Wherever you happen to be travelling in Southeast Asia, do yourself a favour and throw the lovely city-state of Singapore into the mix. A fascinating fusion of modern urbanism & traditional Asian charms, Singapore’s a place you won’t soon forget and one that never ceases to amaze.
Don’t let its tiny stature fool you though: Planning a trip to Singapore isn’t always that simple. Not only is there a multitude of exciting things to do in Singapore that you’ll need to choose between, but with the country’s always unpredictable weather, you’ll need to arm yourself with the right travel gear to confront anything that’s thrown at you.
To speed up your Singapore trip planning, we’ve crafted this complete Singapore packing list. It includes everything you’ll need to bring along to take on this unforgettable city with gusto from clothing to travel accessories—and everything in between.
Let’s see what to pack for Singapore, shall we?
What to pack for Singapore: A complete guide
Before you even think about starting to stuff your luggage, the first thing on your mind should be grabbing a trustworthy travel insurance policy.
Although Singapore is a safe country, accidents do happen. The healthcare system in Singapore is high-quality, and, with it, comes a price tag that’s higher than its neighbourhoods. A good travel insurance policy can provide coverage for medical expenses and even medical repatriation to your home country for serious conditions.
Add onto that the ever-looming possibilities of lost baggage, theft or unforeseen trip cancellation, and you’ll see why it’s important to get travel insurance for your trip to Singapore.
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Guidebooks & Phrasebooks
- Guidebooks: As much as technology’s taken the lead for my trip planning lately, I’m still keen on carrying around a paper guidebook—you know just in case. Some of the best choices include DK Eyewitness Malaysia & Singapore and Lonely Planet Singapore.
- Phrasebooks: Getting around in English alone won’t be much of a challenge in Singapore, but if you want to dig deeper into the local cultures, bring along the Lonely Planet Mandarin Phrasebook and Lonely Planet Malay Phrasebook to impress your new Singaporean friends.
Luggage & Accessories
- Luggage: This really comes down to preference, but for mobility and ease of use (even with my travel style shifting towards mid-range & luxury options), I still love donning a great travel backpack. My own personal recommendation is the Tortuga Outbreaker Backpack. It’s small enough to fit as carry-on on most airlines, yet roomy enough for all your gear for a short trip abroad. If you’re planning to spend time shopping in Singapore for clothes or souvenirs, you may want to be sure to leave a little extra room in your bag!
- Daypack: As you hop around the streets of Singapore, it’s a great idea to carry along a comfortable daypack to have access to all of your gear. For its minimalist feel, I absolutely love the Tortuga Setout Daypack. It’s super lightweight and folds up into its own pocket to jam into a small corner of your main luggage. If you need something a little more robust & water-resistant with room for a laptop, go with the Tortuga Outbreaker Daypack.
- Packing Cubes: For a dash of organization and to squeeze a little more into your luggage, I’d recommend picking up a set of packing cubes. No need to get all fancy. A set of basic packing cubes should suffice.
- Universal Power Adapter: Singapore uses Class G sockets (same as UK but different than United States, Canada, and Australia). Instead of toying with adapters for every power configuration, I picked up a universal power adapter that can be used anywhere in the world. Since most devices are dual voltage these days (be sure to check!), this is often all you’ll need.
- Portable Charger: When you’re out and about in the city and don’t want to worry about recharging your devices, pick up a portable charger like the Anker Powercore 10000 to ensure you’ve always got juice. It’s designed to be compact, lightweight, and packs in almost 4 iPhone charges on a single charge!
- Pocket WiFi: Don’t want to rely on public WiFi or spend on excessive data rates with your home country’s mobile carrier? Hook yourself up with a 4G WiFi router, or, if you’d rather just use your own phone, a Singapore eSIM card.
- Headphones: For your long-haul flight to Singapore, you’ll thank me for recommending the unbeatable Bose QuietComfort 35 (Series II) Wireless Headphones. Not only do they provide incredible sound for your music listening pleasure, they block out all of that annoying ambient noise on the airplanes to let you relax in peace.
- E-reader: Avid readers can save on luggage space and weight by packing their library onto to a lightweight e-reader. My personal favourite is the Kindle Paperwhite featuring a non-backlit screen that makes for easy reading and superb battery life.
- Camera: For a city as picturesque as Singapore, your smartphone camera just won’t do. To take your photography above and beyond, I’d recommend the Nikon D7200, a full-featured DSLR; or the Fujifilm X100F, a more compact, high-performance mirrorless camera.
Virtual Private Network
After getting virtually imprisoned behind the Great Firewall of China on my last trip to Asia, I’ve become wise to the fact that using a VPN while travelling is an absolute no-brainer.
Even when you’re in a country that doesn’t block certain websites like Facebook or Google, your data could be at risk anytime you open a connection—whether its on a public WiFi network or with your own device.
