How to travel smart
At this time of year many of us are travelling or considering travel options for the year ahead.
Travelling overseas can be daunting for many people, but it doesn’t have to be.
If you plan ahead you can ensure your trip is as relaxing and as enjoyable as possible.
After the fun part of planning your actual destination, accommodation and travel options there are some important details you should attend to.
Here’s our top tips for planning those details and having a carefree holiday.
Get travel advice
If you’re living in Australia, consider subscribing to the government’s Smartraveller service for up-to-date travel advice. You can receive free email notifications about your destination and any issues or events that may arise that could affect your travel.
The site also has useful advice on local laws, entry and exit requirements and health issues, and an indicative rating of the security situation in particular countries.
Register your details
You should register your travel and contact details online before you travel to make it easier to contact you in an emergency, whether it’s a natural disaster, civil disturbance or family issue.
Get travel insurance
Research travel insurance options and check that it covers medical expenses for injury or illness, as well as theft of valuables, damage to baggage and cancellations or interruptions to flight plans. You should also check you’re covered for your pre-existing medical conditions and any additional recreational activities, such as skiing or hiring a motorcycle.
You may like to refer to this travel insurance buying guide to help you choose the right insurance for your trip.
Passports and visas
Make sure your passport is arranged well in advance of your departure date. It needs to be 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.
Find out early which visas you need by contacting the relevant foreign mission (embassy, high commission or consulate) of the countries you intend to visit and transit through. Some countries have specific entry and exit requirements, including compulsory vaccinations.
Health and medications
Speak to your local doctor about amy medical concerns or medications you may require. They should also be able to help you with vaccinations and can confirm whether you’re fit for travel. In some circumstances the airline may require a letter from your doctor confirming your air travel fitness.
You may also need a letter from your doctor if you have to carry needles and syringes or certain types of medications with you. Seek advice from your airline on what you need to comply with for airport and air travel security regulations. You can also discuss any other personal needs you may have for travel.
Plan your packing
Minimise the amount of baggage you need and secure credit cards and passports in a money belt or under your clothes. You can check luggage requirements at Civil Aviation Safety Authority and the Australian Government’s TravelSECURE website. If you’re traveling to the US you will need to also check the requirements outlined by the US Government’s Transportation Security Administration.
Organise your travel money
Before you leave call your bank and let them know that you will be overseas so your account is not flagged or frozen from unusual activity. Your bank will also be able to advise whether your bankcard/credit card will work where you are going. It’s best to take a mixture of money – credit card, debit card, travel money cards, traveller’s cheques, plus cash just in case. Find out the currency in common use at your destination and whether ATMs are widely available
If you receive Centrelink payments or have a concession card you should check the Department of Human Services website to find out how any absence from Australia could affect your payment.
Power of attorney
Having a General Power of Attorney and Enduring Power of Attorney is essential if you are:
- A business owner
- Travelling overseas, or interstate regularly or for a long period of time
- Likely to be incapacitated, out of action or out of contact for a significant period of time
- Frail or have chronic illness.
Having a Power of Attorney ensures financial and property decisions and matters can be handled efficiently and in a timely manner while you are away.
An up-to-date Will
Ensure you have an up-to-date and high quality Will to safeguard your wishes and give you peace of mind while travelling.
You can speak to a Wills and Estate Lawyer such as Gill and Lane about your Will and Power of Attorney requirements.
Contact Gill & Lane Solicitors at Sandgate via GregL@gillandlane.com.au, or 3269 8111 for a free, no obligation consultation.