If you're planning to escape winter's wrath this year by heading south for a month or two, or maybe even more.
If you're planning to escape winter's wrath this year by heading south for a
month or two, or maybe even more, then you'll want to consider the following
tips before leaving:
1. A few months prior to leaving make appointments for a checkup with your
doctor, dentist and eye doctor (if you wear glasses or contacts).
2. Check your driver's license, health card and passport to make sure they
do not expire while you are away, and renew if necessary. Check the expiry
dates on your credit cards too, as well as any insurance policies you have such
as your auto insurance or home insurance policy.
3. Arrange for pre-authorized billing, or set up Internet banking so you can
pay your utilities, taxes, insurance, telephone, or cable/satellite bills.
Tip: Did you know you can suspend your cable/satellite service for the time
you are away, thereby minimizing your bill? Even though there is typically a
maintenance fee for doing so, it can save you money in the long run if you're
going to be away for a couple of months.
4. Contact your home insurer to see if they have requirements that must be
met in order to ensure your coverage stays in force. Often for extended
vacations, they'll require that you have someone check in on the house on a
regular basis, and ask that you winterize your home.
Tip: Resist the temptation to turn off your heat as doing so could cause
your pipes to burst from freezing. A common rule-of-thumb is to turn your heat
down to about 12 ° Celsius but it's best to confirm with your insurer to see
what they recommend.
5. Buy travel insurance. According to Foreign Affairs and International
Trade Canada you should "not rely on your provincial or territorial health
plan to cover costs if you get sick or are injured while abroad. Out-of-country
health care can be costly, and your health plan may not cover any medical
expenses abroad. It is your responsibility to seek information from your
provincial or territorial health authority and to obtain supplementary travel
insurance and understand the terms of your policy."
6. Suspend or cancel your newspaper delivery or any magazine and newsletter
7. Disguise the fact there is no one home by arranging to have someone:
* Pick up your mail and any junk mail that may be delivered to your
* Clear your driveway of snow, and shovel walkways, paths and sidewalks.
8. Give the appearance someone is home and:
* Install timers on lights throughout the house and staggering them so they
go on and off at different times.
* Ask a trusted person to occasionally park in your driveway.
* Ask a neighbor to occasionally put some of their garbage out on collection
day in front or your house for pick-up.
* Check your answering machine regularly; erase unimportant phone calls and
return important messages.
9. If driving to your destination, let your auto insurer know about your
plans to make sure you're fully covered wherever your travels take you. Also,
take your car into your mechanic to get a tune-up ensuring it's ready for the
long trip ahead.
10. Prepare a list of emergency contacts for yourself, and also family and
For your family and friends, they should know where you are going to be and
how to get a hold of you. For their peace of mind, check in often and let them
know when they can expect to hear from you next.
For yourself, have a list of your family and friend's phone numbers handy as
well as contact information for the closest Canadian government office. There
are more than 260 offices in 150 countries worldwide that can help you while traveling. Among other things, they can help you replace a lost or stolen
passport, or if you become ill provide you with a list of local doctors or
hospitals in the area where you are staying.
20 Camden St
Toronto, ON, M5V1V1