When leaving home to travel to an overseas destination, there are many more things to consider than if you are staying in Australia. Not only do you need to go through the normal rituals of packing and getting your stuff ready to go, but you also need to take a number of other things under advisement.
If you are not properly prepared, your overseas adventure can not only be inconvenient and stressful, it can also be dangerous. Traveling to other countries not only means adjustments to time and culture, but also the very real risks to your mental and physical health. Here are some tips to help you make sure you are ready.
Update Your Passport and any Visas You May Need
If you are going to leave Australia, of course you will need your passport. This means you need to make sure it is up to date and valid. You may need to update your photo if your passport is old. There are often other things you need as well.
When visiting certain countries, you will also need some kind of visa. There are many options, depending on what country you are traveling to. Some are as simple as a tourist visa that will permit you to stay a certain number of days. Others will require more specific documentation before you can visit.
You need to plan for these things far in advance. Sometimes it takes the other government several months to process your paperwork, and you should be prepared for that by setting up your trip far in advance.
Also depending on your travel destination, you may need to get certain vaccinations before you will be allowed to enter those countries. Others are recommended by the local government but are not required.
For instance, if you are traveling to South America or Africa, you will probably want to get vaccinated against malaria and other diseases carried by mosquitoes. A single bite can infect you, as can single exposures to other diseases. It is better to be safe now rather than sorry.
This is another thing you need to plan far in advance, as you may need time to recover from certain vaccines if you have a bad reaction, and some need to be in your bloodstream for a while before they are truly effective.
Be Flexible in Destinations and Dates
You might be set on a certain country, but if you can be flexible about the dates when you travel and the airports you fly into you can save yourself a lot of money. This can even include the days on which you buy your tickets. It used to be that Tuesdays were considered the best day, but new studies show that buying your tickets over the weekend will save you money.
Especially when traveling overseas, if you can be flexible about where you land you can also save a lot of money. For instance, if you are traveling to California in the United States to visit a digital marketing agency there, you can choose between Los Angeles or San Francisco. The cost savings of one city over the other can be significant.
Lastly, if you can be flexible with the dates you travel, the cost of your flights will be much lower as well. Business travelers tend to travel on Monday mornings and Friday afternoons, so those are the most expensive times to fly. If you can fly on a Tuesday or a Wednesday and stay at least over the weekend so that your return flight is also in the middle of the week, usually you will get the best prices.
There are exceptions, however, and you should check directly with the airline to see what specials they have. Using a travel agent can sometimes save you both headaches and some money as well.
Buy Travel Insurance
No matter what kind of travel you are doing, purchasing travel insurance is a good idea as a wandering Aussie. This is especially true with overseas travel. Typically, this type of travel is booked further in advance, which means there are a number of things that could go wrong.
For instance, if you are ill, traveling overseas, especially long flights, can make your illness worse. It can make for a miserable vacation, especially if you need medical care in an unfamiliar country. Family emergencies can come up, or there can be unrest in your destination country that you want to avoid.
Having travel insurance does not make those things any better, but it does mean that the loss of your vacation will have less of an economic impact on you and your family.
Traveling overseas is amazing, but you need to be much more prepared than you are for a domestic trip. Having your passport and the appropriate documents, a medical check-up, and being flexible will help your trip be the best it can be.
Have you ever travelled overseas before? What was your experience like. Leave us a comment in the section below.