Travel & Leisure

How to Travel More Safely

You’ll travel more securely if you’re prepared for what might happen

Photo: iStock/scaliger.


If you’re preparing to head out for a vacation abroad, you’re probably more concerned with what to see and do than with thinking about your options should you happen to get robbed or caught in a hurricane. Travel insurance can help you prepare for unexpected sickness or an injury, but there are other preparations you can make that you might not be aware of.

Read travel advisories.

It’s important to know about the place you’ll be travelling. The federal government posts travel advisories online that you should read before you book your tickets.

Register yourself as travelling abroad.

Many Canadians don’t know they can register with the federal government before leaving the country. Doing so allows you to receive alerts about anticipated storms in the area or civil unrest. The service can also warn you about emergencies back home.

You should also make sure a friend or family member knows where you’re going and stay in touch.

Know the location of the closest consulate.

Create a list of the addresses and phone numbers of the Canadian consulates available where you’re going; the consulate can provide help or advice. You can also send an SOS to the federal government in an emergency by calling 1-800-387-3124 or sending a text message to 613-209-1233. You can also write an SOS e-mail using the address

Keep photocopies of your passport.

It might get lost. A photocopy can help you replace it faster. Make sure everyone travelling with you has done the same.

Keep your travel insurance phone number handy.

Keep a copy of your travel insurance policy with you. If you get injured and it’s possible, call your insurer before heading to the hospital to make sure you’re covered.

Get vaccinated before leaving.

You can avoid getting sick by getting the right vaccines before leaving. Book an appointment with your doctor or visit a travel clinic weeks before heading out to make sure you’ll be protected before you step on the plane.