It's that time of year again. Reading week is quickly approaching and March break is right around the corner meaning thousands of young Canadians will be jetting off on spring break vacations. This year, the government has new advice specifically for any young Canadians that are going on a spring break getaway.
In a statement made by Global Affairs Canada, Foreign Affairs Minister Pamela Goldsmith-Jones says "The Government of Canada takes the safety and security of all Canadians abroad very seriously. We encourage spring-break travellers heading to international destinations to visit Travel.gc.ca before they leave."
That is also the first tip the government has for young travellers. The government's official travel site is where they issue travel advisories and offer advice on the different risks to Canadians in various countries around the world. They advise young people to check their destination on the site before their trip so they can be fully prepared.
Another suggestion the government has for young Canadians is to get the best travel insurance that they can afford. They specifically mention making sure you have coverage for health, life, and disability insurance. The government also recommends that you register with their official Canadians Abroad registry. This lets the government know that you are out of the country and in the event of a natural disaster or other issues, they can respond quickly to you.
These tips could apply to any travellers heading out this winter, but the government has some other advice specifically for young spring-breakers as well.
For younger Canadians, they recommend that you always stay with your friends when you are travelling and be aware of your surroundings. They also warn that sexual assaults have been reported at various tourist resorts.
They also have a warning for anyone who intends to party while they're away. They say that you should still be responsible with your alcohol consumption and also warn that while cannabis is legal in Canada, it's still banned in many places as are many other illicit drugs.
Meanwhile, there are specific travel advisories in effect for some popular spring break destinations. In the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and The Bahamas the government advises Canadians to exercise a high degree of caution due to violent crime rates in those countries.
There is also a warning in Mexico for travellers to exercise a high degree of caution due to crime and protests. However, there is also a warning for Canadians to avoid all travel to the northern part of that country due to organized crime.
The Canadian government also revealed that in previous years they have had to respond to over 10,000 reports of Canadians losing their passports or having them stolen while they are abroad which serves as a reminder to always keep your passport safe or locked up.