Useful country information

Train operator in Zimbabwe:

National Railways of Zimbabwe - www.nrz.co.zw.

Bulawayo-Botswana trains

Vic Falls-Zambia-Tanzania trains

 

 

Time zone & dialling code:

GMT+2.  Dialling code +263.

Currency:

Zim dollars no longer used, US$ now the general currency.  Currency converter

Tourist information:

www.zimbabwetourism.net    Tripadvisor Zimbabwe page    Health & vaccinations

Visas:

UK citizens now need a visa to visit Zimbabwe, but this can be obtained at the point of entry for about £35 / $55.

Page last updated:

12 May 2014


Train travel to and within Zimbabwe

On this page...

Bulawayo to Victoria Falls by train

Harare to Bulawayo by train

Other domestic train routes in Zimbabwe

South Africa to Zimbabwe by train

Botswana to Zimbabwe by train

Zambia to Zimbabwe by train

Namibia to Zimbabwe by bus

Things to do & see in Victoria Falls & Bulawayo

Hotels in Vic Falls, Bulawayo & Zimbabwe

 

On other pages...

Train travel in South Africa

Train travel in Zambia & Tanzania

Train travel in Botswana

Train travel in Kenya

 

Map of train routes in Zimbabwe & Southern Africa

Click for map of train routes


The Bulawayo - Victoria Falls train

This classic overnight train is the way to reach Vic Falls from Bulawayo, even though (given Zim's economic situation) it's now getting down-at-heel.  But don't be put off, ignore anyone telling you to spend a night in a cramped bus seat (or worse, fly), don't miss this amazing rail travel experience, a classic piece of history with British-built coaches, some with wood-panelled interiors, dating from 1952 & 1958.  Don't just take my word for it, see the travellers' reports below.  If you have any updates about this train, please email me.

 Bulawayo ► Victoria Falls  

 

 Victoria Falls  ► Bulawayo  

 472 km, runs every day

 472 km, runs every day

 Bulawayo

Depart

19:30

 Victoria Falls

Depart

19:00

 Dete

Arr/dep.

02:00

 Hwange

Arr/dep.

23:03

 Hwange

Arr/dep.

03:47

 Dete

Arr/dep.

01:10

 Victoria Falls

Arrive

10:30

 Bulawayo

Arrive

  05:08**

* The train originally ran daily, was reduced to 5 days a week in 2009, then restored to daily in February 2011.  It is currently running every day.

** Expect an arrival around 09:00.

You can check times at www.nrz.co.zw.

Fares...

Fares are very cheap, even judged at the very poor official exchange rate.  The one-way 1st class sleeper fare from Bulawayo to Victoria Falls is $15 (£10), bedding now $4 extra.  A 2nd class sleeper is $12 (£8) without bedding.

How to buy tickets...

You can buy tickets at Bulawayo station reservation office or the Victoria Falls reservation window, but only on the day of travel.  In Bulawayo, the reservations office is open 08:00-19:30 on Mondays-Fridays, 16:00-19:30 on Saturdays & Sundays.  The ability to book up to 30 days before has been discontinued.  Reservations are not fully computerised, and can only be made for trains leaving from that station.  Reservations for your return journey must be made when you reach your destination.  Although the train appears to be well used, it's a long train with plenty of berths available, and there is unlikely to be a problem getting a place even for travel on the same day.  You could try calling Bulawayo station - numbers are reportedly +263 4 362284, +263 4 362517 and +263 4 362840.

The Bulawayo to Vic Falls train, seen at Victoria falls 1st class coupé (day)

The night train from Bulawayo has arrived at Victoria Falls.  The cars nearest the camera are British-built cars dating from 1958...

1st class coupé (day).

This is one of the later 1958 sleeping-cars.

1st class coupe, night   1952-built sleepers on the Bulawayo-Victoria Falls train in Zimbabwe

The same 1st class coupé in night mode...

