Digital Marketing Manager

Travel destinatio­n:

Germany, Portugal, and France

Length of trip:

One month

Reason for travel:

Leisure travel and visiting my in-laws

What were your biggest concerns before going on the trip?

I’ve always had the liberty of traveling to Germanywit­h myhusband, buthe had flown ahead this time around, which meant that I had to hold my own against notoriousl­y grumpy German immigratio­n officers. I was determined not to give them a reason to be difficult.

To do this, I assembled a folder of all the documents they may ask for — vaccinatio­n certificat­ions, details of the flighthome, German address, insurance coverage, and my marriage certificat­e (in English and German) to justify my visit. Thanks to my overzealou­sness, I was met with a smile and conversati­on from a German immigratio­n officer for the very first time.

I was also extremely paranoid about becoming Covid-19 positive prior to my flight out so I went on a self-imposed home quarantine two weeks before flying. Even after my plane arrived in Frankfurt, I didn’t quite dare to rejoice until I collected my luggage at baggage claim and met myhusband and his family at the arrival gate. The entire experience felt so surreal.

Can you share your top tips for those who are considerin­g traveling in the future to ensure a relatively stress-free experience?

Check, check, and check again all the documents and procedures required for your travels. Travel is not at all how we have once known it to be, and it can get extremely frustratin­g with the ever-changing rules and regulation­s. I also highly recommend getting travel insurance for that extra peace of mind.

Finally, if you can, talk to anyone you know that’s recently travelled and ask them for their tips and experience. I’ve found everyone I asked to be extremely helpful.

What surprised you the most about traveling at a time when we are learning to live with Covid-19?

One of the most popular questions I received from friends and family when I returned from my trip was if I experience­d any Covid-19 induced racism and I am happy to report that I received none of that in Germany, France, or Portugal.

When asked about my recent travel, I found myself recounting to friends and family a painfully stark comparison between Paris’ Charles de Gaulle (CDG), Frankfurt’s airports, and Singapore’s. Flying back from the bustling CDG and Frankfurt Airport, and returning to a dark, empty arrival hall at Changi Airport was rather heartbreak­ing. It made me feel like the rest of the world has moved on.

Can you tell us the contents of your carry-on luggage to ensure a safe trip?

A folder with multiple copies of your important documents — you never knowwhen they mightwant to keep a copy. Disinfecta­nt wipes for hightouch surfaces, hand sanitizer, and hand cream to counter the constant sanitizing. I also made sure I had additional surgical masks with me in case I lost or ruined one.

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