6 Essential Pre-Travel Must Knows

The things you NEED to know before you leave your home.

Before you set off on your adventure read through Travel Expert Lorraine Simpson’s must-knows when it comes to everything from insurance, to vaccinations – to how to salvage your trip even if your flight gets cancelled.


  • Make sure your passport has a minimum of six months left when you travel. Many countries may refuse you admission is your passport expires sooner!
  • Make sure your full name is exactly the same on both your passport and ticket!

Shots and Medication 

  • The only mandatory shot required in certain countries is for yellow fever. This is done in countries that are trying to prevent an outbreak. These locations include: Tanzania, Zambia, Angola and any country that knows you visited a place where this is a problem.
  • Malaria is a disease that is spread through mosquitoes. Malaria pills should be taken well in advance of your travel dates. It is not required but keep in mind that if you chose not to protect yourself and you get malaria your insurance will not cover it.
  • Some prescription drugs may include narcotics that are illegal in other countries, double check with the embassy’s before you travel about regulations and documentation related to your medicine.
  • Though cannabis may be legal in your province you should not travel with it.
  • Always keep your medication with you when you travel!


  • You may need to get visas for certain countries before you travel there. Contact the embassy to get more information.
  • Visas may change depending on how you enter the country, for example in Vietnam the visa to enter by air is different than if you enter by boat.


  • Don’t just trust your credit card or work insurance. Make sure you are covered and top it up if you need more!

Drivers License + Car Rental

  • Many countries won’t recognize a U.S. or Canadian driver’s license. Most will accept an International Driving Permit! This is easy to get quickly so make sure you get it before you go. You can get it from CAA or AAA for under $50

What to do if your flight is cancelled

It is winter and flight cancellations are inevitable. What should you do if your flight is cancelled?

  1. Check the weather at the airport you are flying from, not where you live.
  2. Check with the airline to see if weather has effected your flight. Tripit is a free app that automatically pulls relevant information and sends you messages about your flight status.
  3.  If the airline cancels your flight they will either have to offer you another one or a full refund. You do not have to go all the way to the airport to find this out. Just stay home and either go online to re-book or call the airline.
  4. If your airline delays your flight until the next day and you are already at the airport they usually don’t give you a hotel so you may be sleeping on the floor.
  5. If you are planning on going on a cruise and you booked your flight with the cruise line then it is there responsibility to get you there, if not you may be on your own.
  6. This all may make you very upset and frustrated. But it can’t be helped it isn’t anyone’s fault. This brings me to another point always be nice to flight attendants. No matter how upset you are, it’s very unlikely to be their fault they now have a totally zero tolerance with anyone being disruptive so if you are upset about something to do with your flight and start to voice your opinion then they could very easily have you removed from the plane.