Travel Advisor Part 3
Travel Insurance, Visas, Transport, Currency

Be Prepared Well in Advance

Travel Advisor Part 3 deals with Travel Insurance, Travel Visas, Passports, Currency and Transport and getting around at your destination. Click links and graphics to help find your status, get quotes and book direct.


Travel Advisor Part 3 - Travel Insurance is a must........don’t even think about not taking out insurance!

#Travel Advisor Part 3 Tip - It is advisable to insure not just for theft, loss and health cover...but cancellations of bookings.
This is often a very small sum...but may save you a lot of extra costs if things happen!

Had we not had all this cover our fiasco with the hurricanes in New Orleans and Cuba would have cost us thousands of dollars! And the health insurance covered my NZ$500 bill for a trip to the doctor and medication in US.

#Travel Advisor Part 3 Tip – Read Your Travel Insurance Policy Thoroughly!

Be sure you read the policy carefully and know what you are covered for. If you are planning on extreme sports, skiing or snowboarding etc try and get a policy that will cover you in case of accident. Many don’t! I have chosen the World Nomad Travel Insurance here because it will include adventure activities....but you may have to nominate this as an extra with some policies! Check!

#Travel Advisor Part 3 Tip – Know the Exemptions!

All travel insurance policies will have exemptions or specific criteria due to natural causes. Currently people are waiting it out, as the dust from the Iceland Volcanic eruption keeps planes grounded. People are being warned NOT to start a journey unless they know they will be able to continue to their end destination. If they cannot continue from a halfway point.... their insurance will NOT cover them for extra costs with accommodation, more airfares etc If they stay at the starting point and have costs....these will be covered.

Travel Visas and Passports

#Travel Advisor Part 3 Tip - Allow plenty of time for visa applications and passports.While there is a quick link here for US need to allow time for rejected, mislaid papers etc to be rectified.

Many countries now have reciprocal visa entry for their citizens. But it will depend on a several different criteria whether you have entry to a country without a visa. You need to make enquiries and get your visa sorted very early in your planning as these things can take considerable time. CHECK YOUR VISA STATUS HERE

Questions to Find Answers To

  • Does your country have a reciprocal agreement?
  • If so how long is this for? - Often it is 30 days and a visa may required if you plan to stay longer.
  • Are you needing multiple entry? What is your standing for this?
  • Do you want to work? I am amazed at how many people in forums casually drop in they plan to work in various countries to top up their travel dollars! You cannot just arrive at a country and expect to be able to work. It usually requires a lot of paperwork with all kinds of checks, queries and questions. It is a long process....even if your work is for short periods of time.
  • Are there issues travelling from one country to the next? There have been times when having the stamp of certain countries in your passport -e.g Cuba for Americans will make entry to other countries difficult.
  • Can you get a tourist visa at the border? If so, what do you need....usually visa photos at minimum.

#Travel Advisor Part 3 Tip - Check for reciprocal exchange work programmes.

#Travel Advisor Part 3 Tip - Be aware that you will not be allowed to board a plane if you do not have the correct visas for your end destination and a valid passport.

#Travel Advisor Part 3 Tip - Many countries require your passport to have at least 6 months still valid.

Currency and Payment at your Destination

Questions to consider:

  • Can you use your credit cards?
  • Are travellers cheques accepted?
  • Should you use local currency or are other currencies accepted?
  • Which currency is best...British Pounds, US dollars, Euros ...or some other currency? It is important to know....and it could cost you a lot if you get it wrong! We met an Irish chap in Cuba who had changed all his money into US dollars at a cost....only to find he got much less than if he had used British Pounds. I changed pounds into US dollars only to find I needed French Francs or British Pounds to travel through Africa...and changing them back involved converting first to rand in South Africa. It cost me heaps! This may be different now....that was years ago.
  • Things change frequently in many third world countries so get recent up to date information.... an old Lonely Planet is not suitable for this kind of information!
  • See if you can get a credit card with a chip! This is a safety measure...your bank should be able to issue you a credit card that has a chip out of the side of it so it cannot be scammed with machines when you travel.

#Travel Advisor Part 3 Tip – Do Not Assume Third World Countries are Cheap!

Travel Costs

Be sure you know what the local cost of basic commodities, accommodation and transport are before you commit to going. Many third world countries are quite expensive when it comes to tourism.

Cuba is not a cheap destination.Nor is Samoa ...although the currency exchange rate will help.

Parts of Africa have become horrendously expensive. Botswana is one of the most expensive. A trip to see the gorillas in Rwanda will set you back several hundred dollars even for a day, with a permit costing currently $800 US....and then the trek cost!

#Travel Advisor Part 3 Tip - Always check the exchange rates with your currency as well as check costs....this can have a big impact on your expenses.

Use this Currency Converter

Getting Around


How do you plan to travel within your holiday destination?

Rental Car - Do you want to hire a car?

  • If so what are the license requirements – there will be an age restriction ...usually 21 years. Can you drive with your own country’s licence or will you need an International License.
  • Insurance – if you have taken out travel insurance you may already have some cover, but may need some cover for specific company requirements
  • What are the roading you feel comfortable driving on the opposite side of the road, or on poorly maintained roads

What other options do you have?

Bus Pass - Bus Passes can work well if you prefer not to drive. They often offer comprehensive cover of the country.

Train Passes - Train travel in some countries is excellent. Check whether you should get a train pass before leaving home? Definitely if you are going to Japan! The JR Rail Pass cannot be purchased in Japan....and will save you hundreds of dollars!

However, the Eurail Train Pass for Europe is not so clear as to the sometimes still have to pay booking fees which can end up meaning you are not a lot, if any, better off.

#Travel Advisor Part 3 Tip - Do your research! You can still pre- book your seat for a specific trip, which is advisable.

Flights – If time is limited you may prefer to fly between locations....although personally I hate the thought of missing the scenery and countryside in between! However, it depends on your circumstances. It can often be cheaper to buy the ticket within the country....although if it is a busy holiday time I would suggest prebooking. Again....more research! No one said planning your holiday is not a little time consuming! But it is time well spent.

Use the comparable flights sites. CheapOair offers many special deals, discount vouchers etc for destinations around the world. You get to see a wide range of flights from many different airlines....all in one place.

#Travel Advisor Part 3 Tip – Is there a Travel Warning for your Destination?

If you are going to a destination which has political or natural disaster problems you may not be covered for insurance of you go contrary to warnings and then run into problems. Check travel warnings prior to departure! You can also check your embassy website for warnings issued from your own government.


Remember to think about communicating with friends and family back home. Is it worth taking a phone...will you have internet access etc

When my daughter went to Myanmar they had to open special email accounts as hotmail was not accepted. Their friend they were to meet in Rangoon had a hotmail account.... and they never caught up with him as they had no means of communicating when he arrived a week later!

Mobile Phone

Many mobile phones these days have roaming...but sometimes you need to sort things at home with a special Pass number etc. With other phones you can buy a sim card in the country you are touring.

In Hanoi the hotel staff rushed out and bought one for us. We were up and running in 5 minutes.

CLICK HERE for TRAVEL ADVISOR SECTION 4 – Baggage, Customs, Duty Free

More Travel Advisor Pages

Travel Advisor

Travel Advisor-2

Travel Advisor-4

Travel Checklist

Travel Visa

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