Travel Tips and Suggestions
Ottawa Journal (February 04 – February 08, 2021)
The winter is often a very popular time for Canadians to travel. When making your travel plans, there are many things to keep in mind, aside from ensuring you have a Canadian passport and that it’s valid. The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT) has compiled a comprehensive overview of many travel tips and suggestions to help you have the best (and worry-free) trip you can have.
The most important consideration when planning for a trip is, of course, a valid Canadian passport that will remain valid well beyond the date of your anticipated return to Canada. For more information on passports and to download passport applications, please visit www.pptc.gc.ca. DFAIT suggests you keep a copy of the identification page of your passport separate from the original. It is also suggested that you leave copies of your passport identification page, your itinerary, and your insurance policy with friends or family before you leave on your trip.
For those undertaking to apply for their children’s first passport, it is important to note that as of October 01, 2012, a passport application for a child under the age of 16 must include one of the following proof of parentage documents that shows the child-parent relationship:
- a detailed (long-form) birth certificate issued by a Canadian provincial or territorial vital statistics office that indicates the name of the parent(s). This document is also accepted as proof of Canadian Citizenship;
- a court-issued adoption order indicating the name of the adoptive parent(s); or
- a foreign birth certificate that indicates the name of the parent(s).
DFAIT also strongly suggests that children under the age of 18 who travel alone or with only one parent carry a consent letter proving they have permission to travel abroad. Furthermore, it is recommended that the child should have a letter from every person or organization with custodial rights or guardianship rights. DFAIT also advises that the consent letter be certified, stamped, or sealed by an official with the authority to administer an oath or solemn declaration (i.e. a commissioner of oaths, notary public, lawyer, etc…), to ensure the validity of the letter is accepted. A sample travel consent letter can be found at travel.gc.ca/letter.
DFAIT has other helpful travel tips and suggestions when preparing for travel, which include: obtaining any required visas well in advance of your intended travel date; arranging for supplemental travel health insurance; anticipating financial needs, such as local currency and departure tax; preparing for health needs, such as vaccinations, prescriptions, medical certificates, supplies, and extra eyeglasses; checking whether dual citizenship is an issue for yourself and your family members; signing up for the Registration of Canadians Abroad service at travel.gc.ca/register; carrying an Emergency Contact Card with the coordinates of the nearest Canadian government office in your destination country (available at travel.gc.ca/card); and obtaining an International Driving Permit (if applicable).
It is recommended that Canadians obtain a copy of Bon Voyage, But…. which provides essential information to Canadian travellers and pack it with your travel items. Bon Voyage, But… compliments your Canadian passport and includes important information such as: your passport, suggestions on how to protect it, and what to do if it’s lost or stolen; how to travel safely and responsibly and how to address any potential problems or challenges that may occur; as well as consular services available to Canadians abroad. The publication may be obtained from http://travel.gc.ca/travelling/publications/bon-voyage-but.
It is also recommended that Canadians obtain detailed Country Travel Reports for their destination(s). These reports may be found at travel.gc.ca/travelreports and provide Canadians with information and guidance from the Government of Canada on situations which may affect your safety and well-being abroad, as well as other important travel issues such as security, local laws and culture, entry and exit requirements, and health.
Planning a vacation can be very exciting and in that excitement we may often overlook some important considerations. However, by visiting DFAIT’s website for helpful tips and suggestions, you can ensure you have everything you need to be prepared for any situation, making your trip for enjoyable and stress-free.