When travelling overseas there is a lot more to think about compared to simply travelling within Australia.
Happy travelling overseas
Firstly you are really away from home this time. You are in somebody else's country and will have to abide by their laws and cultural beliefs. If you respect the way they live and comply with their laws, whether you agree with them or not, you will have a much better holiday.
The following pieces of advice have been put together in order to make your overseas travel as trouble free as possible. In this way you will be able to create happy memories that will last you a lifetime. These tips for happy travelling overseas consist of the following:
Preparations to make before you leave.
Before leaving on your overseas trip there are certain things you will have to do such as arranging how you are going to access your money, obtaining the necessary inoculations to prevent you from contracting some exotic disease and arranging your visas and itinerary such as accommodation and flights etc.
It is advisable to spend a little time booking your accommodation and airline flights by visiting various websites as there are many bargains out there waiting for you to look them up. While at it don't forget to examine your travel insurance so you know exactly what you are covered for. Many credit cards will give you good travel insurance as part of their service but don't take this for granted. Check it out and know what the limitations are.
If you feel you need a wider cover don't hesitate to do something about it. Particularly in the health sphere as some countries charge extremely high fees for delivering health services. You might find it best to have an insurance that will return you home to Australia for treatment rather than remain in a country with inferior services in this regard.
Make certain your travel insurance has a comprehensive theft cover you might also look into the convenience of using rental cars rather than local transport, which in many cases can be quite basic.
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Organise your spending money
When you are in a foreign country, spending on your credit card or debit card can come with a range of fees and charges associated with it. Make sure are away of the local currency and know what the fees involved with your Australian money.
If you need help organising your finances for overseas spending, check out our comprehensive Travel Money Guide. It features great tips on what cards you can use in what locations, reviews of the major travel money cards, and information on credit card fees and surchasrges you may accrue when overseas.
Below are some more tips that you should keep in mind before you head off travelling.
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- Know how to remain in contact cheaply. Keeping in touch while travelling is a great comfort to family and friends back in Australia as well as yourself and thanks to modern technology this has become much easier than in the past. It is a good idea these days to sign up to Skype, or another like VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) software, so that you can keep in touch at dirt cheap prices from anywhere in the world. You can use Skype anywhere you can go online be it a hot spot in some faraway internet cafe, or busy airport lounge with your notebook, or laptop. Most people have a smartphone and if you are one of them you will find you are able to run Skype from your phone whenever you run across a Wi-Fi hot spot. This will keep your communication costs down to practically nothing no matter where you roam. It is also possible for you to purchase a SIM card in the country you are visiting and place it in your phone. This will give you easy access to the local mobile telephone network and make it easier for you to call back home at the same time.
- The most important document you will have in your possession while travelling outside of Australia will be your passport. Lose it and you are in all sorts of trouble. While you retain it, it can help you out of many sticky situations. Nobody can leave Australia without a passport and this includes infants and children. Always keep your passport up to date with a minimum of six months validity in excess of the date you intend to return home, just in case something doesn't go to plan and you get held up somewhere. If you lose your passport you can apply for a replacement while away but it can prove to be an inconvenience, for this reason it is a good idea to take a couple of extra passport photographs with you, just in case. You must always remember that while travelling overseas you are no longer a part of Australia's support systems such as medical care or emergency services. The Australian Government will do its best to help you at all times but what they can do is often limited by the laws of the country you are visiting. You can find out more about your rights while overseas by visiting the following website Consular Services Charter at http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/services/consular-services-charter.html.
- Before leaving you should make contact with the high commission or foreign embassy of the countries you will be visiting. Some countries have very specific entry conditions as well as certain exit requirement, not the least compulsory vaccinations. If you have failed to be inoculated properly you will not be allowed to enter their country. You must also keep in mind that having a visa approval to enter a country doesn't give you the right to take up employment in that country and this can include unpaid work. You can obtain more information on the use of your passport by calling the Australian Information Passport Service on 13 12 32 or by visiting their website Australian Passport Office website .
- Eating out is some countries can be quite a hassle. Part of your travel experience should be the tasting of their local food but this is not always as easy as first thought, therefore you must be ready to expect the unexpected. Without proper planning you could find yourself the centre of attention in the local eatery with a dozen or so hungry children hanging off every bite. You may find it easier to use the appropriate apps on your smartphone, such as UrbanSpoon or Yelp to guide you to the best places where you can enjoy local meals in comparative privacy and comfort. Remember that here in Australia the major tourist destinations are very expensive to dine in. The same is true at most overseas tourist destinations as well.
- Before travelling out of Australia spend a little time making yourself familiar with the destinations you will be visiting so that when you arrive you will know what to expect. However to be on the safe side it is always advisable to register your travel and contact details . You can do this online and if an emergency does occur you will be more easily contacted. Any information you give while registering is protected by the Australian Government privacy laws and you will make it much easier for government agencies to locate you if you become involved in a natural disaster, a foreign civil disturbance or even if a private family problem that may occur back home that you need to be informed of.
- Many Australian these days have dual nationality. This means you have citizenship rights in another country besides that of Australia. It is common that if you visit the country where you also have citizenship rights your Australian passport won't be recognised. This means you won't be able to obtain Australian consular support while in the other country you are also a citizen of. If you have experienced trouble in that country in the past you should keep this in mind.
If you have special disability or heath problems make sure you carry a letter from your doctor while travelling. It is also advisable to check with the country you are visiting to ensure any special assistance you may need is available in that country.