Whether you're ready to set off on your overseas trip or just starting to plan, we've put together some advice and travel tips to hlep make your journey safe and fun.
And we've put together a checklist for you to download to make sure you've got everything covered before you depart.
Scan your documents and store them electronically – accessing them at an internet cafe will make it a lot easier to get your holiday back on track if you have an emergency.
Only keep a day’s worth of cash in your wallet/purse at any one time and the rest in a money belt.
Making sure you have the necessary visas and vaccinations is essential. Speak to your consultant if you need more information on this.
Never travel without travel insurance
. It’s not too late to arrange it. You can get travel insurance online or call your consultant.
When packing, be ruthless and halve your stuff. Then halve it again. Chances are you can buy extra clothes at your destination if you don’t have enough.
Drink lots of water on the plane and avoid alcohol and caffeine as these will dehydrate you. Plus make sure you do the simple exercises in your seat every hour to arrive fresh for your holiday.
Airport security can take longer than you think, especially if you are travelling through the USA. Check how long you should arrive at the airport before your flight.
If you're driving overseas, you should consider an international driving permit
It's important to note that most airfares have special conditions that involve cancellation and amendment charges.
- Make sure you check the conditions of your airfares to ensure they will be suitable for your needs.
- Taxes and levies apply to almost all airline tickets.
- There are two types of taxes, 'ticketed taxes' and 'non ticketed taxes'.
- 'Ticketed taxes' must be paid for when you pay for your airfare, and can be quite substantial.
- Make sure you find out whether a price you've seen advertised includes these taxes before you buy.
- 'Non-ticketed taxes' applicable to particular flights must be paid for upon departure.
- There are often restrictions as to what currencies and denominations these must be paid in, so be sure to find out about these in advance.
It's also critical when making travel arrangements that you give your travel consultant your full name (including middle names), and for international travellers, names must correspond with your passport.
- You should check that all details in correspondence from your travel consultant are correct, to ensure your tickets and other documentation are issued accurately.
- If you don't provide full and accurate details you may end up having to pay for your tickets to be amended or re-issued
What form you should take your money in depends on your destination, but it is wise not to rely on just one source of funds.
- Many international ATMs accept major credit cards, allowing you to withdraw cash in the local currency.
- Travellers cheques give you more security as they can't be cashed without your signature, but for your convenience check which currency of travellers cheques will be accepted at your destination.
- Cash in certain currencies will also be easily changed in many destinations, however it's not recommended that you carry large sums of cash.
- Wherever you're travelling to, it's a good idea to take a small amount of cash to be used in emergency.
- US dollars are accepted almost everywhere and it is worth having $50 - $100 in cash.
Many countries have visa requirements for entry, which vary depending on the nationality of the visitor.
- There are several different types of visas for different countries and there are often varying options depending on the length of your stay and the purpose of your visit (single entry, multiple entry, business, holiday, short stay etc).
- Some visas can be obtained upon arrival, and some must be obtained in advance. It is critical to check visa requirements with your travel consultant, as many countries are extremely strict on entry requirements.
If you're going international, you'll need a current passport. Australian passport applications can be obtained from and lodged at selected Australia Post Offices.
Phone 13 13 18 for your nearest participating Australia Post Office.
If you are an Australian citizen, you required to travel on an Australian passport which must have at least six (6) months validity at time of your re-entry date into Australia. If travelling on other than an Australian or New Zealand passport, a re-entry permit will be required.
Some useful tips concerning your passport:
- Write your personal details in the back of your passport.
- Take a copy of the photo page.
- Never sell, give away or use your passport as security for a debt.
- Carry your passport separately from other ID and credit cards.
- If your passport is lost or stolen, report it to the local police. Take a copy of the police report to the nearest Australian Embassy or Consulate.
Strict rules apply when taking liquids, aerosols or gels through security onto international flights. See page two of the checklist for details or visit the Department of Transport and Regional Services for more information.
It is important to be aware of customs, quarantine (agriculture), wildlife, currency and duty/tax free regulations. These are all listed in a brochure which is available from your travel consultant, or visit Australian Customs Services for further details.
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Smartraveller
The best resource for overseas travel security advice is the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's Smartraveller
site. Or ask your RAC Travel consultant for details.