The days keep flying by and the numbers on your countdown app keep getting lower and lower. Then suddenly, there’s only 50 days until you fly out and you internally start to freak out a little bit. It can be overwhelming planning on overseas trip – there’s so many things to keep in mind and to consider. And you’re still trying to maintain uni, work your sanity… it’s tough work. Lucky for you, I’ve complied a list of 5 things you should be looking at doing as soon as possible if not now when you’re 50 days out from your flight.
Does the country you’re going to require you to have a visa? What sort of visa do you need? What are you eligible for? How do you get a visa? Do you need to apply online? Do you need to book an appointment? How much does it cost? How long does it take to issue? These are all questions you should be asking. If you’re as confused as I was by what visa you need, I’d recommend the following site Visa Link. This link does a quick check of the types of visas that Australian citizens need and how to apply for them. It’s simple and explains the different sorts of visas in an easy to understand way.
*Tip* Always apply for an online visa through the official government, embassy or consulate website to ensure you’re not paying for any hidden fees.
What’s the currency conversion for the place I’m going to? Is it cheap or expensive? How much should I expect to pay for things? How much should I budget for each day? Numbeo is a great website that has all the answers! You can pick your home currency (AUD) and the city you’re going to and it will do the conversions and tell you how much the price of living is in those cities. It’s always a good idea to get some cash of the country you’re going to before you land – just in case!
*Tip* Check out how much a coffee costs! You can start your budget there!
Smartphones are not only great for all of their functions, but also the amazing apps available to travellers! One of my favourite guides is by World of Wanderlust here. While you’ve got access to your wifi network, start downloading the apps you’ll need which will make your life a million times easier once overseas! A must have for me is a currency conversion, language translation, tube/metro maps, uber and skyscanner!
*Tip* I always look up directions, tube/metro routes before I head out for a day while I still have wifi. Screenshot is your new best friend!
How am I going to access money overseas? What fees will I have to pay? What if I lose my card overseas? What if my account is frozen? What if there’s an emergency and I need money quickly? I know a lot of these questions revolve around money, but let’s be honest, you’re not going to get very far without it. First things first, let your bank know you’re going overseas. That way, they won’t freeze your account when they see someone buying sangria in Spain. From there, talk to your bank about options for using your cards overseas. You might find they have a travel card you may be able to apply for. But don’t be afraid to look around, even if it means joining another bank. The last thin you want is for your hard earned cash to go towards transaction and conversion fees!
Personally, I use an ANZ travel card. It allows your to load several different currencies onto the same card at any one time. There’s very small fees on withdrawing cash and no fees on paying for items overseas (the dream). Every time you ‘re load’ your card, there is a fee, however it locks in the exchange rate from the day you purchase your card so it’s better than paying for conversion fees.
*Tip* See if you can apply for a travel card that comes with a back up card. The ANZ travel card comes with a back up one. Your primary one in your wallet, and your back up one in your suitcase. It’s always a piece of mind knowing you’ll always have access to money.
You can’t get the most out of your travels if you become sick. And being sick in a foreign country is not fun at all. Make sure you book in to your see your GP before you go to check if you need any vaccines. Make an appointment with your dentist to make sure you put your best smile forward. If using any contraception or any other prescription medication, ensure that you have enough to take with you and if you need an extra script or doctors note, pack that too. This also includes making sure you have travel insurance. It’s always good to know that you’ve got someone there for you if something does go wrong, and that you won’t be smacked with a big medical fee. The last thing you want is to be sick overseas so do all that you can at home before you jet off.
*Tip* Make sure that any prescription drugs your taking overseas are legal in the country you’re visiting.
Of course there’s plenty more to do, but you can do them closer to your fly out date. These are some of the things that can take a while to organise so get onto it now! Do you have any other suggestions? Any MUST DO’S 50 days out? Let me know in the comments below!