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Travelling to Japan, Hong Kong, or Taiwan soon? Here are five travel tips you need to know

Includes hacks on how to get cheap travel insurance

Time Out Singapore in partnership with Singlife

“Travel lockdown” and “the new normal” are phrases that’ve been part of our vocabulary for close to three years. Finally – we’re at the tail-end of the pandemic. It’s almost as if Christmas came early with our favourite destinations having recently opened their borders. Japan, Hong Kong, or Taiwan, these are five travel tips to keep in mind before booking your next flight. 

RECOMMENDED: New attractions in Japan and new attractions in Hong Kong

Travel tips to know

Keep up with the latest Covid-19 travel requirements
Photograph: Unsplash/Manson Yim

Keep up with the latest Covid-19 travel requirements

Even if these countries have just eased their travel restrictions, things could take a 180-degree turn. Be ready for sudden changes like spikes in the number of Covid cases or new Covid regulations that pop up overnight. This means you should try to leave room for flexibility in your travel plans. On top of buying travel insurance, it’s also worth forking out extra money for a flexible flight ticket – this lets you make changes or cancellations to your travel plans without a fee. As travel requirements can change on the fly, it’s also good to keep up with the latest information on official government websites for the most updated information: Japan, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.

Buy travel insurance with comprehensive coverage

Travel insurance is an absolute must for any cross-border trip. Even during pre-Covid days, the best-laid travel plans have been known to go awry for reasons ranging from lost luggage to delayed flights. With Singlife Travel Insurance though, you get comprehensive coverage for your trip so you can travel with peace of mind.You’ll be covered for things like lost luggage and trip cancellations for any reason*, including Covid-related trip cancellations and interruptions, and medical fees if you test positive while overseas. 

Plan your itinerary and make reservations ahead of time
Photograph: Penicillin

Plan your itinerary and make reservations ahead of time

It’s not that you can’t casually stroll into one of Hong Kong’s coolest bars or a popular omakase restaurant in Japan expecting a warm welcome, but colour us impressed if you do manage to score seats. The current wave of revenge travelling means that most restaurants, venues, and attractions have a long waitlist, so it’s best to plan ahead and have a rough itinerary. Also, with Hong Kong’s “0+3” scheme (accurate as of October 2022), you won’t exactly have a full-on social calendar for three whole days from the time you land. Use this period to make all reservations ahead of time.

Bring extra Covid-19 supplies – face masks, sanitiser, test kits
Photograph: Unsplash/Shawnanggg

Bring extra Covid-19 supplies – face masks, sanitiser, test kits

Don’t leave home without packing extra face masks, hand sanitiser, and ART test kits. While this veers on the side of overthinking, remember that you probably won’t know where to buy these supplies when you’re new to a place. While some countries no longer have a mandatory mask-wearing policy, it’s good to be respectful of each country’s culture and social distancing preferences. For instance, while you can now move around Japan mask-free, you’re encouraged to wear a mask indoors and on public transport. In fact, you’ll be asked to wear a mask before entering restaurants and attractions.


Download country-specific Covid-19 tracing apps

Before boarding the plane, make sure to download all necessary phone apps. Much like how Singapore has TraceTogether, other countries have their own apps to track positive Covid-19 cases – making it easy for users to display their vaccination records when needed. For Japan, download MySOS, for Hong Kong get LeaveHomeSafe, and for Taiwan, you’ll need Taiwan Social Distancing. While some are required for entering a country, others are useful for contact tracing and keeping all your vaccination certificates on hand should you need to present them before entering a venue. 

Hassle-free travel with Singlife Travel Insurance

Photograph: Getty Images

Travel insurance is a massive must for all holidaymakers. With Singlife with Aviva, you won’t have to worry about your holidays being spoiled by unfortunate events such as being infected with Covid-19, losing your luggage, or even excessive rainfall**.

Special promotion: From November 9 to 11, you can get up to 46 percent off Singlife Travel Insurance plans with promo code “TRAVEL23”.

Get a quote for Singlife Travel Insurance for your next trip.

Terms and conditions apply. This policy is underwritten by Singapore Life Ltd. Time Out Singapore is not an insurance agent or intermediary and is not allowed to solicit any insurance business or give advice on or recommend any product nor be involved in any discussions, negotiations or the arrangement of any insurance contract between you and Singapore Life Ltd. Please direct all enquiries to Singapore Life Ltd. Protected up to specified limits by SDIC.

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