FOR those travellers thinking of heading overseas this holiday season, a little preparation can go a long way.
According to Corporate Traveller, the trick to harnessing holiday happiness is to be prepared, both personally and professionally so time away is as hassle-free as possible.
To help travellers on their way, Corporate Traveller has put together a travel checklist of things to think about before taking off.
- Check that you have comprehensive travel insurance and that you have uncapped cover for medical and dental expenses;
- Check that you are covered for any higher-risk activities such as skiing or riding a motorbike;
- Check that you have access to 24-hour travel insurance emergency assistance and that you have your policy number and insurance company contact numbers in your carry-on luggage; and
- If you are a leisure traveller and have booked through a travel agent or a business traveller and booked through your travel manager, ensure you have your 24-hour emergency assist numbers handy.
Passport and Visa:
- Ensure your passport has at least six months validity;
- Fill out the emergency information page in your passport;
- Attain the appropriate visa for your destination (and a return visa if required). Visa requirements vary depending on location. Ask your travel manager for visa advice or check out some online websites such as Smar Traveller;
- Photocopy your passport, visa information and print out a full itinerary;
- Give these copies to an emergency contact person at home; and
- Re-check all of your itinerary details before you leave.
Vaccinations and medication:
- Visit a travel doctor or a general GP a few months out from departure to find out what vaccinations or medications, if any, are required;
- Make sure childhood vaccines are up to date eg Tetanus, Diphtheria;
- If you are visiting a developing country, consider getting Hepatitis A vaccine, even if you only visit resorts and five-star hotels. You may also need typhoid vaccination if you are eating food from local markets; and
- Travellers to Sub-Saharan Africa need Meningitis vaccine and a polio booster should be considered for countries where polio still exists (eg India, Pakistan and Nigeria).
International mobile and internet use:
- Consider international roaming with your provider or buy a sim card from your provider; and
- Consider switching off your data functionality during overseas travel.
Familiarise yourself with the local laws:
- While travelling in a foreign country you are subject to its laws. Research the laws of the country you will be visiting; and
- Check the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) website for any travel warnings and to register your details.
- Devise an exit strategy for work if you have clients or customers that need to be serviced over the Christmas period;
- Establish a buddy system where a trusted colleague can help to service and manage your work portfolio while you're away;
- Make detailed notes for your buddy, which include contact numbers; prioritise tasks for your buddy;
- Advise clients who to contact while you are away. Set up an out-of-office voicemail and email, which redirects people to the appropriate person acting on your behalf; and
- Always write down your username and logins for your computer/email as these details can be easily forgotten on your first day back to work.
Money and mail:
- Consider what line of credit is best for you while overseas. Credit cards like Mastercard and Visa are widely accepted, while ATM cards with the Cirrus or Maestro logo can safely be used overseas. Let your bank know that you will be transacting outside of Australia. If they pick up strange transactions on your card, the bank could freeze your account while they investigate. Ensure you have access to additional credit in case of an emergency; and
- If you are away for more than one week, ask your neighbour to collect your mail while you are away or organise for the post office to hold your mail for a nominated period.