What You Should Know Before Travelling To Australia
There are a lot of things you should know before travelling down under. It is best to read up on what you need to know before you leave. Otherwise, you might find yourself in some sticky situations that could have easily been avoided
Luggage and Packing
- Pack accordingly, even though Australia is known to be a hot and sunny country, take some jumpers with you. Maybe the nights are cold, or you have a rainy day, you’re going to want to be prepared for any type of weather.
- Always take an extra bag with clothes in; that way, if one gets lost, at least you’ll still have a backup.
- Bring snacks! You never know, the bus might break down, and you have haven’t eaten in hours. No one wants to be stranded and hungry.
- Take plenty of money with you! Be sure that your notes are unmarked (no writing on them), in some parts of Australia, they will not accept any money that has been written on, has marks on or is crumpled up.
- Check your bank statement regularly to see that all payments taken out are yours and not any fraudulent charges.
- Always keep the receipt, even when you exchange your money. Keep your receipts until you’ve left the country. It is known that some airports like to see proof of all your foreign exchanges.
- Make sure your bank card works. In some more rural areas, they only accept the outdated magnetic strip cards whereas now everyone has a chip-and-PIN.
- Always have the Australian dollar in cash on you, because some places will not accept payment by card.
- Make sure you pack the medication that you NEED. Although you may be able to find the same thing once you’re there, it’s best to bring you own as you never know what you might be buying. The dosage may be wrong, or it may have the same name but is used for something else. Bring only prescription medication that is labelled with YOUR name!
- Finding the right place to stay is key. Having something already planned and booked with sites like sorrentobeach.com.au is best so you’re not having to walk the streets trying to find a good deal – you may get taken advantage of this way.
- Print out all the documents of your booking information and accommodation, that way you’re sure of what you’re getting and can prove that whatever may have been said to be included – is included.
- Ask beforehand from people that work in the hotel you’re staying in for typical taxicab prices. Most taxicabs can give you a quote over the phone.
- Call for a taxicab instead of finding one on the road; some drivers work in partnership with thieves; if they see you with fine jewellery, watches or a phone, they will stop for that reason only.
- NEVER take a taxicab alone if you’re drunk. If you are drunk and need a ride, take a sober buddy along with you, and stay awake for the journey.
- Look for a meter, radio, badge, and a door handle. All genuine licensed cabs will have these things. If when getting in the car you don’t see an inside door handle – get out.
- Sit in the backseat; you are harder to grab and less visible for the driver.
- Keep any expensive items on you hidden. If you have a bag on you, make sure it’s closed. If you have any pockets, close them too.
- Know your destination and how long it will take so you will know if the driver is going way off track.
Safety and Security
- Know who to call in an emergency! This is the first thing you should know in order to stay safe. Australia’s primary emergency call service number is Triple Zero (000).
- There are also two secondary emergency call service numbers – 112 and 106.
- Stay alert, look where you’re going, make eye contact with people, be on the ball. If a thief was considering you, this might change their mind by seeing you are attentive and not an ‘easy target.’
- Be friendly, the more people you are nice to, the more chance people will help.
- Make sure you have the right health and travel insurance before you leave.
- Register with your embassy. It may seem drastic, but if anything were to happen to you, your government would be able to find you easily.
- Make copies of your passports and bring them with you, that way if you lose it, you will still have proof of your citizenship. Also, leave a copy at home with someone you trust and think about keeping a saved copy attached to your email account too.
- Be aware of the time, most crimes happen once the sun goes down, so stick to a schedule.
- Get to know the Australian culture, not only will this be an new experience for you, the locals will appreciate that you’re trying. It’s a great way to get into their good books.
- Also try and be careful with your hand gestures. They may mean the complete opposite thing depending on where you are. Even a ‘thumbs-up’ can be seen as provocative.
- Learn about the area that you’re going to and you will get the rewards. You may be lucky enough to find the best-hidden restaurants, the native cocktails, and the stunning sights, so do your research.
- Pre-buy tickets to places you want to see or visit. Buying in advance means skipping lines and finding the best deals.
- Think about looking at what events are going on in the area that you’re staying, for example the Brisbane Festival is a major international arts festival in Brisbane, Australia, that explodes onto the scene every September. So look up what’s on while you’re there.
- Get guidebooks, they will be full of maps and other useful things to know about the area.
- The more the better right? Make an effort to say hello to people, smile, be friendly, you might be surprised of the adventure that you could have, especially if your friend is a local. They’ll know the best spots to go. Plus it always helps having someone by your side that speaks the Australian lingo.