Whether you’re hiking through the Peruvian rainforest, cruising on the seven seas or eating all the pasta in Italy there are a few things you need to cross off your list before you leave.
1. Protect yourself before your trip is wrecked
No matter where you holiday, travel insurance is a no-brainer to provide protection for yourself, your belongings and your budget!
You need to be fit and healthy to make the most of your holiday and so minor ailments like spraining your ankle or getting the flu could require a doctor to get you back up and sightseeing sooner. Once you start talking international medical expenses, it’s not hard for your bill to blow out to tens (even hundreds) of thousands of dollars. A good travel insurance policy will ensure that you’re not stranded in a foreign hospital with nothing but bills.
Thinking beyond your health and wellbeing, travel insurance can also protect your luggage. Lost luggage, money and missing travel documents are all too common and if you do have to replace them, travel insurance can help recoup some of those costs.
It’s never too early to purchase travel insurance, in fact after paying for flights you should consider making it the next thing on the list to do. Of course you’re eager to get the most luxurious villa with an infinity pool, but as soon as you’ve paid for it you need to protect yourself from losing that money if a volcano were to go through and wreck your plans even before you’ve left.
2. Show me the money!
How are you going to buy everyone an overpriced miniature colosseum from Rome? Not planning to… we don’t blame you! With that being said, there are designer shops everywhere in Italy. Plus, how are you going to pay for all the pasta and gelati you can handle (and of course the little things like accommodation, transport and tours)?
Wherever you’re travelling overseas you’ll want to be prepared with a mixture of cash, debit cards and credit cards. Hopefully then, you won’t be left in a money emergency if anything is lost or stolen.
Beat the queues and pick it up in your nearest People’s Choice branch when it suits you. Ordering before you leave is also a great way to save on any inflated conversion fees at the airport or overseas.
Your everyday card is accepted worldwide wherever the Visa logo is displayed. If you’ve booked accommodation before your holiday, the hotel may need the same card when checking-in. If they’re putting a hold on funds for security, it might pay to use your credit card so you’re not limiting access to your own money. Check out ourVisa Debit Card and Visa Credit Card options for more information.
3. Keep us in the loop
If you haven’t told us you’re about to go on a two-month hike in the Peruvian Rainforest, a foreign card transaction or Internet Banking login could be flagged as suspicious. For your security, an automatic block will then be placed on your card or online access.
That’s a costly phone call while you’re away, and keep in mind you’ll have to rely on the local phone reception to get in touch with us, wherever you may be!
4. You’ll need your phone – and not just to post on Insta!
Yes, you want to make sure you can share photos of New York landmarks from your favourite movies with your TV binge-watching partner back home. But your phone can play a larger part in your travels!
With the People’s Choice Mobile Banking App, you’ll be able to transfer money between your accounts. Once you load your People’s Choice cards into your phone’s digital wallet, you’ll be able to use your phone to make contactless payments wherever Apple Pay, Google Pay™ and Samsung Pay are accepted around the world!
Determining how you’re actually going to use your phone is the hard part. Adding international roaming to your Australian plan can be a convenient option, costing anything from $5-$10 extra a day depending on your plan.
To avoid a surprising phone bill when you get back, you may opt to buy an international SIM before you leave or a local SIM in your destination country – just make sure your phone isn’t locked to one carrier.
5. Don’t be left with just the clothes on your back!
Having luggage lost or stolen does happen but there are some simple things you can do to minimise the chance of it happening to you;
6. When in Rome
Did you know that tipping is considered rude in Japan because impeccable service is expected? Or that you shouldn’t flush the toilet after 10pm in Switzerland – it’s considered noise pollution.
We’re sure you’re going to research the best sites to see or the best restaurants, but while you’re at it, read up on any unusual laws in your destination countries. You’ll probably never know them all but showing you’ve done some research may mean you don’t unintentionally offend the locals.
A quick Google search of your destination country’s laws and local customs should give you enough to go by!
7. Let me in!
Organising your passport early is a good way to go – it won’t be sent to you instantly and can take a few weeks to arrive. While you’re organising your passport, have you researched other entry and exit requirements of your holiday destinations?
There’s no “one size fits all” when it comes to visas for travelling Australians. SmartTraveller.gov.au will give you all the information you need to know about your destinations.
Once you have your passport and required documents, make copies of them, your Australian driver’s licence and your itinerary. In the unlikely event that your originals are stolen, leave one copy with someone at home and take the other with you (but keep them separate).
8. Places to be, sites to see
If you’re not on a tour, you may need to book transfers before you arrive.
The first ride you’ll need is most likely to be from the airport to your accommodation. Airport shuttles and transfer services are usually a flat fee and either take you directly to your hotel or a nearby drop off point. It’s a good idea to book these in advance to avoid the queues at the airport.
If you use Uber in Australia, you can use it overseas wherever Uber drivers are located using the same account. Just remember, it requires internet access to request a ride. You can find a list of Uber locations at uber.com.
Or why not commute like a local? Make the most of your destination’s public transport, such as the New York subway, the London Tube or the Metro in Europe!
If you want information and recommendations while travelling, a hop-on/hop-off tour bus will take you to all the famous sites. They also come with surprising flexibility and allow you to spend as much or as little time as you like at each stop. They’re often advertised and available to book through your hotel’s front desk or online.
9. Who you going to call?
Before you leave, note all the necessary phone numbers to call if you’re running late, in an emergency or need assistance.
These should include any emergency services for each country, your tour guide’s or company’s number and the 24-hour emergency hotline that’s included as part of your travel insurance policy.
It’s also a good tip to leave a copy of these numbers with someone at home. We have created a list of overseas Customer Support Contact numbers for financial emergencies to add to your list.
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Terms, conditions and exclusions apply and are available upon application.
The information above is general advice only and does not take into consideration your personal objectives, financial situation or needs (“your personal circumstances”). Please consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement (PDS), other Disclosure Documents and your personal circumstances before making any decision to purchase the products. Contact us on 13 11 82 with any questions, or visit your nearest branch to talk to a consultant.
General insurance (including Travel Insurance) is issued by Insurance Australia Limited ABN 11 000 016 722 AFSL 227681 trading as CGU Insurance. All our insurance issuers pay commission at rates which range from 0% - 40% of the base premium. The commission rate varies depending on the type of insurance.
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