Active Care Management | TravelTips
Global Excel is a worldwide premium medical cost containment company, providing services to a broad range of market segments. Our partners trust our expertise in controlling healthcare costs for the management of their claims dollars as well as our ability to provide a superior member experience.
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Travel
Tips

Select a tab for information on how to have a safe and enjoyable trip.

Pre-departure

Stay Covered.

Speak to your broker or travel agent about the best coverage options for your trip. Always be upfront about your health and your plans so that you can enjoy your trip with peace of mind.

Think Safety.

Before traveling abroad, always consult the government’s official travel advisories. It’s always smart to err on side of safety.

Think Health.

If you’re unsure about the health concerns or vaccine requirements of your destination, visit a travel clinic. Doing your own research is good, but getting professional advice is best.

Learn the Logistics.

Know what type of Visa you’ll need and make sure your passport is up-to-date.

 

Do Your Homework.

Buy a travel guide and map out some must-sees before you arrive. Having a few things in mind in advance can save you time and make for a more memorable trip.

 

Pack Smart.

A thorough list will help make sure you don’t forget any necessities. Cross items off as they’re added to your luggage, then double check your list before you leave.

 

Split Your Luggage.

If you’re traveling with companions, split your clothing evenly between suitcases. If one gets lost, you’ll still have enough to start your adventure.

Carry-On.

Always bring carry-on luggage with an extra day’s worth of clothing, just in case.

 

Bring Extras.

Some things are difficult to replace. Bring extra glasses/contact lenses, medications, supplements, preferred toiletries, etc.

Be Electronically Prepared.

Check the voltage of your electronics, as well as the voltage of your destination country’s electrical outlets. Bring the appropriate adapter.

 

Plan Your Phone.

If you plan on using your smartphone while abroad, speak with your provider first. There may be international packages that can save you from costly charges.

Call Home.

With many free online calling options available, calling home isn’t the cost it once was. Long distance calling cards are also a cheaper option than calling from the hotel phone.

Manage Your Money.

Speak to a financial advisor about the best way to travel with money. Some swear by cash, others prefer debit or credit cards. Making plans in advance can mean avoiding expensive fees and exchange rates.

Double Your Documents.

Take photos of all your important travel documents with your smartphone. If you lose the originals, these photos will help you with the replacement process.

 

Protect Your Credit Card.

Contact your credit card company and ask them to put a travel alert on your card. Also jot down their international customer service number.

Remember the Embassy.

Either contact your embassy in the destination country, or jot down their contact information – you never know when you’ll need to get in touch.

Let People Know.

Share your travel plans and flight information with a trusted person back home. This way, should anything happen, they’ll know how to get in touch.

 

Leave Time.

Give yourself lots of time to get to the airport. Don’t let traffic delays put you behind schedule.

Learn the Language.

Learn a few key phrases in the local language. This will not only help you find your way around, it will put you in good standing with locals.

On Your Trip

Be Mindful.

Remember that you’re out of your comfort zone. Tourist hot-spots are usually safe, but always pay attention to your surroundings. Common sense is your most valuable travel companion.

 

Be Respectful.

Always be aware of local culture, customs, and laws. You’re the guest, so do everything you can to show courtesy and to avoid offending locals.

Be Ethical.

‘Responsible tourism’ options are becoming increasingly popular and easy to find. Try to pick activities that benefit the host community socially, economically, and environmentally.

 

Use Transit.

It’s the cheapest – and often quickest – way to get around. Do your research on the transit options at your destination before arriving.

 

Carry Cash.

Always carry bills from the local currency in hidden locations on your person (socks, sewn into backpack, inside of hat, etc). If you lose some of your money, you’ll still have enough to get where you’re going.

Stay Hydrated.

Bring an empty water bottle through airport security and fill it with drinkable water every chance you get. Staying hydrated is one of the best ways to stay healthy when traveling.

 

Take Pictures of Rentals.

Before pedaling, paddling, or driving away with a rental, take a picture with your smartphone. It’s the best way to prove you’re not responsible for any damage.

Drive a Hard Bargain.

Whether it’s getting free breakfast at the hotel or a better price on souvenirs, traveling is a great time to practice your negotiation skills.

Sanitize.

Always carry hand sanitizer. You never know when you’ll stop for some street food with no sink in sight.

Listen to the Locals.

Locals are usually friendly, proud of their city, and happy to help tourists find their way around. Even if language is a challenge, don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with the people you meet along the way.

Beyond the Hotel.

B&Bs, hostels, and apartment rentals are all affordable options that often provide more local flavor than a typical hotel. Be sure to read reviews before booking to ensure quality and safety.

Go For a Guide.

Don’t overlook the value of a local tour guide. You’ll get insights and tips you never would’ve on your own. As always, read reviews first to ensure a great experience.

 

Document the Unexpected.

If you find yourself in a situation where you need to contact local authorities or find a healthcare provider, document as much as you can. Take pictures, keep receipts, take notes, etc. You may need to provide this information when making a claim.

Make a Plan.

