Couple taking a tourist photo by the London Tower Bridge
June 11, 2020

Nine Tips to Help You Plan Ahead for Your Next Trip

Whether you would rather immerse yourself in Europe’s rich culture or ‘voluntour’ in a South American village, a little bit of preparation can go a long way toward having the trip of your dreams. Unfortunately, as of April 2020, the Government of Canada has put a travel advisory in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. So while you may not be travelling right now, here are some pre-departure tips to make your next trip awesome.

Research your destination

Online travel sites are a great help, and check the Government of Canada’s Travel and Tourism site at for helpful travel information.

Review your travel insurance coverage

Speaking of a safe and enjoyable trip, travel insurance helps you plan for the unexpected so you can do just that. Read through your ARTA-customized group policy — in particular the benefits, exclusions, and limitations — to better understand what you’re covered for and what help is available in an emergency. Here are a few items to keep in mind:

  • Obtain refills for any prescriptions to ensure you have enough for the whole trip.
  • If you are driving out of your home province, make a small purchase on your credit card the day before leaving the province and keep the receipt. This serves as proof of departure, which might be required if you need to make a claim.
  • Contact Allianz Global Assistance before any treatment. The sooner they hear from you in an emergency, the sooner they can find a quality local medical facility for you, make billing arrangements, and more.

Pack early

The closer you get to your travel dates, the more there seems to do. Start packing clothing and other items well before your departure, including power adaptors for foreign countries, a wallet for foreign currency, change for snacks or tips, and a comfortable travel outfit.

Visit your doctor, pharmacist, and dentist

See your health professionals at least six to eight weeks before you leave to discuss your plans and ensure that you’re healthy. You can also ask if you need any vaccinations, which could require multiple doses administered over several weeks.

Call a sitter

Arrange with your neighbour, a family member, or friend to check in on your house, pick up the mail, or look after your pet while you’re away.

Download the TripWise travel insurance app

Available at, the app can be personalized with the 24/7 Emergency Assistance phone numbers located in your travel insurance documents. If you need emergency help during your trip, you can use the app to quickly find local hospitals, prescription and first-aid terms, and more.

Share your itinerary

Provide your family with the details of your trip so they know where you’ll be and how to reach you. Consider also providing them with a photocopy of your passport (or take a photo and email yourself a copy), and register with the Canadians Abroad service online at or in person at your destination.

Account for delays

Traffic or weather delays and long airport lineups can all increase stress levels while travelling. Give yourself extra time to arrive at your destination.

Bring distractions

Have something to do during travel delays, such as a book, an iPod, or a portable hobby. Remember: when delays happen, electrical outlets to charge portable devices can be scarce, so make sure they’re fully charged before you leave.