Whether driving across the border or flying halfway around the world, travelling is a rewarding experience; but now, in addition to just booking the flight, there is a growing list of considerations to keep in mind prior to departing.


Don’t Wait, Vaccinate

With escalating health care costs and vaccine-preventable illnesses like cholera and typhoid fever, it is more important than ever to ensure that employees adequately prepare for a safe and healthy getaway.

The Public Health Agency of Canada identifies vaccines based on a travel destination and strongly urges the public to consult a health care provider or travel health clinic at least six weeks before travelling abroad. Visit the Public Health Agency of Canada to learn about the recommended vaccinations for a specific destination.

Skip the Stress

Over-packing, under preparing and general airport chaos, can add unnecessary stress to a trip and set a much-needed holiday off on the wrong foot.  The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) website offers information on how to pack checked and carry-on luggage, go through security screening and the availability of accommodations for individuals travelling with seniors and people with special needs, Also included—a personalized digital checklist, customizable by individual or family.

Think Ahead

Travelling to a foreign country means new cultures, new people, and new weather. Before departing on an adventure, it is important to seek travel advice about the destination. Take time to research the entry and exit requirements, local laws and customs, natural hazards and climate, and where to find help when  travelling abroad. The Government of Canada regularly updates its Travel Advice and Advisories website, providing real-time information on advisory warnings.

Check Your Medication

When travelling abroad with medically authorized prescriptions for legitimate health conditions, there is always the chance of heightened inspection and surveillance by foreign officials. Drugs that are legal and readily available in Canada may be considered contraband or require a prescription in another country.

When packing, ensure all medications are labelled, easily accessible, and packed in their original container in a carry-on bag. In the event of loss or theft, having a copy of the original prescription or a doctor’s note is best practice. Encourage your employees to do their research ahead of travelling by reminding them to contact the foreign government offices accredited to Canada to confirm the status of their medication. For more information, visit https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/health-safety/medication

Travel Coverage Gaps

Regular health coverage may not cover medical expenses in the unfortunate incidence that an employee or their dependent becomes ill on vacation, but what about possible travel coverage gaps?

  • What if an employee’s eldest child joins the family vacation but because they are 23 and taking a year off school, they are no longer eligible under their parent’s group plan?
  • What happens if an employee is still in the benefits waiting period and not yet eligible for coverage under the group plan?

These situations are common. Luckily there are many options for additional coverage to help bridge the gaps.


Still have questions?

No one wants to think about the risks associated with travelling and would prefer to focus on the excitement of scenic views, relaxing nights, and new experiences. Encourage your employees to travel safely and be prepared for the unexpected—the time spent planning will lead to the enjoyable (and safe!) getaway that everyone anticipates.

Contact your Cowan Insurance Group Consultant today, for more information.