It’s a fact that international travel is globally on the rise. While Scandinavians are leading with 4 countries in the list, Australians rank no. 9 out of the top 10 most travelled countries in the world.
Australians are known for being keen travellers and their adventurous spirit. Alone in the last 12 months 9.6 millions Australians travelled overseas, a number that has tripled since 2002, when there were only 3.5 millions. In 2016 outbound travellers outnumbered inbound travellers visiting Australia, which means over 1/3 of Australians prefer going overseas rather than visiting their own country.
There are many reasons for this travel trend. First of all the strong Australian dollar, the competitive rates for international flights, the convenient holiday packages prices coupled with Australians’ high income and holiday time – Aussies have at least 4 weeks holiday a year.
No wonder South East Asia has become a popular travel destination for many Australians.
Things Australians need to consider for international travel
Nonetheless travelling overseas is not necessarily the same thing like travelling within Australia; there are many things that you need to consider and plan before going abroad.
Here below is my international travel checklist with the important things to consider before planning an international holiday from Australia.
Check travel visa requirements for international destinations
While Australians can travel to 169 countries visa-free, some countries require an online travel visa application, whereas in some others you will get it on arrival. A few countries requires you to apply for a visa months ahead. If you travel long-term and plan to visit countries across different continents, it’s a good thing to apply for all travel visas before leaving Australia. The passport index website shows you to which countries your Australian passport takes you and what type of visa is required.
Prepare for vaccinations and protect your travel health
Thankfully most countries do not require a health check and are vaccinations free. For other countries it is recommended to get vaccinated or immunised against local diseases. In a few other countries you have to get vaccinated, if you want to travel to. Regardless of vaccinations, it’s always a good idea to purchase international travel insurance to protect yourself from unexpected situations that can happen while travelling, like sickness and injuries.
I recommend checking out World Nomads Insurance Plans, which is what I use on my solo travel adventures.
Using Phone, Internet and WiFi when travelling the world
This is probably, after health travel, the most important thing for any international traveller. Being able to communicate locally and internationally while we travel around the world makes travel easy. In addition it helps us stay safe and quickly get in touch with family, friends and everywhere we need to. In each country there are prepaid mobile-and-data-packages from local providers. It’s a good idea to keep data roaming switched off all the time and only use the local prepaid-data sim. For Aussies it can be convenient to get an Australian travel sim card that enables the use of the Australian mobile number with no international roaming costs, when using it overseas. The Australian Post offers a good value for money Travel Sim package to cover mobile phoning in over 90 countries in the world. Here you can read my review about their Travel Sim Card.
Protect your personal data on all tech devices
If you plan to use internet and access your personal accounts for purchasing products online or making bookings, a free wi-fi app can be useful to locate free wi-fi hotspots, wherever you are. Free wi-fi is really a good thing, because it helps us cut internet costs while travelling. Almost in all public places like airports, train stations, museums, hotel halls you will find one. If you plan to make large use of free wi-fi connections it’s a good idea to protect your personal data from potential dangers like hackers and scammers. Purchasing VPN can be worth it. This is an internet security system that allows you to keep your data private and protected. In other words you can log into free wi-fi connection and navigate without worrying about your privacy. A yearly subscription between 70-100 dollars is really worth the investment.
Pros and cons of international travel for Australians
Many travellers tend to prefer overseas destinations for many reasons. Getting to know foreign cultures and exploring places that are totally different from our environment at home is a great experience. I dare to say that international travel can be in many ways more rewarding than domestic travel.
From the economical point of view, in some countries it can be cheaper than travelling within Australia. While Australians often complain about how expensive their home country is, it’s possible to travel Australia on a budget though. It does require a thorough research, good and accurate planning – well ahead – but it’s definitely possible to make it work.
Being myself more of an international traveller than a domestic one, I must admit that with many years of travelling the world, I have learnt to see with clarity the good and the bad things of my own country.
International travel has finally made me want to explore more of my backyard too. Something that we all too often seem to forget and take it for granted.
If you like to travel internationally, you may also like to know how to prepare for the long haul flight.
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