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Things To Know Before You Travel

Things To Know Before You TravelTraveling to a different country for the first time can be exciting and also cause some nervousness.  There are things to know before you travel to any new country that will make your travels go a little smoother.

Things To Know Before You Travel

Visa Requirements

Being Canadian our passports are one of the best in the world and a Canadian Passport will be all that you need.  There are countries that do require visas and these are listed below.  Remember that getting a visa can take weeks so make sure that you leave yourself plenty of time to get your visa before your scheduled departure.

Countries That Require Visas

The countries that require a visa include these vacation hotspots, for a full list visit the Government of Canada Entry Requirements page.

Antigua and Baruba, Argentina, Belize, Brazil, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Fiji, Haiti, Jamaica, Maldives Islands, Peru, Philippines, Thailand

Current Events

A vital piece of information to have before you depart is the current events of the country.  Is the country in the middle of a civil war, are there areas of the country that are having local disputes, and how do residents of that country feel about tourists.

The Canadian Government maintains a list of Travel Advisories, check it out here.


Nothing ruins a good vacation quicker than a run of horrible weather.  A day or two of bad weather will not ruin your travels but if the area is known for long patterns of weather like long periods of rain you may want to pick a different time of the year to visit that country.  The Weather Channel has a feature that lets you see a monthly forecast and also has historical data that can help you plan your trip.

Exchange Rate

You will save yourself some time and money if you know the current exchange rate.  Though the rates fluctuate, they do not change enough daily need to know the rates daily.  Just knowing the range will save you money as some places will tell you the incorrect exchange to make more money.

Key Phrases

If you are not fluent in the national language, knowing some phrases can help daily and even in an emergency.

Good Phrases To Learn

I am from __________
How do I find a bus?
I would like a beer, please.
Where is a bathroom?
I’m lost
Where is _______?

Know Who To Contact In An Emergency

The percentage of travelers that end up in an emergency situation is very low, but it is better to be prepared than not.   Know the contact information for your country’s embassy.  They may not be able to help you in every situation but they may be able to point you in the correct direction.  Have the numbers of the local police, tax and local emergency number programmed into your phone.

When traveling it is best to follow the Boy Scouts motto, “Always be prepared”


Tipping is confusing enough in our country, but what about other countries.  In some countries, a tip is already included in the price and in some, it is considered rude.  Check out this tipping guide from Business Insider for the country that you are traveling to.

Electric Plugs

It would be a surprise if you when to charge your phone and the electrical socket is different than here in Canada.  It may be a surprise to know that there are more than 15 different kinds of electrical outlets used in the world today.  The good news is that there are Universal Adapters that can be purchased to solve this issue.


Do you know how you are getting from the Airport to your hotel?  What is the normal mode of transportation in the area?  Depending on the area you are visiting, the modes may be bus, train, cars or even bicycles.  Know your options as it will help you plan for your trip.

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