Travelling Tips

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Before Leaving

* Allow plenty of time to get the relevant visa.

* Read up about your destinations before leaving so you can enjoy yourself straight away on arrival. Check out travel deals that are available on the Internet.

* Don't buy loads of new clothes - be ruthless when packing - most people can manage with half what they take.

* Take an extra duffel bag - it can be used as a day bag and to bring back a few souvenirs.

* Don't pack your passport in your rucksack - keep it in your hand luggage with your tickets.

* Try and memorise your passport number incase you lose it!

* Write down addresses of friends and family, you may want to send postcards to, in a small address book.

* Arrange for diabetic/vegetarian/vegan meals for your flight with your travel agent.

* Remove old destination tags to avoid confusion

* On the day of your flight call the airport to check that your flight is on time.

* Find out how many 'carry on bags' your airline allows - luggage 20"x15"x10" is average

* Purchase some water purification tablets if you are planning a stop over in a country with suspect water sources

* Pack essentials such as a toothbrush, clean underwear and money in hand luggage, incase your check in bags get lost.

During Journey

* Reduce the pain of popping ears; suck a sweet, swallow hard or gently blow your nose.

* Try to drink plenty of water to avoid becoming dehydrated- the cabins highly pressurised air is very dry.

* Ask cabin crew if you can move to a row of unoccupied seats so you can travel in style.

* Minimise jet lag by adjusting your watch to 'local' time along your journey.

* Walk around a little on the plane to help circulation and make the most of any refuel stops for a good stretch.

* Try to sleep during the Australian night (the airlines normally turn the lights off to help).

On Arrival

* Try to be as alert as you can; weary travellers make easy prey for pickpockets etc.

* Avoid making long distance calls from your hotel room; it's likely to attract a huge premium.

* Make sure any taxi you get into is legitimate to avoid any shady goings on

* If hiring a car, collision damage insurance/waiver is a good investment

* If hiring a car carefully check it for dents, scratches etc and insist the rental company makes a written note to confirm.

* Carry a 2nd 'dummy' wallet with a small amount of cash in case you are mugged - not likely in Australia.

* Be aware of the fierce Australian sun - use sunscreen, wear shades and lip protection.

* Check for hazardous currents/ tides or dangerous marine life before swimming/surfing etc.

It is a Good Idea to...

* Book internal airline tickets at least three weeks in advance for discount.

* Open a bank account in Australia if it is your intention to stay for more than a month.

* Get vaccinations for other foreign destinations before leaving.

* Never let a stranger look after your bag - they may steal or put something in there.

* Use reduced rate phone cards to phone home.

* Travel in a group, it is safer, cheaper and more fun.

* Plan a rough itenirary of where you would like to go.

* Book internal flights or transport before you go, as sometimes discounts are available.

* Travel in the southern states during the Summer and the northern states during the Winter.

* Buy a map if you are planning on driving, or a relevant map if you are planning on doing some serious bushwalking.

* Find the suitable Insurance policy that covers money, medical and activities.

Equipment

* Camping/sports towels are extremely small and lightweight, they don't smell and can be packed damp.

* Shaving oil rather than shaving cream saves valuable storage space and weight.

* A small first aid kit could be very useful for minor injuries.

* Swiss army style knives are a good idea for peeling fruit, cutting toe nails etc.

* A wide brimmed hat or cap can be very useful for preventing sun stroke on very hot days.

* High factor sun cream will help to minimise the risks of sun burn and skin cancer.

* Good quality sun glasses will make you look cool and stop you from cooking your eyes

* Ear plugs can be a real 'God send' when there is a loud snorer in your dorm!

* Headache tablets for hangovers etc.

* A lightweight showerproof jacket can be useful as it does rain in Oz, sometimes very hard

* Clothes that don't run (so you only have to do one washing load for everything).

* Comfortable shoes that don't take up much room, and are suitable for various occassions.

The Ruck Sack

* A 65 litre rucksack should definitely be large enough.

* A rucksack which opens up like a suitcase is excellent for keeping clothes crease free and easily accessible.

* A rucksack with a detachable smaller bag is desirable. They are ideal for day trips etc.

* Wire Ruck Sack security bags are available to safeguard your valuables.

* A rucksack with an additional removable water proof cover can be a good investment.


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