ahead of the UTC or the Coordinated Universal Time.
Climate: In Hong Kong, summers are humid and hot while winters are cold and dry. It is best to plan your Hong Kong trip during March, April, October and November. Springtime, which runs from March to April, will let you experience cool evenings.
Travel insurance: Travelling to Hong Kong for your Dim Sum fix? Travel insurance for Hong Kong can come on as low a budget as S$17. This primary travel insurance for Hong Kong from the Hong Leong Group covers overseas medical expenditures, accidental death & permanent disablement, and more. Head over to Gobear to compare and choose the cheapest travel insurance in Singapore, best suited for your needs!
Now that we’ve got you covered with the best Hong Kong travel insurance, let GoBear show you how to make the most of your time in Hong Kong!
India’s hospitality, warmth, architecture, and peculiar culture carve such a deep and lasting impression in the hearts of its visitors. India is the world’s second-largest country and the most extensive English-speaking nation.
Credit card use: Merchants in India accept international credit cards linked to Mastercard, Visa and American Express after 86% of the paper currency in circulation were demonetised in 2016. Ever since, credit card machines became accessible to retailers in big cities like Chennai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Mumbai and Delhi. A few merchants are not yet ready to go cashless due to transaction fees charged by banks that they end up costing their customers extra 1-2% to cover for this.
Medical services: It should be helpful to take note that India’s healthcare systems are ranked 112 out of 190 by the World Health Organization. Although some medical facilities are at poor standards in rural areas, medical care in urban centres nearly approach Western standards. Hospitals require confirmation of insurance or payment before conducting treatments and interventions. Since credit cards are not accepted for medical care, tourists can buy travel insurance that provides medical coverages.
Telecommunications: To stay connected while in India, visitors should buy a local SIM card for money transfers and payments. The Indian government is providing pre-activated SIMs upon arrival under the state-run network BSNL. The SIM comes with 50MB of data and 90 cents of credit for making calls. India includes this SIM in their standard tourist kit which also contains maps, brochures and helpline available in 12 languages like Japanese, Russian and German. Present a copy of your e-visa at the immigration counter to get the kit upon reaching any of these airports: Bengaluru, Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Panjim, Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Jaipur, Lucknow and Varanasi.
Passport and Visa: Singaporeans need a visa to travel to India which costs around USD25. Before your travel, lodge an application with the High Commission of India in Singapore four days before your flight date. Once approved, your visa should allow you to stay in India for a maximum of 60days.
Things to do: Visiting Taj Mahal is usually on top of the list of tourists who visit the country; hence, it isn’t surprising if you share the same interest. But make sure you wouldn’t miss visiting other cultural sites like the temples at Ellora and Ajanta. Check out the forts, maze-like bazaars, and Delhi’s rich architecture. For fashion, film, and fun, head out to Mumbai. Shimla, Darjeeling, Ooty, and Kodaikanal are the country’s forested highlands. There are beaches for you to try, too. Don’t miss out some more touristy things to do like seeing tigers, Indian rhinos, and Asiatic elephants up close at national parks. Since crowds are unavoidable and accidents do happen, don’t forget to get yourself insured with travel insurance for India.
Food: India offers incredibly delicious cuisines of different varieties. Food options can range from curried vegetables to flatbreads, chutneys, fresh cheeses, rice, lentils and exquisite sweets.
Language: There are around 22 official languages in India which include Sanskrit, Bengali, Hindi, Nepali, Maithili, Tamil, Urdu and Bodo.
Time Zone: India does not have any Daylight-Saving Time, and its time one is known as the Indian Standard Time which is 5:30 hours ahead of the Greenwich Mean Time.
Climate: The Thar Desert and Himalayas significantly influence India's climate. India is always hot, but it’s the coolest between November to March. However, you have to be aware of the Indian holidays to avoid huge crowds and costly expenses. Some of the holidays you should tick off your calendar are Eid al-Fitr, Eid al-Adha, and other Hindu festivals. Exact dates vary depending on the official declaration so do your homework before you schedule your travel.
Travel insurance: India’s beautiful culture and beautiful sights also entail some risks and to ensure that you get back home safe and sound, you need to visit it with comprehensive travel insurance. Most insurance providers offer hospital and dental costs, emergency ambulance, and medical repatriation.
The Republic of Indonesia is known to tourists as home to volcanic islands, 300 different languages, Komodo dragons, beaches and elephants. Travelling to Indonesia introduces you to the world’s 4th most populous country highlighted with fantastic wildlife and breath-taking surfing experience.
Credit card use: Most credit card networks are widely accepted in Jakarta and major tourist destinations. However, do carry sufficient cash for smaller purchases especially in rural areas. ATMs can be found at the airport or in larger cities.
Moneychangers are available in most popular tourist destinations but beware of street moneychangers who may be trying to scam you.
Medical services: For medical emergencies, call 119 to get medical assistance. Hospitals in Indonesia are equipped to treat minor injury and illnesses however standards decrease in rural part of the country.
Treatment for major surgeries, however, will be done outside the country. So, do make sure your travel insurance for Indonesia can cover medical evacuation.
Also, you may consider getting international health insurance to cover overseas medical expenses. For long-term prescribed drugs, do bring extra quantity in case of theft or loss as some medicines may be difficult to get in Indonesia.
Telecommunications: To stay connected, tourist can purchase prepaid SIM cards from leading telecom providers with data plans that cost approximately S$20 for 3.5GB of data. Mobile networks provide coverage across Indonesia. However, service can be limited in rural areas.
Wi-Fi is usually available in hotels in most cities other than rural areas. Tourist can also find internet cafes in Indonesia.
Things to do: There will never be a dull moment in Indonesia. Enjoy Indonesia’s nature with a dive in the Bunaken National Park and swim amongst the most pristine corals in the world or sweat it out with a hike up one of its active volcanoes, Mount Bromo. Be sure to check if your travel insurance covers the activities you are planning to do in Indonesia.
For a more relaxing trip, chill on the white beaches of the Gili Islands or experience Indonesia’s tribal culture with a visit to Torajaland to interact with the locals.
For the best shopping experience, Jakarta is the place to be. Malls are stocked with many local and international brands.
Food: Food in Indonesia features the use of many spices and has influence from China, Portugal, Netherlands and even Spain. Rice is a staple in most parts of the country. Food is affordable here, and you will be able to buy food on the street with about 20,000 Rp. However, do take note of hygiene when eating at street-side stalls.
Some famous dishes include Rijstaffel (a recipe which serves a variety of meats, vegetables and curries), Ayam Goreng (fried chicken with rice), Gado-Gado (a Javan salad with peanut and coconut milk sauce) and its famous roast pig, Babi-guling. Tipping is not a culture there, but service charges apply.
