For as long as you can remember, you have been dreaming about taking a relaxing holiday. Now you finally have purchased your plane tickets and are working on your packing list. Whether you are flying to the States to visit friends or are heading to Europe for a couple of weeks, you cannot wait to leave Australia and enjoy some new adventures abroad.
In addition to getting pet care set up, making arrangements for your mail and asking a neighbour to take in your newspapers, there are a number of other essential tasks to take care of prior to leaving for your holiday.
Register your plans with the DFAT
Before leaving, you may wish to register your holiday plans with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. If you provide DFAT with your itinerary and contact information, they will be able to reach you in case there is some type of emergency, such as a cyclone, while you are gone. You can also receive updates and travel advice through the subscription service.
Let your banks know you are leaving
If you plan on using a Visa or another bank card while you are away, you should give your bank a ring prior to your holiday to let them know your departure and return dates. Banks’ fraud departments are set up to detect and block odd-looking transactions, and if you are suddenly using your credit card in California it will certainly send up red flags. To avoid any hassles, like having your purchase declined at a store or museum, alert the bank and any credit card companies that you plan to use while away.
Invest in an identity theft program
Before heading to the airport, take steps to reduce the risk of identity theft. When traveling, you may be at a higher risk for this serious issue — you or one of your travel mates may accidentally lose a passport that is filled with your personal information, or you may inadvertently use an unsecured Wi-Fi service in a hotel or coffee shop, and expose your personal banking data to cybercriminals. Sign up for identity theft protection before your departure so that you can have all of your most sensitive information monitored 24/7. If something seems to be amiss, you can receive an alert by text, phone, email or mobile app.
Check in with your mobile carrier
If you plan on using your smartphone while you are away on holiday, you may want to call your mobile company to make sure you have access to an international plan and ensure it is set up and ready to go. Let them know where you are headed and make sure your phone will work there. Verify any international charges as well to be sure you are getting the best deal.
Try to pack as lightly as you can — the more stuff you have with you, the more vulnerable you will be to pickpockets and luggage thieves. To keep your credit cards, passport and money as secure as possible, wear a money belt or hide them under your clothes.
Have a marvelous time!
Once you take care of these pre-holiday tasks, you can focus on the most important thing: your holiday. You deserve a wonderful vacation and no matter where you are headed, you will most certainly have a relaxing — and safe — time.