I bought travel medical insurance a few days before leaving. My Capitol One Aspire Travel World Mastercard comes with a host of insurance perks, but I needed something that would span the length of my stay. I received quotes from all the banks I knew of (PC Financial, CIBC, RBC, BMO, TD). Most banks’ websites make it super easy to obtain a quote. You’ll usually need to enter in your name, length of stay and answer 1 or 2 more questions.
I don’t remember how I came across their website but I found the best deal (with my desired coverage) to be with Travel Guard Chartis. I purchased the basic medical coverage for $342… valid from August 3rd to February 1st. I don’t know how long it’ll be until I return home to Canada so I stuck with their basic 183-day plan. They informed me that I’d just need to give them a shout and they could extend the plan for me. I was also quoted $510 for 9 months coverage… pretty sweet deal. Their customer service is also very helpful and the process took only a few minutes.
Note to anyone heading to Oz: buy an adapter so you’ll be able to use/charge all your devices requiring electricity. I don’t know if you’ll be able to buy one before leaving home but in Oz they cost on average $10. It wasn’t fun paying $2/2 mins to use the washroom’s hair straightener… it was late and I didn’t feel like heading to the convenience store in my PJ’s. Ah well! 🙂
My friend P bought me a Frommer’s guide to Sydney before I left. I would highly recommend you grab one if you’re planning on heading to Oz. If you can, purchase the Frommer’s guide to Australia… it will provide info about all the major cities and hidden Aussie gems. The one I have contains a big map of Sydney and other maps of individual neighbourhoods. It also has info about tours (free-$$$), adventure and special-interest tours, neighbourhood walks, shopping info, outdoorsy activities, dining hot spots and nightlife, the best of arts and entertainment and info about keeping savvy.