Languages: Bahasa Indonesia is the official language in Indonesia. Malays in Singapore will be able to communicate comfortably with the locals. Non-Malay speakers need not worry because, in most tourist destinations, some locals can understand basic English.
Indonesia is the largest archipelago in the world, ranging from Sabang in Aceh to Merauke in Papua, which is made up of more than 18,000 islands. Indonesia is also exceptionally culturally diverse, with more than 320 spoken languages.
Indonesia is also a predominantly Muslim nation, so travellers should be mindful of that and respects its practices.
Time Zone: Indonesia recognises three time zones which include the Western Standard Time (UTC+7), GMT Indonesia Central Standard Time (UTC +8) and the Indonesia Eastern Standard Time (UTC +9).
Climate: The tropical climate varies across the country. The weather between June and September is the driest while from December to March there are high levels of rainfall. While the peak tourist season is between June and August, the best travelling period is in the shoulder seasons, where there are fewer crowds, comfortable weather and better rates for tourist attractions.
There are many active volcanoes and frequent earthquakes; so be sure to take note of safety evacuation plans and make sure your travel insurance for Indonesia covers damages or medical claims because of natural disasters.
Travel insurance: Travel insurance plans that cover medical problems, loss and theft can be advantageous if you wish to stay in Indonesia for a few days. Indonesian hospitals may not begin medical intervention if you do not guarantee any payment from an insurer. You may also need to take note that Indonesian getaways are often located in remote islands, and when accidents happen, your insurer should provide medical evacuation benefits.
The cradle of European civilisation, Italy boasts of the iconic Roman Catholic Church, the Colosseum of Ancient Rome, the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Trevi fountain. Travelling to Italy means allowing yourself to be charmed by its jaw-dropping architecture, irresistible food, magnificent artworks and diverse scenery.
Credit card use: International credit card networks that are present in Italy include Visa, MasterCard, and American Express. Prominent retailer and food outlets accept credit cards, but smaller establishments may prefer cash instead. So, do bring sufficient Euros (€) for smaller purchases.
Medical services: For medical emergencies, you can get help at “118”. Standard of health care varies across the country. In major cities, medical staffs can communicate in English. Otherwise, you will be able to find translation services.
Pharmacies can also be easily found, however, most close at night and on Sundays. Do bring sufficient prescribe medications for consumption when travelling.
Treatment for medical emergencies overseas can be costly, stay protected with travel insurance for Italy. International health insurance can also help cover expensive medical expenditures when travelling.
Telecommunications: The telecommunications network in Italy covers most of the country. Mobile phones bought in Singapore should work seamlessly with Italian pre-paid SIMs, but do check the specific frequencies your cellphone uses against the ones your preferred Italian telco supports.
Wi-Fi is widely available everywhere you go, as is 4G LTE. The emergency number is 112 from fixed lines and mobile phones alike.
Passport and visa: Make sure your passport has at least six months’ validity from the expected date of return; you may not be allowed to travel if your passport is too close to expiry. No visa is required for Singapore passport holders if the duration is up to 90 days within six months from the date of initial entry.
Other than getting travel insurance for Italy to stay covered, we present you with things you need to keep in mind before flying.
Things to do: When in Rome, do as the Romans do…literally. Much of Rome’s cobbled streets dating back to the Roman Empire, and you can still see well-preserved Roman buildings as you walk along them. Buy a ticket to see the Colosseum. Visit the Vatican City and marvel at the architectural wonders of St. Peter’s Basilica.
Take a trip down to Venice and see the city’s glassblowers practice their ancient craft, or hire a gondola and have a romantic trip down its canals. Then move on down to Pisa and take a selfie in front of its Leaning Tower. There is no shortage of things to do in Italy.
Italy is home to many famous brands – most of them well known for their ‘upmarket’ positioning. Right at the top, of course, are the supercar brands Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati and Bugatti; Alfa Romeo and Fiat are also Italian car brands.
But for the shopaholics amongst us, why not pick something up from Giorgio Armani, Benetton, Dolce & Gabbana, or Bulgari?
Sports aficionados can probably find something they like at Diadora, and if you decide to forget the big names, who knows what bargains you could pick up?
Inquire about VAT refunds in-store; you might be eligible depending on how much you spent and when you’re leaving.
Food: When people think of Italian cuisine, pizza and pasta usually come to mind. However, Italy is home to so much more. From salami to pastrami, espresso to gelato, Italy’s specialities have made their way across the world.
Italian cuisines are very flavourful, relying on a mix of both fresh and preserved ingredients. Olive oil is a significant part of Italian cooking as well. Muslim travellers are well advised to check that any particular dish is halal (or at least pork-free) before ordering.
The wine has been part of the Italian diet since before Roman times, and Italian cuisines still emphasise wines heavily. Whether at the most upscale ristorante or any casual trattoria, you are sure to have a generous selection of wines to choose from. Food at restaurants can cost 12 to 30 euro per meal.
Languages: Aside from bordering regions, Italian is the official language of Italy; however, English is widely spoken here, as is French and German in the bordering areas of the respective countries.
As a member of the EU, all EU citizens have the freedom to live and work in Italy, so you will find significant groups of people who speak other European languages.
It is handy for Singaporean visitors to take note of key phrases in Italian when asking for directions or even discounts.
Benvenuto! Italy is located on the Italian Peninsula, also known as the ‘boot’ of Europe, because of its shape. Italy is the birthplace of the Roman Empire, one of the most long-lasting and successful empires of the world, and one whose legacy is present even today.
Time Zone: Italy uses GMT/UTC +1 during Standard Time while GMT/UTC +2 during Daylight Saving Time
Climate: Italy has a Mediterranean climate and observes Central European Time (UTC+1) along with daylight savings. The best time to travel to Italy is during Spring, between April and June, where Singaporeans can explore various festivals and enjoy fresh local harvests.
Travel Insurance: Jetting off halfway across the world is not an easy feat. For all the things that could happen, the last thing you want is not to have travel insurance for Italy to tide you through.
When travelling to Italy, it is essential for your Italy travel insurance to cover your medical needs as well as theft and lost! Use GoBear Singapore’s comparison site to choose the best travel insurance plan today.
Cherry blossoms, autumn colors, hiking, food, anime and gardens are just a few things you should look forward to experiencing when traveling to Japan.
Credit card use: In Japan, cash is more useful than a card. A lot of restaurants and shops transact in cash. However, Japan has its payment network called JCB. International credit card networks that are present in Japan include Visa, MasterCard, and American Express. UnionPay is also widely available.
Credit cards are accepted by many retailers and food outlets, though some of the smaller outlets may prefer cash instead. So, do bring sufficient Japanese Yen (JPY), for small purchases.
