Australian Government Overhauls Smartraveller WebsiteThe Australian government will overhaul its Smartraveller service next month with a new website and changes to how Australians can access assistance while overseas.

From November 2019, Smartraveller will have a brand new website with travel advisories that are easier to read. The website, which is run by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, will also offer a new option to subscribe to email and SMS alerts.

If you’re currently subscribed to travel advice updates and alerts from Smartraveller, you’ll need to register again once the new website goes live in November.

You no longer need to register your travel plans with Smartraveller

Currently, the Australian government encourages overseas travellers to register their travel plans with Smartraveller before embarking on their journey. This form is long and detailed, and filling it out could be quite time-consuming – especially as there is no option to import your travel plans from a travel planning tool such as TripIt.

From November, you’ll no longer need to register your travel plans with Smartraveller. In fact, the government will no longer even provide an option to do this unless there’s an overseas crisis.

On this, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade says:

This means we’ll be quicker to respond to those who need our help.

Registration will be easier, through a simplified online form.  It’ll appear on the Smartraveller website if there’s an overseas crisis.

You can always call us if you need urgent help on 1300 555 135 (in Australia) or on 02 6261 3305 (from overseas).

Not all AFF members are thrilled about the Smartraveller changes from November 2019. In particular, some members question how Australians overseas would have the foresight or even ability to register with DFAT if they did become stuck in an overseas crisis. timjohns says:

Maybe I’m not understanding what I’m reading but I’m baffled and stunned by the part where it says there will no longer be any pre-trip Registration… and they will only activate such when a crisis is active. HOW DOES THIS MAKE ANY SENSE ?!?!?

That is the absolute WORST time to expect someone to find a computer and tell DFAT where they are.

I have always assumed the whole purpose of pre-registering your travel itinerary with SmartTraveller was that when something really bad happens somewhere…. they can pull up a report from the database and see (a) How many Australians are in that region (b) Who they are (c) How to contact them if required.

So now we have to go to a website from underneath the rubble of our hotel room that has just collapsed from the earthquake ?!?!?

Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: Smartraveller being re-launched. Re-subscription required

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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]