3 things you should do to prepare for an overseas trip

November 6, 2014

Nervous for your overseas trip? Follow these guidelines and you will be on your way to a safe and fun vacation.

3 things you should do to prepare for an overseas trip

1. Travel visas for Canadians

According to the Government of Canada, Canadian citizens with a passport can travel to many countries without a visa, including the U.S. and most of Europe. Some counties will grant you a 90-day visa at their border. If you plan to travel or work longer than 90 days in any foreign country, you will need a tourist or travel visa.

For some countries, such as Brazil, China, India and Russia, you will need to apply for a travel visa ahead of time, even for a short trip. Canadians can get a travel visa from the embassy of the country they wish to visit. Bring the documents requested, which might include your passport, birth certificate, criminal background check and bank statement. For Australia and a few other countries, the visa application can be filled out and submitted online before your trip. When planning a trip overseas, make sure to wait until your visa is approved before booking your flight or accommodations, unless those purchases are fully refundable.

2. Travel vaccinations

The Government of Canada recommends country specific immunizations on their travel advisory page. Immunization information can also be found through the Public Health Agency of Canada. Some of the most common recommendations for vaccinations before travelling abroad are for hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid fever, rabies and measles. The yellow fever vaccine is advised for many tropical locations, and some countries require that you have it before you enter. It's best to get your vaccinations well ahead of your trip as some may take several weeks before they are actively protecting you.

3. Learning a foreign language

Travel guidebooks and language websites will teach you the most important words, phrases and sentences for the country you're going to visit. Make flash cards with these terms to help you learn the language before your trip. If possible, practice with native speakers or find a local tutor or class. You can also use the Google Translate app on your smartphone, which will be must faster than flipping through a dictionary.

Once you've been approved for your travel visa, gotten immunized and started learning the native language of your destination, you'll be able to relax and begin planning the fun parts of your overseas trip.

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