 

The night train from Bulawayo to Victoria Falls, seen at Bulawayo station..  These are the earlier 1952 British-built cars...

What is the train like?

There are three classes on the Bulawayo - Victoria Falls train:

In 1st class, 2 passengers travelling together will normally be booked into a 2-berth coupé, whereas a solo traveller will be booked into a 4-berth compartment with passengers of the same sex.  If you pay for two tickets (perfectly affordable, given the fare) you can have sole occupancy of a coupé.  The sleeping-cars are all British-built, the ones with wood-panelled interiors in Gloucester in 1952, the ones with the less attractive formica interiors in Birmingham in 1958.  Although they now carry National Railways of Zimbabwe insignia, they are still painted in the original 'Rhodesia Railways' colours, and windows and mirrors are etched with the 'RR' logo.  The coaches were in OK condition when I travelled myself in 2001, but admittedly have been let go a bit lately and are now fairly decrepit, given Zim's economic circumstances.

Short video taken on the journey.

Bulawayo to Vic Falls train - sleeper compartment   First class sleeper corridor, Bulawayo to Vic Falls train   Monkeys on the roof of Victoria Falls to Bulawayo train

A wood-panelled 1st class coupe, in a 1952-built car...

Photo courtesy of Jesse Karp

 

The corridor in a 1952-built 1st class sleeper....

Photo courtesy of Jesse Karp

 

Monkeys on the train!

Photo courtesy of Jesse Karp

Travellers' reports...

Traveller Mike Watson used the train to Vic Falls in 2013:  "We turned up at the Bulawayo booking office at about 1300 and it was open. I was travelling with my brother and we booked a four berth first class compartment for the two of us. There seemed to be plenty of availability, there was no queue and the tickets were purchased in a couple of minutes. We were told the train would leave at 19:30 but we could board from 18:00. Also advised there would be no buffet car / we would not like the food. We had booked a car and driver for the afternoon and we went to the neighbouring NRZ Railway Museum. This is brilliant. Lots of exhibits including Rhodes’ personal carriage and lots of steam engines. Very friendly, very empty at a cost of $1 each. We stocked up with lots of water (having read about the rumoured delays) biscuits, beer and Biltong. We got to the station at 18:15 but the train was not ready so we were invited to sit in the NRZ security office. We spent some time here with a variety of very friendly people – playing cards with the head of security and being introduced to the train’s own security guard. The inbound train had arrived at 17:30 (very late) and there was much talk about checking the train. Eventually we boarded the train around 90 minutes late and it left about 2 hours late. The train consisted of an engine, two box cars, lots of coal trucks, four seated coaches, four sleepers and a baggage car. Our carriage was actually built in South Africa in the seventies and had a few rusty holes in it. The compartment was dirty, but big and airy. I chased down the bedding man and had to be quite pushy to get anything to happen. He made a really comfortable bed for us both. You can’t beat waking up looking out in to the bush and seeing baboons monkeying about. In the morning we saw Giraffe, Elephant, Zebra, Big Antelope (not sure which sort) and Baboons. At one point the engine was uncoupled so it could go and assist a broken down train ahead – leaving our train engineless in the bush. After being recovered we carried on and at Hwange we dumped the coal trucks and the train got considerably faster. We eventually got into Vic Falls five hours late. Wouldn’t have missed it for the world."

Traveller Stevan Wasiura took the Bulawayo to Vic Falls train in 2013:  "Despite being discouraged from doing so by a Zimbabwean friend, we took the train from Victoria Falls to Bulawayo.  Buying tickets the day of travel at Vic Falls station was exceptionally easy, no line at all and the fare was only $12 each in 1st class, bedding onboard an extra $4 per bed.  We left Vic Falls exactly on time at 7:30pm but lost quite a bit of time during the night and the following day, finally arriving in Bulawayo around 2:00 the next afternoon, some six hours late.  Several coal cars were added somewhere during the night, probably at Hwange, which apparently isn't uncommon but seems to cause considerable delay.

