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Get informed

Take time to learn about the political, cultural and economic enviroment of your destination. Learn at least a few key phrases in the country's language. Even a modest command of the local language will go a long way.
Useful links
Weather forecast Current exchange rates
Weather forecasts Canadian central bank
www.theweathernetwork.com www.bankofcanada.ca
Check your passport

Your passport is the only evidence of your Canadian citizenship and identity that is accepted in all counties. You and all family members should have a valid passport if you plan to travel outside Canada. Passport applications are avaliable at www.pptc.gc.ca (the Passport Canada Web site).

A passport for Everyone: Canadian children must have their own passport. The practice of adding a child's name to a parent's passport is no longer permitted.

Before you leave on your trip, be sure to complete the "in case of accident or death notify" section (page 4) in your passport. This information will help the authorities quickly notify your family or friends if an emergency arises.

Keep it safe! Make photocopies of your passport's identification page and of your identification cards. Keep the copies seperate from the originals.

Expiration date: If your passport is due to expire within six months of your scheduled return to Canada, check with the destination country's embassy or consulate in Canada for its rules and restrictions regarding passport validity and expiration.

Dual citizenship

Canadian law permits a Canadian to have more than one nationality. However, your Canadian citizenship may not be recognized in the country of your second citizenship, and authorities of that country may prevent Canada from providing you with consular assistence. This situation is especially likely if you do not use your Canadian passport to enter that country due to personal choice or legal requirements.
 
Health insurance
Do not rely on your provincial health plan to cover costs if you get sick or are injured while abroad. At best, your health plan will cover only a portion of the bill. It is your resposibility to obtain and understand the terms of your supplementary travel insurance policy.
 
Travelling by car
Keep in mind that each country has its own driving regulations. In some countries, a driver may be questioned and/or detained by police following even a minor accident. You may be required to obtain an International Driving Permit and/or additional insurance to drive a vehicle in another country. For further information, consult the Country Travel Reports (Canadian Automobile Association).
 
Canadian Customs and Import Control

If you have been away from Canada for 24 hours or more, you may bring back foods worth up to C$50, not including alcohol and tobacco products, without paying duties or taxes. If the goods you bring in are worth more than C$50 in total, you cannot claim this exemption. In this case, you have to pay full futies on all goods you bring in.

If you have been away from Canada for 48 hours or more, you may bring back goods worth up to C$200 without paying duties or taxes. These goods can include alcoholic beverages and tobacco products as follows: to 1.14 litres (40 oz.) of liquor or 1.5 litres (53 oz.) of wine, or a case of 24 bottles or cans of beer or ale, each contaning 355ml (12 oz.). As for tobacco, you may bring back up to 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars or cigarillos, 200 tobacco sticks and 200 grams (7 oz.) of manufactured tobacco.

If you have been away from Canada for seven days or more, you may bring back goods worth up to C$750 without paying duties or taxes. These goods can include alcoholic beverages and tobacco products as described above. Note that provincial age restrictions apply to liquor and tobacco products.

You must declare all items purchased or acquired abroad, whether they are intended for yourself or as gifts, as well as goods bought at a Canadian or foreign duty-free store. Keep your original recepts for possible inspection.

Illegal souveniers

There are restrictions on bringing certain goods into Canada. If you are considering bringing back meat, eggs, dairy products, fresh fruits and vegetables, plants, animals or products made from their skins or feathers, contact the Canadian Food Inspection Agency beforehand for guidance - it could save you a lot of trouble.

Also, be aware that it may be illegal to bring home cultural property, such as antiques or fossils, whose sale or export is banned or controlled by the country of origin.

Emergency consular services

Canadian government offices abroad offer 24-hour assistance, seven days a week. Outside of office hours, your telephone call will automatically be transferred to a consular officer in Ottawa or you will be asked to leave a message for a return call. In either case, there will be a prompt response.

For some countries, you can use a toll-free number to speak to a consular officer in Ottawa. In addition, you can make a collect call to Foreign Affairs Canada in Ottawa at (613) 996-8885.

In some locations where Canada does not have a local office, an Australian or British mission will provide you with emergency services.

 
 
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