- Check the latest travel advisories and register your travel details with smarttraveller.gov.au.
- Check to see if you require visas for the countries you are visiting or travelling through, by contacting the nearest embassy or consulate of the country you intend to visit. Do this well in advance of travel. Note, a visa does not guarantee entry and only the countries you plan to visit can provide up-to-date information about visa requirements.
- Have a health and dental check-up. If Pregnant see your health professional to get advice. For more information please see our articles Pregnant and Travelling and Travel Insurance and Pregnancy.
- Find out early what vaccinations you will need. See your doctor or travel health centre. Necessary vaccinations can take three or even six months.
- If you’re on prescribed medication, ask your doctor for a letter detailing the contents of the medicine and keep the letter and copy of the prescription with the medication. Some medication may be illegal in particular countries. If in doubt, check that your medicines are legal where you intend to visit. Arrange for extra medication, prescriptions or glasses. For more information please refer to our article on Travelling with Prescription Medicine
- Make copies of your passport details, insurance policy, traveller’s cheques, visas and credit card numbers. Carry a copy separately from your handbag or wallet and leave a copy with someone at home.
- Leave a copy of your travel itinerary with someone at home.
- Make sure your passport has at least six months validity.
- Check if you are regarded as a national of the country you intend to visit. Check if holding dual nationality has any implications for your travel.
- Study your destination, its laws, customs and climate. Get appropriate clothes and learn some useful phrases. There are excellent guidebooks available. For articles on travel etiquette please visit our Travel Tips section.
- Obtain an international driving permit and take this and your Australian driver's licence with you.
- Women should take plenty of feminine hygiene products, in case these are not readily available.
- Take a good supply of contraceptives, especially reliable condoms.
- Label your luggage clearly.
- Get adaptor plugs for electrical equipment you plan to take.
- It is advisable to pre-book accommodation, particularly for your first few nights in a foreign country.
- Obey the law! When you are travelling, you are subject to the laws of that country.
- Be aware of local customs and dress codes by doing some online research. See our articles in Travel Etiquette by Country.
- Take travellers cheques and a couple of major credit cards - do not carry large amounts of cash.
- Keep in regular contact with friends and relatives while travelling.
- Keep your passport and valuables in something close to your body and worn out of sight. Bum-bags are highly visible and an obvious target for thieves.
- Never carry packages or luggage for others through Customs at airports, or across borders. This ploy is used by drug traffickers to transport prohibited substances – to prevent such items being planted in your hand luggage keep your bags locked and supervised at all times.
- Never drive someone else's vehicle through Customs or across a border (unless you have hired the vehicle).
- Keep your hotel door locked and meet visitors in the lobby.
- Where local tap water is not safe, drink plenty of bottled water (also use this to brush your teeth) and always check the seal on the bottle. For more information please see our article on Drinking Water Overseas.
- Beware of uncooked food including salads and fruit that you cannot peel.
- If you lose your passport and valuables, or are robbed, obtain a police report and contact the Australian Embassy and insurer. You will need the report for a new passport and most insurance companies require a police report before processing an insurance claim.
Returning to Australia.
- Make sure you declare ALL food, meat, fruit, plants, seeds, wooden souvenirs, animal or plant materials or their derivatives.
- Check to make sure you have collected all your luggage and the contents of your bags to ensure no items have been damaged, lost or stolen.
* Disclaimer: This information is offered as a guide only and does not represent a comprehensive checklist or guide. It is the responsibility of the individual traveller to prepare adequately for overseas travel.