Published: May 2018
The Eurovision Song Contest 2018 is upon us, where 43 countries are scheduled to take part and 30,000* visitors are expected to land in the host city of Lisbon, Portugal to celebrate the festival. The festival, which takes place at the Altice Arena will have two semi-finals on 8th and 10th May followed by the Grand Final on 12th May.
Zoom Travel Insurance warns, wherever you travel, no matter if you’re going on a city break, or off the beaten track, it’s important to safeguard your trip.
Things going wrong on holiday shouldn’t be your foremost concern when planning your trip. After all you’ve got an exciting itinerary to navigate! But like it or lump it, without safeguarding your travels, all the fun stuff could be wrecked.
Big events like the Eurovision Song Contest attracts a huge amount of attention from around the world with over 200 million expected to tune in. So when you're there use common sense, keep abreast of news in the local area and look out for suspicious behavior when dealing with large crowds. Keep reading to see 8 tips to sing yourself safely to Lisbon this May.
Have the right visa: Aussies and Kiwis visiting Portugal score up to 90 days visa free. While you might not need a visa, you do need: a passport with at least six months validity on entry; proof of sufficient funds in the form of a bank statement or cash; return airline tickets/proof of onward travel; documents showing proof of purpose of trip and documents and visas required for the next destination, if applicable. These rules can change quickly. So contact your nearest Portuguese Embassy or Consulate before you travel for the most up to date information. More information can be found in our travel guide to Portugal.
Sign up with Smartraveller: Smartraveller is the official travel advice site for Australians covering all destinations. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade encourages you to register your plans before you leave Australia. Registering with DFAT will help them to find you if there is an emergency - whether it is a natural disaster, civil disturbance or family emergency. You will also get important updates and information on other matters relevant to travellers. Click here for Portugal travel updates.
Be prepared: Arrive with plenty of time for the show with your ticket in hand. Certain items are prohibited from the arena such as cameras, laptops and selfie sticks – so make sure you leave these behind at your accommodation provider, or you will be at risk of confiscation. Travel insurance is unlikely to cover the cost of your tickets if you’re late and not allowed in, or if you didn’t realise your stuff was banned.
Beware of dodgy ticket sellers: There are strict rules on the purchase of tickets. However, fraudulent ticket sellers still try their luck with tourists and should be avoided. Only purchase your tickets through authorised sellers, as your travel insurance wouldn’t cover you for any out-of-pocket expenses you might incur should you find yourself with a fake ticket.
Be alert: Whilst Portugal is relatively safe, terrorism remains a threat in Europe. Although there are no Do Not Travel warnings from Smartraveller currently, it’s still wise to be alert to possible threats, especially in public places. Strikes and demonstrations affecting transport services occur regularly in Portugal, particularly in Lisbon and often with little warning. Monitor local media, avoid demonstrations and be ready to adjust your travel plans. At the event, always follow the advice of local authorities and instructions of the event organisers and security staff. Be vigilant and report any suspicious activity to the police as soon as possible.
Look after your belongings: Expect large crowds at the arena and in the Eurovision village at the Praça do Comércio - the most iconic public square in Lisbon. Petty crime, such as bag snatching and pickpocketing occurs here. There's a higher risk that your bag will be stolen if you put it on the back of your chair or at your feet in restaurants or outdoor cafes. Make sure you pay close attention to your belongings, only bring out the essentials and keep your wits about you. If you’re the victim of a pickpocket, your travel insurance covers you for muggings and pickpocketing, provided you were acting with reasonable care (i.e. did not leave your belongings unattended).
Watch out for dodgy street food: One of our favourite things about travelling is street food - and there’s a serious amount of the stuff in Lisbon. Whether it’s yummy codfish and chorizo fritters or pastel de nata, you’re sure to get your fix of delicious delicacies. However, no matter how yummy the tasty morsel looks, it’s a good idea to check how the food was prepared. Using your common sense, like steering clear of lukewarm or undercooked meats can be your best tool when it comes to eating safely. And if disasters strikes and you do find yourself with a serious stomach ache, you can relax knowing that your travel insurance will cover you for any out of pocket expenses you incur from any doctor or hospital visits.
Drink in moderation: Now, we wouldn’t want to put a dampener on your Euro euphoria, however, when it comes to alcohol we advise you to drink in moderation. One too many Vinhos Verdes could see you jeopardizing your cover. Travel insurance is likely to exclude any claims where excessive drugs or alcohol have been involved.
Get travel insurance: Although you shouldn’t bank on the worst possible scenario, it’s hardly worth taking a gamble on your travels. Healthcare costs overseas can be frighteningly expensive and without travel insurance, you run the risk of accumulating massive debts, in a foreign and unsupported environment. Travelling without a policy in place is not just irresponsible, it can be downright dangerous. Get a quote for your trip to Eurovision today!
Read the Product Disclosure Statement: Travel insurance is a must have for any holiday, but like any type of insurance, it’s important to realise there are cases where you will not be covered. Because holidays don’t always go to plan, it’s a good idea to understand your policy before you head off. You’ll find a full list of general exclusions within your chosen insurers Product Disclosure Statement.