Do I need travel insurance?

Yes! Of course no one wants to think about anything getting in the way of their trip, but unfortunately things can, and do, go wrong!

If anything does happen, travel insurance covers you and your belongings, so you can enjoy your holiday and rest easy knowing you are covered.

Without travel insurance, you will be responsible for covering any costs incurred from lost or stolen items, as well as any medical bills – which can definitely stack up when you are overseas!

There are many different options for travel insurance policies, and we are committed to finding the right one to suit your needs. Be sure to always read your product disclosure statement so you know your level of cover and what activities are covered and which are not covered.

How can I manage my money overseas?

This is a question we get asked all the time, and there is no definitive answer!

Regardless of how you manage your money overseas, you must remember to tell your bank that you are going on holiday so they don’t block your accounts if they see them being used in unusual places! If this does happen, most banks will have a 24 hour emergency number that you can call, but we also recommend having enough cash on you that this doesn’t pose too much of an issue.

To restrict the number of times you get charged ATM and conversion fees, try to take out enough cash to last you a few days. It is generally wise to keep some of this cash in your hotel safe and only take enough with you for each day.

If you are travelling for a short period of time, there is very little need to buy a travel money card – your Australian bank card will be accepted in most ATMs and at most places where EFTPOS is accepted. Just be sure to check the withdrawal and conversion fees with your bank! If you do decide that a travel money card is your best option, check with your bank for details.

Whether you use a travel money card or your Australian bank card overseas, make sure to practice the same vigilance as you would at home – only use bank affiliated ATMs and be wary of anyone taking a particular interest in the details on the card.

How can I manage my phone overseas?

First things first – if you have a smart phone, make sure your data is turned off! Most of the horror stories you hear of people racking up thousands of dollars of bills while overseas can usually be tracked back to data usage.

There are three options to using your mobile overseas:

  • You can use your Australian SIM card overseas, but you will have to organise international roaming access with your phone company
  • If you are going to spend an extended period of time in one area, it may be worth your while to look into getting a local SIM card. They are often very cheap and may end up cheaper to call home than your Australian SIM.
  • If you travel frequently and between different regions, it may be worth your while looking into getting a TravelSIM. This is a  sim card that works anywhere in the world and can be reloaded via the internet. You can read more about them here.

Will I need a visa?

Visa requirements vary between countries and can change without warning.

If you are an Australian passport holder, you can check the Australian Governments DFAT page for information about some countries visa requirements.

Some visas can take up to 4 weeks to process, and many will require a letter of invitation from the country which you will be visiting, so it is a good idea to organise your visa in advance.

Some countries will also grant a visa on arrival for a certain fee.

Your travel agent can talk you through both of these processes.

Will I need an International Drivers License?

Different countries have different requirements for Australian drivers regarding valid documentation, but we say better safe than sorry.

If you are hiring a car internationally, we recommend that you get an international driving permit. This permit is in addition to your Australian drivers’ license and you will need to carry both with you when driving a car or riding a motorbike.

It is also important to ensure the IDP allows you to drive or ride the vehicles you intend to use. Some insurance policies will not cover you if you have an accident using a vehicle you are not licensed to drive.

You can get an international driving permit with RACT, just visit your local branch.

What do I need to pack?

When packing your luggage, remember that you will have to carry it yourself quite often – so if in doubt, leave it out! You can buy most of the things you may have forgotten at your destination if you need.
If you’re going on a longer trip and moving around often, we recommend taking clothes that are easy to wash and fast drying, to save you wasting half a day in a laundromat!

In your document wallet you will need:

  • Your passport & any required visas
  • Your travel insurance information
  • Flight tickets & e-tickets
  • Photocopies of important documents – though we recommend you keep these separate, as well as an electronic set in your email!

For your first aid kit, we recommend:

  • Any medications prescribed by your doctor, as well as the prescription (check to see if there are any restrictions on your prescribed medications)
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip balm
  • Insect repellant
  • Insect bite cream/antihistamine
  • Antibacterial gel & wipes
  • Electrolyte tablets/powder
  • Diarrhea medication
  • Laxative
  • Motion sickness medication