When we decided to apply for an Australian Visa online, we were already discussing expenses and how long the trip would be considering work, among other travel preparation considerations.
Australia is an 8-hour plane ride from Manila and the cost of airline tickets to Australia is no joke so we wanted this once-in-a-lifetime trip to the land down under to be a truly memorable one.
It took us 2 weeks to prepare for a 14-day Australia itinerary covering Sydney, Canberra, and Melbourne.
The wifey did the initial research of the tourist spots, hotels, and AirBnB accommodations including the how-to-take the tram and MRT in Australia. It was all indicated in the itinerary which we submitted for the tourist visa application.
While waiting for the visa grant, we were already scouting for cheap flights from Manila to Sydney, and cheap flights from Melbourne to Manila. It so happened that the return flight we got from Fly Scoot had an expected layover to Singapore.
Of you’re wondering why we chose to book a flight with a layover, we’ll tell you more about it on our next blog! 🙂
10 Tips in Preparing for Travel Abroad
Here is a short list of what Seats For Two have listed about important things and tips you need to prepare for a long trip to Australia:
- Passport with 6 months Validity Prior to Departure.This is a basic and one of a common knowledge for most that your passport should NOT have less than a 6-months expiryduring the date of your departure. To be extra- safe and secure, make it 6-months NOT expired prior to date of return to your home country just to be sure you won’t have a problem with theimmigration of your host country during your return flight.You wouldn’t want to have issues specially with the immigration on foreign lands.That would be a nightmare!
- Create an Itinerary; so you can decide where and when you want to go.
Australia is the world’s 6th largest country, with Sydney as its largest city. On the other hand, Canberra, the capital is three hours drive from Sydney.
Having said that, it’s highly recommended to prepare an itinerary and decide what place you’d like to explore such as Tasmania, Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney, or Adelaide.
3. Apply for Visa
Your travel dates and duration depend on your type of visa.
If you’re planning to attend an important occasion on a specific time, make sure to apply for visa in advance. Immi Accout gives you wait time for your visa to be processed – from 48 hours to less than 60 days depending on your application type and the requirements you submitted.
We were granted a multiple tourist visa 3 days after submission. Here’s a step-by-step procedure on how to apply for an Australian Tourist Visa. Click here.
4. Start saving.
Needless to say, you need money to travel; unless you intend to beg on the streets of your host country. 🙂
Since we both love to travel, it’s a must to save for the holidays and your couple vacation.whether it’s a local travel or an international travel.
5. Pay all your Debt and other Obligations before leaving for a long trip.
A week prior to our departure, we made sure to settle all our household utility bills including credit card bills to prevent additional charges and interest.
6. Health and Wellness.
Sleep on time and eat healthy food. Get medical insurance, in addition to your travell insurance.
Australia is only 2 hours ahead in the timezone from the Philippines but it would be great to start adjusting even if you’re still in the country.
Adjust your watch with Australian time few days before your trip or you might find yourself awake at 12 midnight Manila time, which is 2am Australia time and feeling sleepy during the day due to jetlag.
7. Consider your job
We could have stayed a little longer especially in Canberra where my grandmother lives but we have to be back by in Manila for work and other commitments so we had to shorten our trip to 14 days, instead.
You might also consider bringing work while vacationing. Good thing, ours is mostly online, so all we had to do was get an internet access which is easily available in all the accommodations we booked.
8. Exchange to Target Currency in Advance
We exchange a good amount of cash from Philippine peso to US dollars a few days from our trip. We also discovered that you can to exchange it to your target currency (banks call it the 3rd currency) but you have to notify your branch of account ahead of time – something like 1 to 2 months in advance; so they can request from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and reserve the currency for you.!
Moreover, at the Sydney Kingsford Smith International Airport, we scouted for the best exchange rate and found ANZ Bank just outside the arrival area of Sydney airport, near the Veloci coffee shop.
9. Bring Cash and Credit Cards.
We prepared US$850 for our 14-days tour (not including airfare) which covers our everyday expenses from meals, transportation, and some tours.
Our hotels were already booked online and in advance. We also used credit cards shopping in K-Mart, Coles, Just Jeans, Connor, UGG Australia, and Woolworths for ‘pasalubongs‘. We mostly used credit cards whenever we need to hold on to cash for other purposes.
There were a few shops in Australia that accepted only Mastercard for reasons we don’t know. It would be great if you have both Visa and Mastercard on hand, if none you can always pay in cash.
In light of this, you have to note that the initial US$850 does not include some of our sponsored activities as bloggers, family accommodations, and friend-supported expenses.
So in effect, we’d place the amount estimate at US$2000 expenses for meals, accommodations, transportations, ‘pasalubong’ and tours (not including airfare).
10. Appropriate Clothing
Of course, consider the locaiton and weather of the country you will travel to!
With Australia’s 4-season weather, the month of May sees the latter transition from autumn to winter so it was already a but cold at about 13 degrees celcius.
We brought winter jackets, thermal clothes, mittens, and boots.
We hope those “10 Tips in Preparing for Travel Abroad“, specifically in Australia, was of practical use and help to you, our readers!