Be a smart traveller these holidays

Media Release

19 December 2014

Australians about to head overseas for a well-deserved holiday should keep in mind the following tips to ensure they stay safe and healthy during their trip.

  1. An Australian passport does not make you immune from the law in other countries. The Australian Government cannot intervene in foreign judicial processes and we cannot get you out of jail or detention.
  2. Take out appropriate travel insurance. Australians are urged to take out travel and medical insurance before they leave the country. In virtually all circumstances, the Government will not pay for your return home for medical treatment. See the recently published travel insurance buying guide to help you find the right cover.
  3. Every country is different, so know as much as you can before you go. We keep Australians up to date with more than 170 country-specific advisories which you can subscribe to at smartraveller.gov.au. There are currently 12 countries where we advise against all travel and another 36 where part of a country is rated as do not travel. Your travel insurance is unlikely to be valid in these areas.
  4. Some travellers are particularly vulnerable. Smartraveller includes practical advice for women, the LGBTI community, volunteers, families and seniors.
  5. Know who to contact. Make sure you have the emergency number of your insurance provider, as well as contacts for airlines, travel agents, banks, and family or friends back home. Australian consular officials can be contacted 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through our Consular Emergency Centre on 1300 555 135 (in Australia) or on +61 2 6261 3305 or SMS on +61 421 269 080. Download the free Smartraveller app, and follow Smartraveller onFacebook and Twitter.
  6. Be as self-reliant as possible. Australians often have unrealistic or unreasonable expectations of what help we can offer. For details of what we can and cannot do, please review the Consular Services Charter and the Consular Strategy.
  7. Get the basics right. Make sure your passport has at least six months’ validity from your planned date of return, and check that you have the right visas and vaccinations. Leave an itinerary with someone at home and keep in contact with them. You should also register with Smartraveller, in case of a serious emergency.

Following these tips will go a long way to ensuring that your holidays go smoothly. We hope all travellers have an enjoyable experience overseas during this holiday period.

Media enquiries

DFAT Media Liaison: 02 6261 1555


Last Updated: 30 January 2015