Whether you're an experienced or novice traveller, these tips will apply to you no matter where you’re headed
Register yourself and your vacation
Register your trip on travel.gc.ca so the government knows where you are and how to reach you. It only takes a few minutes but is important if there is an emergency in the country you are visiting.
Check out hotel reviews before you go, but it’s important you don’t believe everything you read. Do your research but be sure you look at the date the reviews were written. It doesn’t matter where you go in the world, things change quickly and if the review isn’t within a few months, it's probably outdated.
Don't exchange money at the airport
Sure, it’s convenient but it will cost you extra. You will likely get a lower exchange rate and be charged a fee. The best place to exchange money is at a bank. I take a mix of currency with me when I travel - a bit of local cash and I bring my credit card and debit card for withdrawing cash as I need it when I'm away. Make sure you phone your bank and get an idea of what fees you’ll be charged for making transactions while away.
Understand phone fees
For my final tip - and you’ve likely heard some nasty stories in the media about this - is to be smart about your cell phone use while away. We’ve all heard those dreaded stories where someone returns from a trip to the U.S. or Mexico only to find an insane phone bill for roaming and data usage for thousands of dollars. Phone your wireless provider before your trip and find out exactly how much it will cost you to use your phone. They will likely be able to switch you to a temporary international plan while you’re away.
Otherwise, just to be safe and keep your device off. I mean, you are on vacation after all and we can all use some time unplugged to help with that much-needed R and R.
Claire’s Travel Deals
Amazing Shanghai Plus Tour
February 10 and March 4
Air, 6 nights hotel, most meals, tour with English-speaking guide and transfers
$498 + $528 tax
Air and 6 nights hotel
November 4, 18, 21 ,28
$679 + $90 tax
Mexico Christmas Specials
Air, 7 nights all-inclusive & transfers
$1599 + $380 tax