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MSH International Boosts Its Global Expansion With New Health and Travel Insurance Products and Services

MSH International (Americas) is accelerating its international expansion and services to meet the growing demand for its comprehensive, global health insurance products. Adding to the company’s great products and services a new suite of offerings addresses up-to-the-minute needs of leisure and business travelers alike and includes: LivExpat, a new generation of flexible and cost-efficient international health insurance plans MSH Navigator, a mobile application, with geo-tracking capabilities, security warnings, travel and city guides, two-way communication and single-touch access to emergency and provider networks MSH ASSISTANCE, a comprehensive product offering with round-the-clock multilingual medical assistance, emergency evacuation, repatriation and risk management to travellers, worldwide. Born of a 2017 merger between MSH International and Ingle International, a supplier of international insurance solutions for travellers, students and expatriates since 1946, MSH International continues to experience rapid international growth. Together with its continuous product innovation, tailored facilities, global capabilities, customized web and mobile sales/information portals…

Join Our World Wanderer Club! Experience the World in a Whole New Way.

World Wanderer Club We are excited to introduce the new and exclusive “World Wanderer Club” to you travel lovers! If you’re looking for new places to go, travel secrets and tips, the right products to assist your trips, helpful travel blog posts on current events, and special travel perks, discounts, and contests – this is a travellers’ wonderland for you! We hope to inspire you to travel and see the world just like we do and to discover places you never knew about. You can gain a new perspective and educate yourself by travelling abroad as well as learning how to protect yourself when you’re away from home. You can always have fun, but you’ll have the most fun when you’re prepared! Our World Wanderer Club is your resource for: International travellers Canadian travellers and Visitors to Canada Special risks and adventure travellers Group travellers International student travellers Snowbirds Expatriates…

Partner with Your Doctor when Applying for Travel Insurance

Among the most frequent stories I hear from Canadians who have had their travel insurance claim denied are: “My doctor never told me I had a heart murmur” or “he didn’t say that heart pill was for atrial fibrillation” or “my CT scan didn’t show anything abnormal”—so why would they have reported any of this on their application? Why? Because it’s up to you to know what’s in your medical record when filling out an insurance application—and if your claim is denied for non-disclosure or because you had a pre-existing condition that wasn’t “stable,” you are the one who will have to pay the bill. And no matter how strongly your family doctor protests your denial in a letter after the fact, you are still responsible for providing accurate and up-to-date information to the insurer. The decision to pay your claim or deny it will be made on the basis…

Know Who Pays When Your Flight Doesn’t Go Up

This past summer, two of the UK’s biggest airlines stranded hundreds of thousands of travellers in distant locations by cancelling flights at the last minute and invalidating reservations for future flights already planned: Ryanair because of pilot scheduling problems, and Monarch Airlines because it suddenly went out of business—virtually overnight. What about all of those passengers left stranded overseas? Thanks to some quick action by Britain’s Civil Aviation Authority, and a special consumer protection program in which most vacationers book their trips with specially licensed and bonded travel organizers, most were returned home relatively quickly on aircraft chartered by the CAA at no cost to themselves. But at first glance it was not quite so clear as angered passengers were told by airline staff to call their travel insurers for assistance home and recompense for the costs of making and paying for alternate arrangements. At which point the Association of…

Travel Insurance Claim Denial? Demand Answers

If you’ve ever had a travel insurance claim denied, you know how frustrating it can be to get an answer in plain language that tells you why an insurer won’t pay. First of all, let’s get one fable taken care of: Insurers do not routinely deny claims and pay only those for clients who fight back. 95 percent of all travel insurance claims submitted are paid. But if you are among the unfortunate few to receive a claim denial letter and you don’t understand why, you should ask for clarity.  It’s your right. What to do Get right back to the insurer, or the party that sent you the denial letter (it could be the insurer’s assistance company), and ask for a detailed, written report that you can study at your leisure, or take to your doctor. Ask to have key words—such as “pre-existing condition,” “stable,” “condition,” “exclusion,” “eligibility,”…

Studying in Canada? Everything You Need to Know About Your Medical Coverage!

