Here are some facts for you: the average person spends around 90,000 hours at work throughout the course of their entire life. This equates to 3,750 days, which is more than 10 years working. In the Canadian government’s 2011 National Household Survey, participants reported spending an average of 25.4 minutes travelling to work. Add to that the commute home, and you’ve got an average sitting at around 50.8 minutes per day.
Now, say you work a usual 5-day week, that’s an average of 254 minutes spent on commuting to and from work every single week: That’s more than 4 hours. In an entire year, you could spend around 220 hours just going to and from work. So 9 days every year may be spent simply going back and forth from your place of employment. Over a 40-year time-frame, that’s at least an entire year of your life spent commuting just for your job.
So why are we going through these numbers? It’s not to depress you (though the numbers certainly are sobering); but rather to illustrate why any time we manage to get outside of work is so valuable to all of us. The key to many people’s happiness is a good work-life balance, and travelling – whether it’s interprovincial or international – is key to this.
But while having a cocktail at a poolside bar or exploring the natural wonders of the world may seem like the perfect way to balance out the stressors that progressively accumulate with a working life, it’s important to not forget about your safety.
No matter how blissful a holiday can be, keep in mind that the place you’re visiting isn’t suddenly a magic tourist destination where everyone else is on holiday, too. Instead, you’re going to be visiting a place where most people are still leading their normal lives and likely dreaming of their own getaways. In other words, don’t let your holiday mindset filter your views of a place.
Because any country you visit is going to have its good places, its areas where you should proceed with caution, and places where it would be in your best interest to stay away.
First off, research is absolutely imperative. Now, you may say you researched the place you’re visiting, but did you actually research it from an objective standpoint? Finding the right hotel and looking at key attractions is fine, but did you also research to see if there are any high crime areas? Have any recent events made the place less safe than it has been in the past?
A good place to start is the Canadian government’s travel advisory page. Regularly updated, the page provides you with information on current threat levels and how much caution you should exercise in different countries around the world.
Now, that said, research should go beyond just the country itself – get an idea of the specific cities or towns you want to visit in that country. For example, tourist-heavy areas can often be a haven for petty crimes such as pick-pocketing, so keep your belongings secure on you. Other areas, however, could be more dangerous with crimes going beyond mere petty theft.
While a trip to a new place can be exciting, make sure you have an objective and grounded understanding of the potential risks it may present.
Common sense is important at all times, and this is especially true when travelling. While this may seem like an obvious point to be making, sometimes common sense can be clouded by feelings of adventure that a trip can bring out. The usual consideration we take into account in our own town can be washed away thanks to the rose-coloured glasses we don when visiting somewhere else.
Remain vigilant. If an upcoming street looks sketchy to you, then take another route. If all of your research has shown a place that is tourist-friendly during the day becomes less so at night, then be sure to head off before the sun sets.
Travel insurance is an essential piece of the travel safety puzzle. No matter how much research you have done or how well-prepared you are, things can happen that are simply out of your control. We’ve seen several tragic examples of this over the past few years, including incidents such as the Boston bombing, attacks in Sweden and Britain, and even the Parliament Hill shooting that took place in Ottawa in 2014.
While such incidents seldom occur, they still remind us of the fact that tragic incidents can take place in any locale – even those with a deserved history of being safe.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re flying overseas or simply taking a trip to a different province or territory – travel insurance is important. A good policy can protect the belongings you take with you, account for issues such as travel interruptions or hotel booking problems, assist with sudden medical costs, and more.
Even though Canada has universal healthcare, there are still other medical costs you may not be covered for. Usually, your health insurance would take care of this in your home province or territory. However, while travelling in another province or territory, many health insurance policies may not cover you. Travel insurance that includes medical coverage can make up for this limitation. Along with the medical coverage and the other insurable risks accounted for, this coverage can be provided for individuals or designed as packages for entire families.
To ensure that your next trip away from work is as stress-free as possible, make sure you have taken out travel insurance. AMC Insurance works with TuGo, one of the most reputable and affordable travel insurance providers in Canada. Whether you just need to cover yourself or your entire family, there is a policy that will work for you.