Few experiences can compete with the thrill of international travel. Most popular destinations offer safe environments for tourists, but it’s always smart to take precautions, no matter where you’re going. Here are tips to keep you safe when you visit another country.
Research your destination beforehand. When you arrive, check with local tourism officials or your hotel concierge for advice on safe and unsafe areas. Here are a few other tips to keep in mind while exploring the sights:
- Avoid actions that make you look like a visitor (ex. carrying a camera, guidebook, maps or large backpack).
- Be discreet when handling money, use credit cards or traveller's cheques when possible, and avoid using ATMs at night.
- Use a money belt to carry cash, credit cards and your passport under your clothing, and leave other valuables at home or in a secure location.
- Practice common sense: Be extra careful when drinking alcohol, exercise caution when in crowds, and never hitchhike.
- If you’re in a foreign country, always carry the contact information of the Canadian embassy or consulate.
If you’re going to an exotic location, minimize your chance of illness by getting the necessary immunizations from your family doctor. Some countries actually require that you have certain immunizations before you’re allowed to enter.
Check the country's official website to make sure your shots are up to date and find out what documentation you need as proof of immunization. You can also check the Government of Canada’s recommendations for travel vaccinations and find current health and safety warnings for destinations around the world.
Canadians now require a passport for travel to most countries, including the United States. Some countries also require a travel visa, especially if you’re staying for an extended period. Visas are only available from the country you’re travelling to and may be applied for through their government website.
Before you leave, write down the details of your passport and visa (if applicable), credit and debit card details, travel insurance information, and driver’s license. Keep this information in a secure location. If anything gets stolen, like your wallet, you’ll have a record and be able to quickly take action.
People often use social media to ask for sightseeing and dining recommendations before they travel, but you should exercise caution when posting details about your travel plans. It leaves your home vulnerable to break-ins. Try to make your home look lived-in while you’re away; have someone collect your mail and shovel your snow in winter.
When travelling, avoid using public wifi to access confidential information like credit card and banking websites. Public wifi is easier for thieves to hack and puts you at risk of theft and identity fraud.
Check your travel coverage
Learn more about the wide range of comprehensive travel-related coverage offerings available through The Co-operators, including:
- Emergency hospital and medical
- Multi-trip plans for frequent travelers
- Trip cancellation and interruption
- Flight accident
- Accidental death and dismemberment
For more information, contact your local Financial Advisor.
Travel insurance does not cover everything. For complete terms, conditions, limitations and exclusions, please refer to the policy. Travel insurance is underwritten by CUMIS General Insurance Company, a member of the Co-operators group of companies and administered by Allianz Global Assistance, which is a registered business name of AZGA Service Canada Inc.