1. PASSPORTS: Remember to check all expiry dates, make copies, and take pictures with your phone. If needed make sure you apply for visas in advance.
  2. PREPARE FOR THE CLIMATE: Make sure you do your research ahead of time so you know what type of weather to be prepared for. Bring that extra sweater so you don’t end up having to buy one. Comfortable footwear is a must for every vacation, it is also important to bring more than one pair. Trying out that new pair of shoes while on vacation is not a good idea, you certainly don’t want to end up in pain with feet full of blisters! Protection from the sun doesn’t just mean sunscreen, don’t forget a hat and sunglasses as well. Another important tip is to bring along an extra set of clothing in your carry-on in case of emergency.
  3. SMART PHONE: Make sure you check with your mobile phone company to see what data usage and roaming fees apply when outside the country. Nothing puts a damper on a vacation more than coming home to a huge unexpected phone bill!
  4. TRAVEL FIRST AID KIT: Don’t forget emergency medications (Benadryl, Epipen etc). Also make sure that you have all the required vaccinations to enter the country you are travelling to. https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/health-safety/kit
  5. SNACKS: Travelling (especially with youngsters) can be a long and tiring process. Always remember to bring along healthy snacks so no one gets “hangry”. Some examples are: protein bars, fruit or granola bars, dried fruit, chips, pretzels, crackers (Gold Fish), dry oatmeal, trail mix, jerky, apple sauce, cheese strings. I like to be considerate and not bring any nut products!
  6. BRING ACTIVITIES: Busy children are happy children. Make sure you remember some easy to carry activities. Here are a few suggestions: electronic devices (iPod, tablet, LeapPad, Kindle, Nintendo DS etc.), colouring and activity books (crosswords, word search. Don’t forget crayons\markers), books (Where is Waldo? Or I SPY books are always a hit), stuffed animal, favourite blanket, cards (playing cards, UNO, Spot it etc.), dry erase activity book. Don’t forget headphone and necessary chargers!
  7. LETTER OF PERMISSION: If the child you are travelling with is not accompanied by both parents you might want to bring a letter of permission from the child’s parent(s) to avoid any trouble at the border. https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/children/consent-letter
  8. TRAVEL ITINERARY: Let family know the details of your trip including hotel names and phone numbers and where you will be staying in case of emergency. Depending on the location and the length of your vacation you might even want to let the Embassy know. https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/registration
  9. CHECK FOR BED BUGS: Learn how by clicking here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lPImOq6gVMs
  10. ENGAGE AND INVOLVE: You can involve older children in the planning, it will be better in the long run as you won’t be fighting with them to get off their electronics. Remember this a great time to make family memories. As much as possible be in the moment with your children and off electronic devices (children will learn what they see!)

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