Well the silly season is upon us and you all know what that means.

The obligatory annual pilgrimage to see the relatives we avoid the other 360 days of the year.  Or for those that are truly blessed, the annual family vacation.

Some people want nothing more than to go home for the holidays, while others are happy to leave tradition behind in favour of a setting that's a little more relaxed, exotic and sun drenched.

One of my girlfriends is flying to London to see her parents (thanks for the strike British Airways that should make that 24 hour plane trip more pleasant) and another has saved for years to take her family to Fiji ( which has just been wiped out by a cyclone).  Yikes!  Another damn good reason to holiday in Australia.

But if you do need to travel overseas, here are a few tips from Smart Traveller.

1. Check the latest travel advice.  Always handy to know if your dream location is in the middle of a military coup or earthquake.  Makes packing easier (camouflage gear? Check.)

2. Take out appropriate travel insurance.  You do not want to be stuck in a hospital in a foreign country after the bungy cord snaps.  Really.  It's inconvenient.

3.  Before travelling overseas register your travel and contact details online.  That's so the loved ones can track you down in case of tsunami, cyclone, earthquake or if the Arab slave traders decide you'd fetch a good price.

4.  Obey the law.  Kind of obvious really.  Don't steal bar mats.  Bali jails are not fun.

5.  Check to see if you require visas for the country or countries you are visiting or transiting.  We've all seen Border Security.  Customs agents are not known for their sunny dispositions.

6. Make copies of your passport details, insurance policy, travellers cheques, visas and credit card numbers.  Leave a copy with someone at home.  Because people steal stuff.  And then you'll be stuffed.

7.  Check with health professionals about necessary vaccinations and overseas medicines.  Nothing like a few jabs to get you in the mood for a holiday.

8.  Ensure your passport has at least six months validity from your planned date of return to Australia.  Some countries will not let you in.  That would be a tad irritating after a 10 hour flight.

9.  Leave a copy of your travel itinerary with someone at home.  So they can find you.  Obviously.

10.  Before departing Australia check whether you are regarded as a national of the country you intend to visit.  If you have dual nationality (and don't even know it) you might be liable for MILITARY SERVICE in that country.  OMG.  Imagine arriving and being drafted into the army! Yikes!

So yeah, The Girl With A Suitcase recommends you follow all of these tips if you are planning on travelling overseas for your holidays.

This year I plan to holiday local.  Bit less stressful in the silly season.  Have a Merry Xmas.

Courtney  – (January 16, 2010 at 2:29 AM)  

11. Take out half of what you packed - you probably wont need it :)

That's what I continually relearn - especially with this extended "vacation" in Hungary :) Cute Blog!

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