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My tips for overseas travels (as I’m Stuck in Bali)
You’ve probably heard by now that BALI’s highest volcano Mount Agung has erupted. I was due to fly out of Bali on Saturday night, and was really looking forward to Sunday brunch in Melbourne, enjoying Melbourne coffee and preparing myself for work on Monday.
I started Saturday blissfully strolling through Bali, enjoying the heat and scenery. I thought how lucky I was to avoid the rain as I walked 10kms from Seminyak to Kuta and back.
As I pulled up at the airport, I got a text message from Jetstar saying my flight was cancelled due to the volcano ashes, and “do not travel to the airport”. HUH? I made my way in and was met with quite a chaotic scene of confusion from travellers.
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After lining up for two hours to speak to a customer service representative, I was told that all flights to Australia were cancelled until it was safe to fly. No promise of next flight times, and no, they would not be paying for transportation or hotel costs.
Let’s just say that it was a stressful couple of hours, but life is all about learning, so here are my top travel tips having personally experienced this hiccup myself.
MAKE SURE YOU ARE CONTACTABLE
I had International Roaming switched on, on my phone and was therefore able to receive the text message from Jetstar. Even though you have roaming switched on, you don’t have to spend money if you don’t make calls out and don’t send text messages out. Text messages are free to receive.
TIP: Make sure you have Data Roaming switched OFF. International Roaming is for calls and messages, whereas Data Roaming is for Internet usage, and very expensive
For for the first few days of my travels, I added a Optus Travel Pack for $10 per day. This allowed me to make and receive unlimited calls and send unlimited messages, which was very helpful.
KNOW HOW TO CONNECT TO AIRPORT WIFI
Airport Wifi usually has a two step login process. Once you connect to the open wifi network (this means there is no password), another browser screen should pop up on your device where you need to accept their terms or enter information in order to continue.
Logging into the Airport Wifi allowed me to communicate with those back home, and I was able to jump onto google, and find “Airport hotels Bali”.
I booked myself into a hotel for the night, and received my confirmation email straight away (Make sure you can receive emails!)
BRING A PORTABLE CHARGER
As I had checked out of my hotel in the morning and wandered around all day, my smart phone battery was low. I wouldn’t have been able to contact my family or book my hotel without my device being charged up.
I found my portable Comsol charger to be really helpful. Portable chargers/power banks come in various sizes due to the size of the battery inside.
The higher the size eg, 20,100 mAh – the more power, which means it can recharge your device multiple times, and charge larger devices such as a tablet.
On Sunday morning I made my way back to the airport and waited 6 hours on a waiting list as all flights were fully booked.When I received the nod from the Jetstar reps, I felt like Charlie winning the last Golden Ticket! I’m counting my lucky stars!As of Monday, all flights to and from Bali are cancelled.
I’m glad I’m back in time to issue this tech tip!
If you’re travelling overseas soon, make sure you come along to our Travel with Technology workshop!