For many, traveling to Australia is the trip of a lifetime. The Land Down Under is a wonderland of beaches, rugged outback, underwater reefs, and dazzling cities. But before you go, there are a few things you should know. Here are five vital tips to follow when traveling to Australia.
Grab the Sunscreen
Image via Flickr by Pavel Sigarteu
Due to Australia’s thinner ozone layer, the sun there is harsher than in most other places. In fact, Australia has the highest percentage of melanoma skin cancer diagnoses in the world. This doesn’t mean you need to stay inside; rather, you should arrive prepared. Bring a sun hat and clothing with a high SPF rating to cover your skin while you’re out and about. Always wear sunscreen, even when it is cloudy.
The harsh sun also means Australia heats up fast. To avoid a potentially deadly illness such as heat stroke, stay properly hydrated and take breaks in a cool building during the heat of the day.
Drive on the Left
Australians drive on the left side of the road, with the driver seated on the right-hand side of the car. Most countries have cars designed to be driven on the right side of the road, and switching takes some getting used to. Be careful when driving, and practice on less-crowded streets before jumping on the highway or tackling city traffic. For pedestrians, remember to look right to check for oncoming traffic.
Get a Hotspot
In Australia, internet is notoriously slow and expensive. Unlike in Europe or the United States, free Wi-Fi is not prevalent. If you need consistent internet access, purchase a hotspot offered by a reliable cell service provider. It still won’t work everywhere — Australia is a big country, after all — but it will increase your chances of having access when you need it.
Plan for Emergencies
For most people visiting Australia, home is a long way away. Medical emergencies, security concerns, and crises can happen. Protect yourself with a membership to MedJetHorizon, which can arrange travel from one hospital to another in case of a medical emergency. It also offers travel security services and crisis response to help you handle any situation.
Australia is regularly voted one of the most expensive countries to live in, and it is equally expensive to visit. Expect to a pay a premium for airplane tickets, lodging, activities, and food. To help save your budget, make reservations well in advance to get the best deals on travel and accommodations. For savings on food, look for a hotel or apartment that offers a kitchen or kitchenette, then grocery shop for food to eat throughout the trip. Breakfast and lunch are easy to make no matter where you stay, leaving more money to enjoy dinner out.
A trip to Australia is the experience of a lifetime. Before you go, take time to understand some of the endearing quirks and cultural differences you will encounter while abroad. With a bit of preparation, you’ll be ready to explore everything this country has to offer.