Singaporeans love to travel. Whether it is to let loose from all the work stress or to experience new sights and sounds, travellers from the island nation beats out its regional and global peers for taking more leisure trips.1
For a nation of travel aficionados, it sure helps that Singaporeans also own one of the most powerful passports in the world. In fact, it is the strongest passport in the world according to the Passport Index2 , allowing Singaporeans to enjoy visa-free travel to more than 189 countries in the world.
With a number of long weekends lined up this year and travelling being one of the meaningful ways to spend the long weekends, there is unlikely to be any let-up in Singaporeans looking for places to travel this year. Here are three of the most highly favoured travel destinations many locals will likely be visiting at some point this year.
Travel comparison website, Expedia, lists Bangkok as the one of the most popular travel destinations for Singaporeans in 2018.3 This should come as no surprise given Singaporeans' penchant for discovering a great bargain, good food and a relaxing, value-for-money massage.
Thailand's capital is also a choice destination for visitors to immerse in its nightlife. It is also a starting point for visitors to travel to other regions in the country, namely the nearby beach resorts Pattaya and Hua Hin and the historical site of Thailand's ancient capital of Ayutthaya.
With flights to the city taking just over two hours and return tickets that can be bought for $200 or less, the city will surely remain a favourite holiday destination for many Singaporeans, especially during the long weekends.
According to KAYAK, travel website4, Bali is listed as Singapore's favourite trending destination for short breaks and beach holidays. Offering one of the best surfing spots in the world, Bali provides holidaymakers a wide variety of other water and beach activities as well other equally enthralling natural and cultural attractions.
Bali is home to some of South East Asia's most beautiful natural landscapes and beaches including Kuta, Seminyak and Uluwatu. Tourists can even choose to scale an active volcano – Mount Batur – which offers stunning sunrise views. On the opposite spectrum, beach clubs such as Ku De Ta and Potato Head offers amazing views of sunsets and a vibrant nightlife.
Flights there are less than three hours and will set you back approximately $200. This makes Bali another neighbouring destination that Singaporeans can plan around a long weekend getaway.
Kayak, another travel comparison website, ventured slightly further away from Singapore, listing Osaka as a top tourist destination for 2017 based on a surge in flight searches on its platform.5 Often overshadowed by Tokyo and Kyoto, Osaka in the Land of the Rising Sun has started to gain prominence as a travel destination for Singaporeans.
Osaka offers many famous historical landmarks including the Osaka Castle and the Shitennoji Temple, significant structures that played a major role in Japan's history. The city is also a shoppers' paradise, one of the best cities for the Cherry Blossom season and is home to Universal Studio Osaka, one of the world's most visited theme parks with over eight million people going through its ticket booths annually.
With a travel time of over 6 hours and 15 minutes and a cost of around $800, trips to Osaka will have to involve greater planning and coordination by Singaporeans.
Ensuring that you have an enjoyable holiday
For many, to travel is to live. While spontaneity feels exhilarating, to truly enjoy your holiday, proper planning needs to go into it. The best way to do this could be creating a travel checklist where you tick off items. You can visit the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) website to download this checklist.
Some of the things on this list could end up being critical components many people tend to forget or neglect. These include having a minimum of six-month validity on your passports, checking for visa requirements or leaving a travel itinerary with someone back home. You should also ensure you bring sufficient money, this should typically be more than your initial budget to cater for unexpected expenses.
Carrying along a suitable credit card is also advisable, especially one that earns the most rewards on overseas spending, so be sure to inform your bank to unlock the relevant cards you may end up using on a holiday. This is to avoid being forced to use credit cards or ATM cards that charge high fees, transaction costs and exchange rates for overseas usage.
On the top of its list however, is to purchase suitable travel insurance with overseas hospitalisation and medical evacuation coverage. The AIA Around The World Plus II policy gives travellers peace of mind with protection spanning all countries, for up to $2 million in overseas medical expenses and for up to 45 days of follow-up treatment after the trip.
 Visa Global Travel Intentions Study 2015: Singaporeans Travel more than Regional and Global Counterparts
 2019 Henley Passport Index: https://www.henleypassportindex.com/global-ranking
 KAYAK.sg: announces winners of inaugural KAYAK Travel Awards
 Kayak: Top Destinations for Singaporeans in 2016