March 19th, 2013

Things to consider first when you’re planning your vacation

passportDeciding to spend a week or two in a hot, tropical destination may be a spur of the moment idea, but making sure you have your travel documents in order can take a bit longer.

Make sure you—and your travel companions’—passports are valid. Depending on where you wish to travel, your passport may need an expiry date at least 6 months from the date you leave Canada. Also, if any information in your passport has changed since you last travelled, you should check with Passport Canada to see if an update is necessary.

If you take your passport application to an office in person, Passport Canada reports a 10 business day delivery of your updated passport. If you mail it in, you’ll need to allow 20 business days for your passport to be delivered.

London Drugs Photo Department handles photos for Passports as well as many other government documents. With tighter security, Passport Canada is very strict about the quality and dimensions of your photo identification, so it’s important you get your photos taken by someone who can ensure the end result will meet all Canadian government regulations.

NOTE: As of July 1, 2013, a new fee structure as well as a new 10-year ePassport option come into effect. Read more about these changes here.

Steps to having a safe trip:

Here are some great tips to ensure everything is in order before you start your vacation planning:

1) Advice and advisories — See what’s happening in the country you’re travelling to before you make plans. If going somewhere for the first time, you can find out about safety, security, local laws and customs, entry requirements, health conditions and other travel issues. Visit www.travel.gc.ca to learn more.

2) Travel health notices — The Canadian government posts particular health notices on their website so you can be aware of any potential dangers to you or your family’s health should you be considering a trip to a particular country. See the current notices in effect here.

3) Travel Documents — Some countries require visas for entry or for extended stays. Perhaps you want to rent a car to tour part of the country you’re visiting. Maybe you’re travelling with a pet. Check here to make sure you have the proper legal travel documents by visiting this website.

4) Baggage and Airport Security — Make sure you’re up-to-date on the latest changes in security.

5) Travel Health Clinics — Travel Canada recommends that you visit a travel health clinic approximately six weeks before you travel. Even more importantly, make sure you’re aware of what’s required if you’re travelling with an existing medical condition, not just for your safety but as it regards your travel insurance (link to travel insurance article.) Visit our London Drugs Travel Clinic website for important information about health, travel, and immunization.

We are so confident in the quality of our passport photos, we offer you the London Drugs $50 Quality Guarantee. If your London Drugs passport or identification photo is declined for quality reasons, we will refund your purchase, retake the photo, and give you a $50 London Drugs gift card for your inconvenience.

 

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