Spring has finally sprung! As I’m writing this newsletter, there are still flurries flying around outside.
One sure sign of spring is Elmira’s annual Maple SyrupFestival! It’s always a lot of fun. This year approximately 75,000 people came to our town to enjoy a huge variety of delicious foods–especially the pancakes and maple syrup!
The warmer weather summons us outside to soak up the sun, since we don’t see as much of it during the winter. And sunny days mean summer vacations are just around the corner!
On that note, let’s get started and turn over another leaf!
ORGANIZING YOUR NEXT VACATION/TRIP
“The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.” Marcel Proust, French Author (1871-1922)
Whether you’re backpacking or bicycling, staying in five-star accommodations or a bed and breakfast, travel can be a great experience.
Set aside some time to plan your vacation/trip. A few hours of planning are worth the effort if everything runs smoothly. Use our handy Vacation Planning Checklist.
Research your proposed destination on the internet, at the library or through a travel agent. Ask your friends and family for suggestions if they have travelled to your planned destination. Purchasing a travel book and/or a foreign language dictionary may also be helpful.
Contact your travel agent or CAA. A good travel agent can provide you with a wealth of information—maps, discount coupons and sight-seeing information. Travel agents can also assist you if you encounter problems while you are out of the country. Remember to take any accommodation confirmations with you.
Take advantage of discounts. Check the websites of your destinations to see if they provide any coupons.
If there are some must-see attractions on your list, make reservations ahead of time in order to avoid being disappointed.
Do you need to pick up foreign currency or travellers’ cheques for your vacation? You might also wish to take a prepaid calling card and international dialing instructions with you.
You should be aware that some foreign countries will not accept your passport if it expires within 6 months. It is advisable to renew it before you leave to avoid any problems. Some accommodations provide a safe for your passport and other important valuables.
If you are travelling with minor children, and you are separated or divorced, you may need to carry notarized documents authorizing you to enter another country with your children. This may also apply when you are the legal guardian of children and you are not their birth parent.
Consider taking contact information for the closest location of the Canadian embassy if you are traveling to a country where there is political unrest.
If you do not have out-of-country benefits, it is advisable to make arrangements for medical emergency coverage. A trip to the hospital in another country can be expensive.
Don’t carry any items unless they are required for your vacation. Clean out your wallet or purse. Leaving a list at home containing your passport information, driver’s license information, bank card and credit card numbers will make it easier in the event that an item is lost or stolen. You may wish to set up a temporary e-mail account just for this purpose, so you can retrieve the information from anywhere in the world.
Check regulations for weight and/or carry-on restrictions before you leave home.
Prescription medication should be in its original packaging and put in your carry-on bag—in case your bags are lost or delayed.
If you are travelling to a foreign country, check to see if any immunizations are required for malaria, hepatitis, etc.
Research the weather conditions for the time of year that you will be there, and pack the appropriate clothing. Check to see if you need to take an AC/DC adapter for electrical items. Remember to take some reading material or travel games for children in the event that you encounter a delay. To make packing your suitcase easier, use our handy Packing Checklist.
Remember to take your camera, extra memory cards and batteries. It’s usually less expensive to bring these items from home. You might like to take along a journal—particularly on a long trip or when you will be taking a large number of photographs.
If no one stays in your home while you are away, ensure that you have someone checking your home—preferably every day. Review your homeowner’s policy to see what your particular provider requires. Don’t forget to cancel your newspaper. Make arrangements to have your grass cut, your flowers watered and your mail picked up.
Leave a copy of your itinerary with a contact person at home along with a copy of any documents you are taking. This will make it easier in the event of loss or theft.
Preparing for your trip can be stressful. When the time comes, enjoy your trip. That’s the best reward!