[Disclosure: This post was contributed with support from our partner.]
By: Alice Mayer
Australia is a big country and so if you are considering going on a visit, know what and where it is you want to visit before booking. You may also want to make some consideration to when you want to visit bearing in mind that as Australia is in the southern hemisphere, its seasons are opposite to those in the northern hemisphere. The summer in Australia is from December to February and its winter from June to August. Although the weather is generally good all year round, the summer in the tropical north is also the rainy season and although in the cooler south the winters are usually still relatively warm, snow can fall in the hills.
Customs and Immigration
Unless you are from New Zealand, you will need to have an Australian VISA before leaving home. Thankfully no vaccinations are required for entry into Australia unless you have been to a Yellow Fever infected country in the prior six days before arrival. Medications are subject to controls at Australian customs and so if you intend to carry some; it is preferable to have a letter from your doctor. Amounts of cash over $10,000 are permitted but must be declared on arrival. There are of course the other usual restrictions and so check what they are before you pack.
When packing to leave on your trip to Australia there are a few things that you should perhaps keep in mind. The temperatures in Australia get really high and so you should ensure that you pack a hat, shirts that will not let the sun through and also a good sunscreen. If you have an International driver’s license, which is recommended, ensure you pack it. It is also advisable to have a car accident record from your insurance company; it could get you a discount on any car insurance you may need whilst in Australia and if you are a member of an automobile association, many have reciprocal agreements in Australia, so you may be able to benefit from that, so pack the paperwork. Try and pack light as there will probably be many unique things that you may want to bring back from your visit.
In Australia, you can find different types of accommodation – from five star hotels to cheap student hostels. Due to the large influx of tourists, it is wise to book your accommodation in advance. To do this you need to consider the route and book hotels. With modern technology it will take you 10-15 minutes. Also, you can use au.hotelscan.com – the search service for keen travelers who want to find the lowest prices for the best hotels and make the right decisions.
For most visitors the flight to Australia will be a long one which means, as most airlines fly there, their prices can vary greatly, so shop around and find a flight that suits both you and your wallet. Jet lag is often a problem with long flights and although there is not much you can do about it, here are a couple of tips that may help; set your watch to Australian time as soon as you board the plane and think of the first meal you get on board as dinner, regardless of what it is. Melatonin can help as it provides the body with some of the qualities sleep usually provides but for the best effect needs to be taken around 9 PM Aussie time. Also as the flight is long, drink plenty of water on board and try to walk up and down the aisle fairly regularly but if your moving around the cabin is difficult, because of your seating position, at least try to move your toes and ankles frequently.
All the major airports in Australia have good public transport but hopefully you would have acquired at least some Australian Dollars before you left home, so have them handy. You should also have easy to hand, all your hotel details and reservation papers; there are few things worse than rummaging through your main baggage at a busy airport, looking for an address, phone number or contact name. Australia has a good personal safety record but you should still ensure that all members of your party have relevant phone numbers with them and know that the emergency services in Australia are contactable by dialing 000.
Don’t forget to Remember
Hopefully in the days leading up to the start of your trip, or on the long flight over, you would have read up about Australia and learned anything that may be relevant to you, like the time zones in the country and the states that have a daylight saving time and the ones that don’t. You would have also learnt the precautions needed to be taken in order to prevent bushfires and the safety flag warnings on the beaches along with electrical current requirements, dialing codes for phoning home and tipping etiquettes. You have now arrived and so this is not the time to forget those things, especially what you learned about the dangerous animals like the shark and crocodile, not mention of course, the poisonous snakes.
If you remember not to forget the things you learned before your arrival and follow these tips, you should have a great visit to Australia and so I hope you remembered your camera.