8 Best Travel Tips for 2024: Budgeting, Safety, Hacks

Alevin Chan

Alevin Chan

Last updated 31 December, 2024

From the best ways to get to know a new city, to avoiding high ATM fees, and how to stay safe when out and about, here are 8 best travel tips to follow in 2023.

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It doesn’t matter how often you travel, travelling isn’t always going to be smooth sailing all the time.

Whether you’re embarking on your first solo trip or just need to up your travel game, we’ve got you covered with our best-kept travel hacks — from accommodation hunting, the best credit cards to use to saving money in general!

Psst, if you’re considering a codeshare flight, be sure to know what you’re getting in for!

 


#1 Buy travel insurance

The simple fact is, accidents can and do happen, whether you’re skiing on the snowy slopes of the Alps, or strutting down Fifth Avenue. And while no amount of insurance can prevent an accident from happening, a good travel insurance policy will prove useful in an emergency.

You don’t have to go overboard and splurge on the most expensive plan you can find. Instead, focus on overseas medical expenses (this usually comes with emergency evacuation and repatriation), trip cancellation, and luggage and travel documents.

If you don’t have your own personal accident plan, it might be wise to include this in your travel policy.

 

 

 

Related to this topic: Exploring the World Alone? Here are 20 Travel Tips That Every Solo Traveller Should Know


#2 Book different hotels for longer trips

If you’re taking a long holiday – say more than 10 days – consider breaking up your stay over a few different hotels.

This can help you avoid price spikes that often happen during weekend and public holidays; you can book a swanky hotel on weekdays, then on weekends, move to more budget-friendly accommodations.

This will also allow you to check out different hotels (and districts) during the same trip, the better to compose your list of favourites.

Lastly, booking different hotels will also give you some reprieve from a bad hotel, instead of having to put up with it for the entirety of your stay, or worse, check out early and spend extra on another hotel.

 

Looking for the best credit cards to complement your spending patterns and expenditure in 2024? Check out our Ultimate Credit Card Guide that covers all things credit cards in Singapore – from choosing between a cashback, miles, or rewards credit card to planning your credit card strategy.

 


#3 Reserve your rewards points and air miles for last-minute extensions

If you’ve ever tried to extend your hotel booking at the last minute, you’d likely have baulked at the ridiculous prices staring you in the face.

They’re not being evil – merely capitalistic. You see, hotels know that if you’re looking for a room for tomorrow night, you’re likely to be desperate. Hence, they can jack up the price and get away with it.

This is exacerbated if you only book one or two nights, as you won’t be entitled to the bulk discounts that tend to come with longer stays (hotel rooms tend to get cheaper on a per-night basis beyond a certain point, although every property has different cut-off points).

This is when your reward points or loyalty nights come in. Use them to offset the elevated costs of your extra hotel nights, so you don’t have to bust your budget, or deal with a huge credit card bill later.

The same goes for your air miles. It’s a good idea to leave some air miles in your account that you can use to purchase a new plane ticket or pay for date changes when necessary.

 

Looking for the best credit cards to complement your spending patterns and expenditure in 2024? Check out our Ultimate Credit Card Guide that covers all things credit cards in Singapore – from choosing between a cashback, miles, or rewards credit card to planning your credit card strategy.

 


#4 Have a plan, but leave room for changes

While it can be tempting to want to pack your itinerary to the gills, it is more prudent to leave some room, in case you have to make any changes.

This is especially if your trip involves a lot of prepaid ticketed attractions, as there are often stringent rules around when a refund may be entertained. Should you be unable to make it on time because of a hiccup, you may find yourself out of pocket.

Spreading your ticketed attractions out throughout your trip can minimise the chances of this happening. You may also be able to claim compensation for non-refundable tickets from your travel insurance policy in certain cases, but this is subject to the policy provider’s practices.

 

 


#5 Buy a city pass

A great way to quickly grasp the character of an unfamiliar city is to join a city tour. You’ll get a beat-by-beat introduction of the highlights that make for good starting points for your own exploration later on.

