Whether you are visiting Australia for a year to backpack around and work, or you’re visiting for a short holiday to go on sightseeing tours in Sydney or any of the other capital cities, you’ll need to plan financially for the unexpected.
While it’s common practice to make a budget for your travel expenses, having an emergency fund set aside is also extremely important. You may have a medical emergency you need to pay for up front, you may get lost and need an emergency train ticket, or you may need to book a quick flight home if there is an emergency situation there. The following are some tips for ensuring you are covered financially for your Australian travels.
Do you need an emergency fund?
Are you going travelling? Then, yes, you need an emergency fund. In the case of getting injured or sick while abroad, it could take weeks for your travel insurance coverage to kick in. In the meantime, you’ll have to pay for visits to doctors and for medications out of pocket. In essence, an emergency fund provides a contingency plan and peace of mind while you’re far from home. With one, you can travel worry-free knowing you’re prepared for anything unexpected that comes your way.
How much is enough?
How much you decide to have in your fund is entirely dependant on where you are travelling and how much you need for comfort. Generally, it’s recommended that you have at least $1,000, but more is always better if you can afford it. Around $3,000 should be more than enough to cover any major expenses, including an emergency flight home. Of course, even if you don’t have $1,000, set aside as much as you can afford.
Make a budget for travel
Preparing your emergency fund should be a fundamental part of planning for your trip, rather than an afterthought. When you’re working through your budget to determine your travel itinerary, emergency funds should already be factored in. If it means you have to stay in hostels instead of bed and breakfasts so you can afford your emergency fund, then so be it! In your budget, your emergency fund should appear right along with the money for that wine tour, your transit costs as well as your spending money.
Keep emergency funds safe
Your emergency fund needs to be easily accessible and safe at the same time. If you’re keeping it electronically, such as in a bank, then try to have it in a separate bank account so that you’re not tempted to use it for random extravagant purposes. Even better, you could keep it with a friend at home who can transfer it into your account if you need to ask for it. If you’re keeping your emergency money stashed as cash or on a credit card, then keep it safely hidden in a money belt, hidden pocket or in a safe deposit box.
When it comes down to it, if you can’t afford an emergency fund then you should rethink whether or not you can afford to travel at all. Especially if you’re travelling on a visa that doesn’t allow you to work, it’s important to have yourself covered for any situation that could arise.