Are you planning a trip to the Australia, but not sure what to pack? Are you getting stressed about over packing on unnecessary items? We have broken it down into the essential items to pack, including a free packing check list, to alleviate stress and ensure you pack everything you need for your trip to Australia.
What to pack for Australia
We have detailed this comprehensive list including a packing check list:
One of the most important things to pack, are the correct documents. Not packing the essential documents, could prevent entry to Australia. Here are the important documents you will need to pack:
- Passport – To travel to Australia you will require a valid passport. Many airlines you will require more than 6 months before expiry.
- Visa – You will require a visa before entering Australia. You will need to obtain the visa prior to your departure, and it must be applied for online. Just by following the steps online, and using the application form, you’ll get a notification via email to confirm if you have been granted a visa, or not. Do you need help with applying for a visa to Australia? Why not check out our post on How to apply for a visa to Australia. We detail what type of visa you may need to apply for, and steps on how to complete the visa form.
- Money – Always make sure you have sufficient funds for your travel and some for emergencies. Be organized, plan your trip and make sure you have a budget set, and keep too it. The currency in Australia is the Au$ (Australian Dollar). If you have a credit card, check with the card provider, how much the interest will be if used. It may not be too expensive.
- Driving License/International Drivers Permit – All drivers in Australia, must carry a full driving license or international drivers permit. You can obtain an International Drivers Permit from your home country, or from the country you are in prior to your trip
- Insurance – We would suggest purchasing travel insurance from your home country. This will cover you in most eventualities, but you must read the full terms and conditions to find out what is and isn’t covered under your policy. If you are hiring a vehicle, you must have the minimum level of cover, which will cover any damage caused to another person or their property, in the event of an incident. Rental companies often offer vehicle insurance with the booking, or as an additional option. Please check the terms and conditions for all insurance policies before travel.
This is an obvious one to include when packing, but there could be some additional things that you may have forgotten you need:
- Sun Tan Lotion – Sun tan lotion will be dependent on where and when you are travelling. During the winter months the north of Australia, and the Northern Territory are still be warm. This could result in sun burn. During the winter months the southern part of the country is mild, and the risk of sun burn could be slim. It might be a good idea to pack and apply sun tan lotion as a preventative measure against sun burn, especially if you are light skinned. If you can budget for purchasing sun cream in Australia, then this is a good way on saving on space and weight.
- Medical supplies – if you need to take medication regularly for a condition, then you will need to pack a good supply for your trip. It is good practice to have at least four days’ worth of medication in your hand luggage, in case your main luggage is lost or delayed. You may also require to keep the packaging to produce if stopped by security
- Mosquito repellent – mosquitoes are common in Australia. To prevent against mosquitoes bite, repellent is a must. A repellent we swear by is Jungle Formula roll-on, it has certainly prevented us from getting bitten. It’s very easy to apply, dries very quickly, with no strong smell, and is quite small so won’t take up much packing space.
- Tissues – you can pick-up pocket-size packs of tissues, which will prevent the spread of germs. Include this in your budget, if you are to purchase these in Australia.
- Mini first aid kit – In your little first aid kit, make sure you have plasters, painkillers (with any medication, it is always a good idea to keep the box or instructions, in the event you need to provide these to authorities), antibacterial hand sanitizer etc., Please note, whilst we have never encountered problems taking painkillers with us, there have been cases of travellers being jailed for taking painkillers into a country, which banned those drugs. Food products brought into Australia is strict. Do some research first, to ensure the medication is permitted, especially if it’s herbal remedies. If you have any concerns about the type of drugs you will be taking with you, then consult the relevant agency or government website to get clarity.
- Camera – Whilst on holiday, you may wish to take some pictures or videos along the way. For this you will need a good camera.
- Mobile phone
- Electrical items – you will require the relevant chargers, to charge your phone, camera battery etc., If you are coming from outside of Australia, you will need to take an adapter to fit on the plug, and in the electric socket.
These will tend to be items that do not form as part of the above, such as:
- Phrase book – you may need a phrase book to help you to communicate with the locals, especially if you are not familiar with the English Language.
- Guide book – To help you plan and budget your holiday, it is likely that you will need a small guide book. There’s often a map of the major cities in the guide book, to help you navigate to your next destination.
- Note pad/pen – You may wish to write some notes as you travel. Although to save paper and space in the suitcase, most smart phones these days will have a notepad, or something to write down notes, so this would be a great alternative.
- Kindle/book – if you have time for reading, then pack a good book to read on the plane, or by the beach. The book could be a physical book, or electronic book. The latter being more practical, as you can store more books on an eReader/Kindle, which would take up less packing space.
