Top travel tips from RBC Insurance

MISSISSAUGA, March 9, 2005 – Canadians are planning much-anticipated vacations. While it’s easy to get carried away in the excitement, keeping a few helpful hints in mind can make for a safer and happier vacation throughout the year.

  1. Make sure your passport is current and that you are aware of the visa or entry requirements for your destination. For instance, some countries require passports be valid for six months beyond expected departure dates. This information can be obtained from Foreign Affairs Canada, at

  2. Check to see if any advisories or warnings have been issued for the country where you’ll be travelling. This information can also be obtained from Foreign Affairs Canada, at

  3. Government health insurance plans typically cover only a limited portion of medical costs once you leave your home province or territory. So whether you’re travelling out of the country, or just out of your own province, make sure you understand what you’re covered for and that you have purchased extra travel insurance to fill any gaps. Don’t forget to carry proof of travel insurance with you, along with the company’s name and phone number.

  4. New security measures mean longer waiting times for travellers at the airport. Keep in mind that you’ll need to remove coats, jewellery and maybe even your shoes prior to going through security. Get there early to give yourself plenty of time to make your flight and avoid that stressful last-minute dash to the gate.

  5. If you’re travelling with small children, arrive at the airport with plenty of time to spare, and be sure to have the proper identification on hand. For example, if you’re travelling outside of the country, be sure each child has a valid passport. Also, bring along plenty of books, games and snacks to keep them occupied. You never know when you might be delayed so it’s best to be prepared.

  6. No one ever plans a trip with the idea of cancelling it, or returning home early, but keep in mind that illnesses, accidents or emergencies can happen unexpectedly. Since travel plans are often non-refundable, cancellation and interruption insurance is essential to protect your travel investment in case you have to cancel your trip, come home early, or stay later at your destination. This type of insurance should be purchased when you book your trip.

  7. Do not keep all of your valuables in the same place. Carry only small amounts of cash and use hotel safes to store travellers’ cheques and passports. Certain banks also offer card registry and information protection programs, which allow customers to cancel or block services with just one phone call. Services such as these also allow information such as passport or driver’s license numbers to be stored in a central area and retrieved with one phone call.

  8. Remember when travelling abroad, you are subject to the laws of the country you are visiting. Familiarize yourself with local laws and customs before arriving in your destination.

  9. Depending on your destination, a trip to your doctor may be in order. Illnesses such as malaria or some forms of hepatitis can be common in certain areas. However, they can be prevented with medication or a vaccination. Contact your doctor several weeks before your trip to determine any such requirements. Another source to learn about health issues abroad is

  10. To help avoid illness, drink only beverages made from purified water. And when it comes to food safety, only consume foods that have been well cooked, or fruits and vegetables that have been freshly peeled.

  11. To help keep your home safe while you’re away, cancel your newspaper delivery, use a timer to switch lights on and off, and arrange to have someone shovel your driveway. Ask a neighbour to collect your mail and even park a car in your driveway. Just be sure to return the favour when it’s their turn to go on vacation!

  12. Most importantly, relax and have a great time!

These helpful tips are brought to you courtesy of RBC Insurance.

RBC Insurance, through its operating entities, including RBC Travel Insurance Company, Assured Assistance Inc. and The Liberty Marketing Corporation, provides a wide range of creditor, life, health, travel, home, auto and reinsurance products to more than five million North American customers. RBC Insurance is the leading provider of travel insurance and emergency assistance services in Canada and has also expanded into the U.S. travel insurance market. Its travel insurance operations draw on more than 35 years of professional experience and provide a wide range of products and services through a network of over 4,000 travel agencies, tour operators, airlines and insurance brokers as well as over the Internet and authorized insurance products through bank channels, to more than three million individual and corporate customers annually. For more information, please visit