It’s Spring Break time! Going south with your fellow students to party on a beach or travelling with your children for a week in the sun? Spring break is one of the most popular times for Canadians to travel.
Whatever your reason for going south for spring break, you should be aware that you are travelling during one of the busiest times of the year, when border traffic volume increases and airports are jammed. Here are some tips to make your trip more enjoyable.
- Check our country travel advice and advisories for in-depth information on your destination country. And keep checking our site for official advice and the information you need to travel wisely and return home safely.
- See a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic preferably six weeks before you leave to make sure your vaccinations are up-to–date and for other advice on how to protect yourself from illness and injury.
- If you are travelling with children, make sure you read Tips for healthy travel with children, Children and travel and Taking children on a plane and carry a consent letter, if necessary.
- Register with Registration of Canadians Abroad to stay connected to Canada.
- Your Canadian health insurance will not protect you when you are outside the country. Get the best travel insurance you can buy.
- Sign up for Travel.gc.ca’s Travel Smart mobile web app, Twitter and Facebook accounts to receive travel-related information and updates.
- Check the expiry date of your passport. Do you need to renew it? Do you need a visa to enter your destination country? To enter the U.S. you must have a passport, a U. S. Passport Card, Enhanced Driver's Licence or a Trusted Traveler Program card (NEXUS, SENTRI and FAST).
- Pack a travel health kit and read other health tips, including Eat and drink safely and Insect bite prevention, before you leave home.
- Pack an extra supply of your prescription or over-the-counter medications in case you are away for longer than expected. Read Travelling with medication and Travelling with medical devices for more information.
- Read our page on Alcohol, drugs and travel and make sure you understand the risks.
- Make a travel checklist and read our publications, such as Bon Voyage, But... Essential Information for Canadian Travellers, Her Own Way - A Woman's Safe-Travel Guide and Well on Your Way - A Canadian’s Guide to Healthy Travel Abroad.
If you are flying, check our Air travel page for information on what you can bring on a plane, pre-boarding identification requirements and an explanation of the airport security screening process. If you have packed your baggage properly and have all of the necessary pre-boarding identification with you, you will make your way through airport security with a minimum of delay. Before you leave home, check the airport security screening wait time at your international airport to save time before you leave.
If you are driving, be aware that border traffic volume will have increased, so avoid peak travel times. Save time by checking the U.S. customs and border protection border wait times for your port of entry before you to leave home. And when you return to Canada, check the U.S. to Canada border wait times and get home faster.