Australia is an amazing travel destination. Not only do you have an opportunity to explore the great culture in Sydney and other cities, but there are also great outdoor activities in a countryside as varied as you can imagine.
Unusual wildlife, amazing beaches, ocean adventures, fishing, and even some amazing camping and backpacking are all right at your fingertips. Australia is one of the most amazing continents on the planet, and a popular tourist attraction.
A trip there will take a bit more planning than others, and there are some tips you should follow as you get started.
Get Your Passport and a Visa
First, you will need an up to date passport. This is something you need to plan for in advance, as it can take some time to get the documentation you need. You’ll need passport photos as well. You can apply for an expedited passport if need be, but it will cost you a little more to do so.
To travel to Australia, you will also need a tourist visa or an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA). This is an electronic visa, and it allows the holder to travel to Australia as many times as they want in a 12-month period, and stay for up to three months at a time.
Be sure you get the right documentation plenty of time in advance so you do not have to stress about it at the last minute. Not getting these documents means you will have to cancel or postpone your trip. This part of planning is essential.
There are certain immunizations the CDC recommends that you get before traveling to Australia. They are Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Rabies, Japanese encephalitis, and influenza. These are pretty simple vaccines, but should be up to date before travel.
One of the biggest risks is Japanese encephalitis, a disease that is carried by mosquitoes and can be contracted from a single bite. Repellent and netting are recommended if you are in rural areas especially in addition to the vaccine.
Be sure to plan for these ahead of time too, You never know how your body will react to them, and you may need some time to recover before you travel.
Remember the Different Seasons
When it is summer here, it is winter in Australia. When it is winter here, it is summer there. However, the months are not simply reversed, and you need to understand what weather and temperatures you can expect when you travel down under.
Also keep in mind that depending on where you go in Australia, the climate is different.
- Sydney: warm and dry most of the time.
- Melbourne: A variety of seasonal weather patterns, but rarely snow or ice
- Perth: Dry summers, wet and stormy winters
The climate is very dependent on the time of year, and Melbourne can be extremely hot in the summer, something you may find unpleasant. This makes the timing of your trip essential: be sure you are not only prepared for the temperatures, but that those weather patterns are how you want to experience Australia.
Travel at Off-Peak Times
Of course, one of the best ways to both get a good deal and avoid the crowds is to travel in the off-peak seasons. This usually means spring or fall there, but you will want to educate yourself thoroughly before you plan.
Also, understand that off-peak times are that way for a reason. The weather may not be as good, or certain attractions or activities may not be open or available. Guides may also be taking time off, and if there are no crowds, some shops may also be closed.
Knowing what you want to get out of your trip and planning accordingly is essential if traveling off peak, but the financial savings can be significant enough to make the effort worth it.
Plan for the Just in Case
When traveling overseas, a number of things can go wrong, and you will probably experience at least some stress on your trip. The best way to make sure this is not an issue for you is preparation.
For those who live there, using Australian travel insurance is a must to protect their trips, and when you are traveling to Australia, having your own travel insurance is an essential part of protecting the financial investment you have in your trip.
If possible, have a backup plan and extra finances for lodging issues, transportation issues, and unexpected activities you want to take part in. Be flexible, and don’t schedule things too close together so that you are not rushing and stressing in between.
Planning your trip down under will take some doing. From passports and visas to immunizations and just being prepared, you’ll need to be on your game. In the end though, your visit and the memories you will make will be priceless.
Have you ever visited Australia? What was the most memorable part of your experience? If you are planning your first visit, what are you looking forward to most? Leave us a comment below.