Top travel tips for families travelling on a budget overseas

Thinking of packing your bags and taking the kids to Bali, Japan or Canada for a family trip? Travel Insurance Direct (TID) can offer cover options when you want travel insurance for you and your family, but don’t want to break the bank.  

While we offer several travel insurance plans for all budget types, if you want to travel on a budget, but want to make sure you’re covered for the essentials, then TID’s The Basics Plan has cover for the following:

  • Medical expenses overseas
  • Cancellation cover for 11 specific events
  • Luggage and personal effects
  • 24/7 worldwide emergency assistance during your trip
  • Rental vehicle insurance excess 

Cover for our plans varies depending on which option you select. While the Works plan is an option you can select when purchasing as it offers ‘Coronavirus Travel Costs’ cover, you won’t have this benefit under the Basics plan. For more information on coronavirus overage options under TID plans check out our article on all things related to COVID coverage.

What do we mean by ‘children’ in our cover?

It's important to understand what we mean by children in our policies. For example, your sister’s daughter might be family, but it won’t cut it under our definition of children for the purposes of your travel insurance cover. We define ‘children’ as follows: ‘your children, stepchildren, grandchildren, foster children, and children for whom you are the legal guardian, who are travelling with you, on the same itinerary, for the entire duration of your trip and at the time the Certificate of Insurance is issued, are under 21 years of age, and working less than 30 hours per week’. 

TID covers great destinations for families on a budget

If you’re taking your children or grandchildren on a holiday, there are some great destinations where you can keep the kids entertained on a budget, and that will tick all the boxes when it comes to the big kids, too. Check out the places we cover below:

Bali: this incredible island has several family-friendly locations, with Seminyak being one of the standout hotspots.  As well as all the outdoor activities, indoor fun includes:

  • Museum trick art 3D
  • Bali Safari and Marine Park and La Laguna
  • Lovina beach in North Bali. Kids will love the dolphin-watching tours and will love spotting pods of dolphins
  • The Banjar Hot Springs are an affordable family-friendly activity.

For more family-friendly info check out our article Bali for families.

Thailand: Thailand is also one of the most affordable tourist destinations on the globe. Koh Samui is  fantastic to visit with children with water-based activities such as snorkelling, kayaking and surfing. Families can find some good deals on resorts all year round, but especially if you plan on going in the low season.

Canada:  while the trip from Sydney to Toronto is 17 hours , Canada and many of its cities have so much to offer the whole family.

  • In Toronto, visit Centre Island, quick 15-minutetrip on the ferry across Lake Ontario. The park is a great for picnics, playing games by the beach or exploring by bike (tandems and quadricycles are available for rent).
  • The LEGOland Discovery Centre has 10 LEGO Build and Play Zones, a 4D theatre, two LEGO-themed rides for the kids and three million LEGO bricks – enough to keep young hands busy for hours.
  • Cape Breton Highlands National Park is great for nature lovers. The park has 26 hiking trails, so be on the lookout for moose and eagles, or go camping to fully immerse yourself in nature.

New Zealand: our neighbours have an incredible array of landscapes and activities, and not just one but two Islands to choose from, not to mention it’s only a 3-hour flight. Highlights the Kiwis have to offer families include:

  • Visiting Hobbiton, (the movie sets of The Lord of the Rings movies)
  • Auckland is an excellent location for beachside hotels, restaurants and family attractions such as Snowplanet, with 8,000 square metres of indoor snow fun, including ski lifts
  • Visit Rangitoto Island in one day which has a great hike to the summit of the volcano, once at the top you’ll be able to see Auckland’s skyline
  • Visit Queenstown in the South Island if you’re looking for a skiing or snowboarding holiday or you want to get outdoors, and enjoy the walking tracks, mountain bike trails, or rent a segway to ride around the city.

Japan: Japan is one of the safest countries in the world to take your kids. Japan can also be quite affordable to enjoy in winter and summer. Hop on the Shinkansen (bullet train), explore the culture of ninjas and samurai, head to Akihabara if you love games and electronics. Activities that are free or affordable include:

  • Tokyo Skytree where you can enjoy the panoramic views of the city at over 600 metres. The building has an aquarium, planetarium and 300 shops and restaurants
  • Make a trek to Mount Fuji (early July to mid-September)
  • Check out the snow monkeys in Nagano Prefecture
  • Head to Kyoto Railway Museum to learn about the history of Japan’s trains, from steam locomotives, antique engines and a scale model of the famous ‘Stephenson’s Rocket’
  • Visit Ueno Zoo, home to hundreds of animals from across the world, check out the children’s Zoo and the vivarium.

Passports, documents and visas for children and infants

One of the most important things to do before travelling with children is to make sure you have all the correct tickets and documents to present at the airport. Don’t assume kids will travel free with you on public transport or won't need the same visas and paperwork to get around.

For international flights, dependents will usually require a passport that is valid for at least 6 months after arriving home. You can apply or renew a child’s passport on the Australian Passport Office’s website. It’s a good idea to make copies of all your dependents’ passports, visas, birth certificates and other identification cards.

For more information visit the Australian Government’s Smartraveller website.

For more information on what you’re covered for when travelling with the whole family, check out our travel insurance article for families and children.

Handy tips for families when travelling overseas

  • Know the medical history and needs of your family. Take relevant medical information with you and keep it handy
  • Always check visa requirements of your intended destination(s) – there may be countries that require you to have at least 6 months validity on your passport or may require you to have travel insurance
  • When travelling with children, expect everything to take longer than usual. Give yourself enough time to get to airports, get through security and to board transport. Keep your schedule loose and flexible
  • Give your child your contact information in case you get separated
  • Many places, attractions and restaurants offer discounts for children, so be sure to ask and do your research in advance. You may be pleasantly surprised at how many places offer free food, transport, or free entry for children
  • Bring snacks. If something unexpected happens you can at least avoid hangry kids (and parents!) by having snacks handy.

What to look out for when considering travel insurance?

  • Make sure you correctly choose the right trip dates, age limits, and level of cover
  • Ensure all your destinations are covered
  • Make sure you understand what an existing medical condition is under the TID policy
  • . Always read your PDS carefully for any sports and activities you plan to do. If you are going to be heading to the snow you should check out TID’s snow sports cover options
  • Make sure you clearly understand the benefit limits, terms and conditions and the excess as per the level of cover you’ve selected
  • Understand that there will be General Exclusions in your cover which you won’t be covered for under any circumstances 
  • Make copies of travel documents and keep receipts in case you need to make a claim.


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

TID offers cover for families for:

  • Overseas medical expenses
  • Medical repatriation if you’re severely injured or fall ill abroad
  • Lost or delayed baggage or valuables
  • Cancellation or trip delay
  • More than 150 activities and sports.

You can find out more about the coverage available and get a quote here.

Last updated: 17 May 2023

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