As you prepare to go back to school, watch this video to get comfortable with your insurance coverage. Let Ingle International guide you through a day in the life of insurance. Subtitled videos in multiple languages are also available further below. In these videos you will find: A break-down of your insurance package An introduction to the multilingual team that is looking after you Information on how to identify the level of your medical need (emergency room versus walk-in clinic) An overview of your toolbox, which includes, but is not limited to your website, Intrepid 24/7, the find a doctor tool and how to submit a claim. And more! Hot tip: Be a smart consumer, always read your policy wording. Watch this video with English, French, Spanish, Chinese or Vietnamese subtitles. For tips on how to prepare for the changing travel seasons, read articles here.

Buying Travel Insurance Online? No Time for Haste

Misunderstanding or minimizing the content of travel insurance policies is one of the most frequent causes of claim denials—more so since online applications are gradually eliminating the advisory role of trained sales agents. Quick and easy online applications that can be completed in 5-10 minutes may fit conveniently into our busy schedules, but if they encourage carelessness or lack of attention, they can invite catastrophic consequences. Let’s look at the case reported recently in the British newspaper The Telegraph—of an English family that took a leisure trip to Berlin and on the way home found that their return flight had been cancelled for the day. Because the husband and son had urgent reasons to return to London, they took alternate and circuitous flights to get home as quickly as possible, encountering several hundred GBP in additional airfares. Bought in haste? That’s trouble The husband told the newspaper reporter that…

Your Guide to Travel Awareness

During the terrorist attack on London UK, casualties and injuries resulted in 4 dead and 40 injured. Though residents and travellers appear more rattled than days prior, London Mayor Sadiq Khan resolves, “Londoners will never be cowed by terrorism.” In that breath, it is important to continue travelling and review terrorism preparedness procedures. Over 70 years, Ingle International has developed a wealth of resources about specific events of terror, as well as risk response best practices. Take advantage of these hand-picked articles below, and keep travelling. Common Sense Tourism Protection Lessons From Orlando, Stay Vigilant Terrorism is Changing the Face and Price of Travel Europe Tightens Border Rules, Prepare but Still Enjoy Trip Cancellation Interruption Insurance in Times of Terror How to Respond to Active Shooter Situations A Helpful Guide to Plan for Travel Emergencies Have a look at our travel insurance options.

Four Things to Know about Walking the Camino de Santiago in Spain

The Camino de Santiago is one of the most important Christian pilgrimages of medieval times. Legend has it that the bones of St. James, Jesus’s first disciple, are buried at the site of what is now the city of Santiago de Compostela. Today, pilgrims of all faiths come from around the world to walk The Way for religious, spiritual, health, or personal reasons. If you’re contemplating taking on this challenging pilgrimage here are a few things to keep in mind before you go. 1. Earning a compostela  Every pilgrim will carry a passport, or credencial—a document that identifies them as a pilgrim. If you plan to start your walk in the popular launching-off city of St-Jean-Pied-de-Port you will be given a passport when you register as a pilgrim at the pilgrim’s office. Otherwise, you can obtain a passport at almost any church or albergue (pilgrim’s hostel) in Spain. Each…

What Type of Travel Insurance Do I Need?

You’ve heard it here before: travel insurance is not a one-size-fits-all sort of purchase. That’s why Ingle carries an extensive list of insurance products to cover all sorts of travelling scenarios. But if you’re not familiar with all the ins and outs of travel insurance, looking at the long list of available options out there can feel a little daunting—like having too many brands to choose from in the grocery store. So, what exactly are all these different plan categories? And which one is right for you? With a few quick questions, we can help you figure that out.   1. ARE YOU CANADIAN? Yes, I’m Canadian. For most travelling Canadians, however, Canadian Travellers Insurance offers extensive coverage for a wide range of scenarios. In addition to travel medical coverage for illness and injury abroad, there are also non-medical coverage options for things like cancelled and delayed transport, lost…

Lola Answers Questions about Her Summer Trip to Africa

1. Where did you go in Africa? I went to Morocco, South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Kenya, and Tanzania. 2. Do I need to get inoculated before I go? Absolutely. Check out Do I Really Need to get Vaccinated? for more information. 3. How do you choose a good tour company? First, research what you want to see. I began with Trip Advisor, read reviews, then emailed my choices for quotes. I asked lots of questions and eventually narrowed it down to 3. 4. What type of clothing should I take on safari? Take clothes that are easy to wash and dry quickly. Choose earth tones; no whites or bright colours since they make you stand out. Don’t take camouflage clothing that can be confused for military uniforms or dark colours such as black or dark blue because they attract Tsetse flies. Think casual, comfortable and easy to layer; t-shirts,…

No Hospital Beds at Home For Canadians Travelling Abroad?

