Sarah Twomey | Desjardins Group
Whether you're an adventure-seeker like Indiana Jones exploring the Jordanian desert on horseback, or searching for lost Incan treasure in the jungles of Peru, or perhaps enjoying the pure joy of boating down the river systems in Europe, make sure to follow this checklist:
- Tell a trusted friend or family-member about your plans and ask them to keep an eye on your place while you're away
- Secure your home and turn off the water
- Cancel the newspapers
- Forward or stop mail delivery
- Make photocopies of your travel and personal documents for yourself and the trusted friend or family-member as a precaution
- If you're driving to your destination, find out if you need supplemental car insurance
- Find out if you need to update your shots
- Let your bank and credit card company know about your travel plans to avoid any confusion or service disruption
- Most important, buy travel insurance!
Interestingly, a travel insurance survey conducted by Desjardins Insurance a few years ago found that close to one in four Canadian travelers hadn't planned on purchasing travel insurance. And that's despite the fact that 91% of respondents agreed that their personal safety was vitally important when they travel.
While safety is important to Canadians, it's not clear why so many do not properly prepare for the unexpected when they travel. For example, treating an uncomplicated lower leg or arm fracture in a US hospital could cost well in excess of $10,000 for an uninsured patient. Removal of the appendix, another common and unpredictable procedure, costs an average of $33,000.
Regardless of whether you're out of the country for a day or for several weeks, accidents or illnesses happen all the time and it's best to be prepared. Hospital stays abroad can reach into the tens of thousands of dollars.