Who doesn’t like taking holidays? As we all emerge from the greyness of winter we start to think about all the places we’d love to go.
Some of us like to travel close to home, while others prefer to delve further afield with adventures across the globe. Regardless of your preferred destination, there are always a few things that you should think about before you pack your bags. Here are some tips on how to be a sensible traveller.
Be a Smart Traveller
Be sure that the place you want to travel to is safe to visit. You can check this through the Smart Traveller website. Some destinations may have warnings in place due to political unrest or similar, so make sure to do your research beforehand to help prepare you for any problems at your destination.
These days, making travel booking online can be much easier than taking a trip to a travel agent and it can enable you to shop around first for the best price. You’ll also want to pick a reputable site to ensure no unwanted issues once you embark, so make sure you do your research first – talk to friends and family about their booking history, and look for online reviews from places you trust. When it comes to making a payment, be sure to check that it’s a secure page; with a web URL starting with ‘https://’ at the start as opposed to ‘http://’. If you can see a padlock icon in the address bar, your personal data being written into that page is more secure. Take a look at our Internet Banking login page to see an example of these features.
Get a visa
If you’re going overseas, you’ll probably need to get a travel visa. There are a lot of scam websites out there that over-charge for travel visas, or sell travel visas that you don’t need. Some sites even sell fake visas that won’t get you anywhere. Be sure to visit the official government site for the country you want to visit, and if you’re not sure, give their consulate in Australia a call before you buy.
Unfortunately, no matter how well you plan a trip, things can still go wrong. It’s important to ensure you have the right level of travel insurance, especially as there are different types of cover for differing needs. If you’re not sure what you’ll need (or you’re already sure and are ready to purchase), give us a call on 132 888 and let us know that you want to talk about travel insurance.
It’s also a good idea to take more than one form of payment with you. For some countries, it’s easier to have a bit of local currency to cover taxis and tips between the airport and your hotel. You might also consider a travel card (there are many around to choose from), or a pre-paid visa card. When it comes to currency conversion, it pays to be accurate, so have a conversion app handy on your phone, as well as try to find out the average cost of some basic items (e.g. what might cover a taxi, or how much you should tip for that after flight coffee).
On your way home from your holiday, consider the amount of foreign currency you have left. Some countries, and most airlines, accept donations of unused notes/coins towards charities at Airports. What may seem like a small donation, in terms of Australian dollars, can go a very long way towards helping local charities, depending on the country you’re in.
Make sure you find out what electrical adaptors you might need to take with you so that you can charge your device. There are lots of different options around, including some that will work in multiple different countries.
Consider what the best communication options are. Many hotels and cafes abroad offer free Wi-Fi, meaning you can still stay in touch via email or free communication apps while on the go. However, be aware of the potential security risks of free options, and avoid using them to access sensitive data such as online banking or financial information.
Some travellers take their own Australian Mobile and SIM card to use while roaming. If you’re considering this option, make sure to touch base with your mobile provider before you leave to ask about your options are and to get a sense of fees and charges. You may also be able to purchase a SIM card with data in the country you are visiting. However, these may require foreign identification so make sure to check the requirements before making this an option.
Always let your family and financial institution know the expected dates of your travel, and what your best contact details will be while you’re travelling.
Phew – there’s a lot to think about and you haven’t even packed yet! It must be time for a holiday…
If you have any questions or concerns when planning your next holiday, please get in touch with us by calling 132 888.