Travel Tips & Guide

 For more travel tips, go to!

(1) Buyer beware: When tour packages are too cheap to be true

Buying Tour Packages
When shopping for tour packages and the offer is too good to be true, it most certainly is.
Tour packages comprise of several components, mainly, air fares, accommodation, admission to attractions, ground transfers, guide fees and so on. Thus, if you should come across travel agents who charge unbelievable prices, make sure you ask the agent about the tour components. It may be that the choice of flight timings and accommodation may be less than ideal or that the consumers themselves may have obligations to meet, such as compulsory shopping. This means that the consumers, whether they like it or not, will be taken on a tour to selected shopping destinations, usually, to local specialty product shops. In exchange for offering lower prices, overseas agents need to reply on commission from such shopping trips to earn profits. Should you encounter such offers the next time, do a rough estimate on how much such a package should cost and check with the agent on the reason for the unbelievable prices. Then decide for yourself if this is the right package for you. If you are not convinced or comfortable with the offer, it is best not to focus on the price and look for packages that best suit your needs.
Things to check with your travel agent when booking your trip:
  1. Tour booking reference - Price of tour (Does it include taxes, surcharges or any other charges?)
  2. Terms and conditions of your tour package
  3. Deposit - Date of full payment
  4. Date to inform confirmation of tour(NATAS recommended guideline is two weeks prior departure for tours of more than 6 days in duration)
  5. Cancellation/amendment polices/penalties (by agent/consumer)
  6. Special terms/details of promotional package 
  7. Tour Components
  8. Names of airlines/hotels used 
  9. Air routes (Any transit? What are the flight arrival/departure timings?)
  10. Special meals request (Vegetarian/no beef/children meals?) 
  11. Type of rooms (Twin/double/triple rooms?) 
  12. Special needs (E.g. Bassinet seats for infants/wheel chairs) 
  13. Transfers (Sit-in coach basis or meet & greet services provided?) 
  14. Itinerary (Inclusion of entrance fees for attractions/fees of optional tours?) 
  15. Tipping norms/guidelines and/or other customary practices in host countries
  16. Travel Documentation - Passport validity - Visa requirements / procedures - Date for passport submission/collection 
  17. Health/fitness/vaccinations requirements
  18. Check if there will be any pre-departure briefings and if so, when.

 This travel advisory is brought to you by the National Association of Travel Agents Singapore (NATAS). NATAS is a trade association representing the travel agency community.

(2) Choose The Right Tour Packages
  • Always analyse the contents of your itineraries to ensure that it best fits your interest and budget.
  • Compare offerings from different travel agents. But, never base your comparison on price alone. Check details such as the airline you will be travelling on, type of accommodation, number of meals provided, places visiting and if admission fees to attractions are included
  • Do note that fuel surcharges, taxes and tipping may not be included in the package price
  • Always check the tour booking conditions, e.g. cancellation and refund policies
  • Ensure that all services that your travel agent has agreed to provide are listed in the tour booking form
  • Paying deposits does not guarantee a confirmed booking. Travel agents need to make travel arrangements with airlines/hotels/land operators first and balance payment is requested only when all arrangements are confirmed. This usually happens two weeks before departure.

(3) Baggage Allowances

1.     Checked Baggage Allowances
·       Overview:
Travellers should take note that there will be no access to checked baggage during flight; hence it is advisable to carry your (1) medication, (2) travel documents and (3) valuables in your carry-on baggage. Label all checked baggage with full contact information for easy identification.

·       Baggage Weight Limitations:
In accordance with the local Occupational Health Safety rules, each checked bags must not exceed a given weight in kg*: (*changes without prior notice)
For example, in most commercial airlines, it ranges from 20kg for Economy class to 40kg for First class cabins.

Weight limit is also printed in your E-Ticket.
Note: Should your baggage weight exceed xx kg**, you will be required to re-pack your baggage. (**Passengers are advised to check for updates with your travel agents, respective airline or from their websites)
·       Valuable & Fragile Items:
Travellers are advised against packing the following items into their checked baggages. The items include: Laptop, medicine, securities/negotiable papers, silverware/precious metals, money/jewellery/other valuable items, business/travel/identification documents.

Note: Airlines will not hold liability for any valuable or fragile items checked-in as baggage.

2.     Cabin Baggage Allowances
·       Articles Allowed Onboard:
These articles will be listed as free of charge, over and above each traveller’s free baggage allowance. Certainly, it is also subjected to local country specific restrictions, if any.  Some examples of the articles are: Ladies’ handbag, overcoat, umbrella, walking stick, laptop/notebook, small camera, reading material, infant’s food for consumption in flight etc.

·       Cabin Baggage Checks:
This is conducted at check-in and prior to boarding. During check-in, any cabin baggage that exceeds the allowed limits will be checked in. Prior to boarding, any cabin baggage that exceeds the allowed limits will be collected and stored in the aircraft cargo compartment (additional charges may be applicable if combined weight with the bags already checked in exceeds the allowance given to the traveler)

Special Baggage

Listed here are some examples of special baggage: Golfing equipment, Surfboards, Scuba diving equipment, Canoes, Ski equipment, Bicycles, oversize musical instruments (I.e. Cello, guitars etc)
Note: These non-standard size baggage types will be charged at different rates.

General Restrictions (For all countries)
A new guideline have been issued by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) – In order to comply with this new set of guidelines, various countries have set restrictions on the carriage of liquids, aerosols and gels.
Some examples of liquids, aerosols and gels are:
All liquids (including beverages, soups, syrups)/ Hair and shower gels/ Creams like lotions and oils/ Pastes including toothpastes/ Liquid-solid mixtures/ Contents of aerosol cans (including sprays, shaving foam, deodorants).
Note: This is not an exhaustive list.
Other practical information: * rules may change without prior notice
-          Liquid, gels and aerosols is allowed in cabin baggage only if they are kept in containers with volumes kept below 100ml each.
-          Containers must be in held in clear, re-sealable plastic bag. The total volume of the bag must not exceed 1 litre.
-          Each traveler can only carry one such plastic bag.
-          During the visual examination by the security personnel, the bag must be removed from the cabin baggage for inspection purposes.
Other common FAQs: What about medications, special dietary requirements such as baby formula?
These items are acceptable in cabin baggage. However, they must be removed from the cabin baggage and declared to security personnel upon checkpoint. Travellers carrying prescription medicine are strongly advised to bring along supporting documentation for verification purposes.

Important Notice: Information provided here may not be the latest. Please check with your travel agents or respective airlines for the latest update. Some of the rules may not apply to Low Cost Carriers (LCC) or Budget carriers.