The train itself was clean though obviously very tired, with torn upholstery and missing fittings.  The lights worked well throughout but there was no water in any of the bathrooms or room sinks.  It also carried a dining car, but not expecting this we had brought our own food along and so didn't make use of it.  The staff, like virtually all Zimbabweans we met, were very friendly.  The other passengers were mostly Zimbabweans, though there were at least 3 other foreign tourists on the train.  We felt perfectly safe the entire time.

On the return from Vic Falls, we tried the bus.  The Pathfinder bus makes the trip in around 6 hours and, while very nice, is just another bus.  The train is a real experience not to be missed."

Traveller Julian Glover also took the Bulawayo to Vic Falls train in 2013:  "We took the Bulawayo-Victoria Falls train last Saturday (June 2013). It is, as you say on the site, a wonderful experience and not to be missed by anyone who goes to Zimbabwe. Ignore the sceptical guide books which suggest getting the bus: this is the way to arrive at the Falls, waking to dawn over the bush and seeing the smoke-like spray of the river in the distance as you near the Falls. It's as good an experience as it ever was (I did the journey in 1994 too). Given the huge pressures on NRZ it's a real credit that the service still runs as well as it does.

You can only buy tickets on the day. We got there when the reservations office opened at 4pm (Saturdays now not open in the morning) and there was a small, fast moving queue for most of the time until the train left. The economy seats were full; the sleeper berths almost full, but we were the only non-Zimbabweans on the train. If you want a 4-berth cabin for 2 people, as we did, it's no problem buying four berths and only using two, and worth the small extra cost.

Some passengers were using the Harare train, which also left that night with one sleeping car and the rest seats. The Vic Falls train was due to leave at 19.30 and after a lot of shunting to attach a generator car it was loading by 18.45. There's a 'Rail Leisure' restaurant at the front of the station which is a good place to wait in the meantime, serving tea from Rhodesian Railways teapots (though no beer). You can pay a porter to wheel bags around from there the (at least) 1/4mile walk to Platform Four, from which the Vic Falls train seems to leave most days.

The peeling train showed its age (and NRZ's lack of money) and the very friendly guard apologised for it's condition and the decline in NRZ since he started working for it 30 years before. However it was tidy (if in need of a deep clean), there were lights, water in some of the toilets and even (briefly) in the sinks in our cabins and it left more or less on time (it arrived at 9.30am the next day, a bit late - but the day after we saw the train at Vic Falls before 9am). It does now run everyday.

On board, it's worth making sure the guard knows you want to pay for bedding ($4) which was crisp, clean and beautifully made. If you don't ask they assume you don't want it.

It's a brilliant journey, hooting out of Bulawayo into the night and stopping at lots of small halts along the way. Our train had a very lively and friendly bar car, which also seemed to do food in the evening, and sold cold Castle beer for $1. In the morning, rather quieter, it managed excellent fried egg sandwiches and coffee (at, no surprise, $1).

Arriving in Vic Falls we had to climb down onto the track as a South African touring train had taken up the only platform - but the station still looks extremely smart and you emerge among tourists who all seem to have flown directly into the Falls airport and don't know what they missed by avoiding the train.

Finally, in Bulawayo there is only one place to stay before the train (or to head to for breakfast after it) - the magnificent Bulawayo Club. www.bulawayoclub.com - a magnificent imperial palace, now in great shape as a small hotel with an astonishing bar and billiard room, both open to guests.

