Whether it's your first international trip or you've travelled abroad before, there are always ways you can make international travel easier.
From international flights to travel expenses and when you should be in touch with a family member or trusted friend, there's always room for improvement when you travel internationally.
Now, you can prepare for your next destination with helpful tips to make international travel easier.
Check Passport, Visa and Entry Requirements
Valid Passport Requirements
If you're looking to travel abroad, make sure you check when your passport expires. Many countries require at least six months of validity on your passport, after the date you plan to leave, or they won't let you enter the country.
This is to prevent travellers from getting stuck in another country without a valid passport to get back to Australia. This is why you should check if you need to renew your passport before travelling abroad.
Before booking flights, you should check whether you meet all visa requirements and eligibility to enter your next destination. Most countries have strict entry and exit policies, so it's best to plan ahead before you start applying for visas.
Seek Advice from Smartraveller
Whether you're looking for international travel tips for first-time travellers or the next time you travel abroad, Smartraveller is a great place to start.
Smartraveller provides travel alerts on information such as:
Get Vaccinations for Travel
Your vaccinations and other preventative healthcare practices depend on your overseas travel destination.
You should research your destination and understand the health and financial risks if you become sick overseas.
You can research your destination's health risks by:
Talking to your doctor
Seeking advice from the World Health Organisation
Checking travel guides and online travel resources
Organise Important Travel Documents
Before leaving home for your overseas trip, you should organise important travel documents to make it easier to keep track of any relevant information.
You should get certified copies of your passport, travel card, debit or credit cards and travel insurance documents. You can carry these copies to have a record in case any information is lost or stolen.
While you're travelling or moving through an airport, the safest place to keep your passport and other important documents is on your person, ideally in a secure money belt (not in a carry-on bag or checked luggage) that's easily accessible to you at any moment.
Organise Money Overseas
Knowing how to access your money (while overseas) should be part of your travel plans. Consider whether you'll withdraw some cash before you arrive, rely on a combination of debit and credit cards or solely use a travel card.
You should exchange foreign currency at an Australian bank or specialist currency exchange before you fly overseas.
You should also aim for the highest exchange rate to get the most money back when you convert your money into foreign currency.
When looking for a travel money card, you should try to choose a card without any transaction fees, overseas ATM fees and further fees to reload currency. Instead of travelling with only one card, it's best to have a backup card if your main card is lost or stolen.
Your best case scenario is to look for a low-fee or no-fee debit card with a lower exchange rate that won't charge currency conversion fees.
You should always be mindful of cash advance fees (from your credit card company) related to withdrawals. You should use a travel money card or a travel debit card to withdraw money instead.
If you take your credit or debit card overseas, you should notify your bank and relevant credit card companies. That way they will know where you are and won't cancel your card.
Stay Safe While Travelling Abroad
The safer you are as you travel, the more you'll enjoy your trip overseas. But staying up to date on how to stay safe while you travel internationally can mean many different things.
You should try to avoid any safety risks and dangerous situations in each country you visit.
Some of these include:
Theft or robbery
To stay up to date and avoid danger, check in with Smartraveller before you go and while you're travelling from day to day. You should also stay in touch with trusted friends or family members and provide them with a copy of your itinerary.
Understand Local Laws and Cultural Differences
Local laws equally apply to travellers as well as locals. And while some cultural practices may seem unfair, you should still understand why they are in place.
You and your family should adhere to cultural differences such as religious customs, levels of alcohol consumption and medication bans (even if you have a prescription from Australia).
Even if the country is similar to Australia culturally, don't assume that their laws are the same. So make sure you thoroughly research each foreign country before you arrive there.
Get Comprehensive Travel Insurance
Unexpected events can happen while you're travelling overseas. An important travel tip you can use to protect yourself is purchasing travel insurance before you leave Australia.
Budget Direct's Comprehensive Travel Insurance covers unlimited overseas medical expenses, overseas dental expenses, amendment or cancellation costs and luggage and personal items. T & Cs apply.