Medical services: Japanese medical facilities are of world-class standards, with medical facilities available throughout most of the country. However, it can be costly. Hence it is recommended to get travel insurance for Japan with medical coverages for any emergencies.
If you intend to go someplace more remote, ensure that your travel insurance for Japan includes emergency medical repatriation coverage. Getting international health insurance can also help subsidies your medical expenses in Japan.
Telecommunications: The telecommunications network in Japan covers most of the nation. Mobile phones bought in Singapore might not work with Japanese pre-paid data SIMs, as Japan along with the USA uses CDMA networks rather than GSM ones.
Check the specific frequencies your phone uses against the ones your preferred Japanese telco supports. Voice-capable SIMs are difficult to get unless you have a permanent Japanese address (acquiring your resident friend/relative to buy one for you is probably the easiest way, or you can rent a SIM/phone).
Wi-Fi for tourists is somewhat available everywhere you go, as is 4G LTE. The emergency number is 110 for the police and 119 for fire/ambulance services, but remember that most Japanese do not speak fluent English.
Singaporean travelers may also prefer to rent travel Wi-Fi devices from Singapore’s Changi Airport, which offers regular discounts to various destinations.
Passport and visa: Make sure your passport has at least six months’ validity from the expected date of return; you may not be allowed to travel if your passport is too close to expiry. No visa is required for Singapore passport holders, for travel durations within 90 days.
Travel insurance for Japan is a must, other than that, here are some things to take note of before your trip to Japan.
Things to do: Japan is rich in culture and steeped in tradition; if that’s what interests you, then you’ve come to the right place. During the New Year, visiting a shrine to pray for good luck is something of a ritual for most Japanese, as is Obon and Tanabata; many similar festivals take place in Japan throughout the year, culminating in a firework display.
Depending on the time of year, you might be lucky enough to take part in hanami (flower-watching) parties.
There is also a very vibrant artistic – especially musical and theatrical – community, with concerts and plays almost year-round in the capital cities.
Japan is where you will find the otaku (obsessed/fanatic) Mecca of Ahikabara (Akiba), so if you have anybody you know is interested in Japanese media such as anime, manga, or cosplay, this is the place where you can find all the related merchandise.
Aside from that, however, Japan is also home to Takashimaya, Isetan and Kinokuniya and Daiso. There are many uniquely Japanese items that you can find only in Japan, so shop around for some good bargains. Inquire about GST refunds in-store; you might be eligible depending on how much you spent and when you’re leaving.
Food: Seafood is a primary component of Japanese cuisine, as is rice. Sushi and sashimi, as well as teppanyaki, are the most famous Japanese cuisines known overseas, but they encompass so much more.
Try nabe (hot pot) while in Japan (especially during winter) and Japanese BBQ. While in Kobe, splurge a little on actual Kobe beef. Pork (buta) does feature in Japanese cuisines, but not prominently.
Sake (rice wine) is part and parcel of Japanese culture and cuisine and is a must-try while you’re in Japan. Even children can get in on the fun with amazake (a sweeter, nearly non-alcoholic version).
Languages: Japan is incredibly homogenous, so Japanese is not only the official language, it’s probably the only language most Japanese speak fluently. English is taught as part of the school curriculum, and in the largest megalopolises, most large establishments are English-speaking.
To help get over the language barrier, bring along a Japanese phrase book or download a Beginner Japanese application on your mobile phone before travelling.
Youkoso! Japan is an island nation and has a history stretching back nearly a thousand years. Its reigning emperor is among the world’s oldest surviving dynasty; so, it’s not surprising to know that modern Japan is at once highly cosmopolitan and immensely traditional at the same time.
Time Zone: Japan rules over the Japanese archipelago of islands and observes Japan Standard Time (UTC+9) all year round.
Climate: Being in the Northern Hemisphere (and pretty far north at that), summer comes around the middle of the year, and winter towards the end.
The best time to travel is in Spring, where tourist can get to see the world's famous cherry blossoms.
Travel insurance: Japan’s world-class medical facilities welcome tourists provided that proof of medical travel insurance can be shown. The insurance package should not only cover medical intervention but should also allow for repayments of luggage loss. Flight cancellation and loss of personal effects.
Malaysia travel is almost always associated with a unique immersion in urbanised Kuala Lumpur highlighted with substantial national parks, pristine beaches and lush tea plantations that crowd the Cameron Highlands. A trip to Malaysia means experiencing tropical gardens, forest trails and sumptuous Penang street foods.
Credit card use: Most credit card networks available in Malaysia such as MasterCard, Visa and American Express. However, Diners Club is only accepted at some malls, restaurants and hotels.
ATMs can be easily found in cities, and most accept international cards. Do check if there is an automatic block on your card by the bank for security reasons, before travelling to Malaysia. Do bring sufficient Ringgit (RM) as well, especially if you are going to rural areas.
Medical services: Malaysia has quality healthcare facilities that ca in major cities like Kuala Lumpur or Johor. However, the standards can differ between private and public hospitals. Hence for high-quality service that you can trust, visit private clinics. No referrals are needed to see a specialist in Malaysia.
Do note that hospitals are less available in rural areas. To get emergency medical assistance, dial 999. Other than travel insurance for Malaysia, international health insurance can also help cover the cost of overseas medical expenses.
Telecommunications: Malaysia has GSM 900/1800 and 3G mobile networks that cover most of the country, but the signal can be weak in the highlands. Singaporeans can buy prepaid SIM cards from companies like Digi, with plans starting from RM$8.
Internet cafes are conveniently located around the city, and tourists can get access to Wi-Fi at most shopping malls and hotels.
Passport and visa: Singapore passport holders planning to visit Malaysia will not require a Visa. However, make sure that your passport has at least six months’ validity from the expected date of return.
Before your trip, the first thing to prepare is a travel insurance plan for Malaysia. Other than that, here is a specially curated list of things to take note of and prepare before travelling.
Things to do: Malaysia is the perfect destination for a quiet weekend getaway from the hustle and bustle of Singapore. Be one with nature with a visit to the Rainbow Waterfall in Sungai Lembing or the Endau Rompin National Park to marvel at the beauty of our earth. With new attractions like Legoland in Johor, it is also a suitable location for family holidays.
For adventure seekers, Malaysia’s geography provides the best playground to get your adrenaline pumping. Go Zorbing in Serdang where you get to roll down a hill in a giant inflated ball. Or be the first amongst your friends to try the latest Flyboard at affordable prices in Putrajaya. Be sure to get travel insurance for Malaysia that covers all the activities you intend to embark on.
Take advantage of the excellent exchange rates and head to the malls in Malaysia. For luxury brands at a steal, Johor Premium Outlets is the place to go to. If you are on a budget, you will be able to find shirts and more at incredible prices at Petaling Street Market in Kuala Lumpur.
