Travel can be chaotic at the best of times, so plan ahead for your vacation time off, to ensure a headache-free trip! Whether you’re heading across the country or internationally, Canada's Safety Council has 10 simple tips to ensure you arrive at your destination safely and without incident.
- Let people know your travel itinerary - either leave a copy with neighbours or family members, and always keep people informed if your plans change.
- Check to make sure your passports, visas and vaccinations are all up-to-date. Leave copies of your passports, driver’s licence, credit cards and other important documents with family members, in case of theft.
- While you are away, make it look like someone is home. Arrange to have a car parked in your driveway, plan to have someone pick up your mail and shovel your sidewalk. Invest in a security system for added peace of mind.
- Going somewhere exotic? Plan your travel budget ahead of time and be aware of the local currency. A good travel book on the country will explain how much the Canadian dollar is worth, or you can visit a currency exchange before you leave. Inform your bank of where you are going and for how long, this way your account won’t be flagged for suspicious activity when you make purchases in a foreign destination.
- Research your destination beforehand. What are the entry requirements? Do they require proof of citizenship? Photo identification? Vaccinations? Certain countries may require an “International Certificate of Vaccinations” against infectious diseases before you are allowed to enter. Talk to your local travel agent, physician or the embassy of the country you plan on visiting.
- Do you have a full supply of your prescription medication packed? If not, make sure you fill up before you go. It is also a good idea to contact the nearest consulate to find out the country’s health laws regarding controlled medication. You may be required to obtain a doctor’s written prescription for your medication.
- Purchase travel insurance. If you plan on driving after you arrive, find out the type of insurance you require.
- Luggage identification is important. Clearly identify your luggage with your name, current address and phone number. Put the information both inside and outside of your bag. Remove old claim tag that might confuse handlers. Attach a bright ribbon or bandana to your luggage to help distinguish your bags from similar ones in the baggage claim area.
- Pack a basic first-aid kit for minor emergencies. Include such items as medicinal creams and tablets, electrolyte replacement tablets, repellent, bandages, safety pins, scissors (not permitted to be carried-on), soap, sunscreen, thermometer and tweezers.
- Visit the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority website at www.catsa-acsta.gc.ca for the latest information for air travellers, including the latest security measures.
Wherever you are going, always make sure to be safe - enjoy the holidays and remember to celebrate prudently with an eye to your health and wellness!