6 things to consider when travelling on short notice


Travelling on short notice can be stressful – all you want to do is get the admin over and be on your way, but in all the rush it can be easy to overlook things and not realise until its too late.


Here are six things you should always keep in mind and cover off when taking a trip at the last minute, so you can depart with confidence that you’ve covered all your bases.


1. Make sure you check the visa requirements at your destination. Some countries require tourists to have visas arranged in advance, and depending on your destination the processing time can be up to a few weeks. Recent world events have also had an impact on traveller mobility, but luckily for Australian passport holders, we hold one of the more powerful passports in the world. Able to visit 170 countries visa-free, our passport was placed at number 23 in the 2017 most powerful passports in the world ranking by citizenship and planning firm Henley & Partners.


2. Speaking of recent world events, its important to take safety into consideration. Shifting political and economic landscapes mean that there can be rapid changes in the safety status of certain locations, while seasonal weather also raises the risk in some parts of the world at different times of year. Check out the government’s Smart Traveller website for up-to-date advice, and consider registering your travel in case any adverse events occur.


3. Australia may have a reputation for being full of dangerous animals, but when travelling overseas it’s the tiny bugs that might pose the biggest risk. Ensuring you have the right inoculations prior to departure or medication at hand when travelling to certain destinations can make all the difference. Check with your GP as far in advance as possible – some vaccinations need multiple rounds or to be done a while in advance to take effect. If you don’t have time to get your health protections in place, consider another location if you don’t want to take the risk.


4. Be careful when booking last minute. A lot of those hot holiday deals that come up can be very tempting, but many carry a lot of fine print and conditions, and you can find yourself caught out if you’re unable to travel or something falls through. Make sure you read all the details, and give yourself the best chance of getting your boss to approve your leave with these tips.


5. That said, keep an eye out for deals and sign up for alerts from reputable providers. There have been a number of crazy deals going around lately – like flights to Europe for less than $400 via one budget carrier earlier this year – but you need to be quick as there are often a limited number of tickets available and/or a short window during which to travel.


6. Think about how you’ll manage your finances. Taking a large amount of cash on your person or in your luggage is never a good idea – and some countries have strict limits on how much physical currency you can bring in – so you need to think about how you’ll pay for things while you’re away. Using your Eftpos or debit card overseas can incur large withdrawal fees, and most travellers know not to change currency at the airport due to the large surcharges. One of the best ways is to organise a specific travel card. There are often a few ways these can be set-up, but if you’re planning to be in a destination with a single currency, like the US or UK, it can be wise to load a card with a set amount of the local currency, and then use the card like you would your normal debit card. We’ve got more info on how to make the right decision on managing your finances when travelling right here.