If ever you’re stuck in a foreign hospital waiting for your travel insurer to get you back to Canada for continuing medical care, don’t blame your insurer for putting you on hold. You can be darned sure your insurer would like to get you back home where your medicare picks up the tab. In a foreign hospital, it’s the insurer who pays. The problem with repatriation now, as in the past 35 years, lies in the inability of health care bureaucrats  to break the hospital bed logjam that bedevils doctors, nurses and floor staff working in most of Canada’s hospitals. How bad is it? On November 30, 2016, the Ontario Auditor General released its most recent report on lengthening waits for beds in the province’s community hospitals. I note that this is a provincial report and not all the findings translate exactly to other provinces. But the similarities are…

5 Tips for Part-Time Travellers

Not everyone can quit their jobs and travel full-time—it’s just not a lifestyle that suits the majority of people. But having a career and a life at home doesn’t mean you have to wait until you retire to travel. Despite what people may think, it’s possible to see the world and maintain a career and home base. Here are five tips that will help you succeed with part-time travel. 1. Use your vacation days In 2015, more than half of Americans left vacation days unused. In most of North America, employees get two to three weeks of vacation, but so many people don’t take advantage of these days and instead let them go to waste. Those with full-time jobs are in the best position to travel because they have a steady income. So stop feeling guilty about asking for time off from your job, you’ve earned it! 2.…

8 Myths about the Full-Time Travel Lifestyle

When I sold everything to travel, I couldn’t imagine a time when I’d say I’ve been on the road for 10 years. But here we are, 10 years later. I’ve travelled through and/or lived in over 50 countries in that time. And I’ve learned a lot about what “full-time travel” really means. Here are eight myths about the full-time travel lifestyle that I’ve learned along the way (often the hard way!). Myth: Full-Time Travel Is an Extended Vacation Full-time travel is a lifestyle rather than a trip or vacation. When travelling full-time, there’s no “regular life” or “home” to return to, like there is if you are travelling for a limited time. This creates a different mindset around foundational ideas like what home is, and ultimately, how to create that sense of home abroad. Myth: Full-Time Travel Is for Rich People Most full-time travellers work in some way…

Spotlight City: Dublin, Ireland

Dublin is the capital and largest city in Ireland with over 1.2 million residents. The city is characterised as a centre for national education, culture, industry, and economy in the country. Around seven million tourists visit Ireland each year, and the number is growing especially after it was ranked as one of the top cities to visit in 2016. The tourism sector is an important and well-developed industry in Dublin, and providing a safe and memorable visit for tourists is one of its top priorities. Before departing for a trip to Dublin, be sure to understand the security situation to have a safe and enjoyable time. Threats and Risks to travellers in Dublin:  Dublin is generally a safe city, and it is a progressive and accepting society. Millions of visits are made each year, and almost all are trouble free. Violent crime is rare; however organised crime and gang…

The Best Canadian Winter Adventures According to Travel Bloggers

Nobody does winter like Canadians. When it’s twenty below and school has been cancelled for snow, most people put a kettle on the stove, turn up the thermostat, and curl up in a blanket. Canadians, on the other hand, bundle up the kids, pull on a toque, and head for the sledding hill. Yes, Canadians have made an art of enjoying the cold. (How else could you explain our passion for curling?)  But even we forget how many awesome winter activities we’ve developed over the years. To help remind us of all the rad things there are to do this winter, I asked 12 travel bloggers to share their favourite Canadian winter adventures. Here’s what they told me. Take a Snow Bath at the Quebec Winter Carnival Quebec City’s Winter Carnival is a 62-year-old tradition that brings the city to life during some of the coldest weeks of winter.…

