When expats choose to travel to or even settle in unstable countries such as India and Thailand, (Those particular examples have travel advisories posted by Foreign Affairs for certain regions.) many are taking some big risks. If you are new expat, there are some obvious precautions that you can take to help you make the best decision about your coming travel plans.
One of the biggest things expats and other tourists miss is that when you travel using a planned itinerary, such as those offered by agencies, into areas with posted travel advisories, you could lose the security of those arrangements if something unexpected happens. For instance, you could before forced to find alternative accommodations not paid for in your plan or even pay for a new flight if the other flight is cancelled or the airport inaccessible.
Canadian travellers might consider doing the following three things before they leave the country:
First, you should locate a reliable source to access the latest travel reports for your country or region of choice. These reports are updated on a daily basis, even hourly, depending on particular circumstances.
Second, you should be to register with Canadian offices in your target country before boarding the plane or boat. This means that you provide them with details such as your passport number, travel itinerary, and contact information.
Third, find a resource such as voyage.gc.ca’s Bon Voyage to have a guide that provides everything from contact numbers of the 260 consular offices in 150 countries, including relevant emergency listings. This ready guide can be picked up at Passport Canada offices, through the consular website (travel.gc.ca), or e-mail: [email protected], or by phone, 1-800-267-8376 (in Canada).
The Canadian Foreign Affairs Department does offer some valuable services for travelling and expatriate Canadians, but, unfortunately, many people seem to get the wrong idea about the agency. Worse, they may be under some misconceptions about the extent of their services.
It is important to be informed and prepared to face potential conflicts or disasters when travelling abroad. If you plan to make travelling and living for extended periods in foreign countries, then you must do your research. The consequences of blindly picking a destination could be dangerous—or at the very least inconvenient.