Once you get confirmation that your Visa Application has been successful, organising your flight to Australia is the moment everything becomes real.  It’s an exciting prospect after what may have been a long process, but booking your flight is an important step given that you’re not going on a two-week holiday.

The key factor apart from choosing which airline to fly with; is baggage.  You may have already organised to ship the majority of your belongings to your new home, but the reality is that these items will probably arrive after you do.  Therefore, you will need to think about taking the essentials to see you through the first week (or couple of weeks) of your new life.  Although a flight might look cheap, think about how much luggage you will need to take. Depending on the airline, most allow two pieces of baggage for free, each weighing around 23kg. It’s worth investing in some baggage scales to weigh your items before you get to the airport, as it can work out very expensive to check-in any baggage that exceeds the airline limit.  If you need to take more items than your allowance, it’s much cheaper (and easier) to book this online.  If you’re travelling with infants you may be given a slightly heavier limit.

At the time of booking your flight, it’s worth investigating airlines that offer special migrant flights, such as Qantas or Singapore Airlines.  Doing this will give you a much more generous standard baggage allowance (possibly up to 40kg).  Try to speak to the airline directly before you book to find out if they offer any special migrant rates, as not all will be advertised on their website.

If you’re flying to a destination that requires a stopover, it may be worth thinking about breaking up your journey to spend a night or a few days in that location. Breaking up your journey can help take some of the stress out of flying, as flying times average between 22-26 hours depending on refuelling and where in Australia you’re flying to.  Stopping over can also take some of the worry out of getting to a connecting flight on time.

When you finally arrive to your new homeland, you’ll need a plan for what happens for the next stage.  Most major airlines have partnerships with car hire companies and its worth checking out that you can rent a car with your current driver’s licence and that you will not need to return the car to the airport.  Hopefully it will be quite some time before you’ll be getting on a plane again.

Finally, what’s important to remember is to make sure you do your research.  Talk to airlines, find out their best offers, and do some internet forum research. Although you may hear good and bad experiences from those who have already emigrated, weigh up the options and go with your gut instinct.  Once you have your flights booked, all you need to do then is just remember to pack your passport!

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