Food: Food in Malaysia features flavours from many different cultures. Prices are affordable, and travellers can get meals from mid-range restaurants at an average of S$12.
Some must-try food in Malaysia includes Char Kway Teow (stir-fried noodles with eggs, prawns, Chinese sausage and more) from the streets of Penang, traditional Nonya delicacies like Kuih Seri Muka (steamed glutinous rice with pandan jelly dessert) and the classic Nasi Lemak (rice with an assortment of dishes). However, do take note of the hygiene of street stalls before purchase.
Languages: The official language in Malaysia is Bahasa Melayu. However, because of the cultural diversity in Malaysia, English is widely spoken as well. Local Chinese in Malaysia can also understand many Chinese dialects Singaporeans are familiar with, such as Hokkien.
Malaysia is made up of Peninsular Malaysia as well as the two states on the island of Borneo, Sabah and Sarawak. Lying between the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea, Malaysia’s central location has made it the hub for trade and travel, giving rise to the former British Colony’s multiracial culture.
Malaysia’s tropical rainforest climate makes it warm and humid all year round, with monsoon winds hitting from late May to September, and from October to March. The best time to visit Malaysia would be in April, between the monsoon seasons when rainfall is lower.
Time Zone: MST or Malaysia Standard Time is 8 hours ahead of the Coordinated Universal Time and the Greenwich Mean Time. In Kuala Lumpur, the standard time is UTC+8.
Climate: Throughout the year, Malaysia’s climate is hot and humid. With an average temperature of 28 degrees, it is best to visit the west coast between November and February when the weather is dry and sunny. The wettest months in the area are from April to October, which is also the best times of the year to visit the east coast.
Travel insurance: Malaysia is a popular destination for a short retreat for many Singaporeans. Getting travel insurance for Malaysia might seem like a stretch considering its proximity. However, crime rates are high in Malaysia, and petty crimes against visitors are common.
Use GoBear’s comparison tool to choose the best travel insurance for Malaysia and stay covered during your trip. Malaysia travel insurance can start as low as $11 for three days and includes personal accident, overseas medical expenses and more.
Planning to have a taste of western Europe’s best tourist experiences? Then head on to the Netherlands where modernisation and tradition are amazingly fused in candlelit cafes, breath-taking architecture, windmills and state-of-the-art masterpieces.
Credit card use: MasterCard, Visa, Diners Club and American Express are accepted in the Netherlands. However, credit card use is not as dominant here; while most tourist spots, hotels and restaurants accept credit cards, some supermarkets may not accept credit cards.
Do bring sufficient Euro (EUR). ATMs (with English language option) are found across the country, and some accept international cards. Do check with your providers before travelling.
Medical services: or medical emergencies, dial 112. The hospitals in the Netherlands can provide high-quality service. Most hospital staffs can communicate in English. Most medicine are available; however, the brands may differ and could cost more.
Before visiting clinics, do make an appointment with the doctor beforehand. To cover your medical expenses when travelling, get travel insurance for the Netherlands; be sure to check the beautiful prints and keep all necessary documents. International health insurance can help pay for emergency medical needs overseas.
Telecommunications: To stay connected, tourist can buy SIM cards from leading telecom companies like KPN, Vodafone and T-Mobile; the network is receivable throughout the country. For instance, Vodafone offers Prepaid SIM cards from €15 that comes with 3GB of 4G data. Free Wi-Fi is available in most hotels, cafes and some tourist destination.
Passport and Visa: For visits to the Netherlands that do not exceed 90 days within six months from the date of entry, Singapore passport holders will not require any visa. However, do make sure that your passport has at least six months’ validity from the expected date of return.
After choosing your desired travel insurance for the Netherlands, there are other things to keep in mind before travelling.
Things to do: In the Netherlands, you can find scenic natural landscapes as well as traditional and contemporary architecture masterpieces.
For the artistic, get inspired as you visit sites like the Groninger Museum, tulip fields in Bollenstreek and the Van Gogh Museum. There are also many places with rich history worth visiting, such as Anne Frank’s house and the UNESCO protected Canal belt.
Other than touring these sites, some activities that tourist can try are beer tasting at an artisan microbrewery under a Windmill (de gooyer in Oostelijke Eilanden) or bike tours around the various cities. Outdoor adventures are often dangerous, do get a Netherlands travel insurance to cover any possible accidents.
Food: The Dutch know how to serve up a tasty and hearty meal. Dutch cuisine tends to consist of more vegetables than meat and is high in carbohydrates and fats. Diary is also a large part of its food culture. Food at a casual restaurant in the Netherlands can cost approximately €30. Tipping is practised in the Netherlands; so, do take note of that when dining at restaurants.
Some favourite dishes are Poffertjes (small pancakes served with icing sugar and butter), Stroopwafel (waffles with syrup) and Rookworst (sausage). For the more daring, there is also the iconic Hollandse Nieuwe Haring that is more of an acquired taste.
Languages: The official language in the Netherlands is Dutch. In areas like Friesland, locals speak Frisian. English is the official language in some municipalities like Amsterdam. Singapore tourist will have no trouble with communication, as most Dutch are proficient in English.
Time Zone: The Netherlands utilises two time zones. The Standard Time is the Central European Time which is UTC +1. When DST or Daylight Saving Time is implemented, the Netherlands uses the CEST or the Central European Summer Time which is UTC +2.
Climate: The Netherlands has a total land area of 33,893 kilometres square, much this land area consists of reclaimed land. It is one of the more densely populated countries in the world and is highly urbanised. Most of the country is coastal lowland with some hills towards the Southeast regions.
Its temperate maritime climate experiences cool summers and bearable winters, making it an excellent travel destination all year round. However, to see the world-famous tulips, visit in mid-April to see them in full bloom.
Travel insurance: Travel insurance for the Netherlands to keep you covered for a 5-day trip can come as low as S$24. This travel insurance plan by Etiqa will keep you covered for personal accidents, loss of personal items and even trip cancellation! GoBear helps get the best bang for your bucks by letting you compare across all leading Insurance providers in Singapore to choose the perfect insurance for your needs within your budget.
A New Zealand holiday introduces you to stunning landscapes and vast wilderness. Walking and hiking in New Zealand tracks will provide you with different levels of experience and fitness. Travelers are also advised to indulges in local food and discover great-tasting wine right from their world-class source.
Credit card use: Most credit card networks like Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and more are accepted in New Zealand and are used in most shops. However, do note that conversion rates may apply.
ATMs can be easily found in larger towns and cities. Do check if your ATM card can be used overseas before travelling. Alternatively, do carry sufficient New Zealand Dollars (NZD), for smaller purchases.
