5 steps to surviving vacation

Summer is just around the corner and you know what that means — summer vacation! Many students will be working jobs, sleeping in and partying, while others will be planning vacations. Students heading out of town need to ask themselves two big questions: where should I go and what should I bring?

1. Plan Ahead
Before you get too excited, take the time to do some research so you can plan your vacation accordingly. Kelly Lynn Balderston, a travel consultant at Robert Q advised, "Anybody who is travelling needs to do some research on the country they're going to. There's great information on the Canadian Travel website. It gives you all kinds of information on requirements, money, safety, health issues, and it's a good place to start."

Identification and updated documents are a big must-have. "Always make sure your documents are in good order and are valid, and check the validity of the country you're going to. Everyone just needs to use common sense, no matter where they go. If you're travelling south, don't go with anybody down alleys if they're trying to sell you things," she added.

2. Check The Map
Now that you've got your research done, where should you go? With a globe full of beautiful and exotic countries, the possibilities are endless! But a surprising amount of summer travel is within Canada, according to Balderston. "People are going home or visiting within our country because the weather is good."

"Also Europe is a popular choice in the summer months. So anywhere in Europe: Italy, France, England."

But are there places that students should avoid at all costs? "Check the Canadian Travel website. You should never consider anywhere that has a travel warning. But as far as popular places, Caribbean, the U.S., Europe; I think as long as you use common sense, those are all great places to go visit," she added.

3. Pack Up
Now that you've picked your dream vacation destination, it's time to start packing those suitcases. Of course, you need to pack your nicest clothes and your personal hygiene products. Do some research before you leave to see what the weather at your destination is going to be like, and pack your clothing accordingly.

Don't forget to bring your identification, make sure you have enough currency, and if you're bringing credit cards or debit cards, make sure you've called your bank ahe ad of time to let them know you're leaving the country and where you're travelling — if your bank sees any odd usage, they will cut off your plastic.

4. Insure a great time
Now for the most important document of all: travel insurance. Travel insurance usually covers both medical and financial insurance, and anybody who travels should always have travel insurance, whether they are travelling in their own country or internationally.

Balderston said, "There are two parts to travel insurance; there's cancellation interruption insurance, which protects your financial investment in your trip. Cancellation is if you have to cancel beforehand, but interruption is also a part that lots of people don't think of. If you're at a destination and something happens to a loved one at home, you'll be able to come back home. The other aspect is medical, and nobody should be travelling out of the country without it. We see it in the news all the time; people getting stuck in locations and they're sick and can't get home. Medical insurance is so inexpensive, it should be automatic."

Balderston added that the cost of travel insurance depends on the traveller's age and the duration of his or her stay. For example, if a student is going away for just a week, insurance can cost as little as $33 for eight days. "It's such a small investment to make, because OHIP will only cover very slight things, not everything. But that $33 will not only pay for your medical, it's also going to get you home."

Travelling is a great experience for anyone. It opens your eyes to different worlds and different cultures. "It's great, as long as you do it wisely," said Balderston.

5. Have fun
Now that you have your summer vacation all planned out, be sure to enjoy paradise while you have the chance.

More info
For More information, check out travel.gc.ca