Get travel tips and learn what you should consider before booking a vacation.
On this page
- Learn about your travel destination
- Buying travel services online
- Check your travel insurance needs
- Air travel tips
- Air travel complaints
- COVID-19: Your health and safety outside Canada
Learn about your travel destination
An enjoyable trip begins with careful preparation long before you pack your bags.
If you plan to travel within Canada, the Destination Canada website offers great tips on getting around, attractions to visit and online resources for cultural activity ideas.
If you plan to travel outside of the country, start by checking the Government of Canada's Travel Advice and Advisories to find out more about safety and security, entry and exit requirements and other important travel information about your destination.
Buying travel services online
You might consider buying travel services online without the help of a travel agency.
If so, be aware of the following:
- online travel services may not offer the same protection as a travel agency if you encounter problems
- some online offers may limit changes to travel plans or cancellations
- in some provinces or territories, online travel companies must be registered members of a specific industry association for consumer protection laws to apply
Check the Office of Consumer Affairs (OCA) page on travel agencies for information on choosing a travel agent.
You may also want to review OCA's information on online shopping for advice on becoming a savvy online shopper.
Check your travel insurance needs
It's best to be ready for complications that may arise on your trip. Protect yourself from financial loss or other problems by getting the right travel insurance for you and your family. Your travel insurance should include health (check if COVID coverage is included), life and disability coverage that will help you avoid large expenses, such as the cost of hospitalization and medical treatment outside Canada.
Before you buy travel insurance, check what other coverage you may have. For example:
- your personal property insurance may cover lost or stolen luggage
- your car insurance may provide collision and liability coverage for rented vehicles
- your credit card may offer medical, baggage and other types of insurance
- your private health care insurance plan may also cover some out-of-country health expenses
If you find out that your insurance doesn't cover all your needs, it’s advisable that you buy additional medical coverage to pay for any unexpected costs. For example:
- you may not be covered by your provincial or territorial health care plan if you're away for more than three months
- health and accident insurance policies may not cover every medical problem you already have, such as a heart condition
- when travelling outside Canada, you are responsible for any emergency medical and hospital costs that exceed rates set by your province or territory
There are many options available for buying travel insurance. Some of the most popular include through travel agents, insurance brokers, your employer’s insurance provider, and your credit card company or bank.
Additionally, check with your provincial or territorial consumer affairs office to find out whether there is a consumer compensation plan where you live, in case your travel agent or agency defaults or goes bankrupt. Depending on where you live, you may want to get insurance against possible failure of the travel services supplier.
Air travel tips
Be informed to stay safe and help avoid delays when going through airport security by following these Air travel tips.
Additionally, visit the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) website for information on what items go in your carry-on or checked baggage, current airport wait times and security screening.
Check out Canada.ca for more Air travel tips.
Air travel complaints
You have rights when you fly. The Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) developed the Air Passenger Protection Regulations to set minimum airline obligations toward passengers. If you feel an airline doesn't comply with these obligations or if they are being unclear or unfair, try to resolve the issue with them directly. If you do not reach a resolution, you may then file a complaint about the air carrier with the CTA. Learn more about your rights under the Air Passenger Protection Regulations.
The CTA can address complaints such as:
- baggage issues
- flight disruptions
- tickets and reservations
Although the CTA can handle federally regulated air transportation complaints, it cannot handle disputes like:
- the quality of food that is served to you
- the quality of the service provided by the transportation service provider’s employees
- the availability of bilingual services
Learn more about the types of complaints the CTA can and cannot address.
The CTA makes sure air carriers meet the legislative and regulatory requirements under the Canada Transportation Act, other Canadian regulations, as well as international conventions and agreements. They exist to help keep the national transportation system running efficiently and smoothly, to protect the fundamental right of persons with disabilities to accessible transportation services, and to provide consumer protection for air passengers.
COVID-19: Your health and safety outside Canada
There are still some health and safety risks associated with traveling during the pandemic. Canada’s travel health and safety page can provide you with information on how to protect yourself and your loved ones while you travel and can direct you to resources for Canadians who are currently abroad.
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