Check pass­port re­quire­ments with tour op­er­a­tors

Winnipeg Free Press - Section E - - TRAVEL -

THROUGH­OUT the year, but par­tic­u­larly as peo­ple pre­pare to travel to the most pop­u­lar sun des­ti­na­tions ev­ery fall, I am asked about pass­port re­quire­ments for the coun­tries they in­tend to visit.

The most fre­quent ques­tions re­late to how long pass­ports must be valid in or­der to visit Ja­maica, Cuba, Mex­ico and the Do­mini­can Repub­lic, along with the many other Caribbean is­lands they may be con­sid­er­ing.

You should al­ways check for changes and other im­por­tant in­for­ma­tion on the spe­cific coun­try you plan on vis­it­ing at www.travel. gc.ca.

Nev­er­the­less, here are the pass­port re­quire­ments, as taken from that site, for most of the coun­tries Man­i­to­bans usu­ally visit most be­cause of the avail­abil­ity of non­stop flights from Winnipeg.

For Cuba, Cana­di­ans must present a pass­port that must be valid for at least one month be­yond the date of ex­pected de­par­ture from that coun­try.

The United States, Ja­maica, Mex­ico, and the Do­mini­can Repub­lic only de­mand the pass­port be valid for the du­ra­tion of your stay.

For coun­tries that re­quire pass­port va­lid­ity for the length of the stay, the fol­low­ing gov­ern­ment ad­vice should be heeded. “Be­fore you leave, ask your trans­porta­tion com­pany about its re­quire­ments re­lated to pass­port va­lid­ity, which may be more strin­gent than the coun­try’s en­try rules.”

This is re­ally im­por­tant as tour op­er­a­tors are not anx­ious to have pas­sen­gers who may be left be­hind be­cause of ac­ci­dent or ill­nesses be­come their longer-term prob­lem.

QUES­TION: Af­ter read­ing a re­cent ar­ti­cle about a cou­ple los­ing their pass­port while trav­el­ling, I be­gan to won­der why they would carry the pass­port around with them. Is it nec­es­sary?

When we’ve been va­ca­tion­ing, we’ve left ours in the ho­tel room safe, but I’m start­ing to won­der about that too.

Can you give me some insight into this?

AN­SWER: Yours is a good ques­tion that does not lead to a clear-cut an­swer.

Given that a pass­port may be the most valu­able doc­u­ment you own, par­tic­u­larly out of coun­try, ev­ery pre­cau­tion should be taken to be sure it is not lost or stolen.

I un­der­stand why some pre­fer to have it with them at all times. While trav­eller’s cheques are not the pre­ferred method of com­merce any­more, of­ten be­fore any­one will take them for pay­ment or con­ver­sion into lo­cal cur­rency, a pass­port is re­quired.

Pass­ports should not be car­ried in a purse or pocket when trav­eller’s are tour­ing or shop­ping. They should be kept hid­den in a waist wal­let that is tucked un­der gar­ments, or in what is called a neck safe, which also rests un­der a shirt or blouse.

While it is likely safe to leave pass­ports in the room safes of most ma­jor ho­tels, the truth is that un­less the safe is one of high qual­ity and se­cured with heavy bolt­ing, most of the ho­tel room safes would not be all that hard to de­tach by ex­pe­ri­enced thieves.

In ho­tels where se­cu­rity is lax, room safes may not be the best place to leave your valu­ables.

Many of the ma­jor prop­er­ties, par­tic­u­larly those in for­eign coun­tries, of­fer their own safe boxes for the greater sense of se­cu­rity of their guests.

For­ward your travel ques­tions to askjour­neys@jour­neystravel.com. Ron Prad­inuk is pres­i­dent of Jour­neys Travel & Leisure Su­per­Centre and can be heard

Sun­days at noon on CJOB. Pre­vi­ous col­umns and tips can be found at www. jour­neystrav­el­gear.com and at www.

that­trav­el­guy.ca.

Cruise ships in port Venice.

RON PRAD­INUK ASK JOUR­NEYS

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