During the holiday season as we travel to and from our destinations, it is important that we take the greatest possible precautions to ensure a safe arrival and happy family. For Americans, there are going to be an influx of drivers on the road between the Thanksgiving and week of Christmas holiday. For the rest of those around the world, the crowded airports will increase as passengers are going to and from various destinations to visit loved ones or go away.
Here are a few tips to ensure safe travels world wide:
- Know the generic names of your medications so you can replace them if they are lost or stolen. Your medication will have a different brand name in another country.
- If you have any life-threatening allergies, wear a medical alert bracelet and bring an Epi-pen kit.
- Travel light. Take only what you need and no more.
- Use covered luggage tags with your office address instead of your home address.
- Make sure your children know their home address and telephone number. Show them where to go in the airport if you get separated, and review the procedure for dealing with strangers.
- Give a family member or friend your travel itinerary and the contact information for your hotel. Make sure someone has your email address and the phone number of the local Canadian embassy as well.
- If you are a single parent traveling with your children, make sure you have a signed letter of permission from the other parent. You could be barred from the plane if you are unable to prove you have the right to take your children with you.
- Make photocopies of your passports, credit cards and other ID. Leave one copy with a relative at home, and keep another copy separate from your originals.
- Travel with only one credit card. Bring a combination of traveller’s cheques and cash in small bills (American money is universally accepted). You should be able to use your debit card as long as the machine has the CIRRUS symbol. You will be charged for each transaction. Try to familiarize yourself with the local currency so your first transaction won’t be so confusing.
- Check with Be Aware and Declare, hosted by the Canadian government, to find out what you can and can’t bring back with you. You don’t want to be slapped with any heavy fines on your way through customs.