Planning your winter vacation

The kids are back in school, and we’re starting to feel that fall crispness in the air. If you’re like most people, you’re starting to think about your winter holiday. Whether it’s hiking through Europe or sunning on a Caribbean beach, here are some things to keep in mind according to the Canadian Consumer Handbook:

  • Learn about your destination: If you only have a few days, you want to make the most of it! Learn a few things about the location you’re visiting prior to leaving. There may also be safety concerns, or immunization requirements. Check the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade travel website.
  • Choose an experienced travel agent: If you need someone to help you plan your trip, who could be better than a professional travel agent? Often travel agents specialize in various locations or types of travel. For extra security, look for agencies that belong to a professional association.
  • Be careful when purchasing travel services online: Do-it-yourself types may like to forego using a travel agent, and book their travel online. Just be sure to read the fine print, before handing over your credit card information.
  • Make air travel hassle free and safe: Check with your airline to see how far in advance you need to check in. Call the airport, or go online, to see if your flight is on time before heading out to the airport. Know the baggage allowance as too much baggage could result in extra charges. Pack your own bags and keep prescription medication in its original, labelled container and carry all medications in your carry-on baggage along with details of your condition and treatment. Find out which items are not allowed in your carry-on.

Don’t forget about your insurance.

  • Travel insurance: Coverage provided by your provincial health plan outside Canada is extremely limited! Consider purchasing excess emergency medical insurance, as well as trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance.
  • Car insurance: You may be able to purchase insurance for a rental vehicle before you go. This is a much cheaper option than purchasing it from the rental car company.
  • Home insurance: Check with your insurance provider to make sure your home insurance covers the items you take with you, such as your camera, cell phone, clothes, and GPS unit. And, while you’re away, your home will be considered “unoccupied”. Any damage caused by burst water pipes could be limited when you’re travelling in the winter. You may need to take a few steps to make sure everything is covered.

For more information on protecting your home and your personal property while you’re travelling, contact Square One at 1.855.331.6933.

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