Is travel all that relaxing? That’s up to you and how you prepare for your holiday. What is it that you want to see or explore? Do you want to sit on a beach or climb Mount Kilimanjaro, or maybe it’s all the above. Either way, the relaxation part seems to get overlooked when you’re trying to pack, feeling rushed to get to the airport, having forgot important documents. By the time you get to your destination you are even more frazzled because you haven’t taken the time to get prepared, not the way you want to start your relaxing holiday.
Take the time to be prepared. First plan your itinerary; you do want to leave some things to spontaneity but if you’re planning a trip to a few countries, say in Europe, then you’re best to have the majority of your trip planned. Have your hotel reservations made ahead of time, plan your rail, bus or car route and reserve ahead of time. Scout out the must see’s and purchase tickets in advance to avoid long line-ups when you get there. Research restaurant guides to see where the locals eat not where the tourist traps are.
If you are planning a backpacking hike up Kilimanjaro make sure you do the research before hand. Don’t just show up and expect to climb. You need to book well in advance with a reputable outfitter, you need to get into shape, and you need to have the proper gear. You also need to make sure you pick the right time of year to avoid bad weather.
All this saves you time and money. You don’t want to arrive at the Vatican in high season only to see the line up is three miles long. Purchase the tickets online and avoid the queue. Spending time trying to find a hotel at 9 p.m. when you’re tired will only end up in you spending way too much money because you’re too tired to care.
Preparing your itinerary ahead of time and pre booking will save you a lot of time and a lot of money. Once you have your itinerary planned and all your documentation in place start packing ahead of time. Don’t leave it until the last minute and pack accordingly. No need to pack a steamer trunk full of clothes, chances are you’ll end up wearing those same pair of short more than twice.
Make sure you contact your credit card companies to advise them what countries you are visiting and when, this will avoid the embarrassing “I’m sorry ma’am your credit card has been declined”. Take along some trip guides and maps to read on the airplane. Become familiar with where you are going. And remember to pack that electrical converter if your destination requires it.
Once you have the itinerary planned, you’re all packed, guides and maps in tow, now make sure your house is well secured, that your family is aware of your itinerary and have contact numbers for you in case of an emergency. Make your way to the airport in plenty of time so you are not rushed.
Starting your vacation organized, planned and ready will allow you the time to relax and enjoy and not feel frenzied. Now it’s time to enjoy your holiday because you are prepared!
– Linda Robidoux Burndorfer is a travel expert with Out ‘N About Travel Inc. of Winnipeg.
A passport is the only reliable and universally accepted identification document, and it proves that you have a right to return to Canada. Some countries do not require a passport for entry but do require photographic identification (such as a driver’s licence) as well as proof of Canadian citizenship (such as a birth certificate or citizenship card). Requirements vary from country to country. Canadian citizens in Canada must submit passport requests to Passport Canada, whereas Canadians travelling or living in other countries must contact the nearest Canadian government office abroad.
- Carry a passport for all trips outside Canada.
- Complete the emergency contact information on page 4 when you receive your new passport. Provide the name of someone who would not normally accompany you when travelling.
- Be sure that your passport is still valid. Some countries require that your passport be valid for six months beyond your date of entry. Check the Travel Report for your destination to establish whether the six-month rule applies.
- Photocopy the identification page of your passport and carry this separate from your passport while abroad. Also leave one photocopy at home.
- To avoid delays and other problems that will hinder your return to Canada, obtain a Canadian passport prior to initiating international travel.
- Selling, altering, or allowing another person to use your passport is a criminal offence. It could lead to the laying of charges and imprisonment if convicted. It could also lead to the denial of future passport services.
For more information visit http://www.voyage.gc.ca