Summer is an exciting time for Australians. Many of us enjoy time off work to relax, spend time with family and friends or even go on holidays.
If you’re lucky enough to be travelling overseas, follow these tips for a smooth and stress-free trip.
Research your destination
Read up on your destination before you arrive – there are countless travel websites and guide books available. You could also talk with family or friends who are familiar with the places you’ll be visiting. As you research, pay particular attention to local laws, entry and exit requirements, health issues and safety.
Register you details
Make sure you register your travel and contact details on Smartraveller. This can make it easier for the government to contact you in the case of an emergency. You can also subscribe to receive free email notifications when the information for your destinations changes.
Cover yourself with travel insurance
Organising travel insurance is an essential part of preparing for your overseas trip. If you’re uninsured, you’re personally liable for covering any medical or other costs resulting from unexpected incidents or accidents. Check you’re covered for any pre-existing medical conditions and any additional activities you plan to undertake, such as skiing or hiring a motorcycle.
Organise your passports and visas
All Australian citizens, including children, must have a valid passport before leaving Australia and maintain a valid passport while overseas. Find out early which visas you need by contacting the relevant embassy of the countries you intend to visit. Some destinations have specific entry and exit requirements, including compulsory vaccinations.
Get the right vaccinations
Your doctor can check the areas that you will visit, and recommend the appropriate vaccinations to keep you and your family safe. We have dedicated Travel Health GPs to help you with this. While we recommend making an appointment 6-8 weeks before your departure date, it’s never too late to come and see us.
Plan your medications
If you’re planning to take medicine overseas, you should:
- Meet any legal requirements imposed by the foreign country
- Take enough medicine to cover at least the planned length of your trip
- Carry a letter from your doctor detailing what the medicine is, how much you will be taking, and stating that the medicine is for your personal use
- Always leave the medicine in its original packaging so that it’s clearly labelled with your name and dosage instructions
- Separate quantities between your luggage in case a bag goes missing.
Additional health tips
Be aware of the risk of hepatitis and HIV – practise safe sex and avoid ear-piercing, acupuncture, tattooing or dental work while travelling in destinations with lower health or hygiene standards.
Avoid temporary ‘black henna’ tattoos as they often contain a dye which can cause serious skin reactions.
Finally, if you wear glasses, take along a spare pair and/or a copy of the prescription so that they can be replaced more easily if lost or broken.
For more pre-holiday tips, check out Smartraveller.
Have a great time!
Being prepared for your overseas holiday is the first step to having a great time.
Remember, our Travel Health GPs can assist with all your travel health requirements including vaccinations. Safe travels!
Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.