Cheerful woman with headphones packing her luggage

Plan Your Next Trip With These 5 Practical Tips

Travel is a wonderful way to discover new cultures and make memories to last a lifetime. A great way to make the most of your trip is to prepare and plan ahead. There are some crucial things to consider before packing your bags and embarking on your trip, whether you are going for business, leisure, or adventure. We’re sharing five practical tips to help you plan your next trip like a pro. You’ll learn how to set your budget, choose your destination, book your transportation and accommodation, pack your essentials, and handle unexpected situations. These tips will ensure you fully enjoy your trip.

1. Plan Your Trip 

To make the most of your trip, you can plan your full itinerary in advance and choose the options that best suit your budget and preferences. The first step is to compare the different possibilities and consider the following factors:

Set your budget

Your budget is a crucial factor that will influence your choice of destination, length of stay, type of accommodation, and planned activities.

If your travel dates or destination are flexible, take the time to compare the available options to find the most beneficial based on your criteria (price, quality, location, services, etc.). 

Booking your transportation and accommodation before your departure can help you secure the best rates. Visiting the destination outside the peak tourist season can also save you money on your accommodation.

Choose your destination

Before you decide on a destination, it’s a good idea to do some research on the country you want to visit. You can find out about the weather, culture, customs, safety, tourist seasons, and paperwork that you need to prepare. You can also consider your budget and what activities you enjoy doing. This way, you can pick a destination that matches your interests and needs.

Plan your itinerary

The main thing you need to plan for your trip is your itinerary: this is a list of places you want to visit, activities you want to do, and how you will get there. Try to make a plan that is realistic and flexible, so you can deal with any unexpected situations.
You can also save time by booking your transportation and accommodation in advance. Another tip is to buy tickets online for shows and attractions you don’t want to miss, so you can skip the lines.

2. Choose Travel Insurance that Suits Your Needs

With Ontario Blue Cross travel insurance, you can travel with confidence, knowing that we provide support in case of unforeseen circumstances. 

Our coverage is flexible and customizable. You can select only the coverage that aligns with your needs including Emergency Medical Care, Trip Cancellation or Interruption, Baggage (theft, loss and damage) and Accidental Death or Dismemberment.

Included with every coverage option is Blue Cross Travel Assistance with features like Flight Delay Service1, included at no extra cost. These services will be available to you as needed, whether to enhance your experience during a flight delay or to offer you personalized support before, during and after your trip.

Before choosing your travel insurance, it may be worth checking what is already covered by your group insurance or credit card. Check the trip duration to make sure your entire trip is covered. This way, you’ll know which coverage you need.

3. Gather Your Travel Documents

Several documents are required throughout a trip: including your passport, visa, airline tickets, reservation confirmations, contract number or travel insurance certificate.

With Québec Blue Cross travel insurance, you can benefit from the help of Blue Cross Travel Assistance during this stage of your planning. Our experts can inform you about the entry and exit requirements of the country, visas and other necessary documents, recommended vaccination, and more.

Ensure all your documents are valid and then organize them in a pouch that you can keep handy for easy reference when needed.

Also, scanning your important documents can be extremely useful in case of loss or theft. By doing so, you’ll have access to digital copies that you’ve previously saved or sent to your email.

4. Pack Your Suitcase Effectively

Packing your suitcase is a key task, especially if you want to avoid forgetting something important or overpacking. To help you pack smartly and efficiently, here are some tips to follow:

Create a checklist by category

A checklist can help you organize your packing and make sure you have everything you need. You can sort your checklist by category, such as clothing, accessories, electronics, beauty products, etc. This will help make sure you don’t leave anything behind.

Pack the essentials first

The essentials are the items that you use every day and can’t travel without, such as your medication, hygiene products, phone and charger, and travel documents. You should pack these items first, so you don’t miss them.

Adapt the list to the destination and duration of the trip

When planning what clothes and accessories to pack, consider the climate and customs of the country you’ll be visiting. Also, adjust your selection based on the activities you plan to do and the length of your stay.

Review the list before closing your suitcase

Before you depart for your trip, review your packing list carefully. This can help you avoid forgetting important items and remove unnecessary articles that take up too much space or weight. 

If you’re travelling by air, be sure to check the rules regarding liquids and prohibited items in the cabin. Weigh your luggage in advance to avoid extra charges.

5. Perform Pre-Departure Checks

It’s almost time for the big departure. You have everything you need neatly packed and ready to enjoy your well-deserved trip. There are just a few checks left to do.

Some banks and phone companies require you to notify them when you travel to prevent fraud. Check if this is the case with the companies you use, so that your services are accessible at your destination. Also, check foreign withdrawal and call fees to avoid unexpected charges.

Also, make a list of things to do before you leave your home, such as turning off the gas, reducing electricity consumption by turning down the heating, emptying the refrigerator, watering the plants, etc. Finally, all you must do is entrust your keys and the care of your pets to a neighbour, friend, or family member.

Just Before You Go…

By following the practical tips above, you will be able to fully enjoy your trip while being prepared for any circumstance. Of course, effective preparation combined with travel insurance tailored to your needs will ensure you’re ready should unforeseen events occur during your stay.

Enjoy your trip! 

1 Visitors to Canada product, travel insurance for groups, health insurance products (including those with travel coverage) offered by Ontario Blue Cross, are not eligible for Flight Delay Service.