How to ensure a safe and worry-free trip

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Going on a trip soon? Whether it’s for vacation, business or any other reason, travelling outside the province or abroad can be a pleasurable experience if you plan ahead and make good preparations. Remember to do the following before you leave:

  1. Check travel advice and advisories

    Before you buy your ticket, go to the Government of Canada’s Travel Advice and Advisories. Know the current issues in a particular destination like natural hazards or safety and security conditions. You will also learn the specific country’s entry and exit requirements, local laws/culture, and where to find help when you need it. Check advice and advisories again shortly before you leave.

    Handy tool: Install the Travel Smart app on your mobile phone. It provides travel advisories, border wait times, emergency contact numbers, and other important information on-the-go.

  2. Check Travel health notices

    (You can also get it from Travel Advice and Advisories). This is another important piece of information that you’ll need before you buy plane tickets. Know if your destination has a current health notice and the level of risk it poses. You may need to take necessary travel health precautions such as routine vaccinations especially if you are travelling with children. Some destinations may also impose lock downs or health quarantines. While some airlines allow rebooking or refunds after cancellations, others don’t. Make sure to check such options before you buy tickets or make hotel reservations.

  3. Get travel insurance

    You can never predict accidents and sickness! Smart travellers shield themselves from the inconvenience and expense that these events can cause by getting travel and health insurance. Inquire from your credit card provider or check your employer’s insurance plan for the type of protection that best fits your needs. Read Say yes to travel insurance to get more tips.

  4. Make sure your passports/visas are valid

    The six-month validity passport rule is observed in most countries. This means that your passport would have to at least be valid for six months after your final day of travel for you to be able to travel abroad. Make sure to check the entry requirements for the country/destination you are bound for. Each country or territory has different requirements. It’s not safe to assume that just because you have a Canadian passport (or PR Card), you will be allowed entry.

    Handy tool: Ask Travel is a great resource on the Travel.gc page. You can ask various questions about travelling abroad using a drop down list.

  5. Notify Manitoba Health

    If you are going on an extended vacation or extended absence from the province or country (this means 90 days or more in a 12-month period) notify Manitoba Health before you leave. You can send a letter, an email or a completed Request for Temporary out-of-Province Benefits Form. This ensures that your health coverage will be uninterrupted. However, Manitoba Health recommends considering private insurance options along with your Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living coverage to ensure sufficient coverage if you are going abroad.

  6. Leave a detailed travel itinerary and contact details

    Leave a copy of your travel itinerary with family or friends in Manitoba. Leave contact numbers and address/addresses so you can be contacted in case there is an emergency abroad or at home. Also get contact details for the Emergency Watch and Response Centre and leave a copy with friends and family.

  7. Make a copy of your travel papers

    Photocopy or take photos of your passport and important travel papers. This comes in handy should they get lost or stolen. Make sure to store the copies somewhere safe. Personally, I make digital copies and email them to myself. This way, I still have a copy if I don’t have my phone and will be able to retrieve them easily when I need them.

    If you are a Permanent Resident:
    You will need a PR card to come back to Canada. If you don’t have a PR card yet or if your PR Card expires while abroad, apply for a Permanent Resident Travel Document from a Canadian visa office abroad.

    If you are a Canadian citizen

    • Make sure you have your passport. If you don’t have a passport, you can secure a special authorization. Check your eligibility and apply here.
    • If your passport is lost or stolen abroad, go to this page for contact numbers and instructions on reporting and replacing your passport: Lost, stolen, inaccessible, damaged or found passports.
    • Sign up for Registration of Canadians Abroad. This is a free service that allows the Government of Canada to notify you in case of an emergency abroad or a personal emergency at home. The service also enables you to receive important information before or during a natural disaster or civil unrest.
    • If you are a dual citizen, you will need a Canadian passport to board your flight. Check this page for more details.

    Handy tool: Use this Traveller’s Checklist from to check additional steps you might have missed.

Thorough preparation can be tedious and may cause additional expenses. But often, it is the extra diligence that makes the difference between a worry-free trip and a stressful one.

Stay safe and enjoy your trip!
Article updated Feb. 2020
Sources: Travel health and safety, Government of Canada; Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living, Manitoba Government; and Travel and tourism, Government of Canada. Retrieved February 27, 2019.

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Community Resources

Download these factsheets and guidebooks before you travel:

Coming back with supplies and presents? Read What are the goods that you can and can’t bring when you travel back to Canada.

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