Getting your Australian Trip ready takes energy, and filtering through all the information from the internet can be time-consuming. There’s nothing that outweighs personal experience though, that’s where the biggest takeaway is; we learn from travel mistakes to tweak and fine-tune our future trips and help us travel better and smarter.
This Australia checklist is the outcome of 15 years of solo travel adventures around Australia.
Travel Checklist for Australia
Here is a travel planning checklist with things I go through every time before going to Australia. Make yourself familiar before you go to the airport and jump onto the BIG country’s overseas flight.
Passport and Tourist Visa for Australia
Ensure you have the required documents and a tourist visa for Australia and your passport is valid for at least six months before departure. Check all your bookings are confirmed and you have digital copies of them safely stored in your phone or email box folder.
What things you can bring into Australia
Due to Quarantine regulations, you cannot bring a list of items and food into the country. Dairy and fresh products are a no-no, but also wooden souvenirs and more things are strictly forbidden. You will be asked to fill in a passenger card before landing. So be prepared, and you’d better say what you have inside your checked luggage to avoid an unpleasant surprise and fine.
What to pack for your trip
Australia is a tricky destination. Although many places offer the best conditions for enjoying your time outdoors, with plenty of sunshine and warm temps throughout the year, it can be unforgiving cold at night. Also, windy and rainy days are not unusual, especially in coastline location. So, it is wise to know to wear proper clothing when travelling around Australia.
This packing checklist can be helpful when preparing for your travels.
Long flights suck – be prepared
A trip to Australia means nearly 24 hours spent at airports and on planes. Proper information is critical to help get ready for the long haul flight, maximise your layovers and recover from jet lag in a short time.
Make sure you pack these flight essentials and know what to wear on the plane.
Don’t skimp on your safety
You never know what happens when you travel. And being Australia a remote destination, the cost involved in medical care and extra travel expenses are enormous. For Australia, travel insurance is vital to cover you against medical emergencies and all those non-medical emergencies like accidents, loss of personal items, etc.
First things to do when arriving in Australia
After a 24-hour journey, the first thing you may think about is resting and having a shower when you get off the aeroplane. No! Be focused and make the most of the first moments after arriving at the incoming Australian Airport and going through this handy checklist.
Get Cash at the airport by using an ATM
You can withdraw money with debit or credit cards, whereas debit cards have lower fees and better exchange rates. But don’t exchange money at a counter because you will get the worst exchange rates. The ATM exchange rate is the best for low charges, and I only use them for getting cash when travelling around Australia.
Purchase an Australian SIM Card
As much as the digital world has made it easy for us to stay in touch with our friends and family abroad, you’ll need to get a local Australian mobile number to get around Australia safely. This way, you can make as many local calls as you want, search for the best accommodation and car rental deals while also making the most out of Google Maps to ensure you don’t get lost.
Please don’t use your usual mobile number; it will cost you a fortune due to roaming charges. There is a range of providers that offer reasonable mobile plans. However, a provider that stands out from the competition with unlimited calls and text, no lock-in contracts and a ton of data is Amaysim.
Visit the local Tourist Information Office
One of the first things when arriving in Australia is to visit the local visitor information centres. While there are some offices at the airports, those in the city centre have a wealth of information.
You will not only learn about the attractions and what’s on in the city, but it’s also a great place to get tips and advice on how to get around. You learn about free guided tours of the area, too, as well as the best places to eat out. This will help you avoid overpriced tourist eateries.
Get familiar with the Australian customs
In Australia, many things are different from anywhere else. Alone shopping hours are mostly like office hours. In shopping malls, the closing time for shops is between 5.00 and 6.00 pm. Only supermarkets are open till 8.00 pm. So make sure you get accustomed to this when travelling around the country.
Purchase a Travel Card or a Public Transport Card
In cities don’t take a taxi. There are plenty of opportunities to get around and spend less. All Australian cities have a free city bus network. Sydney has the 555 bus, Melbourne has the free city trams, and Perth has the blue, yellow and green cat. All main Australian cities offer public transport cards for a small fee.
And the Sydney Opal card is free. If you plan to stay at least one week, it’s worth getting one of these cards to save money on transportation.
Travelling around Australia Checklist
Distances in Australia are vast, and getting from A to B is not something you should take lightly. Ensure you have planned your itinerary thoughtfully by allocating the right time for each place without wasting time getting around. Here is a list to help you make a cost-and-time effective trip plan for Australia.
Flying in Australia – Check baggage allowances
Flying within Australia is usually the quickest way to get from A to B. Make sure you book your flight in advance and know about the baggage allowances and restrictions.
Most airlines in Australia have 15-20 kg, but Virgin and Qantas have 23 kg per checked bag. Here is a complete checklist with all baggage rules and weight restrictions in Australia.
Road Tripping in Australia – Beware of Driving Rules
Many people say that no Australia adventure is complete without a road trip. And I cannot agree more. Driving in Australia is different in many ways than in the rest of the world. Getting familiar with the Australian driving rules is a must.
Next, you need to consider that out of town you drive in the remote countryside with fewer facilities to driving on the left. In some places, you may have a petrol station every 100-150 km. Especially in the Outback, you need to get a petrol station map and make sure you know what you are doing. Download the appropriate travel apps to help you stay safe on the Australian roads.
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No matter how many times you have been to Australia or your first trip, this Australia Checklist will help you keep all things organised and under control to ensure you don’t waste time travelling around Australia and make the most of your trip.
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