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Top 5 mistakes Canadian travellers make on vacation

Top 5 mistakes Canadian travellers make
WATCH ABOVE: A popular travel website recently compiled a list of the top five mistakes made by Canadian travellers. Emily Mertz takes us through the list and gets some tips from a travel agent on avoiding the issues that can arise.

Based on a consumer survey, travel website Booking.com has tallied up the most common ways travellers ruin their own vacations in the first 24 hours.

Nearly half — 48 per cent — of Canadians who were surveyed said the first day sets the tone for the rest of the holiday.

#1 Forgetting your kid’s toy

It’s a common travel mistake and it’s one that will cost you dearly.

Booking.com found that 88 per cent of Canadian travellers surveyed had forgotten to bring a child’s favourite toy or blanket on vacation.

READ MORE: 5 travel tips for parents flying with young kids 

While this slip up can make a trip tougher for little ones, it can also negatively impact their caregivers.

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#2 Getting a sunburn

One-quarter — 24 per cent, to be precise — of Canadians forget to bring a hat on holiday.

This oversight means many vacationers have to deal with a nasty sunburn for the rest of their trip.

So, unless you plan on spending the majority of your holiday hiding from the sun, remember to pack a hat and sunscreen.

#3 Getting hangry!

Seasoned travellers know that snacks are key but 54 per cent of families forget to pack emergency food for the trip.

Snacks are crucial for adults and children alike when travelling because it’s no fun to be (or be with someone who is) hangry!

WATCH: How one mom spent her mat leave travelling the world with her baby

#4 Not learning the lingo

Knowing a few common phrases in the local language can ease the transition into holiday mode.

Booking.com suggests learning a few sentences or inquiries before you depart.

READ MORE: Airbnb’s 2017 most-travelled list includes Edmonton family 

The most in-demand phrase to learn? “What’s the WiFi password?”

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#5 Forgetting your passport

More than 86 per cent of Canadians have forgotten important travel documents or accommodation booking information at home, the survey found.

Understandably, not having those documents with you can cause stress and, in some cases, bring your holiday to a halt.

READ MORE: When Mother Nature ruins your holiday travel plans, here’s what to do 

The company surveyed 500 Canadians between April 27 and May 15, 2017. It was part of global survey of 18,000 people from 25 countries.

WATCH: With the holiday season gearing up soon, Roland Van Meurs from AMA Travel joined Mike Sobel with some tips for making your trip less stressful, including arriving extra early at the airport, having backup items in your carry on, and how to avoid delays at security.

AMA Travel: Travel tips for an easier vacation this holiday season
AMA Travel: Travel tips for an easier vacation this holiday season

An Edmonton travel agent was surprised by Booking.com’s survey results.

Lesley Paull believes there are bigger mistakes Canadian travellers are often making that can stop a holiday before it even starts.

“The first thing is — and this was on the list — was forgetting your passport or also that you don’t have six-months expiry on your passport. For a lot of countries, your passport might be valid but you have to have an extra six months on it,” she said.

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One of the most common mistakes, Paull says, is not giving yourself enough time at the airport.

“The security lines, it could be traffic, it could be parking, now you do online check-in and you have to do bag drop. If you’re showing up an hour prior to departure, you’re going to have some stress because you may not be getting that flight.”

Another big travel mistake is not pre-booking your airline seat, according to Paull.

“People who book online and don’t pay for seat selection, you can only get it then 24-hours prior,” she said. “If you haven’t paid for your seats, then all you’re eligible for is seats that are available at that time. You may have a family of four travelling all in centre seats, spread around the plane. That really causes unhappy people.

“The other thing before you board is, when travelling with a child, when you’re not travelling with your spouse or ex, is not having an authorized letter that you can take the child out of the country,” Paull said. “That’s also very commonly not being done and they can’t go.”

Paull has some tips to ensure you’re doing everything in your power to reduce stress while travelling.

24-hours before takeoff:

  1. Define what’s important to you and whomever you’re travelling with
  2. Pack ahead of time
  3. Make lists of last-minute additions or tasks
  4. Pre-select your seat
  5. Pack snacks if you think you’ll need them
  6. Pack essentials in your carry-on bag in case luggage doesn’t arrive
  7. Arrive early at the airport
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