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 is exciting. To make sure that your trip is a memorable experience, prepare and plan ahead. Remember to do the following before you leave:

  1. Check travel advice and advisories

    Before you buy your ticket, go to Travel Advice and Advisories. This is where you can check whether it’s safe to go to your destination. You can see each country’s current safety and security conditions on this website. You’ll also see important information like entry and exit requirements, local laws/culture, and where to find help when you need it.

  2. Check requirements for entry to your destination

    COVID is over but some countries may still impose requirements like vaccination certificates. Other countries may require online registration or other documents. Your travel agent may inform you of such requirements if you’re getting your tickets through a travel agency. If not, you’ll have to look for these yourself. You can check Travel Advice and Advisories or do a Google search for travel advisories for your destination.

  3. Get travel insurance

    Smart travellers shield themselves from the inconvenience and expense of unexpected events 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. Again, 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 will be away from the province or country for 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 will ensure that your health coverage will be uninterrupted. However, Manitoba Health recommends considering private insurance options to supplement your Manitoba Health coverage if you are going abroad.

  6. Leave your travel itinerary and contact details

    Leave a copy of your travel itinerary with family or friends in Manitoba. Add contact numbers and addresses so you can be contacted in case there is an emergency abroad or at home. 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

    Take photos of your passport and important travel papers. This will come in handy in case your papers get lost or stolen. Personally, I take 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 when I need them. Take photos of your luggage too, while you’re at it. Did you know that 2.8 million bags were mishandled in 2023? Having a photo of your bags can make it easier for airport personnel to look for them should they go missing.

  8.  
    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 expired 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 Travel.ca 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 June 25, 2024.
 
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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