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Travel safety tips

Heading overseas is exciting. But before jumping on a plane, it’s important to know what steps you can take to keep yourself safe while you’re away.

Research where you’re going

There’s more to holiday research than scoping out the best beaches or hottest food spots – you should find out about how to stay safe at your destination too.

As well as finding the best neighbourhoods to visit, find out which ones you should avoid. Other things to get clued up on include the safest local transport options (such as which taxis to catch or avoid) and how to get help from the local police in an emergency.

Share your travel itinerary  

Make sure someone always knows where you are. Before you leave, let them know what flights and accommodation plans you’ve arranged. If your itinerary is more fluid, make sure you update them as your plans evolve.

Check in with home regularly

Before you leave, plan to check in with someone at home on a regular basis (say, every two days). It doesn’t have to be a big deal – an email or a message on WhatsApp is all it should take. But if you make a plan, stick to it – send that message every 48 hours – you could cause a lot of unnecessary worry if not.

Find out about local travel scams

Some travel scams are universal, but some are specific to certain areas. Research as much as you can online in advance, but also ask at your hotel or the local tourist information centre.

Let your bank know

It’s not just about keeping yourself safe; it’s about keeping your finances in check as well. By letting your bank know you’re travelling overseas (and where you’ll be going), they’ll be able to keep an eye out on your accounts for any suspicious activity.

Don’t pack valuables in checked luggage

‘Valuables’ doesn’t have to mean something with an expensive replacement value (such as a laptop or camera); it also means anything that is difficult to replace, such as your passport, credit cards or medication. You should always keep items like these safely in your hand luggage – never in your checked in baggage.

Keep cash to a minimum

When heading out for the day, only take the amount of cash you need – there’s no need to wander around with stacks of cash on you. Use a combination of cash and credit or debit cards and keep the rest locked up securely at your accommodation.

Check for travel warnings on smartraveller.gov.au before you leave

The Australian Government’s Smart Traveller website is a must visit online destination before you go anywhere, with up-to-date travel advice and warnings for practically every country.

Have the details of the nearest Australian Embassy

Hopefully you’ll never need to use them, but in case of a major civil emergency (think natural disaster or terrorist attack), the Australian Embassy can provide guidance. If there isn’t an Australian Embassy where you are, generally an agreement will be in place as to which country’s embassy you can use (e.g. the British Embassy). You can find Australian Embassy details at smartraveller.gov.au

Make sure you have travel insurance (and know how to use it)

It can’t be said enough – if you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel. A good policy will cover you for medical expenses (including being medically evacuated back home), lost or stolen luggage and cancellations. Make sure you choose a policy that covers all your travel needs (find out more about travel insurance)

And make sure you know how to contact your insurer should you need to. They will have a 24-hour emergency phone number, so put the number in your phone and write it down and keep it in your wallet.

Things you should know

The information contained in this article is general information only and is not specific to any product.  
 

It does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and so you should consider its appropriateness, having regard to your personal objectives, financial situation and needs having regard to these factors before acting on it.


Terms, conditions and exclusions to apply to any insurance product. Please read the disclosure documents for your selected product or service, including the Terms and Conditions or Product Disclosure Statement, before deciding.

 

Westpac Travel Insurance is issued by AGA Assistance Australia Pty Ltd ABN 52 097 227 177 (trading as Allianz Global Assistance), as agent for the insurer, Allianz Australia Insurance Limited ABN 15 000 122 850 (Allianz).  Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 arranges the insurance as agent of Allianz, but does not guarantee the insurance.  Policy terms, conditions, limits and exclusions apply. This information does not take into account your personal circumstances. Read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDF 407KB) to see if this insurance is right for you. Call 1800 502 077.


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