Whether your passport is going to get another stamp or you are going so see family just a few hours away, these travel tips will help you enjoy a safe, worry and pain free holiday. That is, of course, unless you indulge in too much merrymaking or your mom’s hot jambalaya.
- Take photocopies of all of your identification and credit cards and leave them with someone you trust. If you have an issue, they can be sent to your location.
- Get all of the recommended vaccinations. Please note that some vaccinations take time to become effective.
- Learn about local laws and customs before leaving home. Your passport cannot keep you from being arrested and will not get you out of jail.
- Always travel with health insurance whenever you leave your province. Your health card only covers up to the amount the health services would charge in your own province. You will be billed for any overages. For example, if you need a cat scan in another province and the cost is $1000, you will receive a bill for $200 if that same test were to cost $800 in your home province.
- Leave a detailed copy of your itinerary with someone at home. If you are traveling to a foreign country, notify your embassy.
- Carry all of your prescription medication in their original bottles. Also, know the generic name of your medications, in case you need to replace them. If you are carrying a drug that could be restricted in the country where you are traveling, get a letter from your doctor stating that you are prescribed that medication. Never bring more of a quantity of restricted drugs than you will need.
- Pack an extra pair of prescription glasses in case the pair you are wearing are lost or broken.
- Find out what you can bring through customs. Fines can be very high and your goods could be confiscated.Keep apprised of all advisories about the country you are traveling to.
- Keep apprised of all advisories about the country you are travelling to.
- Never carry your wallet in your back pocket or your purse over one shoulder. They are an easy target for thieves if carried that way.
- Always put prescription medication, a toothbrush and toothpaste and an extra pair of undies in your carry on in case your luggage is delayed.
- Do not wear expensive jewellery or show a lot of cash. Keep some cash in your wallet and some in your front pocket or shoe. Do not make yourself a target for thieves. Now is a great time to wear that costume jewellery that has been sitting in your jewellery box.
- Ask hotel staff which local neighbourhoods to avoid. As a general rule, travel guide books leave out this information.
- If you do not have a car, try not to travel at night to your hotel without prearranged transportation.
- Use ATM’s during the day and when there are people around. Many hotels now have ATM’s.
- If the back of your hotel room door has an extra chain or latch, always use them.
- Do not look like a tourist. Walk with your head looking straight until you see someone who can help, like a police officer. If you need to turn around, duck into a coffee shop or retail store and browse for a few minutes, changing direction when you exit. Never make it obvious you are lost or uncomfortable. Walk with purpose at all times.
- Before leaving your hotel room each day, check the local news to see if there is anywhere you should avoid that day, such as a planned demonstration.
- Do not update your status on social media that tells your friends you are traveling. You are also telling the thieves that troll these sites that you are not home.
- If you are driving your car and you do not have roadside assistance, you should purchase it before you go through a company like CAA. You do not want to rely on strangers in the event that you have a flat tire or other issue.
Use these tips to travel hassle free and stay safe. You need to make like a good scout and ‘be prepared’.
By: Pauline Milner, Freelance Writer