Planning on travelling these holidays? Here are our top 12 tips.
Travel has certainly changed over the last few years. There are more steps in planning and execution, there may be additional expenses, and you may need a contingency plan.
With costs for everything from petrol to airfares to accommodation on the rise, here are a few tips on making the most of travel this holiday season.
Before you travel
The days of book and go travel appear to be behind us, post-pandemic travel requires planning. Here are some things to consider before you travel:
Research – if your destination is fixed, spend a bit of time looking for discounts and deals. If you’re flying, certain days of the week, or times of day, can be significantly cheaper if your plans are flexible. If your destination is flexible, explore cheap holiday deals at home or abroad.
No deposit – look for accommodation that doesn’t require a deposit upfront or allows free cancellation until close to your travel date.
Cancellation policy – when booking flights, accommodation, car hire, activities and other related expenses, read the cancellation policy carefully, noting whether refunds or credit vouchers will be offered, and under what circumstances.
Travel insurance – this is essential, especially if you are leaving the country. Many policies now cover COVID-19, but it’s important to read the fine print carefully as cover may be limited. You may need to choose a higher level of cover to get adequate covid-related cover. If you are relying on complimentary travel insurance, offered by an airline, travel company, or financial institution, make sure it’s appropriate for your needs.
Vaccine certificate –domestic travel restrictions have lifted, however some countries still require proof of vaccination to enter the country and/or enter certain venues. An International COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate is generally sufficient to satisfy this requirement, but check your destination’s requirements. Also check what other vaccinations are recommended for your destination, such as malaria, hepatitis and yellow fever.
Face masks – some places and some modes of transport still require you to wear a face mask, so be prepared for this possibility.
Passport expiry – check the expiry date on your passport, most destinations will not let you enter unless you have at least 6 months left on your passport.
Smartraveller – if you are travelling overseas, check the latest destination advice on the Smartraveller website. Also check visa, entry, and exit requirements for your destination as some destinations still have strict measures in place.
Contingency plans – cancelled flights, natural disasters, political and civil unrest, are examples of events that have caused travel chaos and left passengers stranded recently. Travel insurance may help in some cases but it may also be wise to have a contingency plan ready to go.
Copy important documents – scan important documents like passports, tickets, and travel insurance policy details, and take a hard copy with you as well. If anything is lost, stolen, or damaged at least you will have a record of pertinent information.
Be wary of public wi-fi – it’s just as convenient for hackers as it is for you. If you’re going to use a wireless network, use a virtual private network (VPN) to browse and access your data securely.
Laws and cultural sensitivity – respect the laws and cultural differences of your destination country, things that are legal here may be illegal elsewhere, and vice versa. Be mindful of cultural differences such as acceptable clothing or alcohol consumption.
So pack your patience, your sense of humour and stay safe
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