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An Ultimate Guide To Travelling: Tips for Aussies going abroad
Travelling is an exciting opportunity, giving Australians the opportunity to explore other countries and cultures. But as with many things that are exciting, you’ll potentially face risks.
Most countries are safe to venture to, but you have options like protecting yourself with insurance, becoming familiar with different cultures and customs, and familiarising yourself with some basic travelling tips.
Fortunately, we have the essentials covered. In this article, you’ll learn about some of the essentials Aussies should consider when going abroad.
Understanding whether your destination is safe
You may assume that the country you’re travelling to is safe and in many cases, you’ll be right. However, you should check the Smart Traveller website1 to determine whether there are any alerts in place for the country you’re visiting.
Certain countries are worth examining even when you’re confident they may be okay – this is because some countries can move in and out of periods of civil unrest. One example of this is Thailand, where there was a high threat of terrorist attacks in 20182. The situation has since settled, but it does provide an example of why you should check.
If you find a country is unsafe, Smart Traveller should offer information on where to go and how to be vigilant. Additionally, the website provides details regarding where you’ll find consular assistance while abroad. If you’re aware the country you’re visiting is a little unsafe, make a note of the details you find on the Smart Traveller site.
Find out whether you need a visa and how long the application takes
In some cases, you won’t need a visa to travel from Australia to another country. For example, if you’re going to New Zealand for a holiday and hold an Australian passport, you won’t need a visa2.
In comparison, the United States requires a visa for Australian residents. Fortunately, these are generally quite easy to apply for, and you can do so via the Esta Application Website, with a very short waiting time in most cases4.
US is just one example, so you may want to find an estimate of processing times as soon as you’re aware you need to travel. One way to do this is to see if the country you’re visiting has a consular presence in Australia, and contact them for more information.
Making sure you take proper care of your health
Some countries present unique health challenges you won’t find in Australia. One of the biggest dangers to look out for is malaria. As a mosquito-borne disease, it can soon become fatal5. Therefore, it’s advisable to check a malaria map6 to identify the type that’s there and then choose your anti-malarials accordingly.
Malaria isn’t the only disease you may need to look out for. It can be a good idea to use a travel health service to check for diseases and viruses you may need to vaccinate against. Learn more about travel vaccinations here.
You may want to be especially cautious if you’re travelling to an area where yellow fever is present, as you may need to present a yellow fever certificate7. Failing to travel without one could see you become quarantined or you may be refused entry at the next country you head to.
An option you can consider is getting adequate and appropriate travel insurance. If you plan on scuba diving, skiing, or engaging in extreme sports, be sure your proposed travel insurance policy covers your activity. Similarly, make sure your cover includes travel to your chosen destination. Be sure to read the Product Disclosure Statement before purchasing a policy to familiarise yourself with the terms of conditions of the policy.
Travel advice for backpackers
Backpacking is an exciting adventure, but if you want to guarantee you’ll enjoy the experience, it’s worth learning some tips from others. Check out backpacking communities online to see what others have experienced when heading to different regions. This becomes especially important when travelling to regions with stricter laws than Australia, as something that’s innocent over here could land you in hot water elsewhere.
If you’re venturing to a country that isn’t always safe, create an itinerary and leave it with someone at home. You may also want to register with Smart Traveller8, which can make gaining consular assistance easier if something happens while you’re abroad.
Travelling over the age of 55
It’s never too late to start new travel adventures. At the same time, it’s no big secret that your risk of chronic disease and acute medical events rises in your fifties. With that in mind, if you choose to take out travel insurance, ensure you review the Product Disclosure Statement to understand all the inclusions, limitations and exclusions of the policy. Similarly, the Australian government9 recommends getting a fit to fly note from your doctor if you suspect the airline you’re travelling with may challenge you upon boarding the aircraft.
Travelling for study
Studying abroad as part of your travel experiences is certainly enriching. However, if you’re going to spend a long time in a place, you’ll find that familiarising yourself with its differences makes it easier to settle in.
If you become aware of this while carrying out your destination research, you may want to consider whether it is the right destination for you. Pursuing your studies elsewhere could prove to be the safest option.
Overall, planning your travels and heightening your awareness of dangerous situations can make your travel experience better. While many places are safe to visit, some have hidden surprises. Taking medical precautions, getting adequate insurance, and making yourself aware of consular assistance options might all be necessary. With plenty of forward planning, you can enjoy a travel experience that gives you plenty of happy memories, without any unwanted hassles.
Learn more about travel insurance for students here.
Compare travel insurance with iSelect
If you’re ready to get started booking your travel plans, don’t forget to check out different travel insurance options. Get started by comparing travel policy quotes from our range of providers online today, and you can select the one which suits you.
*iSelect does not compare all travel insurers or policies in the market. Travel insurance is only available through our website and not all policies are available at all times or in all areas. Not all policies made available from our partners are compared by iSelect and due to commercial arrangements and customer circumstances not all policies compared by iSelect will be available to all customers. Click here to view iSelect’s range of providers.
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