It is vital that you check passport and visa requirements as well as any immunisation guidelines for the countries you are travelling to (and through!) as early as possible as processing necessary documentation can take some time. As a starting point, you should ensure your passport has at least 6 months validity beyond your length of stay as this is now a mandatory requirement for many countries around the world.
The Foreign & Commonwealth Office website has up-to-the-minute travel advice for your destination and will offer guidance on everything from health and immunisation to passport and visa requirements. You will even find handy tips on local laws and customs as well as crucial information on currency and navigating through your arrival airport.
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Visa and Passports: All travellers to Indonesia must be in possession of a passport valid for at least six month after arrival and with proof (tickets) of onward passage. Visa have been waived for nationals of 30 countries for a visit not exceeding two months. Those countries are: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, United Kingdom, United State of America and West Germany.
Entry and exit must be through the airports or seaports of Jakarta, Bali, Medan, Manado, Biak, Pontianak, Ambon, Batam, Surabaya; the Pekanbaru and Balikpapan airports; and the seaports at Semarang and Riau. For other ports of arrival and departure, visa are required.
Visas are free also for registered delegates attending a conference which has received official approval. Taiwan passport holders are also given visa free entry but only at the airports in Jakarta, Medan and Bali.
For citizens of countries other than the 30 listed above, tourist visas can be obtained from any Indonesia Embassy or consulate. Two photographs are required and a small free is charged.
Each visitor is required to pay an airport tax of Rp 50.000 for international departures; and between Rp 5.000 and 15.000 for domestic flights depending on the airport of depature.
Surat Jalan or the mail road: A surat jalan is a letter from the police permiting the bearer to go to certain places. It is advisable to carry one when travelling in some of the outer islands, but in Java only in such out of the way places as the Ijen plateau. If in doubt check with a good travel agent. In Jakarta a surat jalan may be obtained in an hour or two at Police Headquarters (Markas Besar Kepolisian Republik Indonesia) in Jalan Trunojoyo (Kebayoran baru).