Anyone who can make a successful vlog... I take my hat off to you!
Initially I had planned to post weekly or fortnightly vlogs in the lead up to heading overseas but alas, after 3 long nights of trying to perfect the edits with some feedback from my mates I've decided to stick to writing blogs not filming vlogs!... at least for now. I think it will come more naturally once I'm overseas and have content to cut to as opposed to me talking nervously into a camera in my bedroom! Haha.
So... lets start with what I wanted to include in my first vlog turned blog...
I want to share with you some things I've done to prep for my trip in the last few months to ensure my overseas journey runs smoothly. Things you might not think to organise or check on before you take off and it's too late.
Number 1 - Valid Passport with 6 months + to expire
Make sure you have a valid passport. This is kind of a no brainer but I did hear a horror story once about a mates ex who didn’t realise she needed a passport to leave or enter the country until she got to the airport! So... make sure you have a valid passport and make sure it’s not about to expire. Some countries won't accept a passport that has less than 6 months to go. So plan ahead and don't leave this till the last minute!
Number 2 - Travel Visa
Be sure to check in advance what Visa you will need for the country you are travelling to. Sometimes you need to organise this before your trip or sometimes it can be purchased or organised on arrival. Each country is different and there are different prices and travel time frames depending on the duration of your trip. For my upcoming Bali trip, as long as I’m in and out of the country within 30 days, it’s free. As of March 2016 the $50 AUD fee on arrival was dropped for Australian tourists.
For my upcoming Vietnam trip, I had to apply for a Visa arrival letter online and it arrived in my inbox 3 days later. If you are an Australian travelling to Vietnam you must either arrange a Visa prior to departure or have an official approval letter to get a Visa on arrival. Along with the letter I still need to pay for the actual Visa at the airport. I paid $6 US for my letter and will pay $25 US for a 1 month stay, single entry on arrival at the airport. Note* you pay in US dollars on this site, not Australian. My housemate is a travel agent so he sent me this trusty link to apply for the arrival letter- http://vietnamvisapro.com/
Number 3 - International Drivers Permit (IDP)
Apply for an international license if you plan on driving cars or riding motorcycles overseas. As I ride a scooter daily in Sydney I know I will 100% want to ride one in Bali. I know a lot of people ride without a license but for me, I like the security of knowing I have the legitimate paperwork to cover me in a sticky situation and not have to bribe my way out of it. It also means I'm covered under my travel insurance.
I paid $39 AUD for mine through NRMA. It was super easy to fill out the application form online and it arrived about 6 days later. All you need to do is upload a passport style head shot of yourself along with your travel and licence details and then it’s mailed out to you (for an extra $10 AUD) or you can pick it up from certain NRMA locations. In Bali I will need to carry around my IDP and current Australian driver/rider licence at all times. Link to NRMA application form- http://www.mynrma.com.au/travel/travel-essentials/international-driving-permit.htm
Number 4 - Tell you bank you're going aboard
Don't get stuck overseas cashless because the bank has frozen your account due to 'suspicious activity' while on your holiday. Give them a heads up before leaving! They'll then make a note of it and it's also a big help in your defence if your card/s happen to get skimmed or stolen while away.
Number 5 - Travel vaccinations/shots
It's best to google/ask your doctor what travel vaccinations you might need and how far in advance you need to get them. For me, as I'm heading to tropical locations and will be swimming in fresh water I will need to take malaria tablets and is recommended I get vaccinated against yellow fever, diphtheria, hepatitis A and B, Japanese encephalitis and TABT (tetanus, paratyphoid A and B, and typhoid). I'm going to get mine this week so will update this once I've had them done and include the costs.
Update* As promised here are the vaccinations I got and pricing. Travel shots were a lot more expensive then I had initially thought! I got a script for Doxycycline to treat Malaria. I'll need to start taking 1 tablet a day, 2 days before I leave Australia then 1 tablet every day while I'm away and then for a whole month after returning. I went for the cheaper option and although I haven't got this script filled yet from memory it's about $12 for 1 packet. (I used to take this for my skin when it was quite bad). I also went and got 2 needles, 1 for Typhoid $150 AUD and 1 for Tentanus $45 AUD. Unfortunately Medicare offer no rebate on travel shots. I did ask about the other suggested shots I found online but the doctor said I should be fine with just these for the areas I'm visiting.
Number 6 - Pause your memberships/direct debits
If you can, it's a good idea to pause any memberships/direct debits that allow you to while overseas. This is something I was eager to do with my gym membership because, lets face it, I’ve not actually been in about 3 months, ha! With my gym -Fitness Playground- it was something I could do over the phone. I just had to let them know my departure and return date and voila! Best to do a quick google search and see if your gym has the same policy.
Number 7 - Air BnB/Sublet your room
If you’re renting like me and more so if you’re living in Sydney rent can be quite expensive week to week. I like to Air BnB my room out anytime I’m away for more then 3 days. I’ve never had a bad experience with it *touch wood* and my house mates do the same with their rooms when they go away. You set the rules and rates so if you wanted to you could charge a little extra make a bit of profit. How good is that?! I also like to move my really valuable items out of my room - IMAC, studio lighting equipment etc to my housemates rooms or friends house just for extra security so it's good idea to hide any valuables incase you're worried about anything going missing/stolen/being broken.
So that's my top 7 tips! There are a lot of other little things I've still got to do in the next coming weeks but hopefully they will be of use to you when planning your next trip whether it be a week long or a year!