Our last post was about cashing out annual leave. This is now possible following reforms by the Fair Work Commission in August. But don’t forget time off is important to recharge the batteries and restore the balance of life.
So if you are jetting off this holiday, here are our 12 top tips to ensure you have a safe trip.
Jetting off? Our 12 top tips for a safe holiday
1 Check the government advisories for your destination. The Australian government constantly monitors the political environment in high-risk countries. Be aware of government recommendations in relation to your destination and keep in mind that the support you may receive from the Australian consulate in your destination may be impacted if you go against an advisory warning for a particular country. Make sure you have the contact details handy for the Australian Consulate in your destination(s). Also ensure you register your travel with the Australian government’s website – smartraveller.gov.au to ensure that should an emergency situation arise, the Australian Government will be aware of your destination and be able to assist you should you need it.
2 Consider what you pack. Make sure you protect yourself from loss and/or theft as best you can. One way is by carrying minimal luggage. The less you have, the easier it is to keep track of. Always pack your bags yourself, do not allow anyone else to access your luggage and do not carry anything for anyone else – especially across country borders.
3 Follow the laws of your destination country. Remember the Aussie blokes in Malaysia stripping down to their swimmers while watching the car race? It is important to be aware that if you break the laws of your host country, the Australian Consulate cannot intervene in the judicial system of that country.
4 Speak to your doctor. Before you jet off, get all the health checks and vaccinations that are required for your destination. Make sure you have adequate quantities of any prescribed medication you will need to take while you are abroad and ensure that these medications are legal in the countries you plan on visiting. It’s advisable to carry a letter from your doctor verifying that you have a condition requiring this medication and that its been legally prescribed. Check the recommendations on food and water consumption in your destination country and follow them – the last thing you want is to be unwell and stuck in your hotel room.5
5 Hotel safety. Store valuable items and travel documents in the hotel safe. Don’t allow strangers into your room and keep your door locked.
6 Respect the country’s customs. Ensure you’re aware of the local customs and show respect for these customs – this may include dressing appropriately, eating only certain foods or removing your shoes when you enter particular dwellings.
7 Ensure your affairs are in order before you leave: get Travel Insurance. Travel insurance is a must when travelling overseas – if you do not have travel insurance, you and/or your family are liable for covering costs, including medical bills associated with any incidents or accidents that may occur whilst away. Make sure you make full disclosure to your insurer about where you are going, how long you will stay and what activities you will be undertaking while you are there. Double check that your coverage includes medical as well as theft and damage to property. You can obtain an instant quote through our website .
8 Corporate Travel. If you travel frequently for work, you may want to take out a corporate travel policy. Corporate policies are a blanket annual travel insurance that will cover all of your trips within a 12 month period, saving you the time and hassle of taking out travel insurance for each and every trip. Speak to one of our brokers if you would like a quote for this type of policy.
9 Make a will. Making a will means that should the unthinkable happen your loved ones will know what your wishes were and be able to follow through with them.
10 Create and carry duplicate copies of all of your travel documentation. Leave a copy of your travel documents with friends or family at home, but also take a duplicate copy with you and carry them in a different location to your originals. Of course you also need to ensure that your passport and all of your other travel documents are in order and have sufficient time left before they expire – the amount of time needed on your passport will vary depending on the length of your trip and the country you are visiting. Also make sure you have all required documentation to meet the visa and immigration requirements of your destination country.
11 Speak to your phone provider about their deals. Organise your communication needs before you take off to activate affordable international roaming.
12 Accessing your money while overseas Don’t just take cash, or a single credit card. If one source of funds is lost, ensure you have a backup plan. Contact your bank for advice.
Visit www.smartraveller.gov.au and stay safe!