Canada is BIG. While some places are always cold, much of Canada has four distinct seasons, so you won’t always need your warmest clothes. Pick a few cities or regions you’d like to see, do your homework, and enjoy the land of the maple leaf!

Stay Healthy.

Visit a travel doctor before departing. Make sure you’re up-to-date on all recommended immunizations. Also, be sure to bring any medications you may need. Your coverage in Canada will cover certain prescriptions, but not everything. It’s best to plan for this in advance.

Be Electronically Prepared.

Check the voltage of your electronics, as well as the voltage of your destination country’s electrical outlets. Bring the appropriate adapter.

 

Rent a Vehicle.

Because Canada is so vast, road-tripping is a great (and affordable) way to see the country. Just remember to stick to the right hand side of the road and never drive distracted (texting) or impaired.

Respect the Environment.

Canadians care about their environment, so be sure to use the garbage bin or recycling bin whenever possible.

Be Tolerant.

Most Canadians are tolerant of diverse religious and cultural practices, though many are uncomfortable with certain outward displays of religion.

The Price Remains.

Bargaining is not common in Canada. What you see is what you pay. Just remember that tax is added on at the cash register, not on the sticker price.

 

Drink the Water.

In most places, tap water is perfectly fine to drink. Save money by always carrying a water bottle and filling up wherever possible.

Tips Not Included.

Gratuities are rarely included in restaurants, but it is custom to tip. Approximately 15% of the bill before tax is expected, 20% for exceptional service.

 

Be Polite.

Canadians are known for their manners. Smiles and common courtesy go a long way, as does turning off your cell phone in theatres or during dinner, apologizing if you bump into somebody, and holding the door for the person behind you.

 

Embrace Multiculturalism.

Canada is a very multicultural country, especially in urban areas. Expect to see and interact with people from all over the world!

Greet One Another.

A handshake (while making eye contact) is a common greeting. Some everyday expressions include: ‘Hello,’ How are you?’, ‘Good morning,’ ‘Good afternoon,’ ‘Good evening,’ ‘Have a nice day,’ ‘Thank you very much,’ and ‘You’re welcome.’

 

No Smoking.

Most cities in Canada have banned smoking in restaurants or on patios. If you’re going to smoke, avoid crowded areas, public transportation, and private establishments.

You’re in Canada, eh?

Canadians are famous for their use of ‘Eh.’ It’s usually added to the end of questions, implying that a response is expected: ‘This food is good, eh?’

 

Use a Card.

While cash is accepted everywhere, most establishments now accept credit cards and/or debit cards. A safe bet is to travel with both cash and card.

Know Your Country.

Learn as much as possible about your destination country before arriving. You may be less impacted by culture shock if you know what to expect in regards to culture, traditions, laws, and customs.

 

Ask For Help.

Most schools will have either an International Office or mentoring programs available to students. Ask around and see what supports are available to you.

Have Handy Helpers.

Purchase guidebooks, local maps or a travel app of your country. These may come in handy while exploring the country and/or city you are in.

 

Be Electronically Prepared.

Check the voltage of your electronics, as well as the voltage of your destination country’s electrical outlets. Bring the appropriate adapter.

Protect Your Documents.

Bring copies of all important documents and take a picture of them on your smartphone for safe keeping. Also, leave copies of your documents with someone you trust back home. This may help avoid hassles if originals are lost and need to be replaced.

 

Carry-On.

Pack an extra set of clothes in your carry-on luggage, as well as extra snacks. This will hold you over in the event of checked-in baggage delays.

 

Be Money Smart.

Ensure your credit cards will work in the destination country and know the currency and conversion rates before traveling.

Know Your Embassy.

Register with your home country’s embassy. Also, know where your home country’s embassy is within your host country and keep its contact information handy, preferably on your smartphone.

Stay Healthy.

Visit a travel doctor before departing. Make sure you’re up-to-date on all recommended immunizations.

Heed Travel Warnings.

Observe travel warnings for specific countries. Travelling to restricted countries is not recommended and may result in claim rejection.

Gather consensus.

Speak with past students who have studied in your host country. They can help you with what to bring, what to avoid, how to get around, where to live, and what to see and do.

 

Get Around.

Learn to use local transportation; it’s usually the cheapest and quickest way to get around.

Wash Your Hands.

To avoid illness, wash your hands before eating and after using the restroom. If clean water and soap is not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Keep Track of Expiry Dates.

Be aware of pending renewal dates. Documents are always more difficult to renew when you’re out-of-country.

Trust Your Intuition.

If it feels unsafe, it probably is.

Be Aware of Possible Danger.

Make new friends, but be aware of situations that may put you in danger, especially at night or when alone.

 

Keep Valuables Close.

Do not expose your wallet or valuables in crowds. This will only draw unwanted attention and put you at risk of pickpocketing.

Drink Sensibly.

Social drinking is OK, as long as you’re responsible and with trusted friends. Uncontrolled alcohol intake decreases inhibitions and clouds good judgment.

 

Keep Connected.

Keep a mobile phone with you at all times in case of emergency.

Stay In Touch.

Always let someone know where you’re going and when you plan on returning.

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