Perhaps you are considering flying out to visit loved ones or friends in another country this winter. Or, maybe you want to take the kids for a drive out West to visit their grandparents. Regardless, travelling during the holiday season can be a little stressful if you aren’t well-prepared. If you plan on travelling internationally, there are even more factors to consider. Today, we’ll go over a few practical tips you can implement to keep your travels as smooth, stress-free, and safe as possible.
Make Copies of Sensitive Documents
Your passport and other forms of ID should be kept safe at all times, but you also ought to make high-quality photocopies of them. If you lose your real passport but have a photocopy still, your embassy can reissue one much more quickly and with less hassle. The same principle applies to health insurance information, driver’s licenses, and other documents. It’s never a bad thing to be meticulous about this sort of thing – if you’re travelling internationally or to the other side of the country, it can go a long way in protecting yourself and others travelling with you.
Get Your Car Inspected Before a Long Drive
It’s all too easy for an accident on the road to occur during the winter months, but you also don’t want to be left out of compensation if you know it is owed to you. This is where documenting the condition of your car, be it a rental or an owned one, is critical before heading out on a long drive. Photographs and videos with accurate timestamps are essential in giving you proof of the vehicle’s condition before you leave. If you own the car that will be used for the trip, taking it to your mechanic to get it inspected has many benefits. Not only will you have more proof of its condition, but they may identify hidden problems that could pose a safety risk later on. You can never be too careful.
Travelling Internationally? Know the Laws
If visiting another country, you need to be prepared for a different legal system and set of rules for foreign travellers. Many countries, such as Mexico, require that you fill out customs-related information so they are aware of the reason that you are crossing their borders. In fact, most countries have specific entry and exit requirements. Continuing to use Mexico as an example, you must hang onto a section of the customs form that is handed back to you once you land in the country in order to leave, for instance. Otherwise, it can be an expensive and time-consuming process to obtain another. In recent years, international travel has received intensified security screening and preventative measures, and some countries even require that visitors behave in a specific manner (such as in the United Arab Emirates). Know that this is often normal and there is nothing to be afraid of – in fact, international travel is very safe if you are careful about where you go – and you should bear in mind that these are all precautions put in place for your own safety. Therefore, always check the websites of the governments of countries you will visit on your trip and read through their requirements for international travel to ensure you have all the documentation needed to visit and leave without hassle.
Make a Trip Folder
If you encounter legal issues or a problem during your trip, there may be little that your home country can do, especially if you lack essential documentation. The same principle can apply to legal services in some cases, as their jurisdiction may only go so far. Never assume that help is going to be readily available, as every situation is unique. We suggest printing out all your documentation and organizing it into a folder in the order of when you will need each page. This includes your hotel reservation confirmation info for the entire itinerary, ferry or transit bookings, other forms of confirmation, and a list of emergency contacts. The photocopies of your passport and other forms of identification can also be kept here. If you have immediate access to all the supporting documentation you need, you are much better protected. It’s a good idea to make two folders with the same info and leave one with an experienced lawyer or someone else back home.
Whether travelling internationally or cross-country, it’s important to be prepared – anything can happen! That said, with a bit of meticulousness and proactivity, you can enjoy your travels this holiday season knowing that everything is taken care of in advance. Be sure to reach out to an expert legal firm if you encounter trouble or have any questions about travel safety.