Nearly two-thirds of Kiwis are ready to fly in the next two years, according to research by Southern Cross Travel Insurance.
Kiwis are excited to be able to travel again after the New Zealand Government announced the next steps to reconnect New Zealanders to the world. But before they go, Safe Travel advises that travelers will need to make sure they have thought through the complexity of the new travel environment.
“We want people to remember that we’re still in a pandemic and they need to take personal responsibility for their safety and well-being,” said Gabrielle Rush, Director of the Consular Division at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
“Our top tip for COVID-era travellers is to do your research about where you’re planning to travel,” said Gabrielle Rush. “This includes checking the border requirements of the countries you’re planning to go to or transit through, and the COVID-19 testing and vaccine requirements of airlines and other transport providers.”
“There’s still risk that your travel plans might be disrupted if you get COVID-19 overseas or if a new variant emerges. We recommend that you make contingency plans in case disruptions mean you need to support yourself overseas for longer than you planned. Getting travel insurance will help you avoid the high costs of medical treatment and rearranging your travel."
Top Ten Tips for Travelers from Safe Travel
- Check the latest travel advice.
- Register your travel and contact details in the Safe Travel website. This information is kept absolutely confidential and only used if there is an emergency. For example, it means they can give you warning of an approaching tropical cyclone or give you advice on what to do if there’s major civil unrest or if there’s been a terrorist attack.
Take out travel insurance. Your policy should cover any activities you plan to undertake (from scuba diving to scooter riding), personal liability, medical treatment, emergency medical evacuation, and any pre-existing medical conditions. Even minor medical treatment can be very expensive overseas. Also, it is a good idea to check if there is any cover for COVID-19 related events as your travel plan may be affected by COVID-19.
Keep in contact with family and friends. Give a detailed copy of your itinerary, including accommodation details and your travel insurance policy, to a relative or friend. If you change your itinerary, let your loved ones know. If you find yourself caught up in an overseas emergency situation, don’t forget to phone or email to let family know you are ok.
- Make sure you look after your passport while you are travelling. It is a valuable document and is necessary for any international travel. Losing your passport can create real difficulties and could even cut your travel short. Take a photocopy of your passport with you and leave a copy at home with a family member or trusted friend. Check your passport validity before you depart: many countries require a passport to be valid for at least six months beyond your intended departure from that country. Information on obtaining a New Zealand passport can be found at the Department of Internal Affairs website.
- Check visa requirements, including requirements for electronic travel authorities (eTA’s), and make sure you have at least one clear page in your passport for immigration stamps. Your travel agent or the Embassy or High Commissions of the countries you intend to visit or transit through can tell you about visa and entry requirements, which you should check well in advance.
- Check health precautions. Ask your travel agent or doctor if any vaccinations are recommended for the areas you are travelling to. A health professional can also provide information on how to stay well while travelling.
- Take a mixture of money. Check with your bank or credit card company what they recommend and whether ATM facilities are available where you are going. Have some cash already exchanged, for your transit and arrival. Before you leave New Zealand, decide how you will get emergency funds if you need them.
- Obey local laws. The penalties for breaking the law are the same for a tourist as for a local. Being a Kiwi does not equal a “get out of jail free” card.
- Know where your nearest New Zealand Embassy/High Commission/Consulate will be.
Travelling soon? We have negotiated a good deal for our Members
We know many of you will be looking forward to heading overseas again in the coming months. Our travel insurance partner, Cover-More, has compiled some frequently asked questions about what their travel insurance policies cover in relation to COVID-19, so you can have peace of mind when you're on your next adventure.
Cover-More offers a wide range of COVID-19 related benefits on Options policies to help you travel within New Zealand and overseas with greater confidence. Please note there is no cover for claims relating to government-issued travel bans; government directed border closures; or mandatory quarantine requirements related to cross area, border, region or territory travel.
Plus as a HealthCarePlus Member you will get a 15% discount, just call 0800 500 225 and quote HCP TRAVEL to speak with Cover-More friendly team for a quick quote. To find out more, please click below.