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Before you depart on your trip...
* Allow plenty of time to get the relevant visa.
* Read up about your destinations before leaving so you can enjoy yourself straight away on arrival. Check out travel deals that are available on the Internet.
* Don't buy loads of new clothes - be ruthless when packing - most people can manage with half what they take.
* Take an extra duffel bag - it can be used as a day bag and for your souvenirs.
* Don't pack your passport in your large suitcase - keep it in your hand luggage with your tickets.
* Try to memorise your passport number incase you lose it!
* Write down addresses of friends and family in a small adcdress book, you may want to send postcards to them
* Arrange for diabetic/vegetarian/vegan meals for your flight with your travel agent.
* Remove old destination tags from your luggage to avoid confusion for airport handlers
* On the day of your flight call the airport to check that your flight deperture time.
* Find out how many 'carry on bags' your airlina allows - luggage 20"x15"x10" is average
* Purchase some water purification tablets if you are planning a stop over in a country with suspect water sources.
* Pack essentials such as a toothbrush, clean underwear and money in hand luggage, incase your check in bags get lost/or delayed.
* Reduce the pain of popping ears; suck a sweet, swallow hard or gently blow your nose.
* Try to drink plenty of water to avoid becoming dehydrated - plane cabins use highly pressurised air which is very dry.
* If your flight is half empty, ask cabin crew if you can move to a row of unoccupied seats (if available).
* Try to minimise jet lag by adjusting your watch to 'local' time along your journey !
* Walk around a little on the plane to help circulation and make the most of any refuel stops for a good stretch.
* Try to sleep during the Australian night (the airlines normally turn the lights off to help).
When you Arrive...
* Try to be as alert as you can; weary travellers make easy prey for pickpockets etc.
* Avoid making long distance calls from your hotel room; it's likely to attract a huge premium charged by hotels.
* Make sure any taxi you get into is legitimate to avoid any shady operators
* If hiring a car, insurance/waiver is worth considering
* If hiring a car, carefully check it for dents, scratches etc and insist the rental company makes a written note of any dents, scratches found by you.
* Carry a 2nd 'dummy' wallet with a small amount of cash in case you are mugged - not likely in Australia.
* Be aware of the hot Australian sun - use sunscreen, wear sunglasses, a hat and lip protection.
* Check for hazardous currents/ tides or dangerous marine life before swimming/surfing at Australian beaches - especillay in Northern Queensland waters between November to May (painful marine stingers may be in the waters).
It is a Good Idea to...
* Book internal Australian airline tickets at least three weeks in advance to a get a discount.
* Open a bank account in Australia; if it is your intention to stay for more than a month.
* Get vaccinations for other foreign destinations before leaving.
* Never let a stranger look after your bag - they may steal or put something in it.
* Use reduced rate phone cards to phone home.
* Travel in a group, it is safer, cheaper and more fun.
* Plan a rough itenirary of your trip a few weeks ahead
* Travel in the southern states during the Summer and the northern states during the Winter.
* Buy a road map if you are planning on driving, or a relevant typographical map if you are planning on doing some serious bushwalking.
* Find the suitable Insurance policy that covers money, medical and activities.
* Consider using a camping/sports towels as they are extremely small and lightweight, they don't smell and can be packed damp.
* Shaving oil rather than shaving cream saves valuable storage space and weight.
* A small first aid kit could be very useful for minor injuries.
* Swiss army style knives are a good idea for peeling fruit, cutting toe nails etc. (but bote - some may not be able to be carried on plane flights for security reasons)
* A wide brimmed hat or cap can be very useful for preventing sun stroke on very hot days.
* High factor (30+) sun cream will help to minimise the risks of sun burn and skin cancer.
* Good quality sun glasses are useful and they will make you look cool !
* Ear plugs can be a real 'God send' when there is a loud snorer in your dorm!
* dont forget to pack headache tablets for hangovers, etc.
* A lightweight showerproof jacket can be useful as it does rain in Australia, sometimes very hard in northern monsoon areas of Australia.
* Pack clothes that don't run or have been well washed (so you only have to do one washing load for everything).
* Pack comfortable shoes that don't take up too much room, and are suitable for various occassions.
Your Ruck Sack
* A 65 litre rucksack should definitely be large enough.
* A rucksack which opens up like a suitcase is excellent for keeping clothes crease free and easily accessible.
* A rucksack with a detachable smaller bag is desirable. They are ideal for day trips etc.
* Wire Ruck Sack security bags are available to safeguard your valuables.
* A rucksack with an additional removable water proof cover can be a good investment.