5 Essential Tips You Will Need to Know When Traveling in Australia
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Australia, the land down under, is a country full of enigmatic charms and is considered as one of the premier destinations of European and North American travelers. The Australian sun, the awesome surf beaches, the distinctive coffee culture, and koalas and kangaroos are just a few of the things you can anticipate if you’re planning to go there. Like most foreign countries, there are things you need to know and prepare for in order to have smooth-sailing and worthwhile travel experience in Australia. Here are 5 of the essential Australia travel tips you need to know:
Prepare Visa and Travel Requirements
Every traveler should know about this, but even if this is considered as standard procedure, it still helps to remind both seasoned and first-time travelers. No matter how long you plan to stay in Australia, you will need to have a valid visa to enter the country, which includes short stopovers. Apply for a visa ahead of time at your local consulate or the embassy or do it online to apply for a visitor visa or electronic travel authority (ETA) visa. If you plan to work or study in Australia, a different kind of visa is needed for longer stays. The internet is a good source of information, and you can check out the Australian Government’s Department of Home Affairs website for visa requirements and the right type of visa for you.
Aside from documents, you need to know what to bring, not to bring and what to bring with caution, especially batteries. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the Australian airport security may have more or less of the same provision when it comes to carrying batteries, including vape battery. Vape battery should be carried in your carry-on baggage and not in checked bags. When it comes to traveling with vape devices in Australia, you don’t have to worry as it is legal to take vaporizers in Australia. It is legal to possess vaporizers or vape in Australia, with an additional provision in Western Australia prohibiting the sale of vaporizers. Because it is a battery-operated device, you need to take it apart when flying.
Australia is a Large Country
With an area of over 7 million square kilometers, Australia is the 6th largest country in the world. For the sake of comparison, that area is larger than all of the European Union countries combined. And when it comes to population density, Australia has one of the lowest, with only 3.1 people per kilometer. This is because the majority of the Australian population lives along the coast. So if you’re thinking of road tripping in Australia, you might want to take a rain check on that, unless you’re there on vacation for a month or more. With sparse population distribution, it will take days or even weeks to traverse one major city to next. Take for example Brisbane to Perth, its total distance is 4338 kilometers or 2696 miles. If you are going to drive a car through the major highway, it will take 48 hours of non-stop driving, at around 70 miles per hour or roughly 110 km/h. Road tripping takes periods of rest and stopovers, so 2 days is like really rushing it. If you want to go to city-hopping, flying is your best option.
Australia Has Strict Quarantine Laws
Australia is an island that is uniquely placed along the Southern Hemisphere and is surrounded by three different oceans: the Indian Ocean at the west, the Pacific Ocean at the east and the Southern Ocean down south. This contributes to the unique landscapes, distinct flora and fauna, endemic plant and animal species and remarkable biodiversity of the country. Australia also has a flourishing agriculture industry. It is for these reasons that the Australian Government takes quarantine laws very seriously. When you arrive in Australia, you need to disclose all food, plant material, and animal products to ensure the invasive or devastating particle is brought into the country by mistake. Be careful of bringing edible fruits, seeds, feathers, and animal skins. Follow the process of filling out the Incoming Passenger Card and declaring everything you are bringing with you. Biosecurity officers at the airport will assess your travel items and they will return your items if they are low-risk. Otherwise, your items will be confiscated if they deem any item a threat and you may also pay a fee. Also, Australian states and territories also have border quarantine laws, so it is important to know the quarantine laws of Australia before you pack.
An Australian Vacation Can Be Expensive
You need to prepare your budget for your vacation to Australia. As a rule of thumb, prepare at least $100-$200 per day for transportation, accommodation, food and other activities. It is also a good idea to prepare a credit card for your vacation as a backup measure. The good thing about Australia is it accepts all major international or globally accepted cards.
Going from state to state or from one major Australian city to another can take considerable time, so choose flying with budget airlines. Another great thing about flying domestically in Australia is that one-way flights are affordable with budget airlines. This way, time is no longer much of a constraint as you can choose to return anytime. For land transportation, you need to know that each state has its own public transport system and that they have distinct travel cards for access to public transport vehicles such as trains, buses, and trams. For example, Melbourne has a Myki card, Sydney has an Opal card and Brisbane has a Go card. Remember that each card works only in the state they belong to.
For your place to stay, go to B&B accommodation rather than a hotel. This accommodation plan works best when you travel with friends, family or your significant other. There are many Airbnb options or small family-run B&Bs that you go to for spending a few days, weeks or months.
For food and drinks, you can choose to cook your own food and buy from the farmers’ markets for the ingredients. Not only are you saving money, but you are also supporting the local community. If you feel the urge to go to a bar and drink, you need to schedule your visits on special days where there are discounts. Drinking at bars in Australia can be quite expensive, but that doesn’t mean you should totally cut back on booze and wine. You can buy boxed wine and six-packs to enjoy drinking whenever you want.
Stay Protected Under The Sun
The sun is really strong in Australia. It’s always wise to bring sunblock and other protective gear from sun exposure such as sunglasses, hats or caps and long-sleeved clothes. Also, hydration is important whenever you spend significant time under the sun. Although you want to experience Australia as much as you can, you’ll have to limit your sun exposure, especially during peak hours where the temperature is hottest, from 9 AM to 3 PM. If you want to hit the beach and wear sunblock, choose an environment-friendly sunblock so as not to adversely affect ocean life.
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There are many things you’d want to discover in Australia. In order to do so, you need to be prepared for the travel requirements and laws of the country. Also, you need to respect the cultures and the environment wherever you go. Budget is also an important aspect of any international travel, and you need to be financially prepared to take the trip. All these things considered, and you’ll enjoy your stay in the land down under.