Cheerful woman with headphones packing her luggage

5 Practical Tips for Planning Your Next Trip

Travelling is a wonderful way to discover new cultures and create unforgettable memories. It requires some planning and preparation to make the most of your trip . Whether you are travelling for work, leisure, or adventure, there are some important things to consider before packing your bags and embarking on your journey. We’re sharing five practical tips to help you plan your next trip like a pro. You’ll learn how to set your budget, choose your destination, book your transportation and accommodation, pack your essentials, and handle unexpected situations. These tips will ensure you fully enjoy your trip.

1. Plan Your Trip 

Start by comparing the available options and choose those that best align with your preferences and budget. You can even plan your full itinerary before you leave; all that will be left to do is enjoy your trip! Here are some things to consider in this first step:

Set your budget

Your budget is a crucial factor that will influence your choice of destination, length of stay, type of accommodation, and planned activities.

If your travel dates or destination are flexible, take the time to compare the available options to find the most beneficial based on your criteria (price, quality, location, services, etc.). 

Booking your transportation and accommodation before your departure can help you secure the best rates. Visiting the destination outside the peak tourist season can also save you money on your accommodation.

Choose your destination

When choosing your destination, consider what activities you would like to do and your budget. Take the time to learn about the climate, local culture and customs, safety, tourist seasons, and required paperwork of the country you wish to visit before making your choice.

Plan your itinerary

Your itinerary is the backbone of your journey. Make a list of places to visit, activities you’re interested in, and the transportation needed to get there. Ideally, make a realistic plan that allows some flexibility in case of unforeseen events.

While it’s common to make reservations for transportation and accommodation, remember that you can also purchase tickets for shows and attractions you want to see in advance to avoid line-ups.

2. Choose Travel Insurance that Suits Your Needs

With Québec Blue Cross travel insurance, you can travel with confidence, knowing that we provide support in case of unforeseen circumstances. 

Our coverage is flexible and customizable. You can select only the coverage that aligns with your needs including Emergency Medical Care, Trip Cancellation or Interruption, Baggage (theft, loss and damage) and Accidental Death or Dismemberment.

Included with every coverage option is Blue Cross Travel Assistance with features like Flight Delay Service1, included at no extra cost. These services will be available to you as needed, whether to enhance your experience during a flight delay or to offer you personalized support before, during and after your trip.

Before choosing your travel insurance, it may be worth checking what is already covered by your group insurance or credit card. Check the trip duration to make sure your entire trip is covered. This way, you’ll know which coverage you need.

3. Gather Your Travel Documents

Several documents are required throughout a trip: including your passport, visa, airline tickets, reservation confirmations, contract number or travel insurance certificate.

With Québec Blue Cross travel insurance, you can benefit from the help of Blue Cross Travel Assistance during this stage of your planning. Our experts can inform you about the entry and exit requirements of the country, visas and other necessary documents, recommended vaccination, and more.

Ensure all your documents are valid and then organize them in a pouch that you can keep handy for easy reference when needed.

Also, scanning your important documents can be extremely useful in case of loss or theft. By doing so, you’ll have access to digital copies that you’ve previously saved or sent to your email.

4. Prepare Your Suitcase

Creating a to-do list gives you time to assess your needs and ensure you’ve thought about everything. Here are some tips to help you pack your suitcase effectively: 

Make a list by category

It’s easier to create and follow a list that’s organized by category, such as clothing, accessories, electronics, beauty products, etc. It will be easier for you to remember things this way.

Start with the essentials

The “essentials” category includes all the items you use daily, such as your medication, hygiene products, phone and charger, and travel documents.

Adapt the list to the destination and trip duration 

When planning what clothes and accessories to pack, consider the climate and customs of the country you’ll be visiting. Also, adjust your selection based on the activities you plan to do and the length of your stay.

Review the list before closing your suitcase

Before leaving, review your packing list to ensure you don't forget anything and to remove unneeded, heavy, or bulky items. 

If you’re travelling by air, be sure to check the rules regarding liquids and prohibited items in the cabin. Weigh your luggage in advance to avoid extra charges.

5. Perform Pre-Departure Checks

It’s almost time for the big departure. You have everything you need neatly packed and ready to enjoy your well-deserved trip. There are just a few checks left to do.

Some banks and phone companies require you to notify them when you travel to prevent fraud. Check if this is the case with the companies you use, so that your services are accessible at your destination. Also, check foreign withdrawal and call fees to avoid unexpected charges.

Also, make a list of things to do before you leave your home, such as turning off the gas, reducing electricity consumption by turning down the heating, emptying the refrigerator, watering the plants, etc. Finally, all you must do is entrust your keys and the care of your pets to a neighbour, friend, or family member.

Just Before You Go…

By following the practical tips above, you will be able to fully enjoy your trip while being prepared for any circumstance. Of course, effective preparation combined with travel insurance tailored to your needs will ensure you’re ready should unforeseen events occur during your stay.
Enjoy your trip! 

1 Visitors to Canada product, travel insurance for groups, health insurance products (including those with travel coverage) offered by Québec Blue Cross, are not eligible for Flight Delay Service.