There’s no doubt about it. Travel overseas is at its cheapest in relative terms as it’s ever been. This fact is being constantly hammered home by the travel industry (often by ex footballers caked in makeup on certain travel shows). Travel overseas has become so accessible that it’s often less of a strain financially to holiday abroad rather than at home.But do we really think about just how lucky Australian’s are when it comes to the opportunity to see the world? There’s more to it than just a cheap Jetstar flight and few nights in Bali.We have a rare combination of cultural acceptance of taking off to see the world, along with the money to do it.If you look at international travel for the masses it’s only been since the 1970’s that it’s been a financial possibility for most Aussies to take off. Travel in this era might be argued to be more ‘free’ when baby boomers set out to see the world. There were no shoe checks or body scans at the airport and the term ‘Bin Laden’ might have referred to an overflowing rubbish bin. Yet international flights were still expensive compared to wages. Compare that to now, with our generally more cashed up accounts and cheap flights.Looking back further travel was surely more an adventure than it presents now, but only a rare few had the money to pay for an entourage of porters, and minders and maids that usually accompanied grand travel. This travel might have been paid for by a chauvinistic geographic society or publishing company keen on retelling tales of the mysterious other to the masses. Not everybody had the chance to meet Mr. Livingstone, or drag a herd of camels across the Aussie dessert looking for a lake.Coming back to the present Australia has the distinction of being the only developed country to recently avoid going into recession, with the economy showing signs of bouncing back strongly. We have enjoyed high levels of disposable income for some time now, making us a wealthier and luckier country than we sometimes care to admit (even my staunchly conservative grandfather might concede something has been done right to keep us above water).To get even deeper into the facts of our good fortune, contrast our wealth with the fact that close to 50% of the world lives in relative poverty to us (that includes every second child). I wonder what percentage of the other 50% actually has the means to travel internationally, or the support or encouragement from parents or general acceptance from society to do so? That better off 50% has suffered much more than us in the past 18 months or so.Along with the financial means culturally we have almost an expectation to go see what’s out there. No longer is Europe or the USA by default out first stop. More and more Aussies are branching out and getting to know other parts of the globe on their first trip away. While Americans are expected to go straight to college, get ahead and take a week off a year in the process, we still have a great attitude to taking time away from our hectic work life. While Europeans are great travellers, their economy has taken a bigger hit than ours.Some might argue that travel has become sanitised to a point where the best days are over. I’d disagree. With the time and inclination there are always adventures to be had, and allot of travel I reckon is getting out to see things before they disappear. Our kids, or at least theirs, might not have the same opportunities that we do right now.So yes, the ads are right. It is a great time to travel. But looking at it more deeply now is really the best time to get going and it’s not all to do with cramped seats on budget airlines and a high dollar.
It is never easy to choose a perfect and dashing travel gift for your friends and family. At times, you simply get blank as to what type of gift you must choose for your brother, sister, cousin, father, mother, classmate, girlfriend or boyfriend. When it comes to travel gifts, one does not have much choices. Especially when you do not know anything about traveling. So what type of travel gift is right for your friend? Here is a list of top 6 travel gifts to make things easy for you.1- Card Cover
A traveler card cover is especially made for travelers. Most of the travelers do not keep their wallet with them when they travel. And even if they do, they put their cards elsewhere for various reasons. Travel style card cover is made from PVC. Your friend can put all his/her cards in it. It is very easy to use card cover and these come in different colors. Choose one for your loved one today.2- Earphones
Earphone is something that every traveler needs. They used to listen to their favorite music when they travel from one place to another. So why not you give them a perfect earphone for their next tour? Earphone is a cheap but very attractive gift.3- Earphone Pouch
Earphone pouch is also a must when we talk about travel earphones. I mean, it is not easy to take care of a small earphone especially when you are on the move. So every traveler needs an earphone pouch to keep his/her earphone safe. You can either give away earphone pouch or you can give both the earphones as well as its pouch to your loved ones.4- Travel Bag
A travel bag is the most important thing that every traveler needs. It is one of the basic necessities of traveling. Whether it be a small folding bag or a giant size travel bag, every traveler needs one. And this could be a great gift for your traveler mate. Buy a folding bag for him and surprise him with your smart choice.5- Scratch Map
Not all the travelers use scratch maps but all of them do use a map. A scratch map is a modified form of traditional maps. However, most of the travelers now use Google maps, GPS and other more effective tools while traveling, but most of them still use traditional maps. You can send a scratch map to your buddy and I am sure he will love it. You can choose to buy a world map or a map of a specific country for your family and friends.6- Passport Cover
Made from pure PVC, these passport covers come in different bright colors. Since travelers have to move with their passports and identity cards, so why not give a passport cover to your friend so that he can keep his passport safe all the times. Passport cover will keep it safe for years.
International travel can be an exciting adventure, provided you are aware of the need for travel health insurance. You need to be aware that travel can, and does throw up any number of unpredictable situations.Probably the most serious risk is the chance of an accident or illness occurring while you are overseas. Requiring emergency medical care, while in another country can be not only inconvenient but extremely problematic as well, if you do not have the right cover.First of all, there is an unfamiliarity associated with being in a foreign country, with a completely different culture and a different medical system, which can intensify the already problematic issue of being in an accident or requiring any other kind of emergency medical help.
Trying to communicate with people in a different language is enough of an effort, without factoring in the currency conversions, international claims administration of the country of travel, and the time difference. If this is to be further complicated by a lack of insurance cover, one might find oneself totally lost, and “at sea”.Whether you are residing in or visiting the US, your travel may throw up challenges for your existing healthcare cover. Both brief trips and extended vacations and relocation expose you to health risks not covered by your existing, domestic medical insurance.Sometimes, tourists and immigrants, even regular business travelers, overlook the need for travel health insurance, simply assuming that their medical plan provides enough coverage. However, as a rule, never leave home without extra, supplementary travel health insurance.Ask the travel agent who does your bookings, the financial institution you deal with regularly, or your doctor for references and suggestions. Supplemental travel health insurance is a must.It is not wise to rely on your domestic health plan to cover sicknesses or injuries while you are in the US. In the worst case scenario, the policy might be useless in the US, in the best; it may only cover a small portion of the expenses.Some international credit card companies now make it a part of their services to offer travel health insurance to their cardholders. Check with your card company; don’t just assume that coverage is included.The card alone may not provide adequate health coverage. Some of these companies will charge a fee for travel insurance coverage; others may require you to pay for your travel using that particular credit card. In any case, make sure you know the conditions, requirements, and limitations of the provided cover before you leave for the US.Available travel health insurance policies include short and long-term plans, as well as individual & group plans for international travelers, international students to the US, traveling business executives and even foreign missionaries.Always carry the proof of insurance cover with you, and leave a copy with someone at home, in case of emergencies. Tell your travel agent, or a friend or family member, as well as your traveling companion how to get in touch with your insurer, in case you are incapacitated.Anyone traveling outside their country of citizenship needs to be adequately covered by ample travel health insurance, regardless of where you are traveling to, and this is especially true of foreign nationals who are traveling to the USA.From the basic set of vaccinations to emergency medical care, whatever the situation is, a good travel health insurance policy can give you complete peace of mind, on your trip to the US.