Travel Hacks 101: Flying to Singapore in the New Normal

Singapore is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, renowned for its pristine beaches, bustling cityscape, and world-famous attractions. From the bustling nightlife of Clarke Quay to the iconic skyline of Marina Bay and the lush green gardens of Sentosa, Singapore has something for everyone.

For tourists looking to explore Singapore’s many attractions, there’s no shortage of activities to do. From cultural tours and foodie adventures to shopping trips and outdoor activities like cycling or kayaking, you’ll surely find something in Singapore that you’ll enjoy.

Whether you’re a first-time traveler or an experienced explorer, you’ll be sure to find something that suits your interests in Singapore. With countless attractions and activities, visitors will never be bored in Singapore!

Singapore Travel Tips

If you’re planning to visit Singapore anytime soon, you need to be prepared for your trip. Since we’re now in the new normal, you might have to prepare additional documents before going out of the country and visiting the famous Lion City. Here are the travel requirements you’ll need to prepare:

  1. VaxCert PH

Upon checking in for your flight at the airport, you will be asked to present your vaccination certificate (VaxCert PH) issued by the Department of Health that shows your first and second dose as well as your booster shot (if you have already taken it). You can easily generate your VaxCert PH by going to the designated website and filling out the necessary details.

Children aged 12 years and below are not required to take a pre-departure rapid antigen test. You also won’t need to be tested if you’ve been given any of the following approved vaccines:

  • AstraZeneca
  • Covaxin
  • CoviShield
  • Janssen/J&J
  • Moderna/Spikevax
  • Novavax
  • Pfizer/BioNTech/Comirnaty
  • Sinopharm
  • Sinovac
  • CanSinoBio

Visitors must be fully vaccinated at least two weeks before arrival in Singapore.

Tourists who did not take any of the approved vaccines listed above or have not taken the minimum dosage are considered NOT fully vaccinated and are thus not allowed entry to Singapore unless entry approval is obtained.

Boosters are not required for entry to Singapore.

  1. Singapore Arrival Card

You will then need to complete and submit a Singapore Arrival Card (SGAC), which is an online travel and health declaration form, three days before your arrival in Singapore at the earliest. (For example, if you’re arriving on July 30, you can already submit the SGAC on July 28.)

Completing the SGAC will allow for a faster and smoother process through immigration at Changi Airport. Note that you must have received an email acknowledgment to confirm that you were able to successfully submit the SGAC. There’s no need to show the email acknowledgment to the immigration officer but it’s best to have it ready on your phone just in case.

Your passport will no longer be stamped at immigration too. Instead, you will receive an electronic visit pass via the same email you used to submit the SGAC stating the period of your stay.

  1. TraceTogether mobile app

To comply with local health measures, you will also need to download the TraceTogether mobile app from the App Store or Play Store.

It’s pretty easy to set up; just follow the instructions, input the necessary details, and then activate the app ONLY when you’ve cleared immigration. You may or may not be asked to use it upon entry to establishments for contact tracing purposes

Singapore Travel Hacks

Once you’ve entered Singapore, you should make your stay as comfortable and convenient as possible. To travel around the Lion City like a local, here are some travel hacks you should definitely follow!

Buy a Commuter Card

Most places around Singapore are easily reachable via commute so expect to frequently hop on and off a bus or a train during your trip. To make your commute much more efficient, one of the most important Singapore travel tips you should follow is to get your commuter card such as the NETS FlashPay (available at any 7-Eleven store). This will save you the hassle of having to pay in exact cash every time.

A card costs S$10 each (around Php400) and already includes about S$7 (around 280) consumable load. To top up your balance, simply visit an MRT station or convenience store.

Download Navigation Apps

Although Singapore is not a big country, it’s still easy to get lost in it if you’re not familiar with the streets. With navigation apps, though, you can find your way around with ease, know which buses to ride, and estimate how long each commute might take. This will save you the hassle and stress of getting lost in an unfamiliar place.

Download a Ride-Hailing Service App

If you don’t want to take the bus or the MRT, you can hail taxis instead. You can do so by conveniently booking one through any cab-hailing service app that’s available in Singapore: GrabCar, ComfortDelGro, Gojek, or Tada Mobility. This is particularly useful for instances when you’re planning to go somewhere far, are way too tired to commute, or have tons of shopping bags or luggage with you.

Rent a Pocket Wi-Fi

Singapore has many spots that provide free WiFi connections, including Changi Airport, major tourist spots, cafés, and hotels. However, if you’re heavily reliant on the Internet, particularly if you’ll be taking public transportation the whole day, it would still be best to rent a pocket Wi-Fi so you have Internet whenever you need it. (Bring a power bank so you can recharge it as well.)

Eat at Hawker Centers

No Singapore vacation is complete without eating at a hawker center. In fact, by following this travel hack, you can get a whole lot of bang for your buck. Not only will you be able to indulge in affordable yet satisfying meals but also discover different kinds of cuisines in the process.

Bring a Tumbler

Tap water is generally safe to drink in Singapore! Major tourist spots like Gardens By The Bay and Universal Studios Singapore have drinking fountains, so it’s pretty useful (not to mention less wasteful compared to buying bottled water all the time) to bring your tumbler on your trip.

Pre-Purchase Tickets to Attractions

Beat the long lines and pre-purchase your tickets to tourist attractions via booking websites like Klook and KKday. You’ll automatically be able to head straight toward the entrance of the attraction where you’ll present your electronic voucher and be swiftly accommodated.

