While we all know there’s nothing better than being on holiday, but sometimes, getting ready to head overseas can be a little stressful! We’ve put together a list of our most important tips to get ahead on your next holiday…
1. Book your flights – early!
You’ll get the best price on your flights if you book them in advance, with savings that can often add up very quickly. Usually, you can book your trip up to 10 months out from departure – plus, if you book with accommodation you often get the best rate on flights available.
If you have your eye on flights and want to know when to buy, Hopper is the perfect tool! Plug in your travel dates and destinations, and the app will notify you whether you should buy now or wait.
2. Best time to go on holiday
Really, it depends what you’re looking for:
For those looking to escape the crowds, avoid school holiday periods, especially the Christmas break! Airports and popular destinations can get extremely busy, and prices often skyrocket during this period.
To ski, head to the Northern Hemisphere in January to March for the best snow, or April for some incredible spring skiing.
If you’d prefer to avoid the wet season in tropical Asia, travel to Thailand between December and April, and to Malaysia and Indonesia between May and October.
Check the national holidays of the country you’re visiting before you book to make sure everything will be open. Keep an eye out for Chinese New Year, Bastille Day, Easter and other similar holidays.
3. Planning your trip
Be sure to visit TripAdvisor before choosing your accommodation or tours, to read peer reviews or have your questions answered.
Google Trips is an app that will keep track of your bookings as you make them. No need to trawl through your emails! Too easy.
4. Check your passport!
Probably the most important point on this list! It is absolutely essential that you make sure you have at least six months on your passport before leaving the country, otherwise your dream holiday may become just that – a dream. Acquiring a passport last minute is a stressful process, and can’t always promise results, so check your validity well before you jet off!
While we’re on this topic, make sure to look up visa requirements for the country you’re heading to. Australians can travel visa-free to plenty of countries, but it’s always better to triple check.
5. Where to exchange your money
Exchange some money before you go. While the rates may not be as promising, the language barrier overseas may make it difficult to exchange currency.
Check with your bank if you can get a travel card, or go to the local post office and grab one. It’s much easier than paying by credit card, plus you don’t pay currency conversion fees.
Don’t exchange money at the airport, and especially not after you clear security. Kiosks at international airports have notoriously poor exchange rates.
Be sure to notify your bank that you’re overseas, to avoid having issues with your card. Banks like ING allow you to notify them of travel in their online banking app.
6. How to pack
Forget folding! To save as much space as possible, roll all of your clothing inside your suitcase. Also, keep your luggage as light as possible to make sure your transit is as easy as possible- if in doubt, leave it out!.
7. Learn some basic phrases
Consider learning some basic language skills of the country you’re visiting as a courtesy to those you’re speaking to. Learn phrases such as “excuse me,” “may I please have…” and “no, thank you.” If you have any serious allergies, learn to articulate these too!
Apps like Duolingo are great to give you a rundown of the basics, and Google Translate will always come in handy while overseas.
8. Ditch the camera
Let’s be honest: in today’s world, your smartphone is more than adequate to chronicle your travels. While your DSLR can take some incredible shots, you’ll also have to lug it around, including extra batteries for when it inevitably runs out of charge. If you want to travel light, invest in some add-ons for your smartphone to boost the quality of your images.
9. Pack some earplugs, or noise-cancelling headphones!
Whether you’re staying in a lavish resort or a hostel in the big smoke, you’ll want to bring some earplugs to safeguard your shut-eye. They’re invaluable on flights - especially if you’ve got the screaming child seated behind you! For frequent travellers, consider investing in a great pair of noise-cancelling headphones – Bose’s Quietcomfort series is a favourite amongst travellers.
10. Check if you need vaccinations before you go!
Check what vaccinations you need on Travel Doctor after you book your holiday. Some vaccines can take up to eight weeks to come into full effect, so get organised early. Plus, in many resorts like Club Med Bali, children require vaccination certificates for the Kids Clubs, so make sure you bring those along.
11. Travel insurance is essential
Travel insurance is an absolute must-have when travelling abroad, especially with children or on a ski holiday. Insurance can cover medical emergencies, travel costs incurred from some cancellations and will compensate you if your belongings go missing. Be sure to document your claim fully to make sure you get compensated.
Again, some holiday packages (including Club Med) offer travel insurance in the package – make sure to check before spending extra!
12. Travelling with kids?
Travelling with young children is a different game all together. Consider these tips before you jet off:
Pre-order children’s meals on-board your flight.
The air pressure changes inside a plane’s cabin is more intense for young children. Make sure you bring something for the little ones to suck on to alleviate the pain.
Travel somewhere with a Kids Club. Not only will they have a ball, but you’ll get a break!
Discover more about Club Med all inclusive holidays by clicking here.