Things To Before You Leave The Country On Vacation, Part One


Travel has never been as complicated as it is right now. I don’t need to go into the details as I am sure you are already well aware of the political and cultural changes that are currently taking place. Does this mean we stop travelling? I don’t think so. Travelling is one of the best ways to experience different people, places and beliefs. The more we travel the more we learn how similar we all are. Here are 10 things to do before you leave the country on your vacation. Whether it be the USA, Europe, Asia or Africa. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Things to do before you leave on vacation

1. Check your insurance, ie. make sure you have some! No one wants anything to happen to them on vacation, but…

  1. Check your work plan to see what is covered.
  2. If you bought your plane tickets and booked your hotel using your credit cards check to see what insurances they offer and make a cheat sheet for quick and easy access in the event of an emergency.
  3. If that is not enough coverage then purchase single trip insurance or yearly travel insurance for frequent travellers. Stay tuned for a full story soon on travel insurance tips.

2. Pack a secret stash of cash & a spare debit/credit card. It would be awful if you lost your wallet or fell victim to a robbery. The stress and trauma of that aside, what do you do if all your cards and money are gone? Panic? Not if you put $100 cash and a spare credit/bank card in a separate and secret spot in your luggage. Once you get to your hotel room you can transfer it to the hotel safe for extra security. I always keep my passport and my birth certificate in two separate spots. If I lose one I’m not entirely screwed when I am in a foreign country if something happens.

Money Belt - things to do before you leave the country

3. Tell someone where you are going & share your itinerary – I laugh at my Mom that she always makes me tell her where and when I am going on a trip. I even have taken to texting her the minute I land back in Canada. I’m 48 years but I still do it. It is a great comfort knowing that should the unthinkable happen and I become detained for any reason my Mom will know that I am delayed and she can take action. Action, by the way, depends on the circumstance. It can be anything from calling friends to say I’ll be late to calling the Canadian Embassy to find out what has happened.

4. Make sure your roaming plan is activated. Sharing photos and videos of my trips is important for my work but it also provides a trail for family and friends to follow in the unfortunate circumstance something happens to me while I am away. I am a big fan of the Rogers Roam Like Home service and with my Share Everything Plan, it is only $5 a day (up to 10 days per billing cycle) in the USA and $10 a day in Europe and over 100+ other countries. I always snap an Instagram before take off and when I clear security and customs. It lets everyone know I arrived safe and sound.

5. Print out your maps before you leave. Even though I travel with almost unlimited data thanks to my Rogers Roam Like Home plan it is still a great idea to print out important route maps for your trip. Print them, fold them up and put them in your backpack. What if data coverage is spotty or you are in a no-coverage zone. Having a map to reference may just get you back to your hotel. Thanks for this reminder fellow travellers Kristin & Shadi.


6. Get a notarized letter for travel plans with your kids. Now, you know I don’t have kids but good friend Sarah Pittard recommends that travelling with your kids when only one parent is present means you need a notarized letter outlining your travel plans and that the non-travelling parent has given permission and authorizes the travelling parent to make all necessary health and medical decisions in case of an emergency.

Have FUN! I know all of these tips sounds very doom and gloom and predict the worst will happen when you are travelling out of the country but… an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If you take care of all of the above then you should enjoy a vacation free from worry and safe in the knowledge you’ve done all the prevention you could possibly do.

Did I miss a tip or do you have one I’ve not thought of? Share below and I’ll update this post as often as I can. Come back for the remaining tips in Part 2 on March 30th! PART TWO is now live here.

Safe travels.

In the wake of recent travel company failures, check here if your vacation is cancelled beyond your control.

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Disclosure: General

I am a Rogers Wireless Roam Like Home Ambassador. I truly believe it is the best all around roaming plan for travelers like me. My views and opinions are 100% my own.

About Author

Marc Smith is a former event planner turned vagabond adventurer. He loves strong Americano's, great wine, cold beer and zip lining over tree tops. Formerly of Vancouver, most of Marc's time when not travelling is in Canada's largest city, Toronto. Follow along on his nomad adventures and discover places to stay, things to do and where to eat & drink as he explores the world one city and region at a time.


  1. These are all great tips, especially some spare cash and a credit card stashed in one of your bags. I also highly recommend insurance. The last thing you want is to have a silly accident and suddenly realize you’re going to be out a lot of money in medical expenses.

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