Medical services: For emergencies, call 111 to get medical assistance. New Zealand has quality healthcare facilities. However, this can be limited in places such as Cook Island, Niue Island and Tokelau Island. Hence be sure to check if your medical insurance covers medical evacuation to mainland New Zealand.
Under New Zealand’s accident compensation scheme, the Accident Compensation Corporation, visitors can get help paying for treatment and rehabilitation in New Zealand when in accidents. However, the ACC does not cover any illnesses. Travellers are still advised to purchase their travel insurance for New Zealand to cover their medical expenses if needed.
Singaporeans may also prefer to get international health insurance to claim overseas medical expenses. Tourist can also call 0800 611 116 for free medical advice from trained medical staffs.
Telecommunications: To stay connected, tourist can purchase SIM cards from leading telecom providers like Spark, Vodafone and 2degrees Mobile at the airport. Mobile networks provide coverage across New Zealand. However, service can be limited in rural areas. While free Wi-Fi is less frequent in New Zealand, you'll find it in spots like hotels, libraries or global franchises like Starbucks.
Passport and visa: No Visa is required for Singapore passport holders planning to travel to New Zealand for up to 90 days. However, ensure that your passport has a minimum of 6 months’ validity from the expected date of return. Passport renewals can be done online at the ICA website.
The first thing to do before your trip is to get travel insurance for New Zealand. Other than that, here is some information you’ll need before travelling.
Things to do: Seeking some adrenaline? Leap of faith and try out the Shotover Canyon Swing in Queenstown. If heights are not for you, go black water rafting through the Kiwi Cave. Waitomo Caves are also a must-see, as Glowworms native only to New Zealand illuminate and turn the caves into a magical scene.
Winter covers the slopes of Ruapehu with layers of snow, giving tourists the opportunity to ski on a volcano. However, do check that your New Zealand travel insurance covers the high-risk activities you intend to try.
If you want an experience exclusive to New Zealand, visit a Maori Village and immerse yourself in the traditions of the indigenous population, from their food to their art forms. For a more relaxed trip, head to the Malborough region and tour their wineries to taste some of the world’s best wines.
There is so much to do in New Zealand; you’ll be heading back for more.
As agriculture is one of its main economic activities, New Zealand local produces are not to be missed. Known for its medicinal properties, Manuka Honey with UMF makes a great gift. New Zealand also has world-renowned wines, which are not to be missed.
Languages: While Maori is one of the official languages in New Zealand, English is predominantly used throughout the country. Hence, Singaporeans will have little trouble communicating when in New Zealand.
Time zone: New Zealand’s time zones include the main islands of the country and the Chatham Islands. In the main areas, they use UTC+12 as standard time and UTC+13 as daylight saving time. On the other hand, Chatham Islands use UTC+12:45 standard time and UTC+13:45 as daylight saving time.
Climate: New Zealand’s weather is everything except tropical. It almost imitates that of Australia, and you might experience all four seasons in just one day. Summer In the country happens between December and February. This is the busiest time of the year where prices are higher, and accommodation reservations can be severe, compared to other seasons when tourists rarely flood the streets.
March to May is coloured with golden leaves and russet browns that signify autumn. This is probably one of the best times to visit the country since tourists are much less.
June to August offer short and mild winter winds. These are the best months for skiing at the Queenstown, Mount Hutt and Wanaka.
Finally, visiting New Zealand in September and November is a great time to enjoy the picturesque snow-capped mountains symbolising the end of winter and the beginning of spring.
Travel insurance: While The Telegraph crowned New Zealand as 2016’s “Best Country”, travelling to New Zealand is not without risks, especially if you are planning to experience its world-class extreme sports. Choose the best travel insurance for New Zealand that will provide coverage for all the activities you will embark on.
Singaporeans can buy premium travel insurance plans for as low as $27 per trip. This includes personal accident repayment, medical expenses lost bags and belongings and trip cancellation. You may also add unlimited emergency medical evacuation cover to make sure you get transported to the nearest medical facility.
Travel in Oppa Gangnam style with South Korea tourist spots teeming with nightlife, temples beaches and mountains. South Korea is a haven for travel nomads who depend on reliable nationwide Wi-Fi (and savvy enough to be secure with travel insurance for South Korea getaways). Indeed, the Land of the Morning Calm can infuse natural and cultural wonders with technological advancement.
Travel nomads are better served with travel insurance plans like the Citibank Asian policy while travelling across the country.
Credit card use: MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Diners Club (less frequently) are widely accepted at major hotels, restaurants and departmental shop. However, do bring along sufficient cash as some shops may not allow credit card purchases or have trouble processing foreign credit cards.
There is a wide variety of travel insurance for South Korea available for Singapore travellers. Try out GoBear’s comparison services for a quick, informative and straightforward view of travel insurance plans offered by all providers. By comparing all plans at one glance, you can choose the best deal for your needs.
Medical services: For medical emergencies, get help at 119. International clinics that are tourist friendly can be found at hospitals such as the Seoul National University Hospital. Most clinics close by 6 pm and are not open on weekends. Do bring along your passport when visiting.
Non-prescription medications can be easily purchased at leading pharmacies; however, it usually is not labelled in English so do clarify with the pharmacist before leaving. With a South Korea travel insurance, you won’t have to bear the cost of expensive overseas medical expenses by yourself.
Travellers may also consider getting international health insurance to cover treatment costs and more.
Telecommunications: There are many ways to stay connected when in South Korea. Significant telecommunications providers like Korea Telecom (KT) offer sim cards and portable Wi-Fi routers at affordable prices. Alternatively, Wi-Fi vouchers can be purchased for per hour usage of Wi-Fi around the city (connection is limited in the countryside).
GoBear Tip #3: Check out Changi Airport’s Travel Wi-Fi rental service, which offers frequent discounts.
Passport and Visa: Visa is not required for Singapore passport holders. However, ensure that there is a 6-months validity to your passport from the date of return from South Korea.
Getting travel insurance for South Korea is at the top of the checklist before travelling. Other than that, here is a list of things you should note.
Things to do: Other than stocking up on the latest Korean makeup and fashion items or visits to the famous Everland theme park, the rich tradition of South Korea is truly worth exploring. Take a day trip out of Seoul, and immerse yourself in the beauty of South Korea’s traditional villages such as Damyang, which is famous for its bamboo forests.
GoBear Tip #2: Need your next Instagram post to stand out from the feed? Rent a traditional Hanbok for a day as you tour around Seoul, and enjoy free visits to conventional palaces such as Gyeongbokgung.
Food: Food in South Korea is keen on its flavour and delicious. There are lots to explore, from food tents that line the trendiest streets, cosy barbeque restaurants to traditional Hansik restaurants with a wide assortment of side dish that accompanies every meal.
