Ready to reignite your jet setter status but feeling a little hesitant? Our friend Dr Ramin, Chief Medical Officer for Allianz Partners, is back with more helpful tips to assist globetrotters in confidently returning to the skies, boats, and trains of the world once more.
It’s almost funny how quickly we forget the basics after an extended break (read: lockdowns). Yes, even you, the seasoned traveller. While we had two years of holidaying in our own backyard, it was limited, often without a plane ride in sight (thanks, border closures). This has left us rusty and unprepared when resuming international travel.
Allianz knows all too well about this. Dr Geoff Ramin reports tales of Allianz’s phone lines buzzing with passports left behind on planes, forgotten visas, and other travel boo-boos we would have once considered rookie mistakes. To help with the excitement of upcoming long-overdue overseas adventures, use Allianz’s handy checklist to prepare you for your next trip.
Before you go
Did you know that at least 40 countries require travellers to have COVID travel insurance cover before you even arrive? This is often due to the pressure that COVID-19 placed on even the most robust healthcare systems, with many still stretched to capacity.
Governments are cautious about allowing tourists entry now they know the costs associated with the hospitalisation of COVID patients. They want the paperwork to prove you have adequate travel insurance cover should you fall sick.
Before you set off, make sure you:
- Purchase and pack your travel insurance certificate (provided when purchasing), so you can readily prove you have medical cover should you be diagnosed with COVID whilst overseas
- Are fully vaccinated (pack your vaccination certificate) or in alignment with the vaccine requirements of where you are travelling. You’ll also want to double-check your standard immunisations are up to date – including any travel-specific vaccinations for things like yellow fever. Check Smartraveller for your destination’s requirements
- Have applied for any visas, allowing plenty of time for your application to be processed
- Complete your due diligence to ensure you comply with any COVID regulations at your transit airport and destination. Smartraveller‘s comprehensive guide is a helpful tool, especially for Australian Government travel advisories
- Read the terms and conditions of your plane tickets and accommodation bookings. Airlines aren’t absorbing the costs of the pandemic anymore, so refunds on delayed or missed flights aren’t guaranteed
Staying well is more than just avoiding COVID
COVID has revealed the strengths and weaknesses of health systems worldwide. While you may have upped your health awareness, it doesn’t mean healthcare quality has improved at your destination.
Here’s how to avoid adding a trip to the hospital to your itinerary:
- Get a check-up to make sure you are healthy before you travel, especially if you have a chronic medical condition
- Pack more than enough medication for your trip and take your prescription in case you lose your medicines or are away longer than planned. Be mindful about stock levels of your medication overseas, as well as counterfeit drug scams
- In developing countries, ensure you bring anti-nausea and anti-diarrhoeal tablets and only drink boiled or bottled water. You’ll also want to avoid ice in drinks and make sure food is cooked thoroughly
- If you’re travelling to a tropical region with malaria, the best prevention is to not get bitten. Wear repellent and cover up from top-to-toe – especially at peak mozzie periods from dusk and dawn. Speak to your GP at least a week before departure to discuss anti-malarial medication
- Consider how close the nearest hospital is or how equipped it may be before taking part in certain activities
Pack your common sense
A little travel 101 reminder can’t hurt before you return to the skies:
- Make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months after you arrive home
- Pay attention: check your seat-back pocket before departing the plane for your valuables or important documents
- Research the weather and temperatures at your destination and pack accordingly
- Airports are currently short-staffed and busy, so allow plenty of time to get through customs. Pack medications and spare clothes in your carry-on should your flight be cancelled or luggage delayed
Earlier this year, Allianz launched a new and simplified travel insurance policy, adapted for the current world and traveller’s needs. It’s designed to assist and support Australians when they need it most. Allianz Comprehensive Travel Insurance for overseas travel includes benefits for trip cancellation and medical emergencies if you are diagnosed with COVID-19.
We already said it in this helpful COVID story, but don’t forget not all insurance policies are created equal, so check the Product Disclosure Statement to match your needs to the right policy. To find the best Allianz travel insurance product for your trip, visit their website now.
Travel Insurance is issued and managed by AWP Australia Pty Ltd ABN 52 097 227 177 AFS Licence No. 245631, trading as Allianz Global Assistance (AGA) as agent of the insurer Allianz Australia Insurance Limited ABN 15 000 122 850 AFS Licence No. 234708 (Allianz). Travel Insurance is underwritten by the insurer Allianz. Conditions, terms, limits and exclusions apply. We do not provide advice based on any consideration of your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before making a decision, please consider the Product Disclosure Statement and Target Market Determination available at www.allianz.com.au. If you purchase this insurance, AGA will receive a commission that is a percentage of the premium. Ask us for more details before we provide you with any services on this product.
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