With 10.7 million outbound departures by Singapore residents in 2019, it is not hard to tell that travel is a popular hobby in Singapore. Many travellers know to plan trips in advance just to make sure that they are well-prepared for their vacations. Those seeking to make their travels as cheap and convenient as possible are also aware of the myriad of tools available. If you are an avid traveller who is looking for ways to improve your travel experience, you may benefit from this list of awesome tools that can make your dream vacation even more enjoyable!
Traditional & Cutting Edge: Travel Insurance Policies & Apps
Travel insurance is a great financial tool that protects travellers from any unexpected expenses that may arise during travel. Whether it is natural calamities, flight cancellations or a sudden medical condition, buying travel insurance can give travellers peace of mind wherever they are. Besides comparing insurance packages based on their price and benefits, Aviva and FWD have also introduced travel insurance apps that allow travellers to access vital information during emergencies.
For example, the FWD Flyer App allows users to access comprehensive travel insurance services such as cashless treatments during or after the trip, locate the nearest panel clinics and automated claims processing. The end-to-end digital insurance solution is designed to enhance travellers’ experience by giving them quick access to their policies and emergency contacts. The Aviva Travel Mobile App allows users to access instant quotes, on-the-spot purchase, policy details, and travel FAQs wherever they are around the globe. In case of emergency, the app enables users to file Incident Recording and access to the Claim Procedures Guide so that they can make an informed decision every step of the way. Users can simply download these apps on AppStore and Google Play.
Stay Current with Currency Converters
Knowing the currency exchange rate is a vital part of any overseas trip. Savvy travellers should be well-informed when they are on the go so that they will not get stuck in any tricky financial situation that will put them in a bind. Whether it is for budgeting or deciding on an expense, a currency app is a must-have tool that will come in very handy when you are overseas.
With over 10 million downloads, XE Currency is a popular app that is available on iOS devices, Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone 7. It keeps track of world currencies and allows users to monitor up to 10 currencies of their choice. Currency Converter Plus is another user-friendly app that allows users to gain access to global exchange rates, historic rate charts, and a built-in calculator for convenience. The interface also enables users to compare prices while traveling abroad.
Multi-Currency Travel Wallets & Money Transfers
There are also a number of e-wallet solutions that are suitable for users with different lifestyles and needs. Several multi-currency e-wallets and remittance tools have gained popularity amongst savvy travellers. Using such tools enables users to pay in different currencies at competitive exchange rates, transfer money to loved ones abroad and even withdraw cash while they are travelling overseas. This eliminates the need to visit the money changer or hold large sums of foreign currencies in your wallet.
YouTrip is one multi-currency mobile wallet, which comes with a contactless Mastercard. It supports the payment of 150 different currencies with no charge, and allows 10 selected currencies for in-app exchange so that users can store and lock down a good rate whenever it is available. Revolut is also a multi-currency mobile wallet, which supports payment across 150 different currencies worldwide. It also allows up to 14 selected currencies in-app exchange and free overseas withdrawal of up to $350. An additional feature is the ability to remit money at the interbank exchange rate. Users can download the Revolut app and register an account online.
If you'd rather stick with a credit card for your international purchases, the Citi Cash Back Card is an ideal choice. This card earns 8% cashback for all transactions including international dining, groceries, petrol. This great rate negates the card's international spending fee (3.25%), which is a standard charge across most credit cards, effectively earning consumers 4.75% back on these international purchases.
Couch Surfing to Castle Stays
Many travellers are moving away from convention hotel accommodations to homestays that reflect the local characteristics of their destinations. Such lodging is often cheaper and presents opportunities to explore the local culture and customs in greater depth. Whether you have a healthy budget for your accommodation or just looking for a decent place to crash, there are ample offers out there.
For example, Airbnb is an online marketplace that connects homeowners from more than 81,000 cities to travellers who are looking for lodging. Listings include different kinds of properties, ranging from single rooms, a suite of rooms, apartments, yachts, houseboats, entire houses and even castles! If you're on a tighter budget, and just need a place to crash, the Couchsurfing app could be worth considering. Couchsurfing is a community app that helps travellers gain access to free accommodation with a local host. The pure intention of this service is to extend friendly gestures to help travellers see the world for free while connecting with the locals.
Credit Card Optimisation
Finally, no financially savvy traveller will go without an air miles credit card because it allows them to earn airline miles, luxury perks and rewards when they travel. For instance, the top travel credit cards earn competitive rates on various types of spending, which can help you book your next flight. Additionally, the most competitive cards offer great luxury perks such as free hotel stays, unlimited lounge access and even free limo transfers. One caveat for relatively inexperienced travelers: credit cards are not a good way to finance a trip that you cannot currently afford. If you can't afford to repay your monthly credit card bill, you will be slammed with interest rates of up to 25-30%. Therefore if you absolutely need to book travel that you cannot currently afford, it is better to finance you trip with a personal loan, as these loans tend to charge significantly lower interest rates (typically from 7% EIR).
How to Be A Savvy Traveller
With so many travel tools available in the market, travelling abroad can be less cumbersome and a lot more rewarding these days. Gone are the days when we have to manually print out forms for insurance application or visit the money changer for foreign currencies. By digging a little deeper to find the right tools, you might be able to reduce these burdens and even save a little money along the way.