So you’ve booked your flights and accommodation, trawled through every review and “must-see” list on Pinterest and The Lonely Planet, and all that’s left to do is pack your suitcase and you’re off. But don’t get too ahead of yourself; there are a number of things that require your attention well before it’s time to board the plane. And if forgotten, these top 5 travel necessities that people often forget could end up costing you more than just your holiday.
Top 5 Travel Necessities to remember when you plan your next holiday
Things don’t always go to plan when travelling. You could experience flight delays, lose your luggage, or even end up in hospital. This is why travel insurance is an absolute necessity, especially when booking international travel. The Australian government won’t cover your – often exorbitant – medical bills while you’re overseas, so if you don’t want to end up with a hefty debt, it’s important to purchase the right level of cover for your trip.
Mobile Phone Global Roaming
A survey conducted by finder.com.au last year found that in the last two years, almost half a million Aussies (400,000) have returned from a trip overseas to the shock of a big mobile bill, thanks to global roaming fees. Mobile phones are a must when travelling, and if you don’t want to be faced with an expensive bill once you return, it’s a good idea to research your options for staying connected while travelling overseas. You can either pick up a local SIM card when you get to your destination, or you could find a global roaming package while still at home. It’s also a good idea to switch your mobile phone data off and connect to free Wi-Fi whenever you can.
Access to Money
Your travel money options will vary from country to country. Most of the time you’ll have the choice of cash (in the country’s local currency), a credit card or a travel money card. It’s always good to carry a bit of cash with you when travelling overseas. You never know when you’ll be required to tip, and if you’re travelling to smaller and more remote areas; it’s likely that some shops and restaurants won’t take card. If you wait to exchange your cash at the airport; you’ll likely pay a lot more in fees than if you do it at a bank beforehand.
Some people might overlook checking in with their doctor before they embark on an overseas adventure; but it’s always a good idea to make sure you’re healthy enough for travel before you leave. Top up your vaccinations; and ask whether there are any other immunisations you need before you go. It’s also a good idea to stock up on the essentials, like ibuprofen, antihistamines and even Gastro-Stop if you’re travelling somewhere like Bali that’s known for its stomach illnesses. You don’t want to get caught out having to pay upwards of AUD$80 for a packet of Telfast in Fiji; take it from experience.
The day has finally arrived. You’ve got your travel insurance sorted; you’ve picked out your global roaming plan and you’re fairly certain that you haven’t forgotten your toothbrush. But then you get to the counter at the airport only to find that your passport is invalid. This might seem a bit obvious, but for many excited travellers, the expiry date on their passport can go unnoticed. Australian passports are valid for travel until they reach the expiry date; but some countries can refuse you entry if you have less than six months left on your passport after your period of intended stay. Make sure to check with the relevant immigration departments or embassies well ahead of time, and update your passport if need be.
Travelling is always a lot of fun, but it can become difficult if you don’t prepare yourself properly. There’s no harm in making a list and checking it twice, especially when your money – and your much-needed time away – is on the line.