What to know before you go…

Guidelines obtained from travelers reviews of the resort and travel articles from various publications and websites. These are only suggestions to ensure a trouble-free trip. It is strongly recommended that everyone review the details of the charter airline website before going to the airport. Especially the sections applicable to their rules for baggage/carry on bags, additional costs, restricted items, airport arrival and boarding times, storing of diving equipment and seat reservation costs and other info. If this is a charter flight mistakes cannot be corrected when you are so far from home.

Health Matters

See your doctor about the type of medications you need to travel and any side effects of your existing medication regarding the following:

  • Type of hepatitis shots needed.
  • If malaria pills are needed for the location being visited. Needed for the Dominican Republic and certain Caribbean areas according to all health sites. There are economical malaria pills available that can be taken only once a week for 6 weeks. Other drugs are available; some are expensive and are taken daily. Bring mosquito spray or gel (25 DEET +).
  • Type of diarrhea medication needed. Up to 50% get it who travel to the Caribbean. Ask a doctor about bringing an antibiotic. Bring Imodium. Another option to consider is (Dukoral) which is available at drugstores and advertised on TV. This is taken once a week for two weeks before leaving. ($75.00 per person) and require no other medication. (travellersdiarrhea.com).
  • If any DT booster is needed for certain childhood vaccinations. Remember the food rule from health Canada: boil it, cook it, peel it or leave it. Avoid ice cubes.
Luggage Tips

1) Be sure to scan your passport, driver’s license, primary credit cards (and note any 1-800 numbers), and any other important documents and email the images to yourself, in case of emergency.

2) Pack zipper-lock plastic bags and grocery bags. They help water-proof your belongings, keep leaking items from making a mess, and are useful for staying organized.

3) Choose clothes that can be layered so you can adapt to changing weather conditions.

4) If you’re traveling with a partner, pack some clothes of each person in different bags, including essentials in carry-on bags, in case bags are lost or delayed.

5) Pack lighter than you think you ought to (human nature is to over-prepare!) This leaves room in your suitcase for any purchases.

6) Treat your carry-on as your home away from home.

7) Get secure locks – We suggest purchasing special luggage locks that allow security staff to open the bag without cutting the lock. All luggage bags must be locked.
Don’t carry valuables in your suitcases as they might have to be opened by airport staff without your attendance.

8) Get secure address tags. Make the most of their usefulness: When leaving home, show your name, home and cell phone numbers, and destination address and phone number. When returning home, flip the card to show your name, cell, and home phone numbers.
Some websites recommended that for security reasons, your home address not be shown on tags. That is a personal decision. The airline also places a numbered tag on your luggage.

9) ID within suitcase – place a piece of paper on top of your clothes in each suitcase that shows your name, home address and home phone number, destination name and location in case bags or the tags are lost or torn off.

10) Suitcase identifier – put some sort of distinctive identifier (color tape, ribbon, etc.) on bags or handle to ID them at the airport and at hotel check-in/out.

11) Weight limitations: There are rigid weight and size allowances for suitcases and carry-on bags, particularly when flying. Bags are weighed at check-in and excess weight over allowances will be costly.

Travel Health Insurance
  • Confirm that you have travel coverage on your health package at work or purchase the trip health insurance.
  • Obtain and read the brochure and understand the coverage and rules before you leave Canada regardless of which plan you have.
  • Bring the written data on travel health coverage with you.
  • Bring N.B. medicare card and private travel health card showing Canadian phone number to call before you seek health care.
  • Unless a 911 situation exists, you must have advance approval for any medical procedure if you expect to be reimbursed or to have costs prepaid.
  • You might have to pay some medical costs (doctors) in advance because they might not accept payment from the insurance company.
  • Get receipts and invoice for repayment.
Carry-on Bag Contents
  • Ear plugs and eye covers to sleep during the trip or at the resort. Noise levels might be high at resort dependent on room location.
  • Gravol for flight turbulence.
  • Snacks to eat on the plane.
  • Prescription drugs that show your name on original containers.
  • All documentation including photocopies outlined in another section.
  • Cameras and other valuables should be in carry-on rather than a suitcase.
  • Mouth mask in case you are sitting next to a sick person.
  • There are new rules for liquids, gels and aerosol cans if you want to carry them in your carry-on bag rather than in your suitcase.
  • Everyone should read the carry-on rules at their charter airline web site.
Safe Rental
  • A safe is in the room but there is a charge to use it (estimate $32.00 US cash only). You should use this to store cash, credit cards, passports, jewelry, cameras, etc. Cleaning/repair staff could be in your room during the day.
Important Documentation (in carry-on)
  • Passport, picture ID, driving license, birth certificate, plane tickets, invoice from your travel agent, trip cancellation policies, list of important phone numbers, trip itinerary, all travel health documents, sin number, serial # of items being taken (in case of loss).
  • In case of loss, photocopy two copies of important parts of the above data plus credit/debit cards (both sides), health cards, Medicare, phone numbers and other items.
  • Leave one set of copies in a sealed envelope with a trusted person at home. Bring the second set with you in carry-on and keep locked in luggage or safe (esp credit card data) at the resort.
Resort Matters
  • Some resorts require you to reserve dinner at their restaurants at check-in.
  • Golfing is very expensive (maybe $200.00 US) and several miles away.
  • Some resorts require a credit card or cash deposit and passport ID at check-in.
  • There are off-site activities, tours, and spas.
  • Expensive water sports equipment sometimes must be reserved up to 2 days in advance
What to Pack?

