What to Prepare for your VTL flight (Singapore)

Towards the end of 2021, more and more countries were added to Singapore’s Vaccinated Travel Lane (“VTL”) scheme. HOORAY! After two years of being contained in Singapore, the travel bug in me was bursting to fly out! At the same time, I was apprehensive. People I know didn’t seem to be booking the first ticket out. I had expected people to be flying out in droves. Did they know something I didn’t?

Still, I decided to fly out of Singapore with my children. This was a calculated risk, and in this case, I do think the (long term) benefits outweigh the (short term) cost. More on this in another post.

Of course, travelling in the Covid-19 era entails more uncertainty and paperwork. VTL opens more doors (countries), but it doesn’t mean we can skip the additional logistics and admin work. Hence to help you plan for your upcoming trip, I’ve come up with a simplified checklist of what to prepare for your VTL flight — the admin, tests, and other logistics.

Before you fly, check the updated travel requirements of Singapore and of your destination. 
On a VTL flight to Paris with JBL

Before Booking your Ticket

Our Trip: After checking the travel requirements using the above links, we shortlisted VTL countries that require fewer Covid-19 tests. Save cost and minimise discomfort.  

After Booking Your Ticket

Even in Pre-Covid times

  • Register with MFA: eregister.mfa.gov.sg. Upon registration, you will receive details of your nearest embassy. Save a copy and/or print it.
  • Buy medical and/or travel insurance (with Covid-19 related expenses) prior to travelling. Recommended to buy it early so you can claim for pre-trip losses, such as trip cancellation.
Our Trip: At the point of purchase, FWD offered the best deal for travel insurance. We bought that, along with its Covid-19 coverage.  
  • Get a local SIM card.
    • Consider getting a SIM card with data and free local calls. You might need to call and liaise with local authorities in case of Covid-19 infections.
    • It’s best to buy and receive the overseas SIM card while in Singapore. Change your SIM card on your flight and get connected once you land. Internet connection is always useful when you need to google for help and directions.
    • Internet loads your QR codes for Covid-19 certificate reader applications (“readers”) in case your offline QR codes don’t work. FYI, Singapore’s Vaccination Certificate are equivalent to EU Digital COVID Certificate (“EUDCC”), and hence you are likely to have offline QR codes compatible with EUDCC.
  • Bring a spare phone in case your phone gets lost or stolen. Phone is a handy tool, especially in Covid times — to flash vaccination status, to search for nearest clinics, and to liaise with local authorities (if necessary).
Our Trip: We purchased Europe Orange SIM from Changi Recommends -- 3GB (S$33.50) and 20GB (S$53.90). Shortly after our purchase, my friend told me about Giffgaff. Giffgaff is much cheaper than Orange. However, Giffgaff SIM card is only valid for use in the UK and EU (not Switzerland). Order the SIM card for free and it would be sent to you from UK. You can choose a plan when you order the card, or when it arrives. There also alternatives on Klook: 4G Europe Data SIM Card (6GB) ; 4G Europe Data and Call SIM Card (20/3GB).

Disclaimer: I have not ordered or used Giffgaff and the SIM cards from Klook before. So I cannot vouch for their coverage, ease of use, etc. Please order/use it at your own discretion. 

JBL chilling on the flight back to Singapore

Because of Covid-19

  • Obtain a Pre-Departure Test (“PDT”) in Singapore (if required by destination’s authorities). See approved clinics and required documents to bring: safetravel.ica.gov.sg/departing/overview#PDT
    • PDT refers to either Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test, Antigen Rapid Test (ART) or Serology test administered officially by a recognised medical facility.
  • Notarise Vaccination Certificate (VC) and/or Pre-Departure Test (PDT): www.notarise.gov.sg.
    • This is to digitally verify the authenticity of your VC and PDT for the airlines or foreign authorities. For more information, visit the FAQ.
  • Travellers who are required to obtain entry approval (i.e. various pass holders) are advised to secure an entry date before leaving Singapore.
Our travel: France did not require us to take PDT when we flew there in Nov 2021. We notarised our VCs before we flew.

For your Destination’s Requirements

  • Things to bring:
    • ART test kits to self-administer in case you fall sick.
    • Oximeter to monitor your blood oxygen levels. Healthy range is more than 95%.
    • Disposable masks for convenience. Reusable masks in case you need to extend your stay.
    • Cough, flu, and fever medicine to combat common flu.
  • Find out where to convert your notarised vaccination certificate to the local certification. If you have Singapore’s vaccination certificate, you do not need to convert for travel in EU.
  • Download your destination’s APP that works similarly Singapore’s TraceTogether. For example,
  • Scan the QR code from Notarise, or on your converted vaccination certificate into the downloaded application as mentioned above. The APP will reflect your certificate.
  • Fill up other administrative forms. For example, France requires a State Declaration Form (although they didn’t check ours.).
Our travel: Once we reached the airport on 23 Nov 21, we went to the pharmacy and converted our notarised VCs into France's health pass. The process was quick (if it's a short queue) and costed EU36/pax. There are other pharmacies* in France to apply for this conversion. We scanned the health pass into France's TousAntiCovid app, and used it to flash our vaccination status whenever required. 

For Return to Singapore

Family flying to Paris
  • To feel more prepared, you might want to find out your next steps if you are tested positive for Covid-19.
  • Buy or get ready 7-10 ART test kits, because you have to undergo unsupervised self-administered ARTs for 7 days upon arrival in Singapore. Do not need to submit results online but must be negative before going out (with effect from 23 Jan 22).
Our Trip: At our time of travel, Singaporeans needed to take professionally administered ART before the flight back to Singapore. Another PCR test was required when we arrived in Singapore. Thereafter, we had to self administer ART for 7 days and submit the results online, except for Day 3 and 7 where we went to a test centre for supervised self-administered ART. It's simpler now! 

If I missed any critical item, please message me or leave a comment below. I will update the list to help other travellers. ;)


Looking for more tips on travel, home, and baby? Subscribe to my mailing list and be sure to follow me on Instagram, Facebook, and Youtube! If you like what you read here, keep it going with a small support too. :)

Disclaimer: JoogoStyle and Christina accepts no liability (whether in tort or contract or otherwise) for any loss or damage arising from any use, misuse, inaccuracy or omission of the information or other contents published on this website. 

Let's Hear from You!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.