March Break is the perfect opportunity to take a step back from your daily routine and go on a much-needed vacation. Whether you are planning a Canadian road trip or a sunny resort getaway, you want your holiday to be enjoyable and stress-free.
We have compiled a list of safety tips to help you prepare for a safe and memorable trip.
Research your travel destination
If you are travelling outside Canada, look up your vacation destination on the Government of Canada’s Travel Warnings website. Here you will find important information on the country’s risk level, safety and security concerns, health conditions, and weather hazards.
Familiarize yourself with local laws and customs restrictions
When travelling internationally, you need to abide by your destination country’s laws and understand what you can and cannot bring with you. Some countries also require special or additional documentation you will need to prepare ahead of time. Review local laws and customs restrictions before leaving home to ensure a smooth arrival.
If travelling to the United States, review our Pre-Departure Checklist for more information on what you will need to cross the U.S.-Canadian border.
Get your travel documents in order
Pack your passport, visas (if required), travel insurance benefits card, and any additional documentation needed for the country you are visiting.
Check your passport’s expiry date to ensure it does not expire until after you return home. Many countries require a passport expiry date at least six months after your return date, but this varies by country. Contact your local passport office for more information.
Do not forget your driver’s license and a copy of your auto insurance policy if you plan to get behind the wheel at any point.
Make copies of your documents
Photocopy at least two sets of your travel documents. Bring one set of copies with you and leave the other set in a safe place at home or with someone you trust. These copies will come in handy if your original travel documents are lost, damaged, or stolen.
Share your itinerary with someone you trust
Share your travel plans with a trusted family member or friend. Include as many details as possible, like the address and contact information of the place(s) you will be staying in and transportation information like flight numbers or road trip routes.
Check the local weather
Keep an eye out for weather alerts at your vacation destination leading up to your travel date. In the event of extreme weather, consider cancelling or rescheduling your trip.
Prepare for hazardous driving conditions
Even on your way to a sunny resort, you need to get to and from the airport safely. Roads are often wet, snowy, and icy this time of year, making for hazardous driving conditions that increase the chance of collisions. Follow our winter driving safety tips to stay safe on the road.
If you are planning any long-distance driving, review our tips for preparing for a safe winter road trip.
Review your travel insurance
Travel insurance provides assistance and financial coverage for unexpected events, such as medical emergencies, trip cancellations, or lost luggage. Even if you are travelling within Canada, your provincial health plan may only cover some costs associated with medical care if you have an accident or get sick outside of your home province. That is why it is essential to know you have the necessary coverage before packing your bags. If you are an active member of the education community with group benefits, review your benefits booklet for important information on the following:
Emergency Travel Assistance
Medical Emergency Assistance
Health Advice and Assistance
How to Access Emergency Travel Assistance
If you have questions about your existing OTIP insurance policy or want to know more about available add-ons and recommended coverage for travel, contact your OTIP insurance broker at 1-833-494-0090. If you are shopping for travel insurance, call us today for a free quote at 1-888-892-4935.
Get travel insurance that picks up where your coverage leaves off. OTIP has partnered with 21st Century Travel Insurance Limited and Allianz Global Assistance to give you exclusive rates and comprehensive coverage wherever and whenever you need it. Call 21st Century Travel at 1-844-291-7230 and identify yourself as an OTIP member to receive a quote. Are you retired and not an RTIP member? Learn more about the comprehensive travel coverage from RTIP.