Go Cashless

Hate changing money when traveling? If you haven’t made the switch to cashless transactions yet, now is the best time to do so. Contactless and digital payments are safer, more convenient, and, in some cases, more cost-efficient too. Plus, almost every place you’ll visit in Singapore highly encourages you to use your cards and mobile wallets.

From purchasing your airfare and paying for your accommodation to buying your meals and paying for taxi fares, all of this can be done with just a simple tap of your card. No need to worry about finding the best exchange rates!

Places to Visit in Singapore

Singapore is a great destination for tourists, offering an exciting mix of cultures, stunning landmarks and attractions, delicious cuisine, and a vibrant entertainment scene. It is one of the most popular tourist spots in Asia, with millions of visitors from around the world flocking to it every year.

The country boasts some incredible sights that should not be missed, including the iconic Marina Bay Sands, the Merlion monument, and Universal Studios Singapore. Tourists can also explore Little India for an authentic take on Indian culture and cuisine or delve into the shopping paradise of Orchard Road. In addition to these attractions, Singapore’s unique heritage is preserved in museums such as the National Museum of Singapore and the Asian Civilisations Museum.

For those looking for a bit of fun, Singapore has plenty of attractions to keep you entertained. The island nation is home to some of the best theme parks in the world, including Sentosa Island’s Adventure Cove Waterpark, Universal Studios Singapore, and Wild Wild Wet.

But if you’re looking for new attractions that you can visit while in Singapore, here are two places that you surely don’t want to miss!

Night Safari

The Night Safari is the world’s very first nocturnal zoo that is in Mandai, Singapore. It features over 2,500 nocturnal animals across more than 130 species. Because of the zoo’s unique nature, it’s only open at night when the animals are active.

In October 2022, Singapore’s nocturnal zoo welcomed four Tasmanian Devils, one of Australia’s most iconic predators. The four females—Crumpet, Snickers, Jesse, and Panini—are all around three years old and have made the Wallaby Trail their new home.

The Devils are part of the insurance population managed by the Save the Tasmanian Devil Programme (STDP), led by the Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania. The transfer was made under the recommendation of the Species Management Programme (SMP). The STDP is an initiative of the Australian and Tasmanian State governments and an official response to the threat posed by Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD). The vision of the Programme is for a resilient wild Devil population that requires limited human management intervention.

So, visiting the Night Safari in Singapore to see the Tasmanian Devils and other nocturnal animals does not only help keep the zoo open. You can also contribute to saving the endangered Devils from extinction.

Bird Paradise

Set to open in the second quarter of 2023, the 17-hectare Bird Paradise in Singapore will be the first of the new wildlife parks located at Mandai Wildlife Reserve to open to the public. Managed by the Mandai Wildlife Group, Singapore’s new bird park will transport visitors into a colorful world that will be home to 3,500 birds from over 400 avian species.

Designed to encourage discovery at every turn, Singapore’s Bird Paradise will welcome visitors into immersive and naturalistic mixed-species habitats, where you will explore eight large walk-through aviaries which reflect different biomes of the world such as dense African rainforests, South American wetlands, Southeast Asian paddy fields, Australian dry eucalypt forests, and more. The habitats will also come to life with the songs and natural behaviors of the birds, from taking flight, to feeding, nesting, or foraging through the undergrowth.

Aside from providing you with amazing views and interesting facts, Bird Paradise in Singapore is also at the forefront of avian conservation. Some of the park’s most threatened species will be housed in Winged Sanctuary, a zone specially dedicated to birds of high conservation value including critically endangered species like the Philippine Eagle, Vietnam Pheasant, and Negros Bleeding-heart.

Building on Jurong Bird Park’s ex-situ and in-situ conservation efforts for globally threatened avian species, 24 percent of the species in Bird Paradise will be threatened species, the highest percentage listed under human care in a single zoological park.

Going Back to the Philippines

It’s inevitable for your vacation in Singapore to end. So, before you go home and share your experience with your friends and family, you should prepare the documents you need for entering the Philippines:

  1. VaxCert PH

The same regulations previously mentioned above apply.

  1. One Health Pass

All travelers must complete their One Health Pass at least 48 hours before departure from Singapore. You may access it here.

You will present this before check-in at Changi Airport and again at immigration upon arriving in the Philippines.

  1. Negative RT-PCR test or Antigen test

Filipino and foreign nationals aged 18 and above do not need to take a pre-departure COVID-19 test if they have been fully vaccinated with the approved list of vaccines (stated above) for more than 14 days before departure from their country of origin AND have received at least one booster shot at any time prior to departure.

However, if you have not taken your booster shot, you will need to take either an RT-PCR test within 48 hours or an antigen test within 24 hours before departure from Singapore and present a negative result.

Plan Your Trip to Singapore

Traveling on a budget in Singapore can be an incredibly rewarding experience. Despite being a small country, Singapore is filled with interesting sights and attractions that will make any budget traveler feel like they have hit the jackpot. From world-class museums and delicious food stalls to lush nature parks and modern skyscrapers, Singapore is truly a destination like no other.

To maximize your experience in Lion City, make sure to plan your trip accordingly. Setting your budget beforehand will also allow you to control your spending, especially since Singapore has a lot of great stores to shop from! Remember to follow the Singapore travel hacks listed above to save some money while traveling as well.