As COVID-19 restrictions ease, more opportunities for travel are becoming available. If you’ve been dreaming about a holiday this year you might be eager to plan a trip to your favourite Australian destination or explore a new part of our beautiful country.
Holidays are a wonderful way to relax, experience new places and have fun however, it’s important to keep your health and safety in mind while you travel.
Organising a trip during this time might be a bit more complicated than usual but by planning ahead you can be confident that you’re prepared and you can focus on enjoying yourself while you’re away. The Leap in! Crew has put together some of our top travel tips to help you plan a wonderful and safe holiday.
Know where you can go.
For the time being international travel is not an option for Australian holiday makers. If you plan to travel within Australia it is important to be aware of any travel restrictions in place for different states and territories before you go.
Travel is allowed to and from most regions in Australia, but each state and territory has its own entry requirements that you must follow when you enter or leave the borders. You can read more about COVID safe travel in Australia on the Tourism Australia website.
Choose the right holiday experience for you.
Planning and researching a trip can be a lot of fun and give you something to look forward to. There are so many resources available that can help you decide where to go, how to get there, where to stay and what to do. Television shows, magazines, travel books and the internet are all great places for inspiration.
If you already have an idea about where you’d like to go, the internet will likely have a lot of information to help you make your travel plan. Hotels, restaurants and tour operators often provide accessibility information on their website to highlight how they are able to accommodate the needs of different guests.
You can also find reviews and photos from other travellers for most places online. These can be helpful in determining if a destination, accommodation or activity is right for you and also might contain helpful tips that will improve your experience.
Another traveller might suggest that you request a certain hotel room because it has more space, or that you use an alternative entrance at an attraction because it is less crowded, or even recommend you order a specific meal at a restaurant!
Work with an expert.
Another great option is to work directly with a travel company, as they’re the experts in the field. There are even some travel companies who specialise in organising holidays for people with a disability. They can help plan your itinerary, budget your travel costs and even help you figure out what the NDIS can and can’t cover on your trip.
As a general rule, the NDIS will not directly fund your holiday. However, in the same way you might receive supports while you’re at home, the NDIS may offer similar types of supports if you go on a holiday.
Prepare for the unexpected.
We usually don’t expect things to go wrong, especially while we’re on holiday, but planning for unexpected situations can save you a lot of hassle and expense during your trip.
Many tourism, transport and accommodation providers offer flexible booking arrangements which can be helpful if you need to change your plans. Remember to be aware of any terms and conditions when you make a reservation so you can avoid paying fees or losing your deposit.
You may wish to take out travel insurance to cover you for a wide range of events that could impact your trip like delays, cancellations and even loss or damage to your personal belongings.
When purchasing your travel insurance, make sure you declare your disability to your insurer, even if you think it won’t affect your travel. That way if something goes wrong, your insurer has some prior knowledge about your disability and can assist you in the best way.
Follow COVID safe practices.
It’s everyone’s responsibility to keep our community safe from COVID. There are important steps you should take to protect yourself and reduce the spread of coronavirus at all times:
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and water
- Use alcohol based hand sanitiser when you can’t use soap and water
- Avoid touching your face
- Disinfect objects and surfaces with alcohol based cleaner
- Keep at least 1.5 metres away from other people
- Avoid crowds and large public gatherings
- Wear a face mask where it’s required.
There may be special rules and requirements that you need to follow depending on the area you’re in, who you’re with and the activity you’re participating in. Check with your transportation or accommodation provider, or tourism operator to find out more.
If you have any cold or flu like symptoms it is important that you isolate immediately, seek medical advice and get tested for COVID-19.
For more information visit the Australian Government Department of Health website.