10 Singapore Travel Tips & Hacks When Visiting (As Shared By A Local)


Syahirah Mazlan •  Aug 01, 2023

If you're planning a visit to our beautiful island - I'm Syahirah, a writer from HHWT and I'm here to share some fantastic travel tips and hacks from a local's perspective. Whether it's your first time or you've been here before, these insights will surely elevate your journey. So, buckle up and get ready to explore Singapore like a seasoned traveler!

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1. Dress Lightly

Dressing lightly is the ultimate secret to staying comfortable and cool in warm weather. We recommend packing clothing that are made of breathable fabrics like cotton, linen, or moisture-wicking materials that allow air circulation and prevent sweat build-up. Opt for loose-fitting clothing to enhance airflow and reduce skin contact, and don't forget to choose light-coloured outfits to reflect the sun's rays!

If you'll be indoors, or travelling on the train, the heat may be more bearable, however, if you're visiting nature spots like Marina Barrage or Gardens by The Bay (Psst... Check out all the halal food nearby!), you'll be exposed to the sun. So on top of dressing lightly, we'd also recommend checking the weather forecast regularly!

2. Get an EZ-Link Card

The EZ-Link card is amazing! From as low as $5, it comes in many designs, styles and forms (there's charms you can hang on your phone!). It's your ticket to ride the public transportations like the bus, LRT and MRT hassle-free. Taking public transport can save you a lot of money and most MRT stations have an interchange (for taking the bus) and/or are connected to malls for window shopping - or even just taking in the air-con! Some of the most popular malls are connected to an MRT station too like Jewel Changi Airport and IMM Outlet Mall; more touristy malls here!

Buy an EZ-Link Card here!

3. Know The Laws & Regulations

Whether you're a local or a tourist, it's essential to know the ropes. Stray from the path of compliance, and you might face some eyebrow-raising consequences. Yes, singing naughty songs might earn you more than just giggles – a hefty fine! Littering is another big no-no! So, be in the know and keep things fun, respectful, and lighthearted.

4. Know Your Internet Options

Let's be real, parting with our Wi-Fi is like a painful goodbye for most of us! But there's a loophole for when you visit malls and large establishments. Get free Wi-Fi by connecting to any Wireless@SG hotspot and register using your international phone number.

Want more internet freedom? Grab a SIM card! Just show off your passport and mobile voucher at an M1 retail outlet or Cheers convenience store in Changi Airport, and you'll be surfing the web like a pro.

If you're afraid of losing your SIM card when swapping it out, consider and eSIM instead. Check out these eSim plans for Malaysian travellers to stay connected!

5. Claim Your Tax Refund

This one goes out to all the shopper-holics in the audience! Don't forget this awesome Singapore travel hack: snag a 7% GST refund at the airport when you fly out! Treat yourself to trendy goodies from stores like Fossil, Charles & Keith, and more. Just make sure you spend over S$100 and keep those receipts safe. Get that extra cash back and let the shopping adventures begin!

6. Tips Are Not Mandatory

In Singapore, tips aren't a mandatory thing! In fact, instead of making you awkwardly decide how much to tip, a service charge is usually added to cover the awesome wait staff's hard work. However, if you're over the moon with the service or the bill doesn't tag on that charge, you've got the power to sprinkle some extra love! Show your gratitude with a tip, a generous 5% will do the trick.

7. Bring A Reusable Water Bottle

If you're exploring Singapore's major attractions like Marina Barrage and Mandai Zoo, you'll most likely come across a water cooler or tap for you to fill up your bottles with.

8. Buy Travel Insurance

Buying travel insurance can be one of the most important things you need on your list! Not only are there a whole list of different travel insurance types, you can also purchase the one that suits your travel needs and tendencies the best. Sometimes, travel insurance may not cover certain situations or people, so make sure you do the proper research!

9. Bring The Right Cards

Singapore is a nation that's progressing into cashless payment, especially at certain eateries and bakeries. Make sure you check that the credit or debit cards you bring with you are accepted at most stores! Another tip (inside of this tip) is to check with the staff that their store accepts your cards before making any orders or purchases. There's nothing more traumatic than ordering something and realising your payment options are super limited!

10. Take The Train As Much As You Can

As shared in the earlier points, most train stations in Singapore are connected to major shopping malls, attractions and bus interchanges. Travelling on these trains is an experience in itself because you'll be able to see many fascinating sights outside the windows such as playgrounds, housing nearby, coffee shops and even reservoirs!

I hope these insights will help you create unforgettable memories in our charming city. Welcome and have a fantastic time exploring Singapore's captivating blend of cultures, sights, and flavours. Safe travels, and may your journey be filled with joy and blessings!