Vodafone Ashes Series 2010-11
Inspection Report - General Notes
Howzat Travel strongly believes in the importance of performing a pre-tour inspection on all elements of each tour. This pre-tour inspection helps us to ensure that everything will be to your satisfaction. We hope the following report will;
- Provide those considering booking with us an insight into the attention to detail that goes into each and every Howzat Travel tour
- Assist those who have already booked in preparing for your trip
Visas are required for all travel to Australia. British citizens can obtain an eVisitor visa direct from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship here. The eVisitor visa is FREE - there is no application charge or service fee.
Information on all other types of visa is available from the Department of Immigration & Citizenship, or from the Australian High Commission in London.
Australia does not have a minimum passport validity requirement for incoming passengers. However, if you intend onward travel to other countries in the region, please note you are advised that entry into some countries may be refused, and airlines may not carry you, if your passport has less than six months validity.
This also affects passengers transiting some countries en route to/from Australia (i.e. if they pass through immigration and enter the transit country), such as Singapore. See the Travel Advice for Singapore.
For further information on entry requirements you should check with the Embassy or High Commission in London of the country you intend to visit/transit.
More information if required, can be found on the website of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office
The currency in Australia is the Australian Dollar (AUD). You can expect an exchange rate of approximately $1.7 to the pound in the current financial climate.
As always, we suggest you change a small amount of money - say £100 worth of $AUD - for convenience. There are ATMs close to all of the hotels we are using in Australia, and also at the airports. Remember to contact your card issuer before you leave for Australia. With banks and credit card companies more security-conscious than ever before, informing them beforehand that you intend to use your card abroad can save time, money and inconvenience once you are in Australia. You may also wish to use travellers cheques, which are widely received.
For the very best exchange rates, order your currency through our partners
You will be visiting Australia during their summer months, so expect the weather from November to January to be very warm. See the seperate city pages for more detailed weather information by city.
Tap water is perfectly safe to drink in Australia and we advise that you buy and carry bottled water with you in the day, to ensure that you stay well hydrated in the heat.
Australia is a very safe country but you should always take the necessary precautions like you would at home. If you don’t feel comfortable doing something, then don’t risk it. Here are a few common sense tips:
- Do not leave bags/briefcases/luggage or valuable items unattended.
- Don't carry large amounts of cash - carry travellers cheques or a card instead.
- Leave passports/credit cards/valuables safely locked in the safe.
- When swimming in the sea, only swim between red and yellow flags on patrolled beaches. We advise against swimming in the sea on non-patrolled beaches.
- The ozone layer has been severely depleted over this part of the world, so one of the greatest dangers is the sun. Make sure you apply lots of sun cream and cover exposed parts of your body with light clothing. Ensure you take a sun hat with you.
The majority of our travellers will be departing the UK from Heathrow Airport, although some will be departing from other regional airports. These notes are generic and apply to all travellers.
We recommend you give yourself plenty of time to get to the airport, bearing in mind it will be our winter and travel conditions may be affected. Try to aim to get to the airport at least three hours before departure and maybe even consider staying at an airport hotel the night before. Visit EssentialTravel.co.uk for some great value hotels.
Once you have checked in and passed through security, by all means enjoy the shops, bars and restaurants, but keep an eye on the information screens and make sure you allow 20 minutes to walk to your departure gate once your flight has been called for boarding.
We are using several different international airlines for our Vodafone Ashes tours;
- Cathay Pacific
- Singapore Airlines
- Malaysian Airlines
Some airlines offer the facility to check-in online prior to travel. Check your ticket/e-ticket to see if you are able to do this.
The majority of our flights are one-stop, with a short layover approximately half way. Where you have your layover will depend on the airline (e.g. for Cathay Pacfic it is Hong Kong, for Emirates it is Dubai). When you are in transit at your layover airport, ensure you pay attention and follow the signs to catch your second flight. Your checked baggage will make its own way to the second flight, so you do not need to worry about it.
With a total flying time of nearly 24 hours, we recommend that you wear comfortable clothing and take anything with you that will help you to make the flight more comfortable. Most airlines will supply blankets and eye masks, but you may wish to take an inflatable pillow to help you sleep. You may also wish to take precautions against deep vein thrombosis - like wearing special socks and making sure that you move around from time to time.
You may wish to take your own entertainment such as books and magazines, but all airlines have their own onboard in-flight entertainment, which include movies, TV shows, music and games. Headphones are supplied but you can also use your own headphones/earphones if you prefer.
You will usually be served two meals during the flight, with alcoholic and soft drinks available for the duration of the flight.
During the flight, you will be asked to complete an immigration form, which you will then hand in at passport control at your destination airport. It's worth keeping a pen handy for this.
Once you have collected your checked baggage from the carousel, make your way to the exit where a Howzat Travel representative will be clearly visible, and will direct you to your transport to take you to your hotel.
The majority of our domestic flights are with Virgin Blue, although some are with Qantas. The check-in desks for both airlines are clearly signposted in all airports. For Virgin Blue, there are machines in front of the check-in desks that offer you the facility to print your boarding card and change seats (where available) before checking your bags in.
Onboard, all Virgin Blue flights have drinks and snacks to purchase. Most of the planes have the Virgin Blue seatback 'live2air' in-flight TV & movie entertainment, which you have to purchase by swiping your card on the seat back itself.
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