Traveller Ivor Ines took the train from Bulawayo to Victoria Falls in 2010:  "Various internet posts had warned of the risk of theft at Bulawayo station, and there are even signs on the platforms warning you to keep a close eye on your belongings.  But I felt quite safe personally, and although there was a milling throng around the economy carriages before departure, there were far fewer people around the sleepers. However, I did notice one person walking down the platform, running their hand along the carriage at window height to identify any open windows, and then peering inside – presumably with the intent of stealing any unattended bags. So worth keeping a fairly tight eye (or grip) on your belongings.  We were in a coupé in one of the 1951 British-built wood-panelled carriages, which was a far nicer experience than the ‘new’ carriages on the Harare-Bulawayo train. There were at least 6-8 other Western tourists on the train, all in the same carriage as us. Many (not all!) of the compartment fitments were still intact, and it felt much cleaner.  There was electric light in the carriage and in most compartments, although the light in ours was broken (easily dealt with by hanging a head torch from the ceiling, though), and there was no water in either the washbasins (which are now bolted closed) or the toilets.  Bedding was provided after departure – clean, ironed sheets as well as pillows and blankets. The compartment window and screen worked (opened, closed and locked in position), as did both the main compartment lock and the security chain.  Sadly, there is no longer a restaurant car on this train – I asked at Bulawayo station and told there was not enough custom for the restaurant car on the Victoria Falls train, so it is now used on the weekly train from Bulawayo to the Mozambique border at Chicualacuala.  The train runs through Hwange National Park, but during the night so you don’t get to see much.  However, in the morning it runs through or near a park before reaching Victoria Falls, so we saw (or at least, caught glimpses of) zebras, warthogs, baboons, various deer and a couple of large bucks. The conductor told us when we were half-an-hour away from Victoria Falls, so we could pack our bags.  We got there around 10am, in spite of despite having some freight wagons attached during the night.  As the train approaches Victoria Falls, you can see the mist rising above the falls – definitely the best way to arrive.  Not only were there lots of baboons in Victoria Falls station, but the train had to pause as it entered the station, as there was an elephant loose in the marshalling yard!  If you have a choice of which direction to take this train, I would think Bulawayo-Victoria Falls is better (as it means you run through at least some of the national park areas in the daylight), rather than going Victoria Falls-Bulawayo (as the national park sections will probably be done during the night).  If you’re staying at the Victoria Falls Hotel, it is right by the station and has its own entrance to the platform – although this was locked shut, and I get the impression they only open it for Rovos these days."

Traveller Jesse Karp used this train in May 2009:  "I had a lovely journey in one of the wood panelled coaches. No electricity, no water.  But iron crisp, clean bedding, with pillow and blanket."


Things to do in Victoria Falls...

  Victoria Falls (seen from the Zambian side)

Victoria Falls...

  Matobo, Zimbabwe:  "Here lie the remains of Cecil John Rhodes"

Cecil Rhodes grave, in a breath-taking spot in Matobo, on a rocky outcrop known as 'the view of the world'.

...and in Bulawayo

Bulawayo is a pleasant town, well spread out with wide open streets and relatively little traffic.  There is an excellent railway museum, which features Cecil Rhodes' private railway coach.  You should not miss a day trip to the Matobo National Park, some 25 miles South of Bulawayo, where Cecil Rhodes is buried (see photo, right).  Day tours generally visit the Whovi game reserve in the morning (famous for its rhinos), then the haunting hills of the main park in the afternoon. 

Sponsored links...


The Bulawayo - Harare train...

 Bulawayo ► Harare  

 

 Harare ► Bulawayo  

486 km, runs Mon, Thur, Sat  

486 km, runs Tue, Fri, Sun 

Bulawayo

Depart

20:00

Harare

Depart

20:00

Harare

Arrive

09:30

Bulawayo

Arrive

07:00

This train used to run daily, but was reduced to 3 times a week from May 2009.

Fares:  Sleeper class $15, Standard class seat $12, Economy seat $10.

You can check times at www.nrz.co.zw.

How to buy tickets...

The only way to buy tickets is at Bulawayo and Harare station reservation offices, up to 30 days before departure.  Reservations are not fully computerised, and can only be made for trains leaving from that station -  reservations for your return journey will need to be made when you reach your destination.   In Bulawayo, the reservations office is open 07:00-10:00 & 15:30-18:45 on Mondays-Fridays, 09:00-10:00 & 16:30-18:45 on Saturdays & Sundays, times at Harare are not known.  It's best to get to the booking office early in the day, as there is one sleeping-car on this train which can get fully-booked.  Fares are not expensive - in the region of £20/$35 or less one way in Sleeper class.