Live like the locals and try out exotic meals like a live octopus at Noryangjin Fisheries Wholesale Market, or have a meal at the comforts of your accommodation by ordering takeaway Jajangmyun. For our fellow Muslim friends, fret not as Halal food can be found easily.
Languages: Korean is the national language, with most signboards and materials written in hangul. However, there are sufficient English signs at popular tourist destinations and public transportation to get you about!
GoBear Tip #1: Basic Korean language books or apps like Nemo Korean are handy to have around to help you break through those language barriers when asking for that extra discount!
Climate: South Korea is one of the top travel destinations for Singaporeans, mainly due to the Hallyu trend. One of the economic giants in Asia, South Korea offers a right balance of tradition and modernity. The country has activities suitable for everyone. You and your family can enjoy hiking through its mountainous terrains with routes that pass through ancient towns, to midnight shopping at the heart of its city.
Through the seasons, it unveils different beauty. With temperatures dropping to below -20°C during winter and soaring as high as 38°C in summer, the best time to travel would be during spring (between April to June), where the weather is cold, and cherry blossoms bloom.
South Korea is the mecca for food and shopping, so be sure to bring enough Korean Won (₩). You won’t want to be missing out.
Time Zone: Korean Standard Time (KST) is the same as UTC +9
Travel insurance: Planning a trip to South Korea soon? With crime rates on the rise in South Korea, it is best to draw up travel insurance for South Korea that covers theft, loss of personal items, medical expenses and compensation for cancellation or delays in travel arrangements. If things are lost or stolen, make sure to obtain a police report straight away and keep your boarding pass to ensure payment by the insurer.
Travel insurance benefits to South Korea include personal accident repayment up to $200,000 and unlimited medical emergency assistance.
Explore Taiwan’s stunning natural beauty that makes it a romantic destination for couples from different parts of the world. Whether you are planning your romantic getaway in Taipei or at the Sun Moon Lake, here are a few things you need to know about this beautiful island.
Credit card use: Most credit card networks can be found in Taiwan such as Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Diners Club. However, travellers are still advised to carry along New Taiwanese Dollars (NT$) as most small restaurants, and retailers do not accept credit cards.
While there are many ATMs conveniently located in the city, do note that not all accept international cards. Singaporeans can consider doing their currency exchange in Taiwan. Moneychangers at places like the Taiwan airport sometimes offer better exchange rates than in Singapore.
Medical services: Most hospitals in Taiwan can provide quality care with well-trained physicians, most of who can communicate in English. One thing to keep in mind is that the quality of healthcare is often higher in the city as compared to rural areas.
Be sure to bring along your passport and keep any receipts for medical insurance claims. For emergencies, please call 119 (dispatchers may not understand English). A Taiwan travel insurance will be able to help subsidise the cost of medical treatment overseas; travellers may also consider getting international health insurance.
Some drugs may not be as readily available in Taiwan, hence do carry along sufficient prescribed medicine during your trip (do check if the prescription medication is banned before travelling). If you are entering Taiwan within six days after travelling to a country with Yellow Fever, a proof of vaccination is required.
Telecommunications: To stay connected in Taiwan, Singaporeans can purchase Prepaid SIM cards from providers like Chunghwa Telecom at the airport. For approximately S$20, you get seven days of unlimited 4G Internet access. What’s more, with a local number you can enjoy free Wi-Fi at many locations across the country. Visit itaiwan.gov.tw for more information.
Singaporeans who prefer to rent pocket Wi-Fi devices, it can also be loaned from Chunghwa telecom at the Taiwan airport or Singapore Changi airports own rental service.
Passport and visa: For trips not exceeding 30 days, Singapore Passport holders will not be required to have a permit. At least six months’ validity for the passport, from the expected date of return, will be needed to travel to Taiwan. For all your travel insurance claims, be sure to keep your boarding passes.
After getting your travel insurance for Taiwan, here are some other things to prepare.
Things to do: There is something for everyone in Taiwan. Looking to stock up your wardrobe? Shopping in Taiwan is very affordable. Visit the trendy shopping district like Ximending, or Wufenpu Wholesale Clothes Market find some real bargains.
For those in need of some adrenaline, Taiwan’s hilly terrains provide some of the most exciting courses for mountain biking. Not to forget, white-water rafting and kayaking is also something not to be missed.
If what you are seeking is a relaxing getaway, take a road trip to the various scenic destinations such as Taroko National Park, stroll along the old streets of Jiufen or visit Alishan and surround yourself in its rich Aboriginal heritage.
Food: A vital highlight of the food culture in Taiwan must be its world-renowned night markets. There are many famous night markets around the country, such as Liouhe Tourist Night Market in Kaohsiung City or Raohe Street Night Market in Taipei city. Travellers can find many local delicacies like Oyster Vermicelli from prices as low as S$2.5.
Other than night markets, dining in Taiwan is affordable. Tourist can consider trying authentic Aboriginal meals unique to Taiwan that are characterised using locally sourced ingredients cooked by methods like steaming or roasting that retains the natural flavours of the ingredients.
Languages: The official language of Taiwan is standard Mandarin Chinese. Most Taiwanese communicate in Mandarin Chinese, or Taiwanese Hokkien, which is like Hokkien spoken in Singapore. For non-Chinese speakers, there are many English-friendly signs around Taiwan and most Taiwanese in the city have a necessary command of English.
However, it is useful to have a list of essential phrases as well as the places you will be visiting or staying at translated to Chinese before your trip to help you break the language barrier.
Time Zone: Taiwan time is known as China Standard Time (CST and is observed the UTC+8 standard time.
Climate: Taiwan is located off the southeastern coast of China, between Japan and the Philippines. Historically known as Formosa-which translates to “Beautiful Island”, Taiwan lives up to its name and is blessed with scenic mountains that span across the country.
However, Taiwan experiences frequent earthquakes some that are highly destructive. Hence travellers are advised to draw up a Taiwan travel insurance that covers issues like cancellation due to natural disasters.
The best time to travel to Taiwan is from November to March, where there are lesser crowds and many discounts available for accommodation. July and August see higher volumes of tourist and accommodation costs can increase up to 30%. However, for those planning to enjoy water sports and other outdoor activities, the warm weather of summer would be the most ideal.
While Taiwan is one of the leading Economies in Asia, it is still an affordable travel destination with exciting activities that will suit various budgets and preferences.
Travel insurance: Other than its night markets and cheap shopping, Taiwan is the destination of choice for many adventure seekers. However, some insurance policies do not include coverage for some dangerous activities like white-water rafting. Travel insurance for Taiwan starts at $27 covering loss of bags and belongings, medical expenses overseas, trip cancellation and other mishaps.
