Several months before you depart, be sure you have an updated passport. A valid passport is the only proof of your nationality and identity that is accepted in all countries. Certain countries will not allow you to enter, or will not grant you a visa, if your passport is due to expire less than six months beyond your travel date. If you need a new passport, you can get a passport picture at AMA Travel for a nominal fee. AMA Travel strongly recommends to verify in advance whether your destination country or countries require a visa or vaccinations for entry.
You may want to purchase small amounts of foreign currency prior to your departure to use for tips, taxis or bus transportation upon your arrival. Foreign currency is available at AMA Travel.
Travel insurance usually covers losses for cancellation or interruption of your trip, some medical care, lost or stolen luggage, natural disasters that impede travel services and financial default of a vendor. AMA Travel offers travel insurance to fit the needs of your trip. Prior to travelling, check your regular medical plan to see if it provides adequate coverage outside of Canada. Ask your AMA Travel agent about medical insurance that is designed specifically for travelling abroad.
Some credit cards can be used worldwide, even for cash advances. Check with your credit card company before travelling to see if they charge an exchange fee, and if so what that amount is. Notify your credit card company of your travels in advance to avoid a possible fraud alert being placed on your account.
Check with your cellular phone company to see if they offer international cell phone use, and if so what the fees are. It may end up being less expensive to purchase an international calling card to use while abroad. Another low cost option is visiting Internet cafes to communicate with people back home.
Read about the areas where you plan to travel. Informing yourself of a nation’s history and culture will make your journey more meaningful and will help you decide which sights you would like to see.
Theft happens in international areas just as it does in Canada. Use caution and common sense at all times, even if you have never had a problem before.