Webstuff: Travel Tips
When summer vacation rolls around you—just like your students—are ready for a break. Sometimes though, planning your getaway can be as tedious as watching the hands move around the clock. All the ‘To-Do’ lists can seem more overwhelming than the job you’re leaving. Below are some resources to help you travel safely and securely this summer and to help ensure your body, home, and even mobile devices are protected.
This government website provides information about what you need to know about staying healthy while travelling. It includes many links to other government websites with information about more specific travel-related topics, like travel advisories, recommended vaccinations and where you can get them, and a list to Canadian embassies abroad.
An alphabetical listing of countries, and security concerns are also available.
Protect Your Data
Chances are, you’ll be travelling with a mobile device. Not only do you want to keep your phone or tablet safe, you want to make sure the information you’ve stored on there is secure as well. This site, run by the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association, gives tips about how you can protect yourself, your devices, and your information while travelling abroad. It’s also important to remember that laws governing digital information, encrypted data and intellectual property change depending on where you’re travelling. Some governments may be monitoring your email. Other countries may not approve of risqué novels you may have downloaded on your e-reader. Check with the Canadian embassy in the country you’re visiting for more information.
Looking to take in some more scenic views of Canada this summer? This site offers a directory of bed and breakfasts across the country. Searches can be done based on location, your vacation dates, and the number of people that need accommodations. Users can download an iPhone app to search and browse listings. The site also has links to regional bed and breakfast associations across the country if you want more information. And if you own a B&B, you can list it on here as well.
Hostelling International — Canada
More than 4,000 hostels in 90 countries worldwide belong to this organization, which means each hostel needs to adhere to quality standards. And while it may have begun as a youth-based organization, the frequently asked questions section quickly points out people of all ages use hostels. This site allows you to book your stay in advance and gives information about attractions close to the different hostels. You don’t have to be an HI member to use this booking site, but members receive a discount on accommodations, attractions, and restaurants. Memberships cost $35, plus taxes and shipping and handling. They need to be renewed every couple of years. The renewal rate is discounted. Lifetime memberships cost $175 plus taxes.
Trusted House Sitters
Do you need someone to watch your house—and possibly your pets— while you’re away? This site matches homeowners with potential house sitters and lists reviews of house sitters before they hire them. It also includes an extensive frequently asked questions section that explains how the site works, and gives resources like a sample agreement you can use with your potential house sitter.
You will need to pay to become a member and list your home. Prices range from $29 for a monthly plan to $79 for a yearly plan. This site could also open up other travel opportunities. You can also list yourself as a house sitter. These plans start at three months for $49. For $89, you can list yourself as both a house sitter and a homeowner. Remember this site is global. Feel free to do some searching for location-specific house sitting organizations.