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STEFANIE HAUGER

Interior architect and artist

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Travel destinatio­n:

Germany and Canada

Length of trip:

Two weeks in Germany and two weeks in Canada

Reason for travel:

To visit family in Germany and visit colleges in Canada for my daughter

What were your biggest concerns before going on the trip?

Not being able to board because I may have left some Covid requiremen­t out. This almost happened once in Germany when I hadn’t asked for permission to come back in to Singapore. But in fact, I didn’t need it as a permanent resident and I had my Re-Entry permit in my passport the whole time, but had forgotten, so it took an hour to confirm that I was eligible. Pre-Covid this was never a question asked. In Canada, it happened as I was at check-in and was transiting through the USA and didn’t think I needed a visa when in fact I did. I had a nail-biting hour waiting for my visa to be approved, but it was all good in the end.

To be honest, the Covid procedures are the easy part once you figure it all out and don’t stress about it or get annoyed about the fact that you have to go through these new processes. With today’s technology, everything is made so easy. As with anything, there can be glitches and sometimes confusion, but overall it’s super simple.

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

1. Prepare your paperwork early and very efficientl­y — be your own best PA. I would say ‘over-prepare’ with both physical and digital copies of passports, tickets, PCR tests etc. because you never knowwhat you may need after all. Visas are more important nowadays than they used to be.

2. Read ALL the small print and follow ALL the links provided by airlines to all the FAQ pages and government websites as you will likely come across something you hadn’t thought of. Also check government websites and airlines in the days running up to your flight as things can change overnight. 3. Set up your account with Safe Travel Concierge early before heading back to Singapore so that you are not fiddling with this last minute

4. Print out your Covid vaccinatio­n forms or make copies of your existing one. You will need them to get around and into places all over the world. If you lose one copy, you have a spare one somewhere else in your luggage. Your digital one may not work if you are in a zone where your phone isn’t working. 5. Arrive at the airport three hours early, no matter what class you are flying.

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

I was pleasantly surprised by the decency, humility, and helpfulnes­s of both ground staff and on-board crews of Singapore Airlines. At a time of chaos and often terrible confusion and frustratio­ns, their dispositio­ns were, as ever, beyond gracious and kind and an absolute testament to the airline.

To be honest, I was probably mostly surprised by passengers who reacted unnecessar­ily rudely and entirely out of turn when asked for documents at check-ins or arrivals, which they did not have.

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

Spare masks, hand sanitizer, a good book (as you tend to arrive early at airports and then have a lot of time to kill), print-outs of all my travel documents (I don’t rely solely on my phone), an internatio­nal adaptor for chargers/equipment as you don’t know which country’s airport you might get stuck in, a warm throw (wool or cashmere to make sure you are always snug), foreign currency coins and small notes, snacks and vitamins.

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