Travel Insurance, Visas & Health
Travel insurance is an essential consideration for your protection whilst travelling. In a COVID world many countries now insist upon extra COVID medical cover of up to USD50,000 before entry is granted. Furthermore, it is mandatory for all visitors to Bhutan to hold a travel insurance policy that includes cancellation, emergency evacuation & COVID cover in order to be granted an entry visa.
Bhutan & Beyond have partnered with the great team at GO Insurance and we are delighted to offer our travellers insurance policies that are both cost competitive and extremely well suited for travel to the south Asia region.
To arrange your GO Travel Insurance quote & policy please follow the 4 steps below.
STEP 1: REVIEW THE GO INSURANCE PDS CAREFULLY.
For your own protection it is essential you carefully review the GO insurance PDS & FSG (updated 09JUN23), BEFORE you arrange a quote or purchase a policy, to ensure this cover is right for you.
Suggestion: Please only consider the GO Insurance PLUS policy option.
Some extra tips to help you along:
- Usually selecting the GO PLUS tier of cover is satisfactory for Bhutan, India & Nepal.
- Unless you are also travelling to the America’s, Mexico and/or Antarctica please ensure you select WORLDWIDE Region 3 cover or you will be paying too much.
- You can remove some sections of the insurance cover, if they are not relevant to your circumstances & travel plans, to reduce your premium (ie. LEGAL – which is really only used when hiring a vehicle).
- Please choose your preferred policy excess (between A$100 and A$300 to obtain the policy premium that suits you best.
- Please note there is a special extra COVID-19 cover included on this policy.
- We also urge travellers to review the ‘General Exclusions’ on the PDS; tedious but well worthwhile in this new era of travel!
- Please review the list of ‘included pre-existing medical conditions’ on page 8 of the PDS if this holds relevance.
- Please review page 15 of the PDS for the ‘Schedule Of Benefits’.
- Please ensure the Promo Code box, on the lower right hand side of the quote mask, has bhutanbeyondonline entered. This should populate automatically, If it doesn’t please enter it manually.
STEP 2: OBTAIN A BASE INSURANCE QUOTE.
CLICK HERE to arrange your GO Insurance travel policy quote which will be emailed to you.
There is an online chat function that will connect you directly with GO Insurance for guidance if need be. Please note travel agents are not permitted by law to provide personal guidance as to what insurance policy is right for you.
STEP 3: DO YOU HAVE ANY PRE-EXISTING MEDICAL CONDITIONS YOU NEED EXTRA COVER FOR?
After arranging your basic insurance quote please proceed to the next section in the online process to request cover for any special pre-existing medical conditions. Please ensure you submit to GO Insurance all pre-existing medical conditions, that may be applicable, and that you may want covered. GO will respond advising if your extra cover can be granted and if any extra premium applies.
Please refer to page 8 of the GO Insurance PDS which offers a list of pre-existing medical conditions that are automatically covered at no additional premium.
STEP 4: PURCHASE YOUR POLICY.
If you are happy with your GO insurance quote, please make payment online by credit card and request your policy be issued. To do this please Retrieve your quote, make payment & issue your policy.
VERY IMPORTANT – Some other travel insurance companies no longer offer cover for trekking, rafting or other adventure activities.
GO Insurance will cover you for most adventure activities. Please ensure your policy covers exactly the activities you will undertake on your journey.
- If you are hiking your insurance cover must allow for altitudes of up to 4000 metres. GO Insurance does.
- If you are high-altitude trekking your travel insurance cover must allow for altitudes of up to 4930 metres. GO Insurance does & you will also need to complete the trek quote request form .
- Motorcyclists MUST have a travel insurance policy which will cover them whilst riding an ‘over 250cc motorcycle’ in Bhutan. GO Insurance does.
All visitors to Bhutan require a passport valid for at least 6 months longer than their journey. In addition an entry visa for Bhutan is mandatory. Your Bhutan visa will be pre-arranged by Bhutan & Beyond and all we need is a quality scanned copy of your passport photo page, a recent headshot image and a copy of your travel insurance, certificate of insurance.
Bhutan visa costs are included in your travel package. An e- Visa is issued after prepayment for your travel arrangements and the actual visa is entered into your passport on arrival at Paro Airport or at one of the land border crossings. When entering Bhutan through a land border crossing two passport sized photos are also required.
Whilst Bhutan, India & Nepal are relatively safe countries to visit, public health facilities are basic in some regions. Please note there is a low-level rabies risk in the entire south Asia region plus there is a malaria risk in the Chitwan National Park region of Nepal. Ideally you should seek professional health advice at least 8 weeks prior to your departure. We also encourage all travellers to ensure that their hepatitis & tetanus vaccinations are kept up to date at all times.
COVID-19 Regulations: Updated 15FEB23.
Proof of COVID-19 vaccination status (including any booster vaccinations) is mandatory for all travellers visiting Nepal.
However, as at 15FEB23 you may enter both India and Bhutan unvaccinated for COVID-19, albeit you are subject to a random PCR test on arrival and could risk mandatory quarantine if you are found to be COVID positive.
Altitude & Motion Sickness
It is advisable to avoid any trekking or climbing until day 3 unless you are at least moderately fit and do not suffer from any lung related condition such as asthma. As a precaution we suggest you carry a small amount of Diamox for altitude sickness as the Bhutan guides & trekking crews rarely carry such medication. If you suffer from altitude sickness please descend as quickly as possible and drink plenty of fluids. Diamox (Acetazolamide) maybe combined with Ibuprofen or Paracetomol and after initial treatment symptoms may last for a few days. Additionally Bhutan’s roads are very windy and motion sickness medication is recommended as a precaution.
Your nearest Travel Doctor in Australia can be contacted by telephoning: 1300 421 142.
Update on Nepal & India Visa Applications
Here are the latest visa fees and websites for information and visa processing. It is possible to obtain your visa in Australia. However most visitors to Nepal obtain their visa at Kathmandu airport on arrival.
Nepal Visa On Arrival:
To pre-arrange your visa on arrival at Kathmandu (Tribhuvan) International Airport please follow the link above to the NepaliPort Department of Immigration on arrival visa application. This form can be completed no earlier than 15 days prior to arrival in Kathmandu. When you arrive at immigration in Kathmandu airport you simply hand over your passport & visa fee and your passport will be endorsed with your Nepal visa.
Official Nepal Tourism Board website.
Current visa fees are as follows:
US$30.00 – 15 day Visa
US$50.00 – 30 day Visa
US$125 – 90 day Visa
You can obtain more visa application details on these web pages.
INDIA VISAS AND ONLINE ADVANCE ARRIVAL REGISTRATION REQUIREMENT:
You MUST obtain your India visa in advance from your home country of residence, ie Australia. Please proceed to the web pages below for all India visa information and processing options:
INDIA e-Tourist Visa:
You don’t have to send your passport away for this visa option however it is essential you read the conditions VERY carefully! This visa application should be commenced 20-30 days before arrival in India.
Or for those who do not qualify for an e-tourist visa please use this web link for visa application information.
Smart Traveller Bhutan, India & Nepal Govt Updates.
Travellers to Bhutan, India & Nepal, please refer to the smartraveller.gov.au website for the most up to date advice information on health & safety as these can change at any any time.