Travelling Abroad

From travelling to new and exciting areas, to just escaping a cold Canadian winter, travelling is a rewarding experience. The following will help you prepare for your trip.

Apply for a Passport

The Passport Canada website provides detailed information about the passport application process. If you are a Canadian 16 years of age or older, you submit an application in person.

Note: As of January 31, 2008, all travellers, including Canadians and Americans, need to carry an appropriate secure document when travelling to or through the United States. For more information, visit the Canadian Border Services Agency's website.

If you have dual citizenship, it may be best to travel with your Canadian passport. Some countries do not recognize dual citizenship, and in some instances your second passport may be confiscated, you may be fined, or you may even be prevented from leaving the country.

If you are a permanent resident and thinking of travelling outside Canada, you will need a valid Permanent Resident Card to return to Canada.

Research the Country You are Planning to Visit

Consult the Country Travel Reports & Warnings before your departure to find out about safety and security conditions, health questions and entry requirements for the country or countries you are planning to visit. The Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada publishes reports for over 200 destinations around the world.

Apply for a Visa

Some countries require you to have a tourist visa for visits of less than three months. Apply well in advance if this is the case.

Research Required Vaccinations

The Public Health Agency of Canada provides information for travellers about travel health notices and recommended vaccinations to get before you leave Canada. The Agency also provides a list of travel clinics across Canada.

Obtain Health and Travel Insurance

The Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada website provides information about obtaining health insurance for your trip abroad. It also provides information on what to do if you require medical assistance while travelling outside Canada.

Take Precautions When Travelling with Children

It is important that you have documentation proving that you have either custody of the child or parental permission to travel with the child. The Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada website provides information about regulations and conditions that may affect your trip if you travel with a child.

Apply for an International Driving Permit

The International Driving Permit (IDP) is a special licence for tourists, authorised by a UN treaty among nations of the world, for the purpose of allowing motorists to drive vehicles in international traffic without further tests or applications.

The following requirements must be met and the following documents must be provided to apply for the permit:

  • the applicant must be 18 years of age or older
  • valid Canadian provincial or territorial driver's licence
  • 2 passport type photographs
  • fee payment of $15.00 CAN
  • complete and sign the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) IDP application form

Change Your Currency

Foreign travel is often more expensive than most people plan for. The Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada website provides some information about Financial Assistance abroad.

You can also use the Bank of Canada Exchange Rate Calculator to help you plan for your trip.

Review Pre-boarding Information

To make air travel more secure, stricter screening procedures are increasingly common. the Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada website provides pre-boarding information and advice to help you avoid delays and problems during boarding.

Register with the Government If You Are Travelling Abroad

The Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada offers a registration service for Canadians who will be living in a foreign country for three months or more, as well as for Canadians who will be visiting areas with a potential for problems. It is recommended that you register at the nearest Canadian government office abroad. You can also register online, by mail or in person.

Declare Your Goods

The Be Aware and Declare! website provides some important information about the types of goods you can bring back to Canada. Make sure you are aware of what items you need to declare upon re-entry to Canada.

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