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Overseas Travel Checklist for Families

Travel Vaccinations > News > Travel Health Tips > Overseas Travel Checklist for Families
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  • mark

Planning a vacation to a new destination? Our overseas travel checklist for families can help you arrange everything for your trip, from passport requirements and travel vaccination certificates to packing all the essentials in your carry on for a flight.

Whether you’re flying to sun-soaked beaches in Thailand, enjoying a cultural trip to India or embarking on a family adventure to Bali, we have all the information you need to ensure a safe and healthy overseas trip.

Ultimate International Travel Checklist

Here’s our tried and tested checklist for you to follow.

First things first, check the expiry date on every family member’s passport. Many countries, particularly in Europe require a valid passport to have at least 6 months left on it – this allows for any unforeseen circumstances during international travel.

Should you need to apply for a new passport, or renew an existing document, you can do so easily at the Australian Passport Office. Allow a few weeks prior to your journey to account for any backlog.

Different countries have their own unique entry requirements, and this means you may need a visa to travel. Visas allow non-citizens to enter a foreign country, transit through, or stay for a set period of time. Check with the embassy of your destination country to see if you need one.

If you’re traveling internationally as a solo parent with a child, you also may need to obtain official consent from the absent parent before your journey.

There are many on the market and often it can become confusing. Prioritise a travel insurance policy that meets yours and your family’s needs.

Consider single trip, multi trip and family policies. Ensure it covers your entire trip, including any activities, excursions and different locations.

Keeping your family safe and healthy is a priority both at home and abroad, therefore it’s always helpful to research any potential health risks.

Many countries require travel vaccinations as part of their entry requirements. These are in place to protect visitors from contracting diseases or illnesses that may be prevalent in the country.

Vaccination Certificates

The most common vaccinations required are the typhoid vaccination, yellow fever vaccination and the rabies vaccination. This document is usually presented along with your passport and visa at the destination airport.

Typhoid and yellow fever are often found in the following countries; however, rabies is common worldwide:

  • India
  • Sri Lanka
  • South East Asia
  • China
  • Pacific Islands
  • Africa
  • Central and South America

You can obtain a full list of destinations and their vaccine requirements here.

When to Get Travel Vaccinations

It’s advisable to get any relevant travel vaccinations before leaving Australia, as some medicines need to be administered 10-14 days in advance or longer to take effect.

In some cases, if you require multiple doses, or are travelling overseas to an underdeveloped country, you may need to begin a programme several weeks before an international trip.

Taking Travel Health Precautions

There are many things you can do to keep your family safe and healthy while travelling. Here are a few important things to remember.

Booking an Appointment

Expert travel medicine specialists can advise you on which vaccines you may need for your destination. They consider your full medical history and age, alongside details of any vaccinations you had as a child.

They will also discuss risks and potential side effects so that you can make an informed choice, or they may offer an alternative solution such as tablets.

If you’re travelling soon, book online at Travel Vaccination Clinic today. We are open 7 days a week by appointment.

Organise Your Travel Money

The next step is to organise foreign currency. Using debit cards or a credit card is a secure way to pay for things like car hire, hotel amenities and to use in shops and restaurants. Although, be aware currency conversion fees and charges can be high if you’re using ATM’s.

You can also use a digital money provider like Wise. Apply for a debit card online and transfer money on-the-go via the app into the currency of your choice. This avoids incurring high fees and it’s a convenient, stress-free way to move money between your accounts, especially if you’re travelling abroad to multiple countries.

Even in the digital era we live in today, it’s still wise to carry a small amount of cash in the local currency. In remote areas and markets, you’ll often find that cash is still one of the preferred payment options.

Family Friendly Accommodation & Flights

When travelling internationally, especially with younger children, it’s wise to research and look at reviews of hotels and apartments to see if they are suitable for kids. Check if hotels have kid’s clubs, safe beaches nearby or family friendly entertainment and activities.

Also, avoid travelling on red eye flights where sleep patterns can be disrupted. If there are also vast time zone changes, it may take little ones a while to come around again.

Booking Tours and Excursions

Book tours and excursions for certain dates before you leave Australia. There are several reputable global tour providers such as Get Your Guide or Viator.

Alternatively, your hotel may have their own exciting excursion programmes. Reserving a place in advance guarantees your spot on the tour. It also ensures that you can pack appropriately and find activities to suit every family member.

Packing Tips for Your Trip Abroad

Packing for the family can be challenging. There’s airline baggage allowance to consider, deciding what items are important enough to put in your hand luggage and making sure kids are entertained and dietary requirements are met throughout the trip.

Important documents

Clothes and Footwear

Pack according to the season and your destination climate. You may find using packing cubes to keep items separate and organised helpful. Items you may wish to pack may include:

For the Kids

Toiletries and Medications

It’s worth noting that some medications may not be permitted through customs in your destination country. Also, if you’re prescribed medicine overseas, you may not be able to bring it back into Australia. Check on the Smart Traveller Website or Australia Border Force for further details on local laws.

A few more things to pack include:

Travel and Leisure Accessories

Using your phone overseas while travelling internationally can greatly assist your travel plans and enhance your overall experience. From taking photos to paying for goods and getting directions, setting up a digital device for your destination can be a fantastic asset.

If you’ve planned ahead to use your cell phone overseas, you may have booked accommodation with free wi-fi. Use the wi-fi (with a VPN) to download google maps and cultural attraction information. You can then utilise the information offline while out and about to save on data roaming charges.

Planning to drive abroad? You may need an International Driving Permit or IDP. Most countries will be happy with your regular driver’s licence, but in some countries like India, Japan and Thailand, you’ll likely need an International Driving Permit.

You can apply for one for $49 at the Australian Automobile Association (AAA). They are valid for a year from your date of travel. Be sure to allow enough time for delivery before you depart.

At the Airport

Prepare for a smooth journey and familiarise yourself with your new surroundings to ensure everyone is safe.

If you’re taking international flights to a new city, it’s a good idea to allow plenty of time for check in and security.

Try to leave bulky items at the check in desk wherever possible, so there’s less to carry on board.

Ensure snacks and drinks are handy for little ones while waiting to travel.

Keep any devices with downloaded cartoons, TV shows or games in your carry on day bag to keep little ones entertained.

In Your Destination

Now that you’ve arrived, and child-proofed your accommodation for younger travellers, it’s time to familiarise yourself with the local neighbourhood.

Check with the reception or an authorised representative for family-friendly places of interest to visit such as museums, parks and beaches. Also ask for a list of places to avoid in the area.

Discover how to get around on public transport and seek out any associated costs online.

Remember to stay alert in public places such as markets and at busy tourist landmarks. They are often hotspots for pickpockets and petty criminals.

Do a little research to try and understand the cultural norms and foreign language in non-English speaking countries. Even learning the basic phrases can go a long way to gaining trust and making friends with local people.

What Do I Need to Go Overseas?

Here are the essential items to add to your packing list for your trip abroad.

: Passport and digital copy, visas, travel insurance policies, travel vaccination certificates, international driver’s permits.
: Sunscreen, toiletries, medications.
: Phones, tablets, chargers, adapters.
: Baby supplies, snacks, entertainment.


With this travel packing list, you’re now ready for your family adventure. Double check everything before you leave and enjoy your next trip! Bon Voyage!

Author: mark