Safety

12 things you should know about international travel

Reading time: 3 minutes

 

Dust off your passport, because borders are re-opening and that trip you’ve been daydreaming about is looking like the real deal. But before you get your suitcase out of storage, a few things have changed recently with international travel that is worth considering…

 1. Getting sick:

Nobody plans on getting sick, but it happens. We’re now living with the coronavirus pandemic and when you’re travelling this can lead to some unexpected expenses, such as quarantine, PCR tests and more. It’s a no-brainer when you think about the risk of catching coronavirus. Even with vaccinations, there are new variants emerging and, whether it’s Omicron or one of the new strains, getting sick while travelling overseas could be a real disaster for your holiday.

2. Visas:

There is no one-size fits all rule when it comes to visas so make sure you do your homework. COVID means some places, such as Thailand, have introduced new visa rules so don’t rely on past experience, or you might be get caught out and find yourself on a plane back home the same day you left.

3. Health and PCR tests:

Many countries require proof of your vaccine – and it has to be the on their list of eligible vaccines to match that country’s entry requirements, or it might not count.  Check before you go what the health entry requirements are for where you’re heading.

4. Watch out for dodgy health and visa companies:

Yep – all these new requirements have seen a fast follow with ‘visa’ companies, often appearing to be official government agencies, more than willing to help you (for a steep price) get the right visas and meet your health requirements. Check the URL of the website you’re looking at, read the footers and make sure you’re truly following official channels to apply, or you could be paying unnecessary costs.

5. Coronavirus cancelling your plans before you’ve even left?

We brainstormed some of the ways Coronavirus might ruin your travel plans and did our best to create a benefit to help. The result was our Coronavirus Travel Costs benefit available on our The Works and Annual Multi Trip plans for international holidays.  It offers cover for some Coronavirus-related travel events, such as:

      • if you can’t board your flight due to a suspected infection with coronavirus;
      • if your accommodation is closed for cleaning following a confirmed case of Coronavirus; or
      • you have to compulsorily quarantine as a result of infection or close contact – we can help pay costs towards additional travel, meals and accommodation – and, thankfully, Netflix! 

6. Consider getting your travel insurance before you go:

The earlier you purchase travel insurance, the earlier you may qualify for some pre-trip cancellation benefits that could come in handy if you or your travel buddy is struck ill before your trip and you have to cancel. 

7. Monitor border closures:

It’s a much more uncertain time to be travelling, that’s for sure. Borders can slam shut quickly and without warning. Budget for unexpected events – and that means budgeting your time and finances as well. 

8. Hygiene first:

This one is good advice for the ages (and helpful for avoiding Bali belly!) but it’s become even more pertinent now. Carry antibacterial hand sanitiser with you and think about good hygiene practices all the time – washing hands frequently, ensuring you eat with clean utensils and drink only bottled water when in doubt.   

9. Monitor the news:

If a planned destination becomes a hotspot consider making plans for somewhere else. The last thing you want is to either get sick or be caught in a quarantine situation. or you miss a Do Not Travel warning from the government, or ignore one, then your travel insurance won’t cover you for anything. 

10. Quarantine at home:

Returning Australians should check the latest advice for the state they plan to enter when returning from overseas. Most states require returning travellers to be fully vaccinated and to take a COVID-19 test within 24 hours of arriving in Australia, making sure to isolate until they receive a negative result. 

11. Airline/hotel/tour cancellation rules:

Understanding what the cancellation rules are with your airline carrier, your hotel, your hire car provider and your tour operator is important because these rules are changing frequently. It looks like fewer hotels are offering 100 per cent cancellation refunds due to Covid reasons, so know what you’re up for if you need to cancel. 

12. Budget for a positive COVID-19 diagnosis:

We don’t say this to instil fear, but the chances of contracting COVID-19 may be higher when travelling when you’re out exploring, which could mean some unexpected costs that you’re not prepared or covered for (depending on your policy and situation). It’s always a good idea to keep some reserves for last minute unexpected costs.

This is a brief summary of cover only and does not include the full terms, conditions, limitations and exclusions. Read the PDS before purchasing.


Author

TID is an Australian online travel insurance company.

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