- Padlock/key – if you are checking in any bags, you will need to lock the bag with a padlock and key. This will prevent items or your belongings being stolen.
- Bum bag – this is a great item to have to store your cash, credit cards, and keys. It’s close to your body and can be hidden, which should prevent your belongings being stolen.
- Water – you must remain hydrated at all times. Take a couple of spare water bottles with you, so you can refill them as you go. You can always purchase bottled water, should this be your preference! However, if you are on a budget, buying bottled water can become expensive, and is be bad for the environment especially the plastic bottles. We would recommend a camelback pouch (these come in different sizes), which you refill with water, and would be stored in your backpack to drink as you go. The great thing about the camelback pouches, is that when empty they don’t take up much space. When they are filled with water for drinking, it doesn’t feel heavy as the weight of the water is taken across your back, and makes it easy to drink from.
- Snacks – taking some healthy snacks with you, will save money and keep you going between meals. Always keep some spare, in the event of an emergency. When packing snacks in either your hand luggage or your main luggage, you will need to declare the food at customs. If you do not, you will likely receive a hefty fine. In customs, they will ask you to show the food, and they will determine if it is safe for you to take the food into the country or not. Always research and establish what snacks can be brought into the country, even if you pack snacks that are allowed into Australia, you will still need to declare it. You can purchase snacks in Australia but please ensure you budget for this additional cost.
Depending on the regions of Australia you visit, will depend on what type of clothing to pack. The southern part of the island is seasonal. In the winter, the climate is cold and wet. During spring and autumn, it is cooler and mainly dry. The summer is the better months to travel, as the weather is hot, with the occasional wet day. The north and the Northern Territory is vastly different. During the winter months, it is still warm and humid, and during the summer is hot.
With the weather conditions in mind, you must always ensure you have the correct clothing for your trip. Here are the important clothes to pack for Australia:
- Clothing – Make sure you only pack the essential items for the time of year and where you are visiting. Don’t over pack on unnecessary things. It’s always good practice to take enough clothing for the number of days or weeks you are visiting for, plus a few extra as spare. For example, if you are travelling for 5 days, then take 5 days’ worth of clothing and 2 spares. Alternatively, you could wash the clothes as you go. This would reduce the amount you pack and the bag weight, leaving more luggage space. We would advise to pack warm clothing and even thermal under layers for travel during the winter months in the southern part of Australia, and cooler clothes if travelling to Queensland or the Northern Territory. During the spring, summer and autumn, it would be a good idea to pack a mixture of cool clothing for those hotter days, but something that will keep you warm for the colder days. In the evenings in the summer, the temperature can drop drastically, so you could feel somewhat colder. Always pack something that will keep you warm on a chilly night.
- Shoes – only take a few pairs of shoes with you. We know us ladies can over pack on shoes, but it is important to remember that you don’t want to over pack. Make sure you have the appropriate shoes for the occasion, e.g. if you are hiking, take proper hiking shoes, if you are visiting the beach, take beach shoes. It is quite easy to say I need this pair, I need that pair. Really take it back to what you will be doing and only take one pair of shoes for that activity or occasion. Waterproof shoes should be included in your bag, to prevent the feet getting wet on those wet days.
- Wet weather gear – whilst you are out and about, you will want to stay dry, so if it rains having good waterproof jacket and trousers will prevent your clothes on the inside getting wet.
- Thermal underlayers – this is seasonal and regional, therefore if it’s winter, packing under layers should be included, they will keep you warm while you are out in the cold.
- Back pack – you will require a backpack or a bag to keep your main belongings, along with your first aid kit, camera’s, snacks, and water etc. Bring a good size reliable backpack with you to store these items. We would highly recommend Osprey, as the backpack we purchased has been reliable, but also a well-known brand. We could also recommend an anti-theft bag. These are great back packs, which have the zip that can’t easily be seen, and could prevent your personal belongings from being stolen.
There are so many beautiful beaches in Australia, so swimwear is of course important. One beach that comes to mind is Bondi Beach. One of the most famous beaches in Australia, but before you head off, you should be prepared, with these great facts about Bondi Beach, everything you need to know!
Whilst this may seem quite a large list, but you want to pack the right balance. You will need enough for the trip, but you don’t want to over pack your bag with things that are unnecessary. Depending on where you will be flying from, will depend on what baggage allowance you will have when entering the country, in accordance with the airline. Please also check the airlines T & C’s (terms and conditions) and then pack and book accordingly. It also depends on your trip, and whether you will need to pack all the above items, especially if the items are seasonal. Being sensible about packing, will help you pack economically, and with the least amount of weight.
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