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Quick and Dirty Checklist for Your First Trip Abroad

What you need to do to get ready to travel the world.

Tourist Walking Monte Alban

If you are planning to travel outside of Canada, you may come in contact with several diseases that could be prevented if you are vaccinated. No one wants to be ill while they are away and getting the right vaccinations for the countries you intend to visit will lower the risk of this happening.

You also need to check things such as visas, or you could find you do not get past the airport in the country you are in. This is something else that you should not leave till the last minute, as they can take some time to arrive. In fact, there are several things you need to do before you leave for abroad, and here are just a few tips to help prevent you from having a problem.

Look at Your Passport

There are some countries that will not let you enter if there is less than six months after your arrival date left on your passport. Check your passport to firstly make sure it has not run out and secondly to ensure you have enough time left on it. It will take a few weeks for your new passport to arrive and this should be one of the first things you check out when planning your trip abroad.

Check Out Vaccinations

Don’t ignore the fact that in other countries, some diseases are prevalent and don’t rely on what friends and family tell you that you will need. You should talk to the professionals to check if you need any vaccinations and to find out which ones are required. There are several factors that have to be considered and the timescales can be important too. Some vaccinations only need one dose to be effective, but others need more. You need to allow enough time for them all to be done and should start the process about six weeks before your expected leave date.

Apply for Visas

Visas differ from country to country. Some are free and others will cost a small fee. It depends on which country you are traveling to as to the information they will require, but generally, once they are awarded, they are valid for either, 3, 6 or 12 months from your expected arrival date. There are more than 100 countries that require you to obtain a visa before you visit them.

Travel Insurance is Vital

Travel insurance is vital. We all hope not to become ill or involved in an accident at any time, but it is even worse if it happens while you are abroad. Not all countries will treat your illness or injuries unless you have travel insurance in place. Do not assume that your health care used in Canada will automatically cover you because it probably won’t.

Take Copies

Take copies of all your important documents. Leave one lot at home with someone you trust and carry the others with you separate from the originals. Should you lose a visa, your passport or travel insurance documents, they will be much simpler to replace if you have a copy with all the details on.

Look at the Culture

Spend a bit of time online and check out the culture of the countries you are planning to visit. Some have very different laws to what you are used to and it is easy to fall foul of them just because you were unaware. Knowing something about the way a country is run and what the food, weather, and people are like, will all help you to make the most of your experience abroad.


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