Summertime and travel go together like peanut butter and jam. It’s just what we do: the kids are out of school, the roads are safe for travel and it’s too hot to work anyways, right? In our group of Alberta Mama founders we are planning on spanning most of the country and even the states with trips to BC, Ontario, Newfoundland, Montana and California this summer (of course lots of in Alberta explorations as well!). Yet, as most of us dreamily plan our summer travels we focus on the where to go and what to do, but we often forget about the what ifs….
The fact is, when things go wrong health wise when you are travelling (especially out of province or out of Canada) everything can change in an instant. Some of us don’t like to think about it because it’s upsetting, some of us have the “it’ll never happen to me” attitude, while others actually think about all the things that could go wrong non stop- hello travel anxiety. From getting an eye infection from dirty pool water, to slipping in the shower and knocking a tooth out, to a nasty gastrointestinal illness or even a car accident- things happen no matter where you are.
Some things are completely unpreventable, but we’ve got some tips below to help make your summer travel a little easier when/if things go wrong:
- If you are travelling out of the country, make photocopies of your passport(s). Give one set to a family member that isn’t travelling with you and stick the other copies in a bag that is coming with you- but not the bag you keep the actual passports in. This way, if they are lost or stolen you at least have a copy to work with. You could also take pictures of them on your phone.
- This goes for other travel documents too (flights, hotel addresses, car rental details). Print them out so that you have a paper copy and aren’t relying solely on your phone.
- Pack a fully charged power pack to charge your phone in an emergency.
- Always travel with a flashlight. Never underestimate the usefulness of a headlamp! They work great for reading in bed when the kids are asleep too:)
- Take pictures of the medications that you are bringing with you so that you know exactly what you are taking should you need a refill or lose your original bottle.
- Consider purchasing travel benefits. Quite often Insurance providers, such as Alberta Blue Cross, offer flexible annual or daily travel plan coverage that includes a ton of services including coverage for things like: medical expenses, transportation, accommodations and meals for stranded family members and even multilingual advisors who can assist you with the best course of action or help coordinate plans when you are too sick to do so.
- Make sure someone who isn’t travelling with you knows your itinerary. Things like hotels or campsites you will be staying at, routes for travel and planned days of arrivals in new places.
- Stash money in a few different places. Think about it…. if you lose your wallet, you lose everything at once. If you keep your credit card and some cash in your wallet, but your debit card and some other cash in a different bag or pocket you will be less likely to be left with nothing should things go missing or get stolen.
- If you are driving, don’t forget to check your tires before you leave (trailer tires too!). Make sure you aren’t due for an oil change or service any time soon as well.
- Bring a map! Phones do not always work when we need them to. Sometimes a plain old paper map can be a lifesaver.
- Check that you and your family are up to date with immunizations and note any required or suggested vaccinations for travel to your destination.
- Consider leaving items of value with someone else while you are away (or getting a safety deposit box). Things like your computer external hard drive, jewellery, birth certificates, etc.
No matter where you are headed this summer, we wish you a fabulous and safe vacation!
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*This post was brought to you by Alberta Blue Cross. For more information about Travel Insurance Coverage please visit: https://www.ab.bluecross.ca/travel/travel-quote.php