Brisbane, 9 June 2022
How to have the Euro summer you've been waiting for
It’s official, Euro summer is back! After two years spent pining for bike rides along Amsterdam’s canals and island hopping in Greece, eager Australian travellers are planning their European summer adventure now international borders are open. While the travel sector will take some time to fully recover to pre-pandemic levels, Allianz – one of the world’s largest assistance and insurance organisations – has seen a strong lift in demand for travel insurance in the last three months. Since the international travel landscape has changed immensely over the last few years, Allianz has put together their essential tips before embarking on your European adventure.
- It may seem obvious, but research your destination before you book.
The smartraveller.gov.au website will be your travel companion for the most up-to-date, comprehensive guide to destinations and any Australian Government travel advisories. Europe is a big continent, and each country’s vaccination rates, COVID-19 policies and mandatory procedures can vary. This website provides important information on where to travel and where you might like to leave for another time, it updates you on airline requirements and can help you brush up on your chosen destination’s mandatory health declarations and entry requirements before touching down. You might also want to consider if your destination has adequate vaccination rates or high COVID-19 infection numbers that could impact your health and your holiday.
- Don't forget your visas!
With everything that’s going on with COVID-19, it’s easy to forget some of the standard requirements for international travel – visas! For most of Europe you won’t need a visa. However, if you plan to stay for an extended period, it’s worth looking into. It’s important to note that countries can change their entry or exit requirements at short notice. Before you travel, consult the nearest High Commission, Embassy or Consulate of your destination for the latest visa information.
- Pack enough prescription medication plus extra, in case your holiday goes for longer than expected.
Although an extended Euro summer might sound enticing, being stuck without daily essentials like prescription medication can be problematic. Navigating language barriers and different brands is an unnecessary travel challenge so talk to your GP before embarking on your travels, and plan to have extra medication just in case. If you have underlying health conditions, a trip to the GP might even be a requirement of your travel insurance to check that your condition is stable.
- Travel insurance is always a ‘no-brainer’
Whether it’s a tumble while cycling in the city of love, or food poisoning from street food in Madrid, the same travel mishaps that happened before COVID can still happen. Apart from being a downer on your trip, the costs of receiving medical treatment overseas as a foreigner can be staggering. Travel insurance can help provide cover for things that you never expect to happen and gives you confidence to travel and enjoy your trip to the fullest. It’s important to compare policies. Look for things like limits and exclusions and choose a policy that provides enough to cover your costs. Consider whether the policy provides access to Australian-based medical assistance teams that have access to global medical networks like the experts at Allianz who can help you navigate complex foreign medical systems. And of course, while you’re away, remember to take all of the usual COVID-19 precautions: practice good hand-hygiene, wear a mask and socially distance where possible.
- Beat the fees and get an international debit card.
Currency conversion fees at an international ATM can hurt the hip pocket, so save your dollars for a unique experience and avoid fees with a travel card. Some banks offer international debit cards with low to no upkeep fees, so do your research to find the right option for you. These international debit cards allow you to seamlessly transfer your money between currencies depending on your destination and withdraw funds with little to no fees. Most accounts don’t have an expiry so you can keep them open for your next getaway.
- Carry your proof of vaccination, so you don't miss out.
It’s increasingly common that hospitality, healthcare and entertainment venues will require proof of vaccination to enter their premises so keep your proof of vaccination with you when travelling. The ‘international COVID-19 vaccination certificate’ (ICVC) is a vaccine certificate that meets international standards, and for Aussies it’s easily scanned via a QR code. Download it on your phone and carry a hard-copy along with your passport so you don’t miss out on that gig you’ve been dying to attend, or the exhibition you’ve planned to see.
- Dress with style AND safety in mind.
While a European summer trip is the perfect time to bust out your new threads, the perfect wardrobe essentials go beyond just fashion. Having the right clothing and footwear for the activities you have planned can save you time, money and precious memories if you pack properly. Be prepared and dress accordingly – think comfortable and supportive walking shoes, rashies, and leech-proof pants, just to name a few. Some handbag essentials also include sunscreen, bug spray, hand sanitiser and of course, always carry a mask with you.
- Be vigilant
As wonderful as a Euro summer can be, you’re still travelling to a foreign country with different societal norms. Be extra vigilant with your safety to ensure you’re aware of your surroundings and be prepared if anything unexpected happens. There are small travel tricks to make your trip safer including carrying a small secure bag in front of your body to avoid pickpockets, not disclosing your hotel information to vendors and avoiding wearing flashy valuables that can be easily stolen. In case a fun day out does turn disastrous, be familiar with the local emergency services numbers and save the number of your insurer so you have confidence that a helping hand is close by, when you’re far from home.
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About Allianz Global Assistance
Allianz Partners is a world leader in B2B2C insurance and assistance, offering global solutions that span international health and life, travel insurance, automotive and assistance. Customer driven, our innovative experts are redefining insurance services by delivering future-ready, high-tech high-touch products and solutions that go beyond traditional insurance. Our products are embedded seamlessly into our partners’ businesses or sold directly to customers, and are available through two commercial brands in Australia: Allianz Global Assistance and Allianz Care. Present in over 75 countries, our 19,400 employees speak 70 languages, handle over 58 million cases each year, and are motivated to go the extra mile to offer peace of mind to our customers around the world.
Travel Insurance is issued and managed by AWP Australia Pty Ltd ABN 52 097 227 177 AFS Licence No. 245631, trading as Allianz Global Assistance (AGA) as agent of the insurer Allianz Australia Insurance Limited ABN 15 000 122 850 AFS Licence No. 234708 (Allianz). Travel Insurance is underwritten by the insurer Allianz. Terms, conditions, limits and exclusions apply. We do not provide advice based on any consideration of your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before making a decision please consider the Product Disclosure Statement and Target Market Determination available at www.allianz.com.au. If you purchase this insurance, AGA will receive a commission that is a percentage of the premium. Ask us for more details before we provide you with any services on this product.