Four Major Issues that Must be Resolved to Travel
Preparing to Visit New Zealand and Australia
Armando F Sanchez, Contributing Writer
In preparation to travel to New Zealand and Australia, we must figure out four main issues.
Published on LatinoLA: February 16, 2015
First, we need to determine what official documents we will need. Secondly, how much money do we convert into their currency. Third, set up our communication link with family. And finally, decide what do we want to see while we are visiting during our 21-day road trip.
As far as traveling documentation goes, in addition to our passports, we only needed an Australia tourist travel visa. It's very easy to obtain. The great thing is that we could apply and pay for it with a credit card, via the Internet, and it took 5-minutes to process. The fee was $ 20 Australian dollars for each one of us (approximately $ 14 U.S. dollars). We received our visa application approval almost immediately via email and then we simply print it.
The second issue is how much cash we need to take with us. We normally don't convert more than a few hundred dollars into foreign currency. The majority we keep in US dollars. We carry them in small bills ($5, $10 and $20). Bills larger than $20 are normally hard to break. We keep in mind that we can also pay with our credit cards or that we can always go to their local banks and change our money into theirs. We asked our credit union that issued our credit cards to put a temporary spending cap on our cards while we are traveling. If something happens to our card and someone else try's to use it, it will only be for a small amount. If we need to have the lending cap raised, we can always call via phone to our credit union, from Australia, and have the borrowing amount raised.
In order to keep in contact with family, we can use the wifi in our hotel rooms or simply pay an additional fee to our phone carrier to have access from over there.
It's common for travelers to also use Skype when they have wifi to stay in touch with family. The chain store of McDonalds, which can be easily be found practically everywhere in the world, provide free wifi.
The issue for international travelers is to remember what time and day it is back home and thus call family at the right time. Take us for example ... In Los Angeles, we are on Pacific Standard Time, which means we will be five hours and one day behind. In other words, let's say its Friday at 8:00 am here in Los Angeles. This means that it is currently 3:00 am on Saturday in Australia. This is one of those head-scratching ideas about time around the world. It takes time to figure it out. Once again, the time in Australia is earlier than here in LA and one day ahead. This matter of being one day ahead happens when you are traveling west of Hawaii. Thus, we lose a day when we leave and get a day back when we return. Who says you can't travel into the future?
The fourth and final item is to decide what we want to see on our road trip. Our tour package includes several excursions and there will also be time and the opportunity for us to venture and explore on our own. Trini, my wife, and Rosemary, our traveling companion, are quite good at researching the options of what to see on our own. Jesus (Rosemary's rib) and I, in the meantime, focus on figuring out how to access and use their public transportation system. We have traveled a lot together and we have come to realize that in most parts of the world that their public transportation is easy and convenient. This statement, unfortunately, does not apply to Los Angeles!
People around here ask us, "What do you do if you get lost?" Well, we normally carry local maps that we obtain at the hotels. Most cities also have visitor centers throughout the city. We are quite comfortable to ask persons passing by for directions. English is the official language so talking to strangers works. Another option is to simply use our GPS system on our phones. One of my apps on my phone is a compass so we are all set to go.
An added item is to continue monitoring and maintaining your health. One should do this regardless if one is traveling or not. However, exploring will normally require person to walk more than what one does on a normal day at work and home.
On trips, one tends to spend time on one's feet and climbing stairs. In order to stay in shape and be fit for the travels, I have a schedule of working out on a stairmaster, exercise machines and swim laps. I visit my doctor on a regular basis and monitor my blood pressure and cholesterol intake. It's also important to have comfortable broken-in walking shoes that you can use in dry or humid weather.
As usual, maintain a positive outlook that the trip will be a great experience. I look forward to making new friends with the fellow travelers that one travels with on the remarkable adventure.
I'm already practicing saying, "G'day mate!"
Armando F Sanchez, Contributing Writer:
Armando F Sanchez is a national speaker, writer, worldwide traveler and CEO of Armando F Sanchez Production. His organization produces global web cast and podcast programming.
Email the author