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If you go: Australia and New Zealand

Modified: October 4, 2013 at 5:51 pm •  Published: October 6, 2013
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• Get your Electronic Travel Authority as soon as you can! — If you're headed to Australia, you'll need an Electronic Travel Authority, which is basically a 90-day visa you can apply for online.

• Inform your credit card companies — This will help ensure your card is not declined at an inopportune time.

Things to do after arriving

In Sydney

• Prepare for a two-hour wait in customs.

• Exchange money: There is usually a fee, so it pays to exchange cash as few times a possible.

• Figure out your phone: If your phone functions upon arrival, you will probably receive a text message explaining the price of service and further options. AT&T offered 120MB of data for $30, which worked in both Australia and New Zealand.

• Consider the train: Like everything else Down Under, taxis are very expensive. A trip from the airport to your hotel could easily run $55 to $75.

In New Zealand

• Expect a much shorter trek through customs.

• Exchange money: Put away any Australian currency you may have left. It is easily confused with the coins and paper bills used in New Zealand.