We’ve put together a checklist to help you plan and prepare for your next overseas trip:

1. Is your passport valid?

Your passport needs to be valid with a minimum of 6 months remaining from your return date back into Australia. Make sure you check the expiry date well before you depart as it can be a lengthy process to have it renewed.

2. Do you need a visa?

Your holiday could come to a quick end if you’re not prepared, so make sure you have applied for any visa’s that may be necessary for the destination you are travelling to. For information about getting the right visa for your holiday, visit the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website.

3. Have you checked your destination?

Even if you booked your holiday a year ago and all things were fine, situations can change quickly, so stay informed and check the Smart traveller website  before you leave.

4. Have you organised travel insurance?

If you’re heading overseas, it’s important to organise travel insurance ,  to cover you for any specific activities you might do, such as skiing and hiking. That way, you can be reassured that if something unexpected happens, you’ll have help with the expenses that really add up. RACQ members enjoy 20% off Travel Insurance with multiple excess options.

5. Will you be driving overseas?

Even if you don't plan on driving while you’re overseas, you should always carry an International Driving Permit (IDP).  You will need an IDP for renting a motor vehicle in many countries, and it’s helpful for tourists who find themselves in need of identification or assistance. RACQ can issue this in store for you prior to your trip.

6. Have you registered with Smart Traveller?

It’s a good idea to register your travel plans with Smart traveller  before you head off. This will make it easier to contact you in an emergency. It’s also a good way to keep updated with important travel advice, weather warnings and other relevant information for travellers.

7. Have you considered vaccinations and your medication?

Ask your doctor which vaccinations and other precautions are recommended before you travel. You should also see if any prescriptive medicine you are travelling with is allowed in the country of your destination, and that you have brought enough for the entirety of your trip. You should also take a letter from your doctor outlining your medications, even including paracetamol. 

8. Do you have a basic first aid kit?

Carry some basic first aid items with you as you may not be able to access these easily when you’re travelling. Ask your doctor and chemist what to include.

9. Do you know the local laws and customs?

Every country you visit will have different rules, customs and cultures – so do your research before you go, and obey the laws in the country you’re visiting. 

10. Do you have copies of your travel documents? 

We recommend you leave copies of your itinerary, passports and travel documents with family or friends back home. It’s also a good idea to leave a copy of your insurance policies and credit card numbers in case you need to quickly contact them to cancel cards. 

11. Do you have a list of important emergency numbers in case you need them?

Take a list of emergency phone numbers with you, including credit card contacts, insurance numbers and any international calling numbers you may need (eg flight details and family).

12. Do you have access to backup money?

It’s a good idea to travel with a second bank card that’s linked to a separate bank account, so if one needs to be cancelled the other card can keep you going while you’re away. Make sure you talk to your bank and check that your cards and transfer facilities will work before you leave. Your bank should have a range of international ATM cards or traveller cheque options as well. 

13. Will you need power adapters at the destinations you’re travelling to?

We suggest buying a power adapter before you travel, they can sometimes be difficult to find and expensive at airports. You can find adapters for most countries in electronic, department and luggage stores in Australia at reasonable prices. It’s also a good idea to think about how many items you may need to charge at a time.

Now you’ve checked everything off the list, it’s time to enjoy your holiday – have fun!

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