The Travelling Guardian | Do You Have Your Travel Checklist Ready?
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Do You Have Your Travel Checklist Ready?

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Do You Have Your Travel Checklist Ready?

Do You Have Your Travel Checklist Ready?

It is very important to be prepared and to expect the unexpected wherever in the world you may be. To help you prepare for your flight, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind …

  • Find your airline booking reference also known as a confirmation number. Reconfirm your flight times and airline flight number directly with each carrier before you travel. In most cases you can retrieve your booking online. You may have to contact the airline directly for assistance. You can also use a ticket number as a reference however you will need to call the carrier directly to retrieve your booking. ( your ticket number is a 13-digit number)
  • Airlines have schedule changes at least twice a year. If you have booked months in advance do not assume your flight times or flight numbers will be the same.
  • Before you pack your suitcase review the airline’s baggage allowance and verify if there are any associated fees. Any piece of baggage over the size or weight allowance is subject to fees. You can prepay your baggage fee online with credit card. If you use debit or cash to pay for your baggage, this must be done at the airport directly with an agent.. Be sure to arrive early to allow extra time to pay for your fees as most likely you will be in a line up.
  • Passengers travelling with most airlines are allowed one free piece of carry-on baggage and one personal item. Your carry on must be able to fit into the sizing device. (wheels included) If your carry on is too large you may have to check it and pay applicable baggage fees. This could be very costly especially if this oversized carry on is now considered to be your second or third checked bag.
  • To find out what is allowed in your carry-on check out this helpful website for more details: www.catsa.gc.ca/whatcanibring
  • Put all liquids from your carry on in a clear medium ziplock bag and have the bag handy so that you can place it in the security bin quickly without having to dig thru your bag at security.
  • With most airlines fees for advance seat selection are charged for each flight. Selecting seats in advance will free you from worry that you won’t be sitting together with family or friends. I recommend paying for seat assignment when travelling during any holiday or long weekend.
  • With most airlines you can select seats for free, this usually can be done 24 hours to 60 minutes before your flight’s departure time. You can select seats when doing web check -in and mobile check in. See your airline’s website for instructions on how to check in.
  • I highly recommend checking in online prior to arriving at the airport whether it is on your mobile device or personal computer. You do not have to print out a copy of your boarding card or have a bar code on your mobile device. You can reprint your boarding card at the airport kiosks by typing in your booking reference.
  • Check on your flight times before you leave home. For extra convenience, try an airline app called: Flightaware or go to: www.flightstats.com . Unfortunately, some delays will not be known until you arrive at the airport.
  • Make sure your name and spelling on your reservation matches the identification you are using to board the flight. (eg: Do not use nicknames or one of two last names) Contact the airline or travel agent immediately if there is an error with your name. Do not wait until you are at the airport to have your name error fixed.
  • Check the expiry date on both your passport and driver’s license. You cannot travel with an expired driver’s licence. Certain destinations outside of North America require passports to be valid 3 or 6 months after your return date. Check with the airlines or Travel.gc.ca about length of stay you’re allowed and for any visa requirements that may be needed.
  • If you are travelling outside of Canada as a single parent or grandparent consult Travel.gc.ca for information on child custody, consent letters, etc https:// travel .gc.ca/ travelling / children /consent-letter
  • Check the airlines recommended check in time. Normally you are advised to arrive no later than 90 minutes prior to the departure of a domestic flight and two hours prior to an international flight. However I advise you to add a half hour on to your airport arrival time if you have baggage to check and if it is holiday travel season.
  • Always plan to give yourself extra time to get to the airport to check in, drop off your baggage, and go through security or customs. Unfortunately, passengers that do not adhere to the minimum cut-off times for check-in or baggage drop off run the risk of being denied travel and will need to reschedule their flight at their own expense.
  • Be early, have coffee in the gate area and give yourself the gift of time for a fun, stress-free travel experience.
  • Bon Voyage!
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