With GoBear, you can easily compare all travel insurance for Taiwan and choose a plan that will cover all the activities you are planning. Best of all, it is free!
Thailand’s untouched crystal waters, glittering temples and splendid history embedded in everyday culture are just a few of the many reasons why you should book your next trip to this place.
Credit card use: International credit card networks that are present in Thailand include Visa, MasterCard, and American Express (to a smaller degree). UnionPay is also widely available. More massive retailer and food outlets accept credit cards. For more modest purchases do carry sufficient Thai Baht (THB).
Medical services: While most popular tourist destinations have adequate healthcare facilities of generally reasonable standards, this is less so in rural areas. For ambulance and rescue, call 1554. Most common medication can be bought over the counter. Dengue and diarrhea are common.
Hence tourists need to take extra care and precaution when travelling and it is recommended to get a Thailand travel insurance, even if you already have international health insurance.
Telecommunications: The telecommunications network in Thailand covers most of the urban and suburban areas, with substantial mobile network coverage throughout those areas as well as the significant interstate roads.
Mobile phones bought in Singapore should work seamlessly with Thai pre-paid SIMs, but do check the specific frequencies your phone uses the ones your preferred Thai telco supports. Wi-Fi is widely available everywhere you go in the cities, as is 4G LTE.
The emergency number is 191 from both fixed lines and mobile phones.
Passport and visa: Make sure your passport has at least six months’ validity from the expected date of return; you may not be allowed to travel if your passport is too close to expiry. Singapore passport holders will not need a visa if the travel period is within 30 days or a cumulated 90 days within six months.
Always get travel insurance for Thailand for anything that could go wrong. Also, here are some things to note.
Things to do: There are so many sides to Thailand. From its sandy beaches in Phuket to the busy streets of Bangkok, each city brings about a different flavour.
If you’re into being in the outdoors, places like Phuket Island and other resort localities will provide you with days of fun things to do. Its deep Buddhist roots mean that there are quite some ancient temples and other holy sites of a similar nature.
Then there are the various national parks and the famous Bridge over the River Kwai. Different extreme sports are also very affordable in Thailand. However, you should ensure that your travel insurance for Thailand covers the activities you intend to pursue while in Thailand in the case of accidents.
For the less adventurous, there are many cafes and shopping streets in the heart of Bangkok, where you can find great deals at fantastic prices.
Food: Thai cuisines are very colourful and flavorful, with a balance between all the various types of tastes (although most Malaysians would associate sourness with Thai food). Chinese influence is exceptionally strong in central Thailand’s cuisines, while Malay influence is stronger in Southern Thailand.
Dishes and sauces, you may recognise as being typically Thai include tom yum, pad Thai noodles, nam pla (fish sauce) and Massaman curry. In urban areas like Bangkok, international cuisines can be easily found too.
For the daring, fried insects can be found along the streets of Thailand. However, be sure to take note of the hygiene of the shops before consuming street food.
Languages: Thailand’s official language is Thai, but in Southern Thailand, you will also hear Malay being spoken. English is taught in schools but not widely used outside of urban areas. Thai Chinese mostly speak Teochew.
Thus, Singaporeans travelling without a guide are recommended to note down critical phrases in Thai, which would come in handy.
Thailand is unique amongst Southeast Asian (SEA) countries in that it has never been conquered or ruled by any Western power, from the time it was known as Siam to the present day. In fact, as Siam, Thailand could assert its political authority over various SEA countries and states during the days of Western colonialism. Today, Thailand remains a significant force in the region.
Time zone: Thailand’s time zone is set at UTC+7
Climate: Thailand’s climate ranges from tropical (Southern Thailand) to temperate in the mountainous regions of the northern part, and is affected by the monsoon seasons; so, do check the weather forecast before planning your trip.
Travel insurance: Safety can be an issue when travelling to Thailand. Travel with ease by getting the best travel insurance for Thailand that can cover thefts, medical needs and other essentials. GoBear Singapore makes comparison easy for you and lets you choose the perfect travel insurance policy from all leading providers in Singapore.
Travel insurance providers in Thailand allows you to secure your trip from $22 which already covers overseas medical expense, lost belongings and emergency medical evacuation worth $500,000.
London’s state-of-the-art skyline composed of hundreds of modern and medieval turrets make it a leading destination in the United Kingdom along with Manchester and Glasgow. The United Kingdom lures tourists with its national parks, beautiful culture, seaside towns, heritage, music and nightlife.
The United Kingdom contains more heritage per square mile than any other nation, making it an all-time favourite travel destination all year round.
There is almost never a wrong time to visit the United Kingdom although summer is the peak season for travel as the days are longer and warmer, with temperatures reaching as high as 30 degree Celsius. Visit during the autumn months between September and November, where the United Kingdom is at its most beautiful.
Credit card use: Credit cards can be used throughout the country, and most merchants accept significant networks such as American Express, MasterCard and Visa. ATMs that are compatible with international banking can also be found in cities. However, for smaller purchases do bring sufficient Pound Sterling (GBP) as some places only accept credit cards when you spend more than a certain amount and may add a nominal surcharge.
Get a simple and fuss-free comparison of travel insurance for the United Kingdom on GoBear and you are set for your trip to the United Kingdom.
Medical services: The United Kingdom has high-quality medical facilities that can be found in the cities. Most doctors and pharmacist in urban cities can communicate in English.
For medical emergencies, call 111. First-aid and immediate emergency treatment for accidents are free for all tourists. However, subsequent procedures will be charged; get travel insurance for the United Kingdom to cover additional medical expenses. Travellers may also consider getting an international health insurance plan.
Telecommunications: In the United Kingdom, most hotels, restaurants and public buildings offer Wi-Fi, although this may be less likely in more rural areas. The City of London now has free Wi-Fi on selected streets that can be used for free with registration.
The United Kingdom's iconic red phone boxes and other types of modern phone booths can be found in most towns and cities where some boxes accept coins, others phone cards or credit cards. To purchase a local SIM card during your trip, make sure your mobile phone is unlocked.
Passport & visa: For visits not exceeding 90 days within six months from the date of initial entry, Singapore passport holders will not require a permit. However, to ensure that your passport has a minimum of 6 months’ validity from the expected date of return before travelling. Passport renewal can be done online at ica.com.sg.
Things to do: The United Kingdom has a diverse range of natural landscapes from mountains and plains to coastlines and lakes making it a much-loved destination for outdoor enthusiasts. These include quad biking in the Dulais Valley and mountain biking in Penrith.
Home to theatrical giants like William Shakespeare, the United Kingdom offers plenty of dramatic pleasure. Catch classic musicals like Les Misérables or Jersey Boy at one of London’s many iconic theatres.
