Home » Travel »

Five ways to prepare well for your next overseas trip

Heading abroad for an extended period of time, whether you are a first time traveller or a seasoned adventurer, can lead to a big headache before you depart.



With tickets, paperwork, clothes and electronics to pack into what can seem like an ever smaller backpack or suitcase, destinations to research and insurance to purchase, it’s important to know what to prioritise before heading abroad.

We chatted to the experts at Downunder Insurance about what they suggest to ensure safe and enjoyable travel.

1. Don’t overpack

The cardinal rule of travelling abroad is not to overpack. Whilst this article focuses on what not to forget, this is actually one of the most important considerations when travelling abroad. By ensuring you are fully prepared before going on your travels, you can ensure you leave behind any items that you simply don’t need.

The rule of thumb is that if you don’t definitely need it, you probably don’t need it at all. Remember that for most of the countries you’re likely to visit, picking up items such as clothing can be easy and cheap, and items such as shoe wear will likely need to be replaced regularly on your trip, particularly if you are looking for a more active overseas adventure.

Think of what you are actually looking to do on your trip and pack accordingly.

2. Pack paperwork including visas

Ensuring you have your passport, tickets and visas in place before you travel is essential. Having an incorrect visa, or worse, no visa at all, can seriously dent your chances of being able to enter another country. Whilst you can pick up temporary visas at the border in some countries, for most it is easier to organise these things in advance. Be aware that this may take an extended period of time so don’t leave things until the last minute.

You’ll also need an up-to-date passport to travel, and ideally proof of your travel plans, including tickets, in case you are stopped at the border. Having paper backups as well as any online tickets or accommodation details is vitally important in case you find yourself without internet abroad.

3. Get travel insurance

Whilst travel insurance does add on to the cost of your trip, it is extremely important to ensure you organise this before you head abroad. It is not unheard of for travellers to be stuck overseas with thousands in medical bills outstanding and no easy way to return back home. You may not need your travel insurance, but it is vital to purchase in case the worst does happen.

Many travel insurers do not cover travellers already abroad, and if you do incorrectly purchase an insurance product that does not allow this, whilst abroad, your claim will likely be declined.

4. Don’t forget necessary vaccinations

Vaccinations can be easily forgotten before heading abroad – in fact, a large number of travellers head abroad each year without the appropriate injections before they travel. You may be surprised by the array of potential medical conditions you could contract whilst abroad without the proper protection.

The easiest and safest way to combat these is to get the appropriate shots for your travel itinerary. Ensure you speak to your GP or visit a private clinic well before you leave the UK; ideally six weeks as a minimum.

5. Organise a file backup service

There are many instances where travellers lose their precious travel photos and memories if their electronics are stolen, lost or damaged. It happens more often than you’d think!

Make sure you signup before you leave to a service such as Dropbox or Google Drive and ensure everything is backed up on a regular basis.