Travel Checklist & Trip Planning

Thursday, April 19, 2012

As exciting it is to see new places and go traveling, it can sometimes be stressful ensuring that you have everything that you need to enjoy yourself while on vacation.

Some considerations can make planning your trip easier. Basics, like knowing the weather and having an idea of your trip (whether you’ll be camping or five star resorting) will help with your packing and organizing before you take your trip.

When packing your suitcase, it’s a great idea to come up with an itinerary, and then lay out everything that you want to take for all your activities (whether it be hiking or fine dining). Generally, when you take a second look at everything that you are taking, you will be able to sort through things again with a second eye to make sure that you are not taking duplicate items (several pairs of pants for example when you are going to a hot destination where pants might not be needed). When packing, if you pack per day or activity (shopping for example) you’ll be able to assemble your wardrobe and needs for traveling. Check the weather ahead of time to know what to pack (hot, dry, humid, cold, wet weather conditions).

Before departure

There is nothing that can spoil a trip more than getting sick while you are away. Make sure that you have researched your area to know what vaccinations have been recommended, and make sure that you leave plenty of time to get these vaccinations (For example, the vaccination for hepatitis is administered over several treatments).

A valid passport is generally required for travel outside of Canada, and in some destinations, it cannot expire less than six months upon your return to Canada. Make sure that you are traveling with a passport that is valid.

Before departing there are a few things that can be done in advance of travel. It is a good idea when traveling to advise your bank that you will be out of your current area so your banking service is not interrupted. Making copies of your traveling information is critical in case your travel documentation is lost or stolen. Take a copy of your travel documentation and have it stored in another area separate from your original documentation. It’s a good idea to leave a copy of your passport, itinerary, accommodation name and number, and insurance policy with friends or family.

A little research can go along way especially if you happen to need assistance when traveling. It’s a good idea to know some basic information about the area in which you will travel.

Questions you should ask yourself before you travel:

  • What is the currency? Will they take traveler’s cheques or credit cards? How do people travel safely with currency? Will I need a money belt or some other currency carrier?

  • What type of insurance will I need? (Both travel and medical). Does my current insurance provider provide me with enough?

  • Where is the closest embassy in case something goes wrong, or where do I go if I lose my passport and travel documentation.

  • What are basic phrases (most can be found in guide books)

  • Is there any travel or visitor visa needed for this area?

  • What is my hotel name and number so that I can answer questions at customs when traveling.

On the day of travel and to be comfortable traveling remember this handy checklist:

  • Document organizer : Including your identification and travel tickets (When flying most airlines will allow you to check in online and this will notify you of any travel delays).

  • Financial needs such as local currency and departure tax.

  • Snacks or food for the travel.

  • Health Concerns: prescriptions, medical certificates, pain reliever, diarrhea medication.

  • In a carry on bag have a change of clothes (in case your luggage is delayed).


Travel items for delays and transit (reading materials, headphones, water bottle, ear plugs , music, hand sanitizer, cell phone, camera).