Top 9 Travel Tips for Snowbirds
Top tips for Canadians heading south of the border this winter.
Bitter cold. Icy roads. Blinding snow. If you’re joining the hundreds of thousands of Canadian “snowbirds” fleeing south of the border this winter, make sure that you – and your most valuable assets – are fully prepared. Just follow our top travel tips before flying away to your southern home. Before your next winter getaway, don’t forget to:
- Ensure that your home is protected.
Give your property insurance provider a call and let them know about your upcoming trip, the duration of the trip, and whether your home will be empty while you’re away. Ask them what needs to be done so that your property insurance coverage stays in effect while you’re away. If you have CAA Property Insurance*, the number to call is 1-877-222-1717.
- Get your property winter-ready.
Remember to have your furnace checked, gutters cleaned, and your roof inspected to make sure it’s in good shape for the coming snow and cold.
- Call your service providers.
If you’ll be away for longer than a month, be sure to contact your telephone, cable, and internet service providers to determine if temporarily suspending your account until your return would be more cost-effective than being billed while away. If you’re on holiday for several months, you might end up saving more by doing so – even if you’ll have to pay to restart your services.
- Take care of the mail.
Cancel any regular deliveries you might receive and forward your mail. Consider having a trusted neighbour pick up flyers and other junk mail that may accumulate on your doorstep.
- Call the bank.
Let your bank and credit card companies know the details of your travel plans to ensure that there are no service disruptions while you are abroad.
- Check your passport.
Make sure that it will be valid until the date of your return; and if not, renew it before you leave. Photocopy all of your travel documents and pack them separately from where you carry the originals.
- Get CAA.
If you’re planning on driving, make sure you’ve joined the largest auto club in Canada. Having a CAA Membership grants you access to the best Emergency Roadside Service program in the world. It’s available to you 24/7 – anywhere in North America! If you experience car trouble, just call 1-800-CAA-HELP (1-800-222-4357). Canadian mobile phone users can dial *CAA (*222) to obtain the closest CAA dispatch centre, toll-free. In many areas of the U.S., mobile phone users can dial *AAA (*222) – however, user fees may apply. You can also place your own request for roadside assistance by downloading the CAA mobile app.
- Protect your travel investment.
Whether you’re driving or flying down south, remember to purchase travel insurance before you go. CAA Travel Insurance has various plans to meet your needs. Plus, CAA Members save 10%!* Call 1-800-267-8713 for more information, a quote, or to purchase.
- Get social, post-trip.
As tempting as it may be, refrain from posting anything online about your trip. This includes Facebook status updates and photos, Tweets, and Instagram pictures. Theft is a crime of opportunity; decrease your risk of being a victim by limiting the number of people who know your whereabouts.