The Bulawayo-Harare overnight train, Zimbabwe   Sleeper class on the Bulawayo-Harare train

The Bulawayo-Harare night train...

2-berth sleeper class...

What is the Bulawayo-Harare train like?

New coaches have been introduced on the Bulawayo-Harare overnight train.  There are 3 classes of accommodation on this train:

In sleeper class, two passengers travelling together will normally be booked into a 2-berth coupé, whereas a solo traveller will be booked into a 4-berth compartment with passengers of the same sex.  If you pay for two tickets you can have sole occupancy of a coupé.

Standard class on the Bulawayo-Harare overnight train   Economy class on the Bulawayo-Harare overnight train

Standard class

Economy class

Traveller's reports...

Traveller Ivor Ines reports from a Bulawayo-Harare trip in 2010:  "The carriages for this train were introduced in 1998, but they are now much the worse for wear.  Bedding was provided, though the attendant apologised profusely that there were no sheets, only blankets and pillows. Bedding was issued after departure, although as I didn’t realise this, I ran around before departure to check we wouldn’t be left blanket-less throughout a cold night. It seemed that quite a few passengers had brought their own bedding, even first class. The compartment window and screen still worked, in other words, opened, closed and locked in position.  Although the main compartment lock was broken, there was still a security chain which I then padlocked closed, and we felt quite safe and secure during the journey.  In standard class, although the TVs were still there, there was no sign of them working which is probably a positive, in terms of actually being able to sleep... The train had a great, wood panelled buffet car complete with bar area, restaurant area and full kitchen. Unfortunately, it was only serving drinks (sodas and beer, no hot drinks) and a few snacks like biscuits and strange-looking crisps, no substantive food.  The train left Harare punctually at 9pm, but NRZ seem to have given up on any attempt at predicting arrival times. We arrived in Bulawayo around 10am, which I suspect is ‘normal’, although the staff said that sometimes freight wagons are attached to the passenger train, and so it runs even slower."


Other domestic train routes in Zimbabwe...

Harare to Mutare...

 Harare ► Mutare  

 

 Mutare  ► Harare  

Runs Wed, Fri, Sun

Runs Mon, Thur, Sat

Harare

Depart

21:30 day 1

Mutare

Depart

21:00 day 1

Mutare

Arrive

05:25 day 2

Harare

Arrive

05:20 day 2

The train has 1st & 2nd class sleepers and Economy seats.  Distance 273km.

Fares:  1st class sleeper $7, 2nd class sleeper $5, Economy seat $4.

Bulawayo to Chiredzi...

 Bulawayo ► Chiredzi  

 

 Chiredzi   ► Bulawayo  

Runs on Sundays only

Runs on Mondays only

Bulawayo

Depart

17:30 day 1

Chiredzi

Depart

15:20 day 1

Rutenga

Arr/dep

08:43 day 2

Rutenga

Depart

20:05 day 1

Chiredzi

Arrive

12:30 day 2

Bulawayo

Arrive

07:45 day 2

The train has 1st & 2nd class sleepers & Economy seats.  Distance 523km.

Fares:  1st class sleeper $14, 2nd class sleeper $10, Economy seat $8.

Bulawayo to Beitbridge (on the border with South Africa)...

 Bulawayo ► Beitbridge  

 

 Beitbridge ► Bulawayo  

Runs on Thursdays & Sundays

Runs on Mondays & Fridays

Bulawayo

Depart

18:00 day 1

Beitbridge

Depart

21:00 day 1

Beitbridge

Arrive

05:40 day 2

Bulawayo

Arrive

08:45 day 2

The train has 1st, 2nd & Economy class.  Distance not known.

