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The busy winter travel season is now firmly here. To avoid the many pitfalls of travel, here are a few pointers to ensure your trip is properly organized.

  1. Valid passport. Check that your passport has at least six months before expiry. Many countries refuse entry to individuals who do not have six months or more before expiry. Starting in July 2013, Canadians will be able to renew their passports for 5 or 10 years. See http://travel.gc.ca/
  2. Visa requirements. Check if the country you are visiting requires an entry visa. Many countries require a visa, prices can range from zero to $800.00 depending on location and duration. Remember too that if you are breaking up a long journey by doing a stopover, that country may require a visa simply to transit through the airport for a few hours. See http://travel.gc.ca/
  3. Health. If you are travelling to a hot climate, ANYWHERE, it is wise to ask your doctor which protective vaccinations or inoculations are recommended. Health Canada always recommends that Hepatitis vaccinations be up to date for foreign travel; that’s advice worth listening to as it could save your life, or that of a family member. See http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/travel-voyage/general/index-eng.php
  4. Insurance. One should never travel without travel insurance, including out of country/province health insurance, trip cancellation and interruption insurance. Many credit cards offer some form of cover, but very few offer ALL coverage’s.

    It is a popular misconception that your particular credit card covers ALL contingencies, which is why you must verify your coverage well before your trip and purchase coverage of things that are not covered. See http://tridelta.ca/The-Canadian-Financial-Planner/2013/01/15/travel-insurance-is-a-must/

    For rental cars, check whether your coverage at home covers you out of the country, if not, you can sometimes upgrade to this for as little as $30.00 per year. Your travel advisor can assist you with a car rental prior to departure.

  5. Use a travel advisor. These days people love to get online and research their trip, which is a great idea.

    At Wanderlust Travel, we encourage this and work with clients on gathering information to select the best choices and compare options etc. However when booking travel online people are committed often without knowing exactly what they have purchased.

    The internet is both good and bad. The ‘good’ refers to the on hand research capability, whilst the ‘bad’ includes making commitments that are binding and being drawn into travel deals that are big on promises, but small on delivery.

    The internet can depict beautiful resorts, but the reality often delivers nasty surprises. A good travel advisor will know (or find out) if the resort or hotel is “Heaven” or “Hell”, plus you have the comfort of knowing that any registered agent selling travel in Ontario is covered by the Travel Industry of Ontario should a supplier default. See http://www.tpiworldwide.com/AnneBarclayTPI/testimonials.asp

  6. My top destination for this winter get-away.

    In Canada we aspire to travel during Winter to escape the lousy weather.

    Here is my suggested destination for those of you looking for a week’s break to recharge those battery’s:

    Anitgua’s Galley Bay Resort;

    This all-inclusive resort is designed for people looking to totally relax in a beautiful setting right on the beach. When I inspected the resort, a feeling of total relaxation came over me unlike the hundreds of other properties I have visited.

    The resort is small and intimate. The accommodation is also quite unusual offering traditional Caribbean and Tahiti styles right on the beach or located alongside the natural lagoon. I enjoyed the bungalow type rooms, which were really unique. I am recommending this resort for its value, limited size and intimate setting. Although I should also mention it is rated among the top 10 romance resorts in the Caribbean! See http://www.galleybayresort.com

Article complied by Anne Barclay, Certified Travel Consultant www.wanderlusttravel.ca

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