After speaking with a rather well-travelled client the other day and hearing their tales of passport dramas I decided it would be great to do a short review of a well-advised Traveller’s Checklist!
Your safe and well-planned trip begins with most or all of these important steps:
- Carry a personal passport from your country of residence/citizenship that is valid well beyond the date of your anticipated return to your country of residence; keep a copy of the identification page separate from the original. I also scan one into my computer and take with me in digital format as well/store on an external storage site ie. Cloud etc.)
- Leave copies of your passport indentification page, itinerary, and insurance policy with friends or family(I also scan one into my computer and take with me in digital format as well/store on an external storage site ie. Cloud etc.)
- Obtain any required visas well in advance – do your research or ask your travel professional as you might need a lot of lead time to obtain!
- If travelling with children, carry documentation proving your right to accompany them ( eg. a consent letter or court order)
- Arrange for Travel Health Insurance
- Plan your Itinerary and Budget
- Anticipate financial needs: local currency, traveller’s cheques, departure taxes which may need to be paid in local currency at destination
- Take care of health needs: vaccinations, prescriptions,medical certificates,supplies, extra eyeglasses/contacts
- Check whether Dual Citizenship is an issue for you
- Carry an Emergency Contact Card with the coordinates of the nearest home countyry government office in your destination
- Obtain an International Driving Permit, if required(you must have a driver’s license in your home country – if not it can prove to be difficult)
- Carefully attend to luggage, documentation, and airport security.
- While abroad, keep receipts for purchases and make special arrangements for any food, plants, or animals brought back to your home country.( I try to remember to take pictures with my camera/smartphone or use a small portable scanner that links to my computer by USB like NEAT – fits nicely into the suitcase or carry-on)
Another helpful thing that our Canadian Foreign Affairs and International Trade offices provide is the Bon Voyage, But… from the Consular Services which contains essential information for Canadian travellers. You can also get copies of the Country Travel Reports for your destination(s). before you go that are filled with some great information and contact names and numbers. An email address to keep in your “travel “go-to” list is the following: firstname.lastname@example.org and is to only be used in cases of emergency when you are abroad.
I hope this checklist was helpful and informative and will guide you to better planning or remind you for the next journey you head out on!