Quite often, when we plan to travel, we do most of our research on the destination and how to get there, and we do very little research on the regulations of departing this great country and entering another. I've compiled a handy list that I recommend most of my clients to check over when preparing their international trips.

PASSPORT OFFICE The official site for Australian passport holders. Travellers will come here to get the most up to date information on passport requirements and can also apply for a new passport or renew their passports here.

DID YOU KNOW... When booking, it is your responsibility to check your passport validity for entry into a particular country? In fact, many countries require travellers to have a least six months validity remaining on their passports. Immigration authorities may refuse entry if you arrive with less than this.

DFAT (Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade) Offers country specific facts for almost 240 countries, including information about land, people, history, government, political conditions, economy and foreign relations. You can also find links to the official visa application sites for various countries. SMARTRAVELER The Australian Government's travel advisory and consular assistance service website created by DFAT. It has a detailed travel advisory section which covers more than 160 countries and contains information about potential risks you might face overseas, allowing you to make well-informed decisions about whether, when and where to travel. You can find important information about travel health and you can also register your details on the site beforehand so you can be traced in an emergency. DID YOU KNOW... When making a claim, travel insurance will always refer to for the most up to date information on travel warnings. For example, if you were headed to Vietnam and on the day before you travel, a hurricane hits right where you are flying in to; you may not be able to change your travel arrangements unless your insurance provider sees that has issued a "do not travel" warning for this region. And likewise, if your travel plans are disrupted, you may not be able to make a claim if you booked your travel at the time a "do not travel" warning was issued for that country. TMVC (Travel Advice, Vaccinations & Clinics) Offers expert travel health advice, information about vaccinations and current health alerts for overseas travel. They also have handy printable information for all travellers "The Healthy Travel Fact Sheets".

WHO (World Health Organisation) The directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations. Its website offers health specific information sorted by countries and health topics. Australian Government Department of Agriculture Offers all the information you need to answer queries about what you can bring back in to Australia. They have an incredibly handy PDF sheet for all those entering Australia. DID YOU KNOW... Failing to declare an item upon entry / re-entry into Australia can result in fines up to $420,000 AUD. Some of the prohibited items include, animal products, seeds, grains, wood and there are also restrictions on the number of items you can bring back in to Australia. Whilst on your aircraft entering Australia, you will be provided a declaration card which must be filled in 100% honestly, or you could end up with fines, criminal charges or even jail time. Australian Customs & Border Protection Services The Australian federal government agency responsible for managing the security and integrity of the Australian border. For more information on travel requirements and what to expect at customs and quarantine, go only to this site so that you can be sure you have the most accurate information. CASA (Australian Government Civil Aviation Safety Authority) Provides a detailed section on advice for air travellers, passenger safety, travelling with children, aviation in Australia, etc.

Insurance Council of Australia Offers information on the importance of travel insurance and understanding how it works. DID YOU KNOW... Your travel insurance premium depends on many different things. Your duration, your age, if you have pre-existing conditions, the activities you'll take part in, the excess level that you prefer. Most importantly, your premium will depend on the area you travel to. Countries are divided into regions depending on their level of risk and this universal system applies to all providers. For example, traveling to a relatively safe place like New Zealand has a lower daily premium then a country whose risk is higher, such as Egypt or the United States of America. TRAVEL MONEY A really handy sites that details the difference between Travel Money plans and offers advice on specific products is Compare your options and read reviews on the various cards that are easy peasy to purchase before your international vacay. XE For currency conversions on overseas currencies. They also have a super user-friendly app you can use whilst on your international trip. WORLD CLOCK Displays time zones sorted by city, country or time zone. Hopefully you find all your tricky questions answered here! Safe Travels!!! #travel #packing #luggage #whattotake #traveltips #planning #travelplanning

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