Holidays are time for fun, to check out from the real world and to relax.

But before you head off, it always pays to be prepared. Here are five tips for what you need to know, before you go!

1. Check the travel destination before you book

You’ve been dreaming of going off the beaten track, steering clear of typical tourist destinations and trying something a little different. However, it always pays to check the travel advisories for the destination. The government’s Smart Traveller offers travel alerts which provide advice about the safety and security risks to tourists in each country. Current destinations classed as ‘reconsider your need to travel’ include Egypt and Saudi Arabia. You can subscribe to travel alerts to ensure you stay up to date.

2. Arrange travel insurance

It might not be the most glamorous job on the pre-holiday to do list, but it is the most important. Whether your flight is cancelled, your luggage is lost, or you get sick, travel insurance can help cover any financial losses. Travel insurance is available for both domestic and international travel, and it does pay to cover yourself for travel at home as well as aboard as accidents can happen anywhere. Internationally, some destinations like Cuba won’t let you into the country without it. This Choice travel insurance buying guide and cheat sheet provides advice on how to buy and things to look out for.

3. Take copies of your passport

Whether it’s lost or stolen, a missing passport can wreak havoc with travel plans. Take a photocopy or photo of your passport, plus giving a copy to a family member or friend at home. It will help you arrange an emergency passport if overseas.

4. Tell your bank before you go

Many of us now use our credit and debit card overseas but it pays to let your bank know where your headed and when, otherwise they might put a stop on your cards.

5. Check customs laws at your destination, and don’t forget coming home

One of the best things about travelling is the shopping! But you need to check the customs and quarantine regulations to know what you’re allowed to bring in and out of the country, including money limits as well as food and other goods. Check out Department of Immigration and Border Protection order for information about what you can bring into Australia. #MakeHolidayHappen

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