1. Pick the right destination

Unsurprisingly, not all holidays are the same, and neither is how you prepare for them. So you need to think about what kind of getaway you fancy. Are you looking to escape the daily grind and relax by the beach? Or are you more of a sightseeing enthusiast? Perhaps you’re a thrillseeker looking for an action-packed adventure trip?

Next, consider which time of year you plan on travelling to your chosen destination – do your research, check what each season has to offer, and decide which suits what you’re after best.

If you’re travelling during Aussie summer, for example, many parts of Europe, North America and Asia would have transformed into magical winter wonderlands – think hot springs, action-packed days hitting the snow, or cosying up by a fire.

Escaping the Aussie winter, on the other hand, can see you enjoying the European summer – filled with long sunny days, festivals, good food, and live music sounding in the streets.

2. Check travel advice & passport/visa requirements

If you want to check if there are any current safety risks for the destination you’re visiting, you can read the latest travel advice o.n the Australian Government’s Smartraveller website. 

Also, make sure your travel documents are up-to-date. Many countries won’t let visitors enter unless their passports have a minimum of 6 months’ validity.

It’s also important to check the visa requirements for your destination – while Australians can enter some countries as tourists for a limited time without a visa, you may require a visa to enter others. So, make sure you plan ahead of time.

3. Book flights, accommodation, transport & activities

If it’s peak season at your destination, you may want to start booking flights and accommodation sooner rather than later – the closer you get to your desired travel date, the more expensive and the more limited your choices often become.

It‘s also worth looking into transport options during your trip like:

  • Airport transfers
  • Car rentals
  • Public transport

It’s also a good idea to book any of your bucket-list sites and activities ahead of time, so you don’t miss out while you’re there..

4. Consider travel insurance and health requirements

It can be helpful to look into travel insurance for your trip, just in case the unexpected happens before or during your trip.

Your destination country may also require you to be vaccinated against certain illnesses, so it’s important to check health requirements for your destination well in advance. If you take prescription medications, you may want to ensure you have enough to last the duration of your trip.

5. Research costs overseas

Researching the costs of goods and services – like food and entertainment – at your destination can help you better understand how much to budget for your time away.

It’s also a good idea to look into norms around tipping – tips can add up over time and put a strain on your budget. Factoring them in ahead of time can help you better manage your budget.

6. Get your Travel Money Card and notify your bank

If you set a travel budget, a Travel Money Card can help you stick to that budget by letting you preload a set amount of money ahead of your trip and locking in an exchange rate for up to 13 currencies.

Also, don’t forget to notify your bank of your travel dates, so they can keep a better eye on potentially suspicious transactions.

7. Stay connected

Using your mobile phone overseas can get pricey. Some Australian phone carriers may offer travel add-ons, but depending on the country or length of your stay, these may not be able to carry you through your trip. Check if your destination offers prepaid SIM cards for tourists, so that you can stay connected on your trip.

8. Brush up on your language skills

One of the best parts of travelling is being able to immerse yourself in other cultures. So if you’re travelling to a non-English-speaking country, consider picking up some basic language skills. This could mean learning simple words and phrases like 'please' and 'thank you', and learning how to ask for the bill and directions.