The travel experts at itravel2000, a leading online travel retailer, have compiled a list of top twelve vacation tips for 2012, set mainly to help Canadians travel hassle free.
1. Pack smart:
Go light! Pack the essentials in your carry-on luggage â€“ it will help in the times when you arrive early for hotel check-in, or if your luggage is lost or arrives late. Check the weather at your destination and pack accordingly – arriving ill-equipped isnâ€™t a pleasant thing to happen. Also bear in mind plug adaptors and purchase a universal voltage converter to avoid problems with voltage differences.
2. Airport security:
Always allow enough time for security, as it often experiences delays. Also avoid delaying yourself at security: research and donâ€™t carry prohibited items, and remove heavy layers of clothing. Most importantly, keep your passport and travel documents close to you at all times.
3. Travelling with kids:
Research accommodation options to find out about special options such as kidsâ€™ club or play area. pack hygiene and medical essentials and enough to keep them entertained. Most importantly, make sure your children know where to go and what to do if they get lost. Be sure to carry the correct documents if you are the Guardian, rather than the parent, of the child to avoid any problems.
4. Currency exchange:
Before you travel overseas, learn about the currency exchange rate in the country you plan to visit. You can use your credit card, an ATM machine, travellerâ€™s cheques or grab it on the go at the airport, but be sure to find out about the applicable fees first.
5. Food safety:
One of the best ways to get to know a destination is to experience its cuisine. However, this can be tricky if you have special dietary requirements. If so, make sure to research your destinationâ€™s eating customs, inform your hotel, your airline, and make a sign or learn words to communicate your restrictions.
Itâ€™s important to stock up on prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications and the best way is to keep them in your carry-on luggage. Copies of prescriptions should also be packed with medications. If you are going a little off the beaten track, make sure to pack a first aid box.
7. Travel Insurance:
Travel insurance is essential and never underestimate how expensive an accident could be overseas. It also covers concerns such as illness, missed flights, lost baggage and cancelled tours. Above all, it gives you peace of mind!
8. Emergency contact:
Prepare a list of emergency contacts for family and friends, and also for yourself. Carry the contact numbers of Canadian embassies located where you are to travel; in case of a lost or stolen passport, or contact details of local doctors and hospitals in emergency.
9. Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada:
The Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada website offers travel reports, advisories, information on vaccination requirements and insights on foreign countries It is a great source for information on planning safe trips.
10. Local language:
Knowing the basics of the local language in the destination youâ€™re visiting can be useful when you need help with directions, local specialities, etc. Learning a few words of a local language is also a great way to connect with local people.
11. Driving license: Obtain an International Driving Permit, which will allow you to drive internationally, when accompanied by a valid Canadian driver’s license. If you plan to rent a car, make arrangements from your home country in advance to avoid last-minute troubles.
12. Passports and important documents:
Make sure to scan your passports, the list of emergency contacts and other important documents, and email them to yourself. This way, if you misplace or lose any documents, they are easily accessible. Also, check the expiry dates of your passport and driving license, and renew if necessary.
[Photo credit: Niagra on the lake]