You can take local transport across the Beitbridge-Messina border and take the Shosholoza Meyl train from Messina to Pretoria & Johannesburg, see the South Africa page for times and days of running.

Bulawayo to Chicualacuala & Maputo (Mozambique)...

 Bulawayo ► Chicualacuala

 

 Chicualacuala ► Bulawayo  

Runs weekly on Wednesdays

Runs weekly on Wednesdays

Bulawayo

Depart

12:15 Wednesdays

Maputo

Depart

13:00 Wednesdays

Chicualacuala

(change trains)

Arrive

??:??   Thursdays

Chicualacuala

(change trains)

Arrive

03:42 Thursdays

Depart

13:00 Thursdays

Depart

??:??    Thursdays

Maputo

Arrive

05:49 Fridays

Bulawayo

Arrive

03:52  Fridays

The Zimbabwean train has 1st, 2nd & Economy class, with 1st & 2nd being sleeper berths.  The Mozambique train has 2nd & 3rd class.

Bulawayo to Chicualacuala is 500 km.  Chicualacuala to Maputo is 534km.  fares not known, but likely to be very cheap.

Other trains...

There are also twice weekly 'mixed' trains (meaning freight wagons and passenger car) from Harare to Shamva and from Harare to Lion's Den.

Fares & how to buy tickets...

Expect the first class sleeper fare for all these overnight trains to be around US$10.  Reservations cannot be made in advance, only on the day of travel, but outside peak holiday times it's no problem to get a place on the day.


International travel to/from Zimbabwe...

South Africa - Zimbabwe by train or bus...

Whatever you may read in your guidebook, there are now no direct scheduled trains from South Africa to Zimbabwe, and have not been for years.  If your guidebook is some years old, it may mention weekly trains from Johannesburg to Harare and Bulawayo, but for political reasons (in fact, exorbitant haulage charges imposed by the National Railways of Zimbabwe) these were suspended in 1999.  Similarly, the daily train that used to link Mafeking and Bulawayo via Gaborone was first (1999) cut back to run purely within Botswana, and was then (2009) completely withdrawn.  In 2007, National Railways of Zimbabwe allegedly considered re-instating a Harare-Johannesburg train some time before 2010, but there's no sign of this happening.  So there are now several less-than-brilliant choices for overland travel from SA to Zimbabwe:

  • Johannesburg - Messina/Beitbridge - Bulawayo by train+bus or train & trainYou can take the overnight Shosholoza Meyl economy train from Johannesburg or Pretoria to Messina, see train travel in South Africa for times and days of running. This has economy seats but now no sleepers.  Messina is 12km short of the frontier at Beitbridge, from where you can take irregular African buses to both Harare and Bulawayo, or a newly-reintroduced twice weekly train from Beitbridge to Bulawayo, see the section above.

  • Johannesburg - Bulawayo by bus:  Two companies run modern buses overnight direct from Johannesburg/Pretoria to Bulawayo, with departures most nights.  The journey is takes about 13 hours from Pretoria.  Visit www.greyhound.co.za and www.translux.co.za for details.  Although neither as civilised or comfortable as a train, this is probably the simplest overland option.

  • Cruise trains from South Africa to Zimbabwe:  If you have the money, there are several tourist 'cruise' trains.  The Blue Train (www.bluetrain.co.za) operates from Pretoria to Victoria Falls about once a month.  However, you can reckon on a one-way fare exceeding £500.  Rovos Rail (www.rovos.co.za) also operate on this route.  Check that these are still operating - Zimbabwe Railways' high haulage rates have hit these trains, too.

Botswana - Zimbabwe by train...

The daily Mafeking-Gaborone-Francistown-Bulawayo train was cut back to running purely within Botswana in 1999.  However, a new Francistown-Bulawayo train service started in June 2006, running 3 times weekly with modern coaches (complete with TV entertainment!).  See the Train travel in Botswana page for train times and days of running.  However, there are now no trains south of Francistown.