For its small cost, I’d always recommend connect through a reliable virtual private network such as NordVPN.
Connect through NordVPN’s over 5,500 servers worldwide to benefit from their military-grade double encryption technology that’ll keep your data & information safe. They also maintain a strict no server log policy. That means that none of your browsing or download history can be tracked.
Keep your Internet connection safe in Singapore (and everywhere else in the world) by checking out the latest deals on NordVPN.
- Rain Jacket: If there’s one thing that’s certain about the ever-changing Singapore weather is that you’ll probably encounter rain. The hot & humid year-round temperatures mean that you’ll want to go with a lightweight & breathable rain jacket. One of the best choices for Singapore (and Southeast Asia in general) is the Outdoor Research Men’s Helium II or Outdoor Research Women’s Helium II.
- Hat: For those sunny Singapore days, be sure to bring along a hat to lower your risk of heat exhaustion or sunstroke.
- Walking Shoes: Since much of a trip to Singapore will involve walking around the city, picking up a pair of comfortable casual walking shoes is the way to go. I personally love the casual look and comfort of Sketchers Men’s Go Walk 3 Walking Shoes and Sketchers Women’s Go Walk 3 Walking Shoes.
- Sandals: If you’re hoping to spend some time on Singapore’s best beaches, be sure to pack a pair of comfy lightweight travel sandals along with your regular shoes.
- Socks: Singapore’s hot weather means that you’d be better of packing some high-performance, lightweight, moisture-wicking socks over your typical store brands. The REI Co-op Coolmax Ultralight Hiking Quarter Socks are a fantastic choice.
- Travel Pants: One of the best ways pack lighter for Singapore is to swap out your regular clothes with lightweight options including some men’s travel pants. Among the top choices are Patagonia Quandary Travel Pants, a lightweight, packable, quick-dry, and moisture-wicking pant that’s perfect for looking great while staying cooler.
- Travel Shirts: For Singapore’s hot & humid weather, you’ll want to go as light as possible with your clothing including with your shirts. Men will love adding the lightweight and stylish KUHL Stealth Shirt or the casual REI Co-op Sahara T-Shirt to their packing list for Singapore.
- Sweater: During monsoon season (and even for the heavily air conditioned restaurants & malls during the day), it’s not a bad idea to pack a comfortable lightweight sweater among your clothing.
- Travel Shorts: An absolute must for Singapore year-round is to pack a few pairs of shorts. Like much of Asia, Singaporeans appreciate smart, modest and casual wear. Leave the Euro-inspired short shorts at home in favour of something like the prAna Men’s Stretch Zion Shorts or Royal Robbins Men’s Coast Shorts.
- Swimsuit: Although beaches are limited in Singapore, you still may want to pack a pair of swimming trunks. This is especially important if you’re craving a stay at one of the best luxury hotels in Singapore or want to dip your toes in to the water at the family-friendly beaches of Sentosa Island. Once again, modesty is appreciated. Pack longer swimming shorts like O’Neill Men’s Santa Cruz Brisbane Board Shorts over an overly-revealing Speedo.
- Travel Pants: To stay cooler in Singapore during the day, you’ll appreciate swapping your regular trousers for some lightweight women’s travel pants. For casual wear, prAna Halle Travel Pants are a good choice. If you’re looking to boost your style, go for the Anatomie Skyler Travel Pants.
- Travel Shirts: Lightweight shirts will likewise come in handy for staying cool in balmy Singapore. The Columbia PFG Tamami II Short-Sleeve Shirt or the REI Co-op Sahara Heather T-Shirt are solid performers for staying cool.
- Sweater: Although Singapore’s weather is mostly hot, monsoon season (approximately November to January) can bring some cooler night breezes. Adding a light sweater into your clothing mix comes in handy during this time of year. Thanks to the intense heat outside, shops and restaurants can often be over air conditioned during the day. Keep a sweater handy in your daypack to counter the sometimes (literally) chilling experience of shopping in Singapore.
- Travel Shorts: When it comes to shorts as with other clothing wear, modesty is appreciated in Singapore. Pack a stylish and modest pair like Royal Robbins Discovery Bermuda Shorts for travelling here. For visiting some of the top attractions in Singapore, especially temples, consider bringing along a shawl to cover up your legs.
- Travel Skirts/Dresses: You’ll probably want to skip mini skirts when travelling to Singapore. A brilliant choice for travellers is the Royal Robbins Discovery Travel Skirt. It’s not only modest, comfortable, and lightweight, but includes a zippered security pocket specifically designed for travellers.
- Swimsuit: Whether on some of the top beaches in Singapore at Sentosa Island or in your hotel’s spa & pool area, it’s a good idea to pack a modest swimsuit like the prAna Moorea. It’s less likely to attract attention than a bikini.
