Your vacation is planned to the last detail - flights and accommodations have been booked, your vaccinations are up-to-date. But there are still a few more things you'll need to do to make sure your getaway goes smoothly, both at home and abroad.
Before you leave...
- Check weather trends in the area you'll be traveling to a few days prior to and the day of your flight. If there is a tropical storm/hurricane being tracked in the area prior to your departure you may need to double check with your travel insurance agency if you choose to go ahead with your travel plans. Some travel insurance companies do not cover you if you choose to travel into a tropical storm/hurricane once it's been identified as a risk to shorelines.
- Make 3 or 4 photocopies of page 4 (where your picture is) of your passport. Keep one in your checked luggage and/or carry-on, give one to your family/friends or neighbours and leave one at home. In case your original passport is lost or stolen during your trip, you'll always have backup copies as proof of citizenship. Also check the validity dates on your passport
- Copies of page 4 of your passport
- Flight details (for all destinations if you are traveling to multiple destinations)
- Cruise ship details and port schedule if applicable
- Hotel name, location and room number (for all accommodations if you are staying at more than one location)
- A list of all medication you or your travel companions are bringing on your trip (make sure to keep these in their original containers - especially prescriptions)
- A list of all important phone numbers and websites you may need while on vacation. Kanetix.ca has put together this list for you, leaving room for you to add any other important contact info you may need.
- Register with the Canadian embassy, high commission or consulate in your destination country. This way Canadian officials will know where you are in the event of a natural disaster or emergency
- Check with your bank for your total and daily limit on your ATM/bank cards
- Purchase travellers cheques and record their numbers. Kanetix.ca has provided space to record your travelers cheque numbers on the emergency contact sheet noted above.
- Purchase foreign currency - including US cash - if you are traveling abroad. In most cases you'll save administrative costs if you get currency converted while you're still at home.
- Call your credit card provider and Check to see what your current balance is
- Check your expiry dates to ensure your card(s) will be valid for the duration of your trip
- Ask for an increase in your limit if necessary to allow for room in case of emergencies
- Notify them that you are travelling, the duration of your trip and your destination(s). Failure to do so may cause a fraud alert to be posted on your credit card(s) during your trip - potentially leaving you stranded for cash.
- Arrange for newspaper hold and mail pick-up
- Leave a house key with a friend, family member or neighbour
- Arrange for pet and plant care
- Set light timers
- Turn the heat down in the spring and fall. Turn air conditioner off in the summer.
- Be sure to leave it warm enough in the winter to keep the house from getting so cold that the pipes freeze.
- Unplug appliances such as space heaters, your stove, televisions, computers, and anything else that could catch fire.
- Lock windows and doors, including those in the garage and basement.
- Remove old luggage tags from previous trips. Ensure there is adequate personal identification inside and outside your luggage. Also lock your luggage after you've finished packing completely.
- Purchase a travel insurance policy with coverage that is appropriate for the type of trip that you are taking. Remember - during tropical storm season, the best type of travel insurance to purchase is an all inclusive or comprehensive package. This type of travel insurance package includes trip cancellation and interruption - so you won't be stuck with the costs of your trip in the event a hurricane inhibits your plans.