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Things to know before you travel

Do I need a Visa?

Things to know before you travel

Are you travelling overseas? Whether you are a first time traveller or you just require a little refresher – here is what you should not leave to the last minute before you travel. Often we are so excited about purchasing our plane tickets that sometimes we may overlook a few other important elements to travel, such as visa requirements, travel insurance and vaccinations. Being prepared will save you unnecessary worry and get your holiday off to a flying start.


Have your passport in order! It is the most important document you require for overseas travel and without one you will not be able to enter a foreign country. If you don’t have a passport then you need to apply for one at least three months prior to your departure date. Ensure that your passport is valid for at least six months from your departure date and that it does not expire before you are due to return. It is a good idea to photocopy your passport and other documents and leave these copies at home incase of an emergency. Take a photo of your passport and then email it to yourself, that way you will also have a copy of your passport that can easily be accessed. 

Visa Requirements

This is one that is often overlooked. With many countries offering an exemption from applying for a Visa if you are a tourist, it’s easy to be a little complacent. Requirements change all the time, so what may have been relevant twelve months ago may not be now. If you are unsure then you need to check out your governments website and search for the embassy of the country you are travelling to. It will give you all the information that you need to know about travelling to that country. Some countries like i.e. Cambodia require a visa which involves you sending your passport to the embassy with your application before you travel. Other countries like Turkey may let you apply online up to 48 hours before travel. Depending on what country you are travelling to and from then there will be different rules for each country.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance is a non negotiable! If you can’t afford travel insurance then you can’t afford to travel. Travel insurance not only covers personal items but medical emergencies too. If you require medical treatment in another country then you will be personally liable for any costs involved. Trust me if you have an accident overseas and require surgery or you need to be airlifted back to your own country you will not want to be paying for it out of your own pocket and possibly face financial ruin.


Depending on where you are travelling you may require vaccinations. If you plan on trekking remote forests in tropical areas then you will need to have certain vaccinations. Please consult your doctor for up to date vaccinations required in each country or region. Remember that some vaccinations will need to be taken in advance and sometimes multi-doses are required.

Travel Warnings

Stay safe while travelling and avoid high risk areas, protests and demonstrations. From military coups to acts of terror, it’s important to know what to do if you are caught up in these type of events overseas. Smartraveller is a great website that provides information on current events and travel alerts throughout the world. 

Useful links

For visa requirements, immunisation and passport information from any country please click here for International Air Transport Association

For Australian passport holders please click here for Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

For latest up to date travel advice and warnings please click here for Smartraveller

Do you need a Visa? Then click here for VisaCentral (Australian residents) 



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  • TravelAgentJay

    Excellent article! Even as a Travel Agent, sometimes I need to be reminded of these tips.

    I did some overseas travel when I was in the Army years ago, and back then I never needed to have a passport or visa. So your tips about the different passport and visa requirements are very helpful. And I forgot about vaccinations, so thanks for the reminder.

    And I couldn’t agree more with your advice on travel insurance :-).

    • Wendy Kerby

      Thanks so much Jay, I’m glad you have found it helpful. I’m forever worrying about Visa’s as the rules change so often so this little article serves as a reminder for myself too 🙂

      Thanks for dropping by and safe travels 🙂

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