1. If you are vacationing outside of Canada, make sure your passport is
current and you have your tickets, documents and identification with
you when you arrive at the airport. Many countries will not permit
entry if your passport will expire several months beyond your date of
arrival, so make sure you obtain a new passport before leaving home
if there is any possibility that your passport will expire while you
travel. Also, don’t forget that, as of January 23, 2007, Canadians
need a passport when flying to the United States. For crossing the
Canada-U.S. border by land and sea, Canadians can continue to use
their birth certificates and driver’s licence
2. Don’t leave your province or territory of residence without medical
insurance, as you may not have as much coverage as you think. Medical
treatment can be very expensive – even if you are travelling within
Canada – and your government health insurance plan usually covers
only a limited part of these costs. Make sure to carry proof of
travel insurance with you, along with the travel insurance company’s
name and phone number. Leave a copy of this information at home with
family or friends, as well.
3. Travel arrangements are often non-refundable so don’t risk losing
your entire travel investment should something unexpected happen.
Purchasing cancellation and interruption insurance can help protect
your investment in case you have to cancel your trip, come home
early, or stay longer at your destination.
4. Increased security at airports has led to longer waiting times for
travellers. Go early to give yourself plenty of time to make your
flight. Don’t leave your luggage unattended in public areas and don’t
accept packages from strangers.
5. Keep credit cards, travellers’ cheques, passports and other
identification in different places. Make two copies of the
identification page of your passport. Carry one copy with you,
separate from your passport, and leave one with family or friends at
home. You can also e-mail yourself this information so that if you do
lose your documents you can log into your e-mail and get the relevant
6. Use pockets or purses only for items you will need frequently.
Otherwise, use a money belt or take advantage of hotel safety deposit
boxes to store important documents and additional cash, so if your
wallet or purse is lost or stolen, you won’t be left without
identification or money. If you lose your passport, immediately call
the nearest embassy or consulate and contact the local authorities.
7. Make sure you’re up to date on all your immunizations. Contact your
doctor or a travel medicine clinic well in advance of your trip to
see if you need any specific medication or immunizations. Health
Canada provides a list of travel clinics across Canada at
8. Check to see if any travel advisories or warnings have been issued
for your destination. This information can be obtained from the
Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade at
1-800-267-8376 or www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca.
9. Eat fruits and vegetables that have been freshly peeled or cooked and
other foods that have been well cooked. Drink bottled beverages, or
hot beverages such as coffee or tea, and avoid ice that isn’t made
with purified water. Don’t underestimate the importance of good
personal hygiene – wash your hands frequently and thoroughly.
10. Tell your neighbours you’re going on vacation. It helps if they can
pick up your mail, park a car in your driveway and even shovel snow.
Just don’t forget to return the favour when it’s time for their