Planning the perfect staycation

(NC) -- Finally summer's here and this year the family is staycationing, which appears to be the current trend. Even if gas prices fall and the economy looks bright, Canadians are opting to stay closer to home. And why not when they can travel back in time in Old Quebec City, check out a jazz fest in Toronto or enjoy some pancakes at the Calgary Stampede. Whether you're going camping in one of the national parks or taking a quick daytrip over the border for some sightseeing and shopping, there are a few things you should do before you take off with your brood:

Secure your home:

• Cancel the newspapers, turn off the water and set up timers for a few lamps around the house. These will make your home look occupied while you're away.

• Forward or stop mail delivery.

• Tell a trusted friend or family-member about your plans and ask them to keep an eye on your place while you're away.

Financial Preparations:

• Let your bank and credit card company know about your travel plans to avoid any service disruptions.

• Most importantly, buy travel insurance — even for quick inter-provincial trips. Your home province limits the amount it will reimburse to provide the same health care at home. Without the right coverage, you could be faced with some major expenses in the event of an illness or accident that leads to hospital stay in another province. For example, a traveler to New Brunswick with travel insurance suffered a ruptured appendix and was hospitalized in a semi-private room. He then received the services of a driver to return home in his own vehicle. Another vacationer with coverage, who was visiting British Columbia, got a refund for his hospital expenses and was repatriated back to his home province by plane, along with breathing apparatus and a nurse. Although a major portion of these expenses were covered under inter-provincial agreements, the insurer paid out close to $800 in expenses in the first case, and close to $6,000 in the second.

It's best to be prepared because travel insurance is:

• Convenient: It can be purchased on the internet or by phone.

• Flexible: You'll find the right policy that suits your family's needs based on everyone's age, health and duration of the trip.

• Reliable: Coverage provides 24/7 medical assistance support so you know you can count on someone in case of an emergency.

For more information about travel insurance, consult your insurance provider. Or for immediate answers, tips and information on how to prepare for your trip visit Desjardins Insurance's Going on a Trip section at


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