City passes, too, can fulfil the same function, as they often bundle together a variety of popular attractions. Just pick the ones that look interesting to you, and go from there. As a bonus, you will also likely save some money, compared to if you were to buy tickets separately.

 

Looking for the best credit cards to complement your spending patterns and expenditure in 2024? Check out our Ultimate Credit Card Guide that covers all things credit cards in Singapore – from choosing between a cashback, miles, or rewards credit card to planning your credit card strategy.

 


#6 Save your foreign currency and use your credit card

Wherever possible, you should use your credit card when paying for your purchases overseas. This not only allows you to take advantage of bonus air miles or cashback, it is also an overall more convenient and safer way to pay.

Defaulting to your credit card also allows you to reserve your foreign currency for when cash is the only way to pay. It’ll also make it easier to stay in control of your overseas spending, and any leftover cash can be carried over to your next trip.

Yes, you can withdraw cash from an ATM overseas, but you’ll first need to locate a machine that will accept your card. Then, you’ll have to eat the cash withdrawal fees, which can range from S$3 to as high as S$7 (as I recently found out in Taipei).

On top of all that, you run the risk of having your ATM card eaten by the machine should your bank happen to flag the transaction as suspicious.

Related to this topic: Ultimate Guide To Digital Multi-Currency Accounts: Revolut vs YouTrip vs Instarem vs Wise vs Wirex (2023)

 

Looking for the best credit cards to complement your spending patterns and expenditure in 2024? Check out our Ultimate Credit Card Guide that covers all things credit cards in Singapore – from choosing between a cashback, miles, or rewards credit card to planning your credit card strategy.

 


#7 Enjoy street food… with care

Street food is one of the most satisfying ways to sample the local cuisine, but it can potentially make you ill if you’re not careful.

As a general rule, stick with foods that are freshly cooked over high heat – deep fried, boiled, grilled or steamed dishes are generally safe – and avoid anything raw or that has been left out. Before ordering, you might want to observe the vendors for hygiene practices, such as whether they handle cooked food with their bare hands.

Another tip to stay safe while out enjoying street food is to be aware of your surroundings and watch out for crowds. Keep your wallet or bags in front of you, and try not to hold your phone too far out when taking photos.

 

 


#8 Watch out for touts

In some areas, you may encounter seemingly friendly locals who offer to bring you to an eatery or restaurant nearby, claiming it to be the locals’ favourite. Or some factory outlet that only entertains locals, or some secret underground shop that’s only open this morning… etc.

This is a well-known scam in which touts overcharge unsuspecting tourists. And while you might get a semi-decent meal or souvenir out of it, the bill they stick you with will be anything but.

There are also subtler versions of this scam, which might be harder to spot. You might be invited with a smile to sit down for a cup of tea and a chat. One cup of tea turns to several, with a variety of local snacks offered, which you’re urged to sample.

By the end of it, you’re presented with a hefty bill for all the food and beverages you consumed, and if you refuse to pay, they will threaten to call the police on you.

 

Looking for the best credit cards to complement your spending patterns and expenditure in 2024? Check out our Ultimate Credit Card Guide that covers all things credit cards in Singapore – from choosing between a cashback, miles, or rewards credit card to planning your credit card strategy.

 

 

Looking for the best credit cards to complement your spending patterns and expenditure in 2024? Check out our Ultimate Credit Card Guide that covers all things credit cards in Singapore – from choosing between a cashback, miles, or rewards credit card to planning your credit card strategy.

 

 


Read these next:
Your Essential Travel Checklist for 2023
6 Ways To Maximise Your Credit Card Perks and Travel in Style
Travel Insurance Guide: Five Things All Travellers Must Know
6 Things You Should Do or Know to Save Money While Travelling in Europe
7 Top Travel Mistakes Singaporeans Make (and How to Avoid Them)

An ex-Financial Planner with a curiosity about what makes people tick, Alevin’s mission is to help readers understand the psychology of money. He’s also on an ongoing quest to optimise happiness and enjoyment in his life.

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