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5 Travel Essentials for Smart Traveller – 2017

This list is based on my frequent travelling for the past 5 months around Asia.

1.Power bank and Travel adapter

Pretty basic but important items for travelling especially when we can sometimes get too engrossed with photography or capturing moments via our mobile phone and run out of battery juice.

 

2.Toiletries

Toiletries something very personal to me. A basic head to toe wash, toothbrush, toothpaste and a facial wash is the bare minimum in travel size.

 

3. Luggage or Backpack

Be it when flying or travelling by railway, it is essential to go light if it is for short trips.  I would usually travel with either a cabin size luggage or bring along a small backpack with me as an add on. Additionally, a mini first aid pouch with some medication – pain relief, diarrhoea and flu medication. You never know when it comes in handy.

 

4. Cards – Bank card, Frequent flyer & Hotels Loyalty programs, & Local Travel card

Bank Card for Local ATM Cash Withdrawal

There are some local and international banks that offer country specific cash withdrawals for FREE within their overseas ATM banking network.*
CIMB, Citibank, DBS Treasures, HSBC Advance and Premier, Maybank, OCBC, UOB

Frequent Flyer & Hotel Loyalty Programs

Frequent flyer programs come in handy for Travellers who fly a lot, as they offer perks like priority boarding or lounge access for higher tier members – usually the Gold  (Star Alliance) or Emerald (One World) tiers and above.

As for Hotel memberships, late check out / Early check in is offered for members from Silver tiers and above at Marriott and Accor hotels. Best of all these are free. Some of the programs come with next available room upgrade or breakfast at certain property chains (Hilton).

Travel Card

If you frequently travel to various countries repeatedly on annual basis or even monthly, it is worthwhile to keep their travel card. It saves time on transit while at the same time allows for some travel discount. It is especially good for solo travel unless you are going around in groups of 3 and above.

Note*: Comes with certain terms and conditions

5. Wifi vs SIM cards

The options for roaming Wifi is endless, you can choose from Changi Wifi*; buying Data Passport from local telcos or simply just buy an Overseas SIM Card or just go cafe hopping to use Wifi. It depends once again on your travel preference and if you need to be constantly contactable.

*Changi wifi: needs to be booked online 1 day before departure.

For items listed from 1 – 3, they can be found at many places online and offline. While items listed in 4 – 5 are very individual and country dependent. So it serves more as a personal preference and also depends on how price sensitive you are with each of the choices.

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