WHETHER YOU ARE A VETERAN OR NOVICE TRAVELLER, THERE ARE SOME MUST KNOW'S WHICH CAN CATCH EVEN THE SAVVIEST TRAVELLER OUT:
HERE WE SHARE WITH YOU YOUR TOP 10 CHECKLIST EVERY TRAVELLER NEEDS TO KNOW:
- Return flight booked – CHECK –Before the aviation rules became what they are now, a passenger booked all of their land through the travel agent and decided to book their flights themselves. Not long after they had left for their trip the agents got a phone call from Santiago Airport. The passengers had arrived on a way one ticket without a valid ticket out to prove they were not staying indefinitely. Of course they weren’t but how were the Chilean authorities meant to know that!? They were about to be put on the next flight home after an arduous 15 hour journey, when they were allowed to make a phone call to the agent after much pleading and within minutes we were able to book them a forwarding ticket to Europe. Panic over! Lesson learnt by these adventure back packers, when travelling into a country where you don’t hold a valid visa or passport to live there you will always need to provide proof that you are leaving the country.
- Visas – CHECK – A “flight mare” where a passenger was flying via Vietnam to Europe. Being Australian they didn’t need a visa for Europe, however they got as far as Vietnam and were sent straight back because they didn’t have a transit visa! Fatal error here! Always make sure you have a valid visa for your transit cities as well as your destinations. See http://visalink.com.au/
- Travel Vaccinations – CHECK – Three years ago a passenger fulfilled a lifelong dream of trekking with the mountain gorillas in Uganda. In order to cross the border into Uganda you need to have a valid Typhoid shot documented on a travel document from a doctor. One of the girls who was on my tour didn’t have this documented and was denied entry. Devastating for her as she had come all this way. When traveling to far off places such as Arica, Middle East, Asia, South America to name a few, you need to check what vaccinations you need and keep these all recorded together. To find out what vaccinations you need visit your local travel clinic, which your GP can recommend.
- Photocopy Travel Documents – CHECK – A tourist was travelling around South America on a back packing holiday and lost his passport, credit cards the works! He was left stranded with the only option to make a reverse charge call home to let his parents know and make his way to the closest Australian Embassy. After a lot of debacles he got a passport renewed and credit cards sent out, however if he would have photocopied his passport and credit cards had this on him as well as a copy left with his parents then he would have been able to cut the time by half to get everything renewed. Moral of the story here is, always have a copy of your personal travel docs a copy for you and another with someone at home.
- Travel Insurance – CHECK –There are a lot of cases you come across where people haven’t taken out insurance. It can happen – a passenger passes away whilst on a trip in Europe. YES, THIS DOES HAPPEN! Unfortunately they don’t have travel insurance and the parents have to pay in excess of $80,000 to bring their loved one home. This is a worse case scenario and something we don’t like to think about, however with when thinking booking your trip overseas always take out travel insurance from the time you book and make sure you are covered for what you need. The company we have used personally and professionally for ourselves is Covermore you can visit their website here – http://covermore.com or contact email@example.com for other referrals.
- Government Warnings – CHECK – There are plenty of natural disasters, civil unrest that take place around the world. As a traveller it is your responsibility to check the government website to see if where you are travelling is safe at the time. For more details visit – http://www.dfat.gov.au/
- Valid Passport – CHECK – You don’t want to get caught out here unlike hundreds of travelers every year! A traveler was heading over to Bali to join a a group on a weeks holiday. He was excited about the holiday, going away with friends that had been in the planning for months. On arrival in Bali going through customs, he was quickly escorted to a small room and interrogated for two hours, as he was 5 days short of having 6 months validity left on his passport! After a grueling two hours he was now booked on the next flight back to Aus with his tail in between his legs. There are certain countries like the US, Bali, Thailand who require a minimum of 6 months validity on your passport to travel. I would be making sure as a standard that where ever you are travelling to overseas you ensure you have this amount of time on your passport.
"You don’t want to get caught out! Make sure your passport is valid"
- Cash Passport – CHECK – If you are travelling overseas and want to avoid being stung at ATM machines by your bank each time you make a withdrawal, or carrying around lots of cash in different currencies, then you will want to consider the cash passport option. HOW does it work?? Well the cash passport acts as a credit card for you whilst you are away. You can use this in-store overseas, over the counter, shopping online and withdrawing cash. You can lock in your exchange rate at any time before you depart for your trip and even load up to 10 currencies! Pretty cool huh!? We think so! With the cash passport being used in 35.9 million locations this is a great option to give you piece of mind whilst you are away. For more info visit – http://www.cashpassport.com.au or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone Bills – CHECK – Gone are the days of buying calling cards and standing in a phone box in a foreign city and calling home to check in. Now with the smart phones we can access our friends and family at the touch of a button and from where ever we are in the world. This can definitely be a good thing, however we don’t want you to get stung with massive phone bills or data usage. So here is what we suggest……Before departing your home city go into the settings of your phone and turn off your data roaming. This means whilst you are overseas you can access the internet by WIFI only. Yes this means you can’t check Facebook whenever you want, however it is a holiday so take the time out and be on your holiday and check in when you are in the world of WIFI You can also buy calling cards which allows you to make calls at cheaper rates which means you can still connect with your friends and family and continue to conduct business if necessary.
"You want to keep connected with family and social media back at home. Make sure your data roming is switched off! Use the Wifi network"
- Supplier Details – CHECK – When travelling around Europe a passenger was sitting on a train going from Florence to Luca. As the train pulled into the platform they was so concerned with getting off the train and were they at the right station, that it was only once they got off that they realized they left their phone on the train….!!! They were travelling by themselves and the phone was their lifeline. It had banking details, the contact numbers of the people, all the accommodation bookings and of course much, much more! They now felt stranded; as they had no idea which hotel they were staying at or what to do. There is no time to have a melt down and instead with limited Italian and fantastic sign language mixed with child like drawing they managed to communicate what happened to the man working behind the ticket desk. It worked out they needed to wait 3 hours and come back at 5pm. Miraculously the phone was returned. The lesson to learn is to have a copy of the places you are staying, phone numbers, transfer details and anything else you would need if something went wrong to hand.
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