Canadians love to take vacations during the winter. After all, the holiday season is all about spending time with friends and family. There are some things to take under consideration to keep your loved ones safe: here’s how to plan for a safe winter vacation.
Global Affairs Canada (Canada’s equivalent of the Philippine Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs) provides consular assistance to thousands of Canadian tourists who need help while in foreign countries as tourists, international students and foreign workers.
Just last year, 10,000 Canadians lost or had their passports stolen during their trip overseas.
There were also over 1,000 requests for medical assistance.
The Government of Canada reminds Canadian travellers to make safe travel arrangements.
There are a number of tools online that are readily available at travel.gc.ca.
Here are a few tips and tricks to keep in mind when taking your next winter vacation outside of Canada:
CHECK IF THERE ARE ANY TRAVEL ADVISORIES
Even if you’re a seasoned traveller who keeps up-to-date on current affairs, it’s good to know if the Government of Canada has any in place for your travel destination.
Travel advisories give information about risk levels, security conditions as well as visa requirements and local regulations.
Travel.gc.ca has up-to-date travel information for more than 230 destinations all over the world. Don’t leave home without first checking it out!
LET THE GOVERNMENT OF CANADA KNOW WHERE YOU ARE
Let’s face it, you don’t want Big Brother to know where you are every second of the day, but when you need help, it’s best to make things easy and let them know where you are and how best to contact you.
Just sign up for Registration of Canadians abroad to get the latest updates in case of an emergency.
DON’T LEAVE CANADA WITHOUT THE APPROPRIATE AMOUNT OF INSURANCE
You never know what might happen, and it’s best to be prepared.
When you travel internationally, you won’t have provincial health coverage. It’s up to you to get the best possible insurance you can afford.
Talk to your insurance provider and find out what kind of coverage you might need for the trip. There are only two questions you should ask: “How much does it cost?” and “What doesn’t it cover?”
ALWAYS HAVE EMERGENCY CONTACT INFORMATION READY WHILE ON VACATION
The Government of Canada suggests that you always have the contact information for the nearest Government of Canada office to your location (an Embassy or Consulate).
You can also contact the Government of Canada’s Emergency Watch and Response Centre at (613) 996-8885 or firstname.lastname@example.org
MAKE SURE THAT ANY CHILDREN TRAVELLING WITH YOU HAVE THEIR OWN DOCUMENTS
The Government of Canada suggests printing out a consent letter for every child that is travelling alone, with only one parent or with a group. That way, if something happens, its easier to get some help.
LEAVE THE MARIJUANA AT HOME
While recreational cannabis may have been legalized in Canada for some time now, it’s still illegal to carry this across the border.
Leave all cannabis products at home to avoid serious criminal penalties.
GOING ON VACATION? DOWNLOAD THE TRAVEL SMART APP ON YOUR PHONE FIRST
Since you have your phone on you at all times, it might be a good idea to download this official Government of Canada app. After all, it’s free on the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.
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