One of the main things that really made me want to give up on travelling was the visas. Thinking about it now still makes me weep and sulk.
Australia was the one I was most nervous about, there’s so many on the website and I was so unsure the whole time if I was getting it right. We all know how intense their boarders and airport security are – just look at Boarder control on TV, yikes!
So first of all you need to decide if you want to work whilst travelling in Australia and how long you plan on staying for. Bare in mind if you’re not sure that you definitely intend to work then I’d advise against this one, as it will cost you.
The one I ended up going for was free but only allowed me three months to travel and meant that I wouldn’t be able to do any work when there, but in fairness the last thing I want to do is work!
A lot of places in SE Asia let you do the visa paperwork once you arrive at the airport or boarder, though this can take a little time its such a relief to know you wont just get turned away. Plus, it takes the pressure off with all the other planning you have to do before you go.
The first place I flew into was Bangkok and to make it run smoothly I decided it would be best to check and do any Visa needed for then. Luckily I’ve found that Thailand gives you 30 days free, with no visa needed if you have a U.K. Passport, same as Malaysia and Indonesia. Vietnam is 15days free (not long enough to do or see everything by the way) and Cambodia will cost you about $35 on arrival at the boarder. Laos also costs $35 – you can pay with different currencies which will varie in amounts depending on what you’re using.
I did cross the boarder to Laos on a Saturday and consequently had to pay an extra $3 or so as an ‘overtime’ fee, which I now know they do on the weekend and after 4pm Monday to Friday. Another good point I should make is the amount of days you get in each place sometimes ranges depending on how you cross the boarder (by air or land).
I’ve found that flying from one place to another is the easiest and most convenient way of crossing a boarder. Even though the passport control guards look hard as hell and you begin to question if you could end up in jail for something as small as a smile or looking them directly in the eye *gulp*. I’ve also found this way to be the most trustworthy in terms of cost. Unfortunately I’ve heard of scams when crossing the boarder by land, costing people far more than it should, and let’s be honest there’s often not a lot we can do about it other than pay.
Don’t forget to keep all your paperwork safe! I know you’re not stupid and I’m talking about the obvious but still! I’d suggest keeping them altogether if you can in a waterproof bag. There’s nothing worse than getting all your important documents wet (happened) and having to pretty much start from scratch. I’ve put some suggestions below:
⚪️ If you’re unsure about safety of documents or the safest equipment to use then I’d recommend visiting a travelling shop or somewhere that sells similar equipment. I’ve always managed to get some decent advice from staff there and they often come up with things you wouldn’t have thought about.
⚪️Have some passport photos taken before you travel. Cut them up into individual photos and keep them in a safe place – these will be used when you need to get a visa at a boarder crossing and save you some dollar.
⚪️check the individual countries embassy website for the correct visa information. Some travel books are great and so helpful but there’s a pretty good chance that things might have changed and therefore will give you the wrong visa information (also happened).