The holiday season is fast approaching and many people may consider traveling this winter. Whether you plan on traveling domestically or internationally, here are some tips to help prepare for your travels.
Travel Tips Before You Depart
Make Sure Your Travel Documents are Up to Date
If you haven’t traveled in a long time, it can be easy to forget that your travel documents can expire. Be sure to review your passport to ensure that it is still valid. If not, the Canadian government has a helpful guide to renew it.
Inform Someone That You Will be Gone
Regardless of how long you will be gone, it’s important to inform a close friend or family member that you will be out of town. This is to help ensure that your home will be protected and monitored.
Have them collect mail or the local paper so it doesn’t build up at your front step, encourage them to turn the lights on at night, move your cars, and shovel the driveway – all to maintain the illusion that your home is still occupied and to help reduce the risk of a potential break in.
Inform Your Insurance Provider You Will Be Gone
If you will be traveling for an extended period, consider speaking to your insurance provider. In some parts of Canada, if you leave your home unoccupied for more than 30 days your home insurance may be voided – as your provider may assume it is vacant and you have no intentions on coming back.
By informing your insurance provider of your travel plans, they’ll be able to document that in your file and explain your coverage options for your home while you’re away.
Consider Travel Insurance
Speaking of insurance, have you considered travel insurance? Travel insurance provides protection for you and your loved ones while you’re away. While credit card companies do offer some protection for you while you travel, it may not extend to others in your family.
Products like TripMate® can offer a variety of coverage options that can account for medical emergencies, Baggage Insurance, Trip Cancellation & Trip Interruption Insurance – and much more.
Stay Organized with a Spreadsheet
A lot can go into planning a trip, so it’s best to stay organized. One way to do so is by developing a spreadsheet. Use the spreadsheet to keep a checklist of things to consider before traveling – for example, a list of items to pack, flights and hotel information.
This can be especially helpful if you’re traveling with friends. It’ll allow you to keep track of payments, develop an itinerary and key points to remember about your destination. File sharing sites like Google Sheets is a great place to start.
Familiarize Yourself with the Destination Ahead of Time
When entering a new country, you should also be mindful of traditions and customs they may have.
You can try downloading apps that’ll allow you to understand the language more, reviewing a map of the area surrounding the place you’re visiting, researching how they dress (so you don’t stand out too much) as well as understanding where the Canadian embassies and consulates are located.
Talk to Your Bank
If you haven’t already, speak to your bank and let them know that you are out of the country. This is to prevent your account from shutting down due to what they may perceive your interactions as “suspicious behaviour”.
Travel Tips for When You Arrive
Let your Contacts Know You’ve Arrived Safely
It’s easy to get caught up in your destination and not inform your contacts at home that you’ve arrived – but it is still an important to do.
Provide them with the name of the place you are staying, your itinerary and a local number to reach you. Not only will you be providing them with peace of mind, but it will provide you with the same knowing they are aware of your whereabouts.
Secure Your Valuables
Whether you’re staying at a five-star hotel or a hostel, it’s important that you keep your valuables locked up. If you haven’t already invested in a lock, then do so! Some hotel rooms may have a vault to keep your stuff locked away, but it’s still important to take steps to ensure your valuables are protected.
If you have high-valued items, you should speak with your insurance provider about your options to insure them.
Speak to the Locals
A great way to get the most out of your vacation is by speaking with the locals. While you may have already planned your itinerary ahead of time, nobody knows the hot spots like someone native to the area. They can tell you the best places to eat, see, shop, etc.
However, still be mindful when speaking with strangers. Don’t walk around with any valuables, and make sure you’re in a well populated area when inquiring for advice. And if you’re still unsure, then ask the hotel or hostel you’re staying at for tips. If you’re using a room share service, you can also ask your host for recommendations.
Hopefully our tips were helpful, and you enjoy your travels this winter!
Disclaimer: This information and the websites referenced are provided for your convenience only and should not be construed as providing legal or insurance advice. Allstate does not control or guarantee the accuracy of any content on any third-party site. Allstate is not responsible for the privacy practices of any third-party site.