Typically, you’ll have the choice between single-trip and annual cover travel insurance. Single-trip policies cover one trip, and potentially layovers as well, until you return to your home in Australia. An annual or multi-trip policy generally covers any number of overseas trips taken within a year, however, the policy will stipulate what the maximum trip length is for any one journey. The maximum trip length will vary – some policies could be as low as 15 days, some as high as 93 days. It’s important to ensure that your longest trip doesn’t exceed the policy’s stipulated maximum trip length. Generally, travel insurance should provide cover for:
Just like any other insurance product, travel insurance comes with a set of general exclusions and doesn’t typically cover:
1. Check your passport and visa requirements
If you’re travelling to China as an Australian citizen, you should make sure your passport has at least six months’ validity from your planned return date, or you risk being refused entry into the country.
You also typically need a visa to travel to China. You can apply for a Chinese visa in person or by mail to the relevant Chinese Visa Application Service Centres in Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth or Brisbane. It can take anywhere between four days and two weeks for your visa to be approved. You should also know that the Chinese Embassy and Consulates General in Australia don’t accept visa applications submitted directly by passport holders.
2. Register your trip with the Australia government
There’s no such thing as being too safe, especially when it comes to international travel. That’s why you should consider registering your travel plans with Smartraveller, so that the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade can keep track of you in China and contact you or your family in case of emergency.
The Australian government offers advice, alerts and the latest updates for more than 170 countries to help Aussies avoid difficulties abroad. Remember however, that registering with Smartraveller doesn’t guarantee you consular assistance if you get into trouble on foreign soil.
3. Always have cash on hand
While Visa, MasterCard and American Express are widely accepted in China, you should know that some cities still operate largely on a cash-based economy. As such, it might be a good idea to keep some cash handy just in case or be prepared to take regular trips to the ATM to withdraw Chinese yuan.
Also, be sure to get a credit or debit card with low or 0% international transaction fees, so you don’t get charged for making transactions overseas.
4. Research local Chinese laws and customs
You’ll be bound by China’s local laws and penalties the moment your plane lands in the country. Some may appear harsh by Australian standards but their legal traditions have been in place for centuries, and you’ll need to obey them all. A person aged 14 years and over is considered an adult under the law in China.
So, do your research around what acts are forbidden and punishable by law. Sanctions for serious drug offences are especially severe in China; foreigners have been executed for drug offences.
The following activities are also illegal in China:
Looking for travel insurance to protect you on your Chinese adventure? Use our free comparison tool to compare a range of comprehensive and basic policy options based on your preferred level of cover, policy benefits and excess amount to find a travel insurance in just minutes!
If you’re thinking of travelling somewhere else, check out our travel guide cover for different countries.