An enjoyable trip begins with careful preparation long before you pack your bags.
On this page
- Learn about your travel destination
- Buying travel services online
- Check your travel insurance needs
- Air travel tips
- Air travel complaints
Learn about your travel destination
If you plan to travel within the country, the Destination Canada website offers great tips on getting around, attractions to visit and online resources for cultural activity ideas.
If you plan to travel outside of the country, start by checking the Government of Canada's Travel Advice and Advisories to find out more about safety, entry requirements and other important travel information about your destination.
Buying travel services online
You may be thinking about buying travel services online without the help of a travel agency.
If so, be aware:
- online travel services may not offer the same protection as a travel agency if you encounter problems
- some online offers may limit changes to travel plans or cancellation
- in some provinces or territories, online travel companies must be registered members of a specific industry association for consumer protection laws to apply
Check the Office of Consumer Affairs (OCA) page on Travel agencies to find out if using a travel professional is best for you.
You may also want to review OCA's information on online shopping for advice on becoming a savvy online shopper.
Check your travel insurance needs
It's best to be ready for complications that may arise on your trip. Protect yourself from financial loss or other problems by getting the right travel insurance for you and your family.
Before you buy travel insurance, check what other coverage you may have. For example:
- your personal property insurance may cover lost or stolen luggage
- your car insurance may provide collision and liability coverage for rented vehicles
- your credit card may offer medical, baggage and other types of insurance
- your private health care insurance plan may also cover some out-of-country health expenses
After reviewing your existing coverage, you may find out that your insurance doesn't cover all your needs. You would be prudent to buy additional medical coverage to pay for extra costs. For example:
- you may not be covered by your provincial or territorial health care plan if you're away for more than three months
- health and accident insurance policies may not cover every medical problem you already have, such as a heart condition
- when travelling outside Canada, you are responsible for any emergency medical and hospital costs that exceed rates set by your province or territory
Check with your provincial or territorial consumer affairs office to find out whether there is a consumer compensation plan where you live, in case your travel agent or agency defaults or goes bankrupt. Depending on where you live, you may want to get insurance against possible failure of the travel services supplier.
Air travel tips
Be informed to stay safe and help avoid delays when going through airport security.
Visit the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) website for information on what items go in your carry-on or checked baggage, current airport wait times and security screening.
Check out Canada.ca for more Air travel tips.
Air travel complaints
If you feel an air carrier doesn't comply with its tariff, or feel it's unclear or unfair, try to resolve the issue with them directly. If you do not reach a resolution, you may then file a complaint about the air carrier with the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA).
The Agency can address complaints such as:
- baggage issues
- flight disruptions
- tickets and reservations
Although the Agency can handle federally regulated air transportation complaints, it cannot handle disputes like:
- the quality of food that is served to you
- the manners of the transportation provider's employees
- the availability of bilingual services
Learn more about the types of complaints the Agency can and cannot address.
The Agency makes sure air carriers meet the legislative and regulatory requirements under the Canada Transportation Act, other Canadian regulations, as well as international conventions and agreements. Each year, the Agency helps hundreds of individuals to resolve their disputes with air transportation service providers.
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