We remind Australians to travel smart over the holidays, and start their travel planning well before departure.

Check that your passport is valid for at least six months from the date you plan to return to Australia. Research your destination, including entry and exit requirements, local laws and the security situation.

Comprehensive travel insurance is an essential part of preparing for an overseas trip. Travellers are personally liable for any medical and associated costs they incur overseas – more than 1,700 Australians were hospitalised while travelling overseas last year. If you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel. 

Organising your medication before you leave is important. It is illegal to take Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) medication out of Australia unless it is for personal use.

If you plan to take PBS medication overseas, you should:

  • check with the embassy, consulate, or high commission of the countries you intend to visit to make sure your medication is legal;
  • carry a doctor’s letter detailing what the medication is, how much you will be taking and stating it is for your personal use or the personal use of someone with you (for example, a child); and
  • leave the medication in its original packaging so it can be easily identified.

If you are taking a cruise, make sure you know the Medicare rules and get the right insurance. Medicare benefits can only be paid to eligible passengers travelling between Australian ports and if treatment is provided by a doctor registered in Australia under Medicare.

Before you leave, contact your cruise operator to find out whether an appropriately registered doctor will be available on board.

Register your next trip on smartraveller.gov.au and subscribe for the latest travel advice and practical health information.

Media enquiries

  • Minister's office: (02) 6277 7500
  • DFAT Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555