Thinking of exploring somewhere overseas for the holiday break? Have a spontaneous solo endeavour or a planned family trip? With summer just around the corner, it’s time to start planning your ‘vacay’! We’ve put together 10 travel tips to help you get the most out of your overseas destination.
Pack light. Pack smart
For international flights, there’s normally a 30kg bag limit per passenger. You may be thinking “wow, that’s a lot of room”, but packing for a long overseas trip makes it much harder to pack the necessities. Having enough underwear and socks is essential, but also your own towel and small travel toiletries to see you through. Roll your clothes when you can, don’t fold, and only take a pair of jeans and shorts to minimise space. Plan outfits ahead as much as you can, and remember there will always be shops where you’re going (unless it’s in the middle of the Sahara Desert, or Antarctica!)
Research your destination
Get the most out of your holiday by doing your research before you jet off. Your holiday doesn’t have to be planned by a guidebook. Explore what other travellers see and do on Instagram’s explore page, or search up travel blogs and The Lonely Planet for fun things to do in the area. Also, ask family or friends online if they’ve travelled to the destination before, and ask for their tips and recommendations.
Don’t fly direct
Flying directly to your destination can be expensive. When possible, try searching connecting flights with a stop-over along the way. This will not only significantly reduce the cost of your flight but also give you time to recuperate and recharge before another flight.
Avoid taxis. Use public transport
Taxis in international cities, like flying direct, can also be expensive. Uber is a great alternative and lets you see a fare estimate from your location. Uber is available in international destinations like North and Soul America, and Asia-Pacific. Most European cities also have great buses, rail and public transport systems which makes it much easier to travel around especially during the day. If you’re heading to Asia, why not try a tuk-tuk? They can be a really fun way to get around a city and an opportunity to chat with a local driver.
In some countries, you may be required to vaccinate against certain diseases. If you don’t have the required vaccinations, you may be refused entry or required to have the necessary vaccination(s). The best advice is to talk to your doctor about any vaccines or boosters you may need before you travel. Visit Health Direct to find out more.
Get travel insurance
One of the key tips, before you leave the country, is to ensure you and your travel companions are insured. Travel insurance can cover you for cancelled flights or lost baggage, provide support in a medical emergency, cover car hire and provide you with peace of mind while on your holiday. It’s not overly expensive either, and you can even claim it for free through some credit card providers. It’s also a good idea to register your trip with DFAT through Smart Traveller. If something unexpected happens at your travel destination while you’re visiting, DFAT may be able to provide assistance and locate you more easily in the event of an emergency.
Wear good shoes
It’s highly likely that wherever you’re travelling to you’re going to be doing a lot of walking to explore the city and its surrounds. Wearing good shoes is incredibly important, especially if you have kids. Wearing the correct footwear will help you through to the night so you can enjoy the nightlife (or tuck yourself into bed… Either way!)
Hotels aren’t your only option for accommodation
Hostels are a great accommodation option while travelling, and give a unique experience that’s different in every part of the world. Not only are they affordable and in central locations, but you also get to meet other travellers in a communal atmosphere.
Obviously, if you are on holidays with your family, hostels may not seem like the best option. However, most hostels have private rooms that are still cheaper than hotels.
Be patient and relax
Be patient. People in different countries may act and react differently to scenarios in public. But this is part of the fun! Be open-minded and take the opportunity to see things from a different perspective. Sometimes missing a train means discovering a great café around the corner. Try to relax, you’re on holidays!
Learn basic phrases in languages
Arriving into a new country can be a scary and anxious experience. Knowing how to say ‘hello’, or ‘yes please’ or ‘no thank you’ can relieve the stress. You’re also able to navigate your way around cities if lost or make friends along the way.
As a traveller, you want to immerse yourself into the local culture. Learning basic phrases invites you to mingle with the locals and shows that you respect their customs. You can also order a coffee all on your own! 😉
Need help with learning the basics of a new language? We offer a wide range of introduction and continuing language short courses; including Italian, French, Arabic, Croatian and more. We also offer ‘Language for Travellers’ courses which are shorter, and designed for those key phrases. Find out more, and enrol today here.
Don’t forget, travelling the world is an exciting experience. Whether you’ve been planning this trip for a lifetime, or spontaneously booked it last minute, take a travel journal and record your memories. You will also find Wi-Fi at most public libraries or tourism centres, so you’re able to share your trip with family and friends back home.