Travel Tips to Consider Before Travelling Abroad

Posted on 08/27/2018

The following are a list of items to consider prior to leaving home on a trip or vacation.

Check out your destination

Read up on your destination. Be aware of any visa requirements, local laws, customs, and medical systems in the country—or countries—you plan to visit, all of which can inform next steps of your preparation.

Flip through your passport

All passports should be valid for up to six months from your exit date in the country, and have at least two blank pages. Not all countries require six months of validity, but it is best to error on the safe side.

Make two copies of the page in your passport that has your photo and full name on it. Take one copy with you on your trip but keep it separate from your passport.Leave the other copy of your passport at home or with your emergency contact.

Research as to whether you require a visa to travel in your destination

If a visa is required complete the appropriate application and file to have a travel visa processed and issued.Most visas require the paying of a fee when the application is submitted prior to the issuing of the visa.

Check for Travel Warnings or Travel Alerts

The Travel Advice and Advisories are the Government of Canada’s official source of destination-specific travel information. They give you important advice to help you to make informed decisions and to travel safely while you are abroad.

No matter where you plan to travel, make sure you check the Travel Advice and Advisories page for your destination twice: once when you are planning your trip, and again shortly before you leave. Safety and security conditions may change between the date you book your travel and your departure date.

Travel Medical Needs

When travelling outside Canada, you may be at risk for a number of vaccine preventable illnesses.

You should consult a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic preferably six weeks before you travel. This is an opportunity to:

  • review your immunization history
  • make sure your provincial/territorial vaccination schedule is up-to-date
  • discuss any trip-related health concerns you may have
  • assess your needs based on where you plan to travel and what you plan to do

You may need additional vaccinations depending on your age, planned travel activities and local conditions. Preventing disease through vaccination is a lifelong process.

For additional information check out this link:

Medical Insurance Coverage Read the fine print on your medical insurance

If you have medical insurance check with your current provider and ask if your policy covers out of province emergencies. If the answer is no, consider how long you'll be gone for, what you'll be doing, and adding extra coverage through supplemental insurance plans.Most travel agencies in Ontario can assist with the purchase of the necessary coverage for your time out of the province.

Manage your money

Advise your bank and credit card companies of your plan to be away and the duration.Most of this can now be done online through your online banking page.Most credit cards have 1-800 numbers on the reverse side to contact to advise.

Research what the local currency is and the exchange rates, are credit cards accepted and are there ATMs readily available.Many countries do not have ATMs and businesses do not have the ability to accept credit cards.

Are you traveling with a child? Get a letter

Traveling alone with a child? Foreign officials may require proof of custody or written consent from the other parent. Additional information on travelling with a child is available at this link:


Are you travelling with medications? Ensure that all medications are in their original prescription containers and your name is the same as that of your travel documents.

Check out phone plans

Research phone plans in other countries and see if it's cheaper to get a local SIM card and use a new number and carrier service or shell out for an international roaming plan. If you're only going on a short trip, or looking to save money, turn your phone on Airplane mode and use local Wi-Fi when available.Some countries may have limited reception and Wi-Fi available.

Electrical connections in destination

Research your destination as to the type of hydro and electrical sockets available.Do you require adapters or converters?They are readily available in Canada at electronics stores.

Make arrangements to have someone look out for your place and mail

Gone for more than a week? Make arrangements to have your mail placed on hold and someone to check on your house.—a pile of letters and packages are an alert to would-be burglars that you're not home.Also check your home-owners insurance policy as most policies require that homes be checked regularly for the coverage to remain in place.

Notification of your plans to be out of the country

Registration of Canadians Abroad is a free service that allows the Government of Canada to notify you in case of an emergency abroad or a personal emergency at home. The service also enables you to receive important information before or during a natural disaster or civil unrest.

You should register whether you are planning a vacation or living abroad.

Canadian Embassies and Consulates

Check out and jot down the contact information for the nearest embassy or consulate so that you have it available should it be required.Below is a link to a directory that contains contact information for government offices for Canadian citizens abroad.

The directory also includes Australian and Swedish offices around the world that, by special agreement, provide consular services to Canadians. For up-to-date, detailed information on a particular office, visit

Gord's Travel Blog