Australians face all kinds of risks and challenges when overseas due to the differences in language, culture, politics and economics. To help you travel safely and confidently, we’ve compiled a quick list of things to think about as you plan your trip.
Consider boutique hotels.
When it comes to international hotels, bigger isn’t always better. Instead of booking a large and highly visible hotel, consider staying in a smaller, boutique hotel, which may be less conspicuous and offer similar five-star amenities.
Dress for the culture.
When you’re travelling to a foreign country, it’s best to blend in with the crowd. Keep cultural differences in mind when choosing what clothing or jewellery to wear and bring. This will ensure you avoid drawing attention to yourself, your family and your wealth.
Leave copies of your documents behind.
Scan important documents, including your passport, driver’s license, visa and travel itinerary, and leave copies of them with a trusted friend or family member prior to departing. If something happens to your documents while you’re travelling, you’ll be able to get copies with a quick phone call.
Get familiar with local road rules and terrain before renting a car.
Navigating a foreign country can be hard enough without having to think about driving rules and regulations. You may face additional risks, as well as costs, if you’re in an accident while travelling. Make sure you secure appropriate insurance if you plan on renting a car overseas.
Be cautious if you post on social media.
When you or your kids post or geo-tag pictures or comments on social media, you may be letting burglars know that you’ll be away from home, and you’re telling a wide world of thieves and criminals where you are. Instead, wait until you’re back home to share your adventures online.
Check your destination’s travel advisories and local news.
Even if you’ve visited a country in the past, it’s wise to check with the Australian Government travel advisory service, smartraveller.gov.au, to get the latest country-specific travel advice. Some countries will have special requirements or warnings that may have changed since you last visited.
Find out about any potential health risks.
Will you need special vaccinations? Are there specific health risks associated with your destination? For example, a trip to Indonesia will put you at a higher risk of hepatitis and typhoid, so you might need to get vaccinations before you go. Start planning your overseas travel in advance, to make sure you’ll be up-to-date on all of your shots and medications.
Purchase medical and travel insurance.
According to a Chubb survey, 88% of Australians purchase travel insurance for their international trips. The key motivation related to concerns about general medical expenses and an accident overseas. Make sure your travel insurance covers medical expenses for injury or illness. Your travel insurance should also cover theft of valuables, damage to baggage and cancellation of flight plans.