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Planning For Your Trip

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    Wednesday, February 19, 2014, 12:44 PM -

    A vacation requires careful planning. Listed below are important steps you can take to prepare for a safe trip anywhere outside of Canada.

    Research your destination. Enhance your enjoyment by learning about the culture, language, laws and climate of your destination before you leave. 

    Carry a valid passport. Verify the expiry date of your passport. Many countries require that your passport be valid for at least six months beyond your intended return date. 

    Confirm entry requirements. Consult with your travel agent or the embassy of your destination country, regarding the exact entry requirements for your visit. Countries may require a visa, proof of onward ticket or evidence of sufficient funds.

    Share your travel details. Along with copies of your travel itinerary and contact information, leave copies of your insurance policy and passport with someone at home in the event of an emergency. 

    Stay healthy. Protect yourself with any recommended vaccinations and pack a sufficient supply of prescribed medication in your carry-on bag, not your checked luggage. Some countries may also require a doctor's letter authorizing the use of certain drugs. 

    Make sure you're covered! Medical treatment outside of Canada can be expensive and your provincial health plan or work insurance may only cover a portion of these costs. Confirm what coverage you have before you leave, and purchase travel insurance to fill the gaps. 

    Check weather conditions before your departure. Not only will this help you pack accordingly, you may still have time to make changes to your itinerary in the event of inclement weather.

    Limit your luggage. Most airlines now charge a fee for excess luggage. Inform yourself of these restrictions before you get to the airport to avoid unnecessary fees and delays. 

    Reconfirm your flight details. Verify your flight times with the airline two to three days prior to departure to ensure you have plenty of time to arrive early. 

    Plan activities for everyone. The best vacations take everyone's interests into account. Choose a destination with multiple points of interest and activities. If you're travelling with children, remember they often require a slower pace, more breaks, and time to play. Above all stay flexible and have fun!

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