If you’re heading overseas (even for a little while), it is a good idea to do a little planning to ensure you have a smooth and fun trip. Check that you have done the following before you go.
A passport is required to travel to all countries, including Australia. Check that your passports are still valid. Many countries require a passport to be valid for at least six months beyond the date of entry to that country. If your passport is damaged, defaced or excessively worn your passport may not be valid for travel.
Don’t leave it to the last minute to get a new passport if you need one as getting a passport can take up to 10 working days using the standard service. If you are travelling to or through the USA you will need a machine-readable passport.
All children (under 16 years) and babies are required to travel on their own passport. Consent of at least one parent (named on the child’s birth registration) or one guardian, (name on the guardianship documentation), is required. However, the Care of Children Act 2004 requires that, where practicable, all the guardians of a child must be consulted. The parent or guardian making the application for the child is responsible for consulting with the other parent or guardians of the child.
Ensure that you have the necessary visas for your travel destination. Contact the nearest Embassy of the country you will be travelling to or ask your travel agent..
If you are intending to drive at your destination, check if you will need an International Driving Permit.
Ensure you have health and travel insurance to cover you in case of an emergency. Register your travel details with MFAT. This is advisable so that in the event of terrorism, natural disaster or even a family emergency at home, you can be contacted and accounted for. Take note of this number – you can use it in an emergency from anywhere in the world.
Ensure you have had any recommended vaccinations or immunisations. Your local health professional will be able to advise you on this. Plan these well in advance to lessen the chances of side effects affecting your travel plans.
If you are travelling to a country that can be deemed risky check the latest advisory from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT). This will tell you the level of risk at your destination and whether tourist and non-essential travel is advised.