Consider packing the following:

  • Sunscreen SPF40+
  • Solarcane
  • Face cloths (not always in your room)
  • Band-Aids/antiseptic ointment
  • Lip balm
  • Gas-reducing pills for plane
  • Moisturizing eye drops, nasal lubricant for plane
  • Acetaminophen/Advil and Tums
  • Antibacterial hand lotion
  • Camera and spare camera batteries, spare memory cards or film
  • Spare eyeglasses
  • Small foldable insulated bag and mug for drinks on the beach
  • Books & playing cards
  • Notepad and pens

Clothing suggestions:

  • Sun Hats
  • Swimsuits/cover-up
  • Light jacket for night or rain
  • Sweater/sweatshirt/fleece pull-over
  • Light poncho/windbreaker
  • Sandals, walking shoes
  • Sunglasses with cord
  • In some resorts, men need long pants to enter the resort restaurants and women need the appropriate dress
Airport Advice

Airport Security: Make sure expensive items like cameras, cash, credit cards are not left in carry-on bags when going through security checks. There are reports that thefts have occurred during this process. Keep the bag and contents in view at all times.

Airport Parking: Consider car-pooling to reduce airport parking fees and/or leaving your car with a friend or relative, or have someone drive you. Make sure the parked vehicle has snow/ice tools, shovel, boots, jacket.

Money Matters

1) Notify your bank’s security department of your trip to avoid charges or cash advances being refused if you are unreachable.

2) Leave behind anything that is not needed from your wallet in case of loss.

3) Bring some US currency (at least $50.00 US in one dollar bills) for tipping room maids and bartenders, and for shopping at local vendors who may not accept credit cards.

4) Some destinations require a departure fee of $20.00 per person (cash only), payable at the airport.

5) Some all-inclusive bars close at 11:00 pm. You might have to pay for liquor at the disco and the outside bars after that time.

6) Consider bringing US Traveler’s Cheques which can be cashed at the resort or at local banks. Mastercard and Visa cards can also be used to get cash advances. Debit cards are not recommended as they cannot be processed at some destinations.

7) Consider using a stomach money belt to carry cash and other valuables.

Cross-Border Travel

1) Ensure that you have proper identification (passport) readily available.

2) Children under the age of 16 can present an original copy of their birth certificate, passport or NEXUS card as preferred identification. When traveling with children, have their identification ready. For any child who is traveling without their parents or traveling with non-custodial parents, be prepared to provide a letter of permission along with parental contact information.

3) Pack all medications in original packaging and ensure prescription medication is properly labeled.

4) Declare all purchases made and have your receipts readily available. As of June 1, 2012, you can bring back, tax and duty-free (after being away for 24 hours) goods valued at CAN$200 and (after 48 hours) CAN$800.

5) Declare all money or monetary instruments equal to or over CAN$10,000.

6) Souvenirs can be a fun way to remember your vacation, but certain goods are prohibited from entering Canada including some food, plant and animal products.

7) Canada Border Services Agency recommends that you travel with as little jewelry as possible unless you have a Canadian sales invoice or previous import receipt. There is a form that can be filled out before leaving Canada listing serial numbers for items like cameras. Consider bringing the invoice for camera equipment.

8) All returning residents could be subject to search.

Important Phone Numbers to Bring With You
  • Your Bank Branch
  • Bank Security (loss of credit cards)
  • Travel Agent: 1-506-634-8080, 1-888-636-8080
  • House Insurance Agent
  • Emergency Travel Health Number to phone Canada
  • Canadian Consular Emergency Center: Ottawa: 1-888-156-3102
  • Medicare NB: 1-506-684-7901
House and Home

– Arrange for a trusted person to check your house daily during the heating season (required by your home insurance policy).
– Leave the phone number and policy number of your insurance company and the name and phone number of your destination with the person checking the house.
– Cancel newspapers.
– Have your mail picked up or notify the post office to hold mail (could be a charge).
– Leave unnecessary keys at home but bring house key.
– Set up timers to turn on lights in various rooms at specified times.
– Bring web address and password to remote-access your personal email.
– Bring telephone calling card and pin number to phone home.
– Make arrangements well in advance to look after your pets.

Useful Websites

Canada Border Service Agency

Jet Lag Rooster
As travelers ourselves, the staff members of Collins Tours recommend the following website as resources for managing the effects of jet lag:
Jet Lag Rooster
(Collins Tours has no affiliations with the Jet Lag Rooster company)