Proper Preparation is Essential to a Fun and Safe Spring Break: Minister of State Ablonczy

March 2, 2012 - The Honourable Diane Ablonczy, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs), today reminded Canadians preparing to travel abroad during spring break to visit travel.gc.ca for advice on planning a safe trip.

“As many Canadian families and students across the country prepare to travel abroad for spring break, we remind them that safe travel is a personal responsibility. With careful planning, travellers can maximize their chances of having a safe and enjoyable trip abroad,” said Minister Ablonczy. “Our consular website, travel.gc.ca, offers advice, including Travel Reports and Warnings for more than 200 countries, the Traveller’s Checklist and tips for travelling with children.”

Between January and April 2011, Canadian residents took nearly 3 million pleasure trips to the United States, of which 1.3 million trips were to Florida. As well, Canadian residents took nearly 2.5 million trips overseas for pleasure during the same period.

Canadians going abroad should follow the 3 Rs of international travel:

  • Read up on relevant topics, such as safety, security and local laws in the country you are visiting by consulting our travel reports and warnings at travel.gc.ca. Travel reports contain current information on safety and security, health precautions, entry and exit requirements, laws and customs, and other travel-related issues, as well as contact numbers for Canadian government offices abroad.
  • Register with the Registration of Canadians Abroad service, which lets us contact and assist Canadians in the event of an emergency. The service is free and confidential.
  • Reach us at our Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa if a Canadian experiences problems abroad. Call 613-996-8885 toll-free any time. Canadians who find themselves in need of assistance may also contact the nearest Canadian embassy or consulate and should keep that number on hand.

“Our government provides practical tools for families, as well as for minors travelling alone or with only one accompanying adult,” said Minister Ablonczy. “These tools include the consent letter for children travelling abroad

Between January and April 2011, Consular Services replaced 1,864 lost passports and 1,504 stolen passports. Canadian travellers whose passports are lost or stolen should first make a report to the local police and then notify the nearest Canadian government office abroad to apply for a replacement.

It is extremely important that Canadians arrange for travel insurance that covers out-of-country health care, medical evacuation, flight cancellation and trip interruption.

For more information on these and other topics, please consult travel.gc.ca.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

John Babcock
Senior Communications Adviser
Office of the Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs)
613-944-2300

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874
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