For shopaholics, London is one of the best shopping destinations on Oxford Street where you will undoubtedly find the likes of the flagship Primark store alongside other big names in the fashion industry. Some of London’s very best shopping districts also include Bond Street, Covent Garden and Westfield.
There is something for everyone when travelling to the United Kingdom. But no matter what you plan on doing, remember to draw up travel insurance for the United Kingdom to ensure you stay covered for anything that might happen.
Food: A holiday in the United Kingdom will provide the ultimate gastronomic experience for your taste buds. Restaurants exist on all levels from Michelin-starred fine dining to hole-in-the-wall eateries; you will be spoilt for choices.
While you are there, remember to visit their beautiful cafes for an afternoon tea, consisting of their must-have English tea and scones! One thing to note is that there is a tipping culture in the United Kingdom in the form of a service charge, which ranges from 10% to 15%.
Languages: English is the official language in the United Kingdom; however, dialects like Welsh and Gaelic are the preferred language for communication in Wales and Scotland respectively. Since the United Kingdom is made up of multi-ethnic cities, the ethnic minorities do speak their languages too. Singaporeans will most definitely have little to no trouble communicating with the people in the United Kingdom.
Time Zone: During summer, UK uses the British Summer Time (BST) or UTC+1. After this season, the country will follow the Standard Time UTC+0.
Climate: There is almost never a wrong time to visit the United Kingdom although summer is the peak season for travel as the days are longer and warmer, with temperatures reaching as high as 30 degree Celsius. Come during the autumn months between September and November, where the United Kingdom is at its most beautiful.
Travel insurance: Travelling can be nerve-racking. Buy travel insurance for the United Kingdom and get that added assurance you need to travel with ease. With GoBear, you can compare United Kingdom travel insurance from leading providers in Singapore, and choose the best plan within your budget. For example, for a 5-days trip to the United Kingdom, travel insurance can cost as low as $24 like the plan provided by Etiqa. This plan covers personal accident, medical expenses and more. Head to GoBear to view more plans, at one glance.
The United States of America is not just a home to 50 states but also to world-famous tourist attractions like the Statue of Liberty, the Golden Gate Bridge, Yellowstone National Park and Venice Beach in Los Angeles. Undoubtedly renowned, the US should be one of your destinations this year to uncover all that is lovely and fascinating.
Credit card use: The currency in the United States is the US dollar (USD). American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa are accepted, and tourists are advised to bring along at least one major credit card as imprints may be requested at places like hotels even when other modes of payment are used. Debit cards can also be used but may incur surcharges.
ATMs can be easily located around the country. Do note that hotels do not do currency exchange. This can be done at selected significant banks or with money changers at the airport
Can’t decide on travel insurance for the United States? Let GoBear help you compare and choose a perfect plan for your trip.
Medical services: Singaporeans will have no problem finding quality medical care in the United States. However it is one of the most expensive in the world, and both emergency and non-emergency medical treatments have to be paid by visitors; travel insurance for the United States is highly advisable to cover medical expenses, and we also recommend international health insurance.
In more deprived suburbs, public hospitals can be crowded, and the standard of service is not as high; hence tourist should visit private hospitals if needed. For emergencies, call 911 to get an ambulance.
No appointment is needed for visits to most clinics. However, do highlight to the receptionist that you will be making payment upfront to avoid additional cost from unnecessary procedures.
As medications can cost a lot more in the United States, any long-term prescriptions or common drugs should be brought along for the trip.
Telecommunication: Singaporean travellers with unlocked phones can buy local prepaid SIM cards from providers like AT&T and T-Mobile to stay connected. Network coverage can be limited in rural areas like national parks; do check the coverage map for your provider during purchase.
It is not difficult to get a Wi-Fi in America. Most hotels and cafes have free Wi-Fi, and some cities have a Wi-Fi connection in parks and malls.
Passport and visa: For Singaporeans wanting to visit America, they will need an electronic travel authorisation (ESTA), which you may apply for at least 72 hours before travelling even without a visa. However, people who have visited Iran, Iraq, Syria or Sudan after 1st March 2011 are not eligible for the visa waiver programme. Please also ensure that your passport has at least six months’ validity from the expected date of return before travelling.
Things to do: Each state of the country has different activities to experience; here are some of the more popular states that tourist can consider visiting.
Arizona- Head to Arizona and immerse in the majestic view of the Grand Canyon. Once there, you can join guided hiking or camping trips and explore nature. However, hiking in the Grand Canyon can be dangerous so make sure you have travel insurance coverage for the United States.
New York- As famously depicted in Alicia Key’s Empire State of Mind, New York is “a concrete jungle where dreams are made of”. Admire the beautiful skyline of New York from the Brooklyn Bridge, or have a relaxing stroll at Central Park. Fenway Park is a must visit for the baseball enthusiast.
Las Vegas- Las Vegas is a must visit for its colourful nightlife, fine dining, shopping and casinos. Head to the Stratosphere, the tallest freestanding observation tower in the United States, and enjoy the thrills of an amusement park high up in the sky. Ride likes the Big Shot will shoot you up into the air at 45 miles per hour.
There is so much more to the United States, and one trip is not enough.
Food: There is the United States diversity of cuisines in the United States, and tourist can usually find food of large portions at affordable prices. Tipping is widely practised in the United States, and waiters are tipped 10% to 20% of the bill. Some things not to be missed are the hamburgers, barbeque and pies.
Languages: Singaporean tourists will have little problem with communication in the United States as English is their primary language. Because of its cultural diversity and massive migrant population, in Chinatowns across the country, dialects that Singaporeans are familiar with such as Cantonese are also common.
Time Zone: Depending on which state, United States uses four generalised time zones which includes UTC-8 Pacific Time, UTC-7 Mountain Time, UTC-6 Central Time and UTC-5 Eastern Time.
Climate: Climate and weather also vary throughout the country. So the best travel time depends on the destination and the type of activities travellers are looking to embark on. Summer is the peak tourist season.
While violent crimes are common in some parts of the country, tourists are rarely targeted. However, take extra precaution when travelling against petty crimes like theft. The United States has strict Airport Security Administration regulations. Be sure to take note of these regulations and cooperate fully during checks.
Travel Insurance: Planning a trip to the United States? While safety is high in most states, terrorism threats are ever present. Thus it is best to draw up travel insurance for the United States that covers any emergency needs. Travel insurance packages for the United States starts from $35 per trip. The amount already entitles the individual insured coverages on personal accident, medical expenses overseas, trip cancellation and emergency medical evaluation.
With GoBear, you can compare travel insurance plans offered by leading providers in Singapore allowing you to choose the perfect plan for your needs, at the best price.