The ultimate guide to going abroad – plus a chance to win a trip to New York

It's time to head back out and explore the world - and AA Travel Insurance has an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime price in New York.

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It’s time to head back out and explore the world – and AA Travel Insurance has an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime price in New York.

We are finally free after the last two years. It’s time to dust off your passport and get ready to explore the world again.

What do you want to experience first? Maybe the 30°C heat and street food in Singapore, the crystal clear waters of Aitutaki, or maybe the electric power and next-level pizza in New York.

Wherever you go, you might be a little rusty when it comes to traveling – it’s been a while and there are a bunch of new rules after all. To help you get your fearless spirit back, we’ve put together a quick checklist of everything you need to do to enjoy your next trip abroad.

decide to leave

A guy who knows a thing or two about travel, Tony Wheeler, founder of Lonely Planet, once said:

“All you have to do is decide to go for it and the hard part is over.”

Many of us may have mental blocks after two years without international travel, but Tony is right – once you decide to go, the rest will (hopefully) go smoothly.

Make sure you have all your travel documents in order and well sorted before you travel.

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Make sure you have all your travel documents in order and well sorted before you travel.

Decide where and when to go

The world is open again and the possibilities are almost endless. However, before you start planning your trip, you should visit the Safe Travel website, where you will find all travel warnings, including Covid-19 advisories.

Advisory levels range from one to four, with four meaning “do not travel”. Coverage selected by AA Travel Insurance for epidemic and pandemic diseases (including Covid-19) provides some coverage for all countries that do not appear on the level 4 “do not travel” warning listed on Safe Travel.

Once you’ve decided on a location, it’s time to think about when to travel. Consider the impacts of high seasons, shoulder seasons, and low seasons, the local weather at the time, events in the area, and whether or not it will be a school vacation.

Obtain your passport

Do you remember that little black notebook you took with you on your travels, your passport? Where is this thing again?

Once you find it, dust it off and check the expiration date. If it has expired, you will need to apply for a new one from the Department of Home Affairs, which should take approximately 20 working days. Processing times can vary, so it’s essential to check that everything is in order before you book your holiday.

Then, if you have less than six months left before your passport expires, check the passport requirements with the embassies of the countries you plan to visit (some require you to have more than six months left).

Be sure to choose the perfect seat, whether it's for a little extra legroom or for excellent views.

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Be sure to choose the perfect seat, whether it’s for a little extra legroom or for excellent views.

Get your international vaccination passport

You can request your International Travel Vaccination Certificate on the My Covid Record website. Other options for getting your certificate include calling 0800 222 478 or visiting a participating pharmacy to request one.

Sort visas and entry requirements

Several months before your trip, take the time to check the visa requirements of the countries you plan to visit with their embassies or high commissions. Usually their websites will provide all the details you need along with information on how to apply.

It’s always better to sort out visas in advance, than risk being refused entry to a country on the border (which would be a serious holiday buzz).

Flight reservation

Woohoo – time for the fun part! When choosing your airline, pay close attention to how it allocates seats and handles cancellations in light of Covid-19. Book your tickets and find exactly where you want to sit – which is probably the most important decision you will make. Sit near the aisle if you want a little more leg room, but be sure to tuck your feet in when the food cart comes rolling in at mealtime. A seat by the window means watching the horizon at all times.

Don’t opt ​​for the middle seats, sandwiched between strangers, as it’s always a bit of a hassle to get to the bathroom.

When exploring new countries, unexpected things can happen, so it pays to take a good look at travel insurance before you go.

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When exploring new countries, unexpected things can happen, so it pays to take a good look at travel insurance before you go.

Take out travel insurance

When exploring new countries, unexpected things can happen, so it pays to take a good look at travel insurance before you go.

AA Travel Insurance’s travel insurance policies provide protection against unexpected cancellation and loss of deposits even before you depart. So if anything happens before your trip, they’ll be there to help.

Win a trip to New York!

We Kiwis love to get out and explore the world – it’s part of our DNA. So, to celebrate the reopening of the world, AA Travel Insurance* is offering an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime price.

You can win an $11,000 trip to New York for you and a friend, flying nonstop with Air New Zealand. To enter, click here, fill in your details and start dreaming of the Big Apple. The T&Cs apply.

*Allianz Partners and The Hollard Insurance Company Pty are not affiliated with this promotion.

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