Consumer New Zealand and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade have released a checklist for anyone planning international travel.

1. Check the MFAT website for the latest advice about your planned destination.

2. Take out comprehensive travel insurance as soon as you finalise your travel arrangements. If you intend using credit card travel insurance, make sure you meet the requirements for cover before completing your bookings.

3. Ensure you have the necessary visas and a valid passport. Some countries require passports to be valid six months beyond your visit. Your travel agent or the embassies of the countries you intend to visit or transit through can explain the visa and passport requirements.


4. Consult a doctor about vaccinations and a medical kit for your planned destinations six to eight weeks before you leave. Some categories of prescription medicines should be carried with a medical certificate signed by a doctor.

5. Before departure register your travel details on During a major overseas incident, those registered as being in the vicinity of the incident are contacted first by MFAT to confirm their safety and well-being.

6. Note contact details of the nearest New Zealand embassy, high commission or consulate in your planned destination.

7. Give a family member or friend your travel information, such as accommodation details and photocopies of your itinerary, passport and certificate of insurance

8. Prepare a mixture of payment options for your trip, such as a credit card and cash (including foreign currency for your transit and arrival). Ask your bank about your destination's ATM facilities and inform it you'll be using your cards overseas.

For examples of what can go wrong when you're travelling, check out these Hard Luck Stories.