Travelling A Broad - I mean Abroad

Beautiful Beaches

The problem I have with vacations is that once I book I want to immediately depart. As in, right now! I have booked my trip and six weeks is a long time to wait. I am ready to start packing. Even though it is six weeks away, I want to go to the car and sit in it until it is time to leave for the airport. First things first. I have to get organized and figure out what I need. So, this is how I get organized for my trip.
Can't wait to hit this beach

  1. Make a list. Everything starts with a list. Where are you going? How many days? What activities will you need to dress for?  Check. 
  2. Find a travel partner. Preferably of the opposite sex and of the hot variety. Check, check and check.
  3. Ensure your passport has not expired. After my failed attempt to travel to New York for New Year's, my new passport has finally arrived. Check.
  4. Do you have clothes to wear? A bathing suit? Sunscreen? Do an inventory of your summer (or winter) gear. Check.
  5. Find a suitcase...
  6. Consult the country travel report for the place of destination. Check for weather, crime, or health concerns. Canadians click here. Americans can click here. Both sites are useful to everyone. Check.
  7. It is recommended that you register with your government when travelling abroad. See the above links. Registering makes it possible to contact a traveler if necessary, whether because of a family emergency at home or because of a crisis in the place the traveler is visiting. It is a free service.
  8. Get your shots. Hep A and Hep B and Tetanus. Booster shots are always important. Check with your doctor what travel vaccinations are necessary to get if you are travelling.  Check.
  9. Give your travel itinerary to a friend or family member.
  10. Can you use your local currency? What are the exchange rates? It is always safest to buy traveller's cheques and only keep a small amount of currency on you. Keep a backup credit card and debit card on you in a secure spot. Split up your valuables. Check.
  11. Scale down. Clean out your wallet or purse. Do you really need all those cards? The answer is no. Check.
  12. Does your personal insurance cover international travel? Do you need to top it up? Some plans cover air ambulance, cancellation etc. Check.
  13. When packing, keep in mind the new weight restrictions. Airlines will charge for anything over the limit. Check.
  14. Be safe and respect flight security. And don't be a douche. Be aware of limits for liquids or personal hygiene products. (It is usually 100 ml or 3.4 oz). Check.
  15. Dress comfortably. For example, if leaving Montreal's -23 degrees C (-15 F) and arriving in Jamaica's 28 degrees C (83 F), you should leave room in your luggage to pack your coat and, change either at the airport or on the plane. Check.
  16. Do not pack weapons in your carry on luggage. Check, wait... OK, Check.
Airport Security

A few more tips from Canadian Air Transport Security for speeding up your passage through security


  • Have your boarding pass ready to present.
  • Remove coats, jackets, and blazers and place them in the bin.
  • Empty all contents of your shirt and pant pockets and place these items in the bin. 
  • Keep all GPS equipment, iPods, PDA’s, mobile phones, and smartphones in your carry-on baggage. They do not need to be screened separately.
  • Remove laptops, video cameras with cassettes, and film cameras from their carry-cases and place them in the bins provided.
  • Pack knitting needles, crotchet hooks and sewing kits in your carry-on baggage.
  • Avoid wearing shoes with metal arches, buckles, steel-toes or shanks (shanks?!).
  • Avoid wearing belts with metal buckles.
  • Place your transparent, closed and resealable plastic bag containing your liquids, aerosols and gels into a separate bin.
  • Ensure all medication is properly labelled and stored in your carry-on baggage. The name on the prescription must be the same as the one on your ticket/boarding pass.
DON’T ...

  • Don't bring gel or ice packs in your carry-on baggage as they are subject to the liquid restrictions. You can carry a bag of frozen solid peas instead to keep food cold.
  • Don't pack gifts and souvenirs containing liquids, aerosols and gels in your carry-on. These include: liquor, wine, beer, snow-globes, cans of soup, maple syrup, perfume, and lotion. Put them in checked baggage or ship them separately. (Only in Canada do they have to specify maple syrup).
  • Don't wrap gifts as they may have to be opened for screening. Wait until you arrive at your destination or ship them ahead of time. 

I hope these handy travel tips will make your vacation safe and more enjoyable. Start with a list, do an inventory, pack light. And please take me with you!
The Legoland airport cavity searches can be brutal


  1. Great, now *I* want to go away on vacation!

    1. We'll pick you up on the way to the airport meleah.

  2. Holy crap! I'm exhausted just reading those lists. No wonder you need a vacation. Have a fine time. You're clearly earned it.

    1. Jayne, I haven't always prepared so much for a vacation - I want to enjoy it while I am there and not think of something I may have forgotten.
      But with all that rum and coke I will be drinking I may not care either way.

  3. Well, aren't you sensible with the list-making. Personally, I tend to book my trips three days in advance, hope my passport is still valid and pack the night before. But in my defence, I make a very good travel partner, despite my appalling pre-travel qualities.

    1. hey Ziva. My last trip was booked 4 days before I left. but it was researched for a couple weeks. I call it planned spontaneity.

    2. Oh Shawn, you just admitted to planning spontaneity. I'm a little worried about you.

  4. I love your list =D I use something similar when I travel.