Travelling at home or abroad has never been easier. Here's just a few travel tips that will make your vacation or business holiday a little more pleasant.
- Passport Requirements - Canadians travelling to the United States
- By land or water: On June 1, 2009, Canadian citizens will require a passport to enter the United States at land and marine ports of entry. Until then, and as of January 31, 2008, if you travel to the United States by land or water, you must present:
- a government-issued photo ID, such as a driver's licence AND a birth certificate or a citizenship card; OR
- for persons aged 18 and under, a birth certificate or a citizenship card only; OR
- a valid passport.
- By air: Since January 23, 2007, for air travel to the United States, the following documents are acceptable:
- A valid Canadian passport; or
- A NEXUS card when used at a NEXUS kiosk at designated airports.
- Electricity - Canada and the United States operate on 110-volt, 60-cycle alternating current, but many other countries run on 220-volt, 50-cycle current. When you head to Europe, you'll need a converter to use your hair blower.
- Currency - For the most favorable rates on cash and traveller's cheques, exchange money through banks. You won't do as well at exchange booths in airports or bus stations, in hotels, restaurants, or in stores, although you may find their hours more convenient. Get a bit of local currency before you leave home.
- Pets - While the number of travellers accompanied by animals is growing, some hotels are still cautious about putting out the welcome mat. In some areas of North America, finding decent accommodations that accept you and your pet can be a daunting task. Work with your travel agent and spend extra time making travel plans for both you and your pet.
- Money Saver - You may be able to save if you travel earlier or later than your original plans. The best way to find out is to check with your Travel Agent.
- Save Yourself some Time - Get "roll aboard" luggage. Roll aboards are the luggage the flight crews use, and they fit in all of the overhead bins on all jets. Avoid checking luggage if at all possible. This way your holiday starts the minute you step off the plane!
- Car Rental - Join all of the rental car company frequent renter programs. It ensures no waiting at the counter. Paperwork is done and you jump into your car. If someone tries to charge you to join, a good travel agent can get you an application free of charge.
- How to Avoid Jetlag - Avoid drinking alcohol on the flight. With the pressurized air in the cabin, your body dehydrates substantially. Try to drink as much water as possible. Move around when in-flight, do a few stretching exercises. When you're seated, swirl your ankles around from time to time. Set your watch to the local time of your destination and sleep according to that.
- Play it Safe - Carrying maps around looking perplexed, and stopping to look at monuments or buildings, obviously shows that you are from out of town, and may attract the wrong type of attention. Do NOT pull large amounts of cash out of your pocket. This will catch everyone's attention, no matter what country you are in. Do NOT accept drinks from anybody that you have just met; they could be laced with a drug. Do not carry your passport around; leave it in the safe in your hotel.
- Flying Stand-by - You may find that a flight later in the day has a lower price. Some airlines will allow you to fly stand-by for earlier flights on the same day of travel. Check with your travel agent for information on stand-by flights.
- Weather - Ask your travel agent about the wet and dry seasons, or other possible weather conditions that may affect your holiday.
- Insurance - If you are travelling to an area that may be considered a 'hot zone' (possibly dangerous), check with your insurance company to verify whether you will be covered in case something goes wrong.
- Packing - Unless you have hired several football players to carry your gear for you, the best tip is to pack lightly. Plan on inclement weather ... it will happen. Really tiny flashlights can come in handy. A cheap digital watch with an alarm is small, light, and very useful.
- Travelling with Oxygen - Commercial airlines require a physician's statement of your oxygen needs. You cannot bring your own oxygen on board; you must use airline supplied oxygen. Make sure your travel agent contacts the airline as far in advance as possible, and then remind them to confirm the arrangements 48 hours prior to your flight.
The Travel Agents at Don's World Travel are there to help you and your family enjoy your time away from home. Don't be afraid to ask for other helpful Travel Tips when you contact us for your travel arrangements.
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