Zambia - Zimbabwe by train...

There are now no scheduled passenger trains across the famous Zambesi bridge from Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe) to Livingstone (Zambia).  But you can walk across the bridge from Vic Falls to the Zambian border post and take a taxi the few miles on to Livingstone.  Trains run from Livingstone to Lusaka and Kapiri Mposhi, where you can change trains onto the Tazara line to Dar es Salaam.  See the Train travel in Tanzania & Zambia page for train times, fares & days of running.

Namibia - Zimbabwe by bus...

A bus links Victoria Falls with Windhoek 3 times a week, see the Namibia page or www.intercape.co.za.


Find hotels in Bulawayo, Victoria Falls or Harare

 

◄◄ Hotel search & price comparison.

www.hotelscombined.com checks all the main hotel booking sites at once to find the widest choice of hotels & the cheapest seller.  It was named as the World's Leading Hotel Comparison Site at the World Travel Awards 2013 and I highly recommend it, both to find hotels in even the smallest places and to check that another retailer isn't selling your hotel for less!

www.booking.com is my favourite booking site.  It's really clear and you can usually book with free cancellation and so confirm your accommodation at no risk months before train booking opens.

Other hotel sites worth trying...

Backpacker hostels...


Recommended guidebooks

Lonely Planet Southern AfricaClick to buy onlineTo get the most from a trip to Southern Africa, you'll need a good guidebook - and I think the Lonely Planet guides are about the best ones out there for independent travel.

Click the images to buy at Amazon.co.uk...

The Southern Africa guidebook is less detailed than the Zimbabwe one, but it covers South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, and several other countries in Southern Africa as well as Zimbabwe.

 


Travel insurance

 

 

Columbus direct travel insurance

Get travel insurance, it's essential...

Never travel overseas without travel insurance from a reliable insurer, with at least £1m or preferably £5m medical cover.  It should also cover cancellation and loss of cash (up to a limit) and belongings.  An annual multi-trip policy is usually cheaper than several single-trip policies even for just 2 or 3 trips a year (I have an annual policy myself).  Here are some suggested insurers.  Seat61 gets a small commission if you buy through these links.

In the UK, try Columbus Direct or use Confused.com to compare prices & policies from many different insurers.

If you have a pre-existing medical condition or are over 65 (no age limit), see www.JustTravelCover.com.

        If you're resident in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland or the EU, try Columbus Direct's other websites.

  If you're resident in the USA try Travel Guard USA.

Get a spare credit card, designed for foreign travel with no currency exchange loading & low or no ATM fees...

It costs nothing to take out an extra credit card.  If you keep it in a different part of your luggage so you're not left stranded if your wallet gets stolen, this is a form of extra travel insurance in itself.  In addition, some credit cards are significantly better for overseas travel than others.  Martin Lewis's www.moneysavingexpert.com/travel/cheap-travel-money explains which UK credit cards have the lowest currency exchange commission loadings when you buy something overseas, and the lowest cash withdrawal fees when you use an ATM abroad.  Taking this advice can save you quite a lot on each trip compared to using your normal high-street bank credit card!

You can avoid ATM charges and expensive exchange rates with a Caxton FX euro currency Visa Card, or their multi-currency 'Global Traveller' Visa Card, see www.caxtonfx.com for info.

Get an international SIM card to save on calls & mobile data...

Mobile phones can cost a fortune to use abroad, so consider getting a global pre-paid SIM card for your mobile phone which can cut call & data costs by up to 90%.  At the time of writing, www.roamsure.com claims a definite 25% saving within the EU and up to 90% saving in the rest of the world.  Incoming calls are free in 73 countries, including the USA, Australia, South Africa and EU.  There's no contract or commitment, and at time I write this Roamsure is offering a global SIM card for free when you buy £20 of call credit.  Seat61 gets some commission to support the site if you buy airtime from Roamsure.

 


Back to home page