Only one day left until Australia so I thought I'd update everyone on some of the details of the trip. After I arrive in Australia and use some of the products I have purchased to help me in my travels (ie. travel insurance, mail services)I will update on what I think of the quality.
First off, the flight. I am flying on a non-stop flight with United from L.A. to Sydney. Hopefully the non-stop option was the correct one. I know some people who have stopped off in Fiji or Asia but I think I'd rather just stick it out and sleep as much as possible without worrying about changing flights. Fourteen hours is going to be a long flight no matter what.
I did decide to purchase travel insurance, mostly for emergencies. I found it interesting that if I was a UK citizen I would have access to Australia's basic universal health insurance called Medicare. Since I am from the U.S., however, I don't have that luxury, which means I might really need that travel insurance. After quite a bit of research and some number crunching I decided to go with HCC Medical Insurance Services' Atlas International package. The total cost was $300 US. for a year and it seems to provide me with most of what I will need, including a relatively low deductible of only $250. What the travel insurance doesn't cover is prescriptions for pre-existing conditions, such as birth control etc. It will be interesting to see how I will be able to get my prescriptions refilled in a few months, but for now I've got enough to last me.
Whats left...? Bank account - went with Westpac. I applied and received my bank account online, which is a really nice feature they provide. As of now I can put money into the account but until I arrive in Australia and provide them with my passport and proof of address I can't take any money out. Still its nice to not have to deal with applying for an account when I get there.
The only thing left then is actually getting a permanent address...and I managed to do that online before I left as well. GoWorkabout.com offers a mail holding service for one year. For $50 AUD, around $45 US, they will provide you with a permanent address and will either open your mail, scan it, and e-mail you the scans, or will hold your mail until you request it to be sent to you. Having this address already should make it much easier for me to get access to my bank account and get a Tax Id number. I did request that they open and scan my mail since I have no idea when I'll have access to a permanent address.
Well my next post should be from Australia! I'll be sure to let everyone know I'm there and safe.
Bye Until Australia!!
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