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Enjoying a Stress Free Trip Down South

Stress free travelThe temperature has dropped, the snow is flying, and winter has just barely started!  If you are like many other Canadians, you have probably started making plans for your next stress free trip down south.  As you envision your escape from the cold, you might be picturing warm sandy beaches and umbrella drinks by the pool.  Usually it turns out that way, but sometimes unforeseen accidents or mishaps can throw a wrench in your travel plans and make you wish you never left the runway.  Follow these five travel tips to enjoy a relaxing and stress free time in the sun:

Check with your insurance provider to make sure you have adequate medical coverage.  Don’t just assume that you will be taken care if you become ill or get into an accident.  Ask your insurance company to provide you with a copy of your policy that specifically outlines your coverage outside of Canada.  Next, find out what steps you need to take if you require medical attention.  Will you be required to pay up front?  Is there anything that you might do that could void your coverage?  No one likes to think about getting hurt on vacation, but it’s always wise to plan ahead.

Keep your passport in a safe place.  Never leave your passport out in the open in a hotel room or airport terminal.  If you have ever lost your passport abroad, you probably realize how much this major inconvenience can impact your trip.  Scan a copy of your passport and a few other pieces of ID and email them to yourself in the event that your documents get damaged or lost.  This could help speed up the process if you need to get a replacement in a hurry.  Another thing to keep in mind is that some counties will not permit you to enter if your passport is due to expire within six months.  Stay on the safe side and renew your documents ahead of the expiry date.

Safeguard your medication.  If you require prescription medication, be sure to bring enough to last you until the end of your trip.  Do not try to save space by mixing medications in one container.  All prescriptions should be kept in their original containers and clearly labeled to indicate the contents.  Carry a list of your prescriptions including the trade and generic name in case you need to go to a local pharmacy.

Call your credit card provider.  Credit cards are accepted in most developed countries.  This is normally the safest way to pay for things at your hotel such as day trips and souvenirs.  Be sure to call your credit card provider to advise them that you will be leaving the country and place a “travel watch” on your cards.  This will ensure that your transactions aren’t declined, and will also prevent fraudulent transactions that may be attempted on your card after your departure date.  Find out of your card provider offers any additional services such as cancellation insurance to help to better protect yourself.

Declare everything.  It’s important to follow the rules when you are entering a foreign country or returning home to Canada.  Never take a chance when it comes to customs declarations.  Keep receipts for the items you purchased, and read the declaration cards carefully.  Research the allowable limits for purchased items, tobacco, and alcohol ahead of time so you don’t find yourself in a difficult, and expensive, situation in the airport.

Happy travels!

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