The world looks a little different since the last time Aussies travelled overseas – here's how to prepare for your first post-pandemic trip.
International travel is officially back on the cards – but things have changed since the last time we hopped on a long-haul flight.
As we’re all a little out of practice, it’s more important than ever to get prepared. Let us help you prepare for your first international post-pandemic trip.
Renew your passport ahead of time
It’s estimated approximately 1.3 million Aussie passports expired during the pandemic. If yours is one of them, get ahead of the crowds and beat long wait times by renewing it now.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade warns those who don’t could face long delays when borders reopen. Learn from our overseas friends: Brits currently face a 10-week wait on passport renewals, while it’s up to 18 weeks for Americans.
You’ll also want to check your passport has enough validity – many countries require a minimum of six months.
Check if you need a negative PCR test (ages 5+)
Australians who are travelling overseas are not required to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test at check-in to meet Australian outbound travel requirements. However, some countries and airlines do require a negative pre-departure test result at check-in before you will be allowed to board your flight (must be taken within 72 hours of departure). Travellers should check the entry requirements of the country to which they will travel and their airline to see if they require a negative test.
Carry proof of vaccination
Only fully vaccinated citizens will be allowed to travel – and they’ll need to prove it. Make sure you’ve downloaded the relevant proof of vaccine for your first international post-pandemic trip.
Your vaccine passport will include a QR code that is readable globally.
The current uncertainty isn’t all negative – there are many great travel offers as people adjust to the new normal. Many hotels will be providing incentives such as lower room rates and enticing, handpicked inclusions.
Check out our Fiji Bula Bubble escapes: Unbelievable Hotel + Flight Packages to Welcome You Back!
Keep an eye out for last-minute trips or consider destinations you’ve never visited before. The more flexible you stay, the more likely you are to strike holiday gold.
Check the rules before you fly
Rules vary between countries and change frequently, so you’ll want to make sure you have the most up-to-date information before you travel. Will you need to test once you’re there – and if so, on what days? How much will those tests cost? Are masks mandatory? Check the local government page for the destination you are visiting for the most accurate and up-to-date info.
It’s not just government guidelines you’ll need to follow – certain airlines are requesting as many as four tests from travellers, so it’s important you plan for this.
For the most up-to-date entry requirements for specific countries, see the link here.
Pack your ‘Covid kit’
Airlines and airports will have strict hygiene rules, as will most countries. Pack a ‘Covid kit’ ahead of time to make sure you’re never caught out on your first international post-pandemic trip.
Items you’ll want to include: masks, hand sanitiser, disposable gloves and disinfectant wipes. Keep them all in a neat pouch with a plastic waste bag for used masks, wipes and gloves.
Prepare for quarantine
Depending on where you’re travelling, you may need to make quarantine arrangements – both at your destination and when you return home. Make sure you have arranged accommodation and have a plan in place for getting food and essentials while you isolate.
You also need to consider that if you test positive while abroad, you will need a place to quarantine. Plan the cost of this into your budget and have some options ready, should you need them.
Check your insurance carefully
It’s more important than ever to read every detail of your insurance policy. What would happen if one of your party tests positive and you have to cancel your holiday? Are you protected? It could be worth seeking specific Covid cover for peace of mind.
Plan your transport
If you want to avoid crowds, planning ahead is key. Check out the routes you’ll need once you land. For example, you may wish to book a taxi from the airport to the hotel rather than hop on a busy train. Or maybe you can plan your travel times to avoid rush hour. The more organised you are, the more seamless your experience will be.
Fill out your Australia Declaration Form (on return to Australia)
Visas aren’t all you need for your globetrotting adventure. You’ll now also need to fill out the Australia Travel Declaration (ATD) a minimum of 72 hours before your departure for Australia. The ATD collects your contact details in Australia, flight details, quarantine requirements and your health status.