- Hanging Toiletry Bag: Keep all of your toiletries organized and at your fingertips with a convenient hanging toiletry bag.
- Towel: Although most hotels will provide towels, a day on the beach could make a quick-dry towel like the REI Co-op Multi Towel Deluxe a great addition to your packing list.
- Umbrella: Even if you’ve only got a quick layover in Singapore, it’s likely going to rain. Pack a compact travel umbrella like the Repel Windproof Umbrella for good measure.
- RFID Wallet: After an unfortunate incident of digital theft, I don’t leave home with credit & debit cards without a wallet that blocks RFID signals. The Travelambo RFID-Blocking Minimalist Wallet is the perfect solution for travellers visiting Singapore.
- RFID Passport Protector: Similarly, new biometric e-passports can leave your electronic data vulnerable to theft. The Zoppen RFID Travel Wallet & Organizer offers RFID-blocking technology along with extra space for other important documents, cards, and boarding passes.
- Travel Pillow: Don’t waste an opportunity to get some rest on your long-haul flight. Arrive in Singapore refreshed and ready to tackle all its charms by packing the BCOZZY Chin Supporting Travel Pillow. Unlike standard neck pillows, this innovative design helps support your chin for a more comfortable in-flight sleeping experience.
- Sleep Mask: If the cabin lights (or early morning sunrise) keeps you from a full sleep, pack a sleep mask like the ALASKA BEAR Natural Silk Sleep Mask. It will leave you in full darkness so in-flight sleep will no longer elude you.
- Ear Plugs: Light sleepers will love drowning out the noise with a pair of premium ear plugs like the Luiswell Travel Ear Plugs. Not only do they dull the ambient sounds around you, these innovative ear plugs equalize pressure with changes in altitude.
- Water Bottle: The hot Singapore climate necessitates proper hydration. Stay ahead of the game with a Nomader Collapsible Water Bottle. When not in use, this innovative water bottle collapses for easy storage.
- Hair Dryer & Straightener: As in any tropical country, the humidity in Singapore can do a number to your hair. Instead of lugging around your home hair dryer & straightener, go with lightweight and compact options like the Jinri 1875-Watt Travel Hair Dryer and Jinri Professional Travel Flat Iron. Both are dual-voltage and will adjust without the need for a full-on power converter.
- Oral Care: Don’t forget to pack your toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, and mouthwash. If you forget or run out, don’t worry; it’s easy to find anything you need at local pharmacies.
- Soap/Body Wash/Hair Care: Minimalist packers staying a mid-range or luxury hotel might want to lighten the load by using the hotel toiletries. If you’re particular and would rather not chance it, be sure to bring along your favourite soaps, shampoos, and conditioners from back home. You may not be able to find the same brands in Singapore.
- Hairstyling Products: Like much of Asia, you won’t have a problem finding a wide variety of hair styling products in Singapore. Pack your favourite into your luggage just in case.
- Anti-Perspirant/Deodorant: In case you hadn’t heard, Singapore can get a little sweaty. Be sure to pack your favourite brand as it might be difficult to find or expensive here.
- Lip Balm: The hot and humid climate of Singapore can crack your lips like no one’s business. I’d recommend a good sunscreen lip balm like Sun Bum SPF30 Lip Balm to keep your lips healthy while visiting Singapore.
- Sunscreen: Wherever you go, sunscreen seems to be pricey. Chances are, it’ll be far cheaper to pick up in your own country than in Singapore. A good sunscreen for the summer heat is Sun Bum Original Moisturizing Sunscreen Lotion.
- First-Aid Kit: Wherever you go, it’s a great idea to keep a basic first-aid kit handy. Be sure to include items like bandages, a painkiller, an antiseptic ointment, a fever reducer, anti-nausea tablets, anti-diarrhea tablets, and anti-inflammatories.
- Mosquito Repellant: Considering Singapore’s as urban as it comes, it may seem like an odd suggestion to bring along some mosquito repellant. If you’re planning to spend some time at attractions like Singapore Zoo, the Botanic Gardens or the Night Safari, it’s a great idea though. In Singapore, they’re more of an irritant than a danger as the risk of mosquito-bourne illnesses here is low. Almost invariably, mosquito repellant will be cheaper at home than in Singapore.
- Hand Sanitizer: If you plan to spend a ton of time chowing down at Singapore’s hawker centres (and you should!), don’t forget to “wash” your hands with a dry sanitizer like Purell Advanced Hand Sanitizer to keep the germs at bay.
- Grooming Kit: Don’t forget to bring along a grooming kit to style in tip-top style. The budget-friendly 12-piece Tseoa Professional Grooming Kit includes nail clippers, tweezers, and a pair of scissors in a compact case that’s perfect for minimalist travellers. Be sure to add along a travel shaving kit and a comb/brush, too.