8 Things to organise before you travel

So you’re counting down the days till your next holiday but you feel like you’ve forgotten to organise something…

Flights ✔

Accommodation ✔

Passport ✔

Seems like you’ve got it all sorted. Just in case you haven’t, have a quick read below to make sure you’re covered.

1. Passport>6 months validity

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So you may have a passport but when does it expire? Many countries do not let you enter if you have 6 months or less left on your passport so make sure you renew it if this is the case for you.

2. Visa

visa on arrival

This is a pretty important one. Check on the official government websites if you require a visa to enter the country. There are usually 2 ways to get a visa (although some countries only offer the 1st option)

Applying directly to the consulate

This involves filling in a form (found on the consulates website) and mailing it in along with your passport. Once your visa has been approved your passport will be mailed back to you with the visa stuck in it. The processing time varies but from our experience it can be anywhere between 1-4 weeks.

Visa on Arrival

This option allows you to apply and pay for your visa once you land at the airport. They usually require you to bring a couple of passport photos with you and also cash. Find out which currency they accept as it is often NOT the official currency (especially in certain parts of Asia where they accept only US Dollars)

3. Vaccinations

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For many parts of South America, Asia and Africa, vaccinations are highly recommended. In other parts, they are mandatory and require you to have a immunisation certificate as proof when you land at the airport (such as with Tanzania who require you to have the Yellow Fever vaccination.

See Medication and Health Tips when Travelling for more details about specific vaccinations

4. Travel Warnings

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Check your government’s official Traveller site to find out about any safety concerns in the countries you plan to visit. If you decide to visit somewhere that the government has recommended ‘do not travel’, your travel insurance may not cover you if anything were to happen. See Smart Traveller (for Australians) or Foreign Travel Advice (for British).

5. Travel Insurance

travel insurance

This is one of the most important things you must organise, even if you’re only going on a short trip. There are usually two types of insurance:

– single trip: covers only one trip (can be multiple destinations in one time period)

– multi-trip: covers more than one holiday. Usually the more cost effective option if you travel often

Use comparison websites such as Money Supermarket to have a look at what a wide range of companies can offer.

Things to be aware of:

– check the ‘duration of trip cover’. Some insurance only cover you for 21-24 day trips so if you’re going for a longer period you will not be covered

– ensure medical cover is included, we would recommend at least $10 million coverage

– for lost/stolen items, check that gadgets (Eg. Cameras, tablets, phones) are included. They may have a separate payment for you to have ‘gadget cover’

6. Get a Travel Card

travel card

To maximise your money, get yourself a Travel Card which will generally ensure you get better exchange rates than your bank card.

See Tips on getting the best Currency Exchange Rates for more details about the best Travel Cards on offer.

7. Notify your bank

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If you are planning to use your bank card in another country, make sure you notify your bank prior to leaving otherwise they may block it assuming that it has been stolen

8. Passport copy

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Make sure to keep photocopies of your passport with you and also email yourself and family members a copy. This will be particulalry useful if your passport has been stolen.

So they’re a few things to check of your list. Now you are sorted and ready to go.

Have a great trip!
Til next time

Ann & Jason xo

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