Family Holidays in Australia — Part Three: Tips with Visas and Travel Insurance

In this three-part travelogue series, mum-of-three Natasha Liok shares her travel tips on where to go and what to do on a family vacation in Australia.

By Natasha Liok

With three active kids and as parents who shamelessly outsource whenever possible, we were definitely going to take our domestic helper to Australia. Alas, the application for my helper’s visa was the most difficult and costly part of the process.

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Unlike the Electronic Visa, which we Singaporeans can apply for and allows us multiple entries up to three months, the domestic helper’s pass only lasts for three to four weeks.

The Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) is only AUD$20, you pay for it online and it’s instant. To apply for an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA), which provides you with authorisation to travel to and enter Australia, and is electronically linked to your passport, click this link.

If you’re bringing your domestic helper along, you will need to apply for a Temporary Work Visa which costs around S$250.

For domestic helpers, you will need to visit the VFS Global website at this link or here, which will show you a list of links for the application. You need: Temporary Work (Short Stay Activity) Form 1400 (warning: this is about 23 pages long, including cover page).

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Travel insurance

There are two types of travel insurance that can be bought. If you’re frequent flyers, you can buy an annual insurance for the family but if not, you can opt for a single travel insurance per trip to cover your helper or kids if they don’t travel too often.

I travel pretty often with the little ones and my husband travels every week for work, so we opted for the family insurance. But for the helper, I opted for a single trip coverage and happened to find a good deal online by AVIVA. It was S$29.90 and offered coverage that was as comprehensive as more expensive packages out there.

At the end of the day, choosing a travel insurance policy is a subjective decision and it can be tiring going through the various options. Personally I’ve always had good experience with AIA but my advice is to ask your loved ones for their advice and reviews.

Another tip when traveling: always remember to check when your car insurance runs out when renting a car. Sometimes, if you’re not careful, they charge you for an extra day if you return the car after the insurance has lapsed.
In short, due diligence in key — it always pays to do your homework.
Natasha Liok is a mum-of-three to Joshua, Sophia and Jacob (aged seven, five and two respectively). This is the final instalment in a three-part travelogue series on family travel in Australia. To read part one and two, click here and here.

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