Singapore is a perfect spot for a family vacation which comprises of everything that you need on a holiday break starting from beaches, nature parks, wildlife, shopping malls, nightlife, fun and adventure activities, food, culture and what not. Singaporeans are the kind of people who are passionate about creating new possibilities and opportunities due to which Singapore is constantly evolving and reinventing itself.
What you need to know before you plan a vacation for Singapore
You need to apply for a VISA before you travel to Singapore with minimal requirements of a valid passport (expiry beyond 6 months), N.O.C from your office if you are in a job, passport size photographs, bank statement for last 3 months ( suggestion would be to maintain a balance of INR 50000-60000 in your account to be on a safer side). The VISA fee is INR 2000 approximately and arrives approximately in a day or two after applying.
The currency of Singapore is SGD (Singaporean Dollar) which is equivalent to INR51 (as per today) so you will have to exchange currency and carry SGDs before you start vacationing in Singapore.
Tips to keep handy before you travel
For currency exchange, prefer to get it exchanged before travelling if you can get it from a reliable source else no worries. There are multiple reliable and safe money changers in Singapore. You may exchange at the airport itself or any shopping mall but for the best rates, make your way to any of Singapore's most reputed money changing hubs which are - The Arcade in Raffles Place, Mustafa Centre in Little India, Lucky Plaza at Orchard Road, People's Park Complex in Chinatown and Parkway Parade in Marine Parade. All of these hubs are easily accessible by public transport adding to the ease of tourists.
Alternatively, you may opt to carry a FOREX card with you rather than carrying entire amount in cash. You can just load your card with SGDs and use it to pay at anywhere in Singapore as the country is card friendly in almost all the tourist areas.
The main modes of transport in Singapore are MRT(Mass Rapid Transit), buses and taxis. Buses are the most common mode of transport and the cheapest as well followed by MRT and taxis respectively.
To travel in buses or MRT, prefer paying through the Ez- link card rather than cash because you need to carry exact change while paying through cash and it always costs more while paying through cash. Ez-link card is a compact and store valued smart card with a microchip. You may purchase this card from any 7-eleven store, any Singapore Visitor's Centre, MRT stations or bus interchanges and you can top up your card at these points as well.
You can also opt for a STP (Singapore Tourist Pass) which is available for 1 day ,2 days and 3 days and allows you to take unlimited bus and train rides for the respective duration.
You may purchase the Singapore SIM card either from the airport or any 7-eleven stores or from the Singapore Visitor's Centres.
Getting to hotel from airport
Taxi will be the fastest way to reach your hotel from airport especially if people are more in number and are carrying sufficient luggage. Taxis are available at any hour of the day and you can find them at the arrival gates of every terminal. The taxis are metered and so there is no need to worry about bargaining the prices but an additional surcharge needs to be paid depending on the day and timings.
Airport Shuttle is another convenient and cheaper means of travelling from the airport. They are kind of shared vans and provide drop offs to almost all the hotels in central region. If you are travelling solo with light luggage, go for it by pre-booking your seat online or by approaching the Ground Transport Desks at the arrivals.
MRT is another means to travel from airport and you save a lot by using this means of transport but you might have to change the line to reach your exact location. The MRT station is located in the terminal 2 basement.
Limousine and large taxis are recommended for bigger families or groups as it charges you a flat SGD 60 per trip so it is economical if you need to travel to a farther end of the city with a big group.
Public Buses are another economical option other than the MRT but it will be the slowest mode to reach your hotel. You can catch the bus from basement of terminal 1,2 or 3.
Singapore Visitor Centres
You may drop by any of the centres in Singapore to gather information about tourism, purchase of travel tickets to various attractions, customization of itineraries or to pick up souvenirs. Orchardgateway, ION Orchard, Chinatown Visitor Centre and Kampong Glam are the four locations for visitor centres.