To help you prepare for your trip, consider using this checklist to tick off important items like baggage, visa’s, and travel insurance.
At least three months before departure
- Passport: Make sure your passport is arranged well in advance of your departure date, valid for at least 6 months from departure and valid for the duration of your trip. It’s also a good idea to leave a copy of your passport and travel documents with someone at home. Visit the IATA Travel Centre to check the passport validity requirements of your destination, including Australia.
- Travel Insurance: If you did not purchase travel insurance when you made your initial bookings, then it is time to do so now. The Australian Government’s travel advisory and consular assistance service, smartraveller.gov.au, advises all Australian travellers to take out travel insurance for overseas travel. Travel Insurance Plus offers a range of travel insurance policies to suit different needs.
- Registration: The Australian Government encourages all Australians travelling overseas to register with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade before travel, so you can be contacted in an emergency.
- Visas: If you live in Australia, visit VisaCentral to request and process your visa application
- Immunisations: Visit the IATA Travel Centre to check the health requirements for all of the destinations in your trip. Then book a visit with you GP.
Two weeks before departure
- Currency: Decide on how you will access foreign currency. It is wise to investigate what (if any) charges your bank may impose if you access cash from your debit or credit cards. These charges can include international ATM and foreign currency exchange fees. Some banks charge in excess of $10 per transaction while others may not impose a charge.
One week before departure:
- Medications: If you are taking medication and want to take it with you, you may need to carry a medical certificate. Make sure that you check the consulate website of the countries you are visiting before you go and carry all medication in your carry on baggage. Consider following these instructions for packing medication:
– Contact the embassy of the country/countries you are visiting to ensure the medication is legal in that country;
– Carry or enclose with the medication a letter from your doctor, with details of the medication, how much you will be taking with you, and stating that the medication is for your personal use;
– Leave the medication in the original packaging so it is clearly labelled identifying the medication, manufacturer’s name or pharmaceutical label, along with your name and dosage.
- Tickets: You should carry your e-ticket receipt at all times for your international flight and photographic identification must be produced at check-in.
- Customs: Australian Customs and Border Protection manage the movement of goods and people across the Australian border and each state and territory enforces their own local quarantine restrictions. Restrictions exist on goods that you can bring in and out of Australia. Find out what you may need to declare visit the information for travellers to Australia section of the Australian Customs and Border Protection website.
- USA travel TIP: If you are travelling to, from, within or over the USA you must provide passenger information required by the US authorities under the Secure Flight and Advance Passenger Information System (APIS) program. This information is to be provided to your airline and they may not issue tickets until the information is provided. Information includes but is not limited to – full name, date of birth, nationality, gender and passport number.
Day prior departure:
- Baggage: Do you have additional baggage? Consider pre-purchasing additional baggage prior to arriving to the airport as this may save money and ensure you can check your baggage. Make sure your carry on and checked baggage meets the requirements including those for dangerous goods.
- Flight: Check your flight departure and check-in times before you head to the airport.
- Airport: Plan to arrive at the airport allowing plenty of time to check in, stroll the shops, enjoy a bite to eat to avoid that last minute rush.
Australian domestic travel
We recommend as soon as you have paid for flights or holiday deposits, that you purchase travel insurance to safeguard your investment. Domestic travel insurance will cover you against financial loss incurred by cancellations and lost luggage with prices start from as low as $15 depending on the length of your trip.
- Baggage: The week prior departure, check your carry on and checked baggage meets the allowances for domestic travel.
- Flight Status: Check your flight departure and check-in times before you head to the airport. A common mistake is to arrive at 7pm and miss the 7am flight!
- Check-in Online: Consider checking-in from home between 24 hours and 1 hour before your departure. This can minimise wait times at the airport.
- Travel Insurance for the unexpected is a great idea. Travel Insurance Plus offers quality cover for less than you might expect.
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