Travel Fatigue and How to Avoid It

I’ve been proverbially homeless for 10 years, travelling through and living in over 50 countries. Over the years, I’ve experimented with many different styles—and paces—of travel. In 2010, embracing a “backpacker” moniker, I breezed through a dizzying number of countries. In that entire year, the longest I spent in one place was three weeks; on average I “moved house” every five nights. After this fevered travel pace, I spent the first six months of 2011 in a near-comatose state of recovery. Something wasn’t right. I couldn’t quite define what was wrong, but I had an unsettled feeling. I was fundamentally tired, like I hadn’t slept well in months. On reflection, this was true; too many late nights, early mornings, unfamiliar beds, and communal living quarters had taken a toll. I was dizzyingly confused; the whirlwind of travel in the previous year left me feeling like the world was spinning around…

4 Reasons Your Insurance Claim Might Be Denied

When you buy travel insurance, the hope is that you are purchasing some peace of mind for your trip. However, every once in a while, a high-profile case hits the news about a claim that was denied, leaving the claimants with huge medical bills. This understandably has some travellers concerned about how much they can actually rely on their insurance policy. The good news is: as long as you fully understand the workings of your insurance policy, there’s no need to fear an unexpected surprise from your insurer. To help you gain that confidence, let us explain the four main reasons why someone’s insurance claim might be denied. Why could my claim be denied?  1. Because your claim was related to a pre-existing condition. This is a term one hears often when it comes to travel medical insurance, and there can be some confusion around what it really means.…

Travel to Canada Surges, So Does the Need for Medical Protection

Canada remains an increasingly attractive country to visit. Recent data from Statistics Canada verifies that in the first 8 months of 2016, the number of visitors from Europe, Asia Pacific, Central and South America, and to a lesser degree the United States ( due to a poorly performing loonie) have been breaking records. According to Statistics Canada’s August 2016 Tourism Snapshot: Canada welcomed 12.4 million overnight visits from international travelers from its 11 most popular overseas destinations in the first 8 months of 2016. That is up 10.4 percent over the comparable period in 2015—14.4 percent if travel from the US is discounted. And where are all of these visitors coming from? China is comes in first with 428,000 visitors, followed by Europe’s 3 main markets (UK, France, Germany), Japan, South Korea, Australia, India and increasingly from South America as well. Analysis of the numbers indicate that many come to…

Zika Warnings for Canadians Travelling South, Winter 2017

It’s the time of year that Canadians start planning their winter vacations in warmer climates. But this year, due to the massive spread of the mosquito-borne Zika virus throughout the Western Hemisphere (except for Canada), planning a vacation should involve some additional research. Warnings to avoid travel to  Zika affected countries or regions are primarily directed towards women who are pregnant, anticipating become pregnant, and their partners (see the US government’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advisory at the end of this article). For others, Zika is not a serious threat: 80 percent of people infected with the virus suffer no symptoms, and those who do may notice only mild fever, rash, fatigue, lasting a few days—not usually requiring medical care beyond the use of aspirin of acetaminophen. Where is Zika active according to CDC current reporting? This does not include areas where residents have contracted the…

Spotlight City: Cairo, Egypt

Cairo is a bustling and culturally rich city that attracts millions of foreign travellers each year, and the majority of visits are trouble-free. However, in recent years, large-scale demonstrations, civil unrest, and security threats have battered the tourism sector. Before embarking on a holiday or routine business trip to Cairo, there are a few crucial factors you should keep in mind. Understand the threats and risks to travellers in Cairo, even if the occurrences are unlikely Being prepared and understanding the security situation should give you more confidence than fear. It is commonplace throughout Cairo to go through metal detectors and have bags searched before entering some sites, which may cause delays. The crime rate is moderate, although the risk of violent crime is low due to the high police presence. Tourists tend to be the most susceptible target for petty theft, so be sure to take precautions. You…

Riding Alone across the Continent: Therapy on Horseback

On July 8, 2012, when I jumped into the saddle to ride horseback from Canada to Brazil, I had no idea the journey of solitude I was about to undertake. There were times during the 803 days I spent on the road when family and friends met me, but for the majority of the trip, it was just my horses and me. Some nights I met generous people who kindly hosted me in their homes, while other nights were spent camping in the wilderness. But every day, while I rode, I spent eight to ten hours alone. Without saying a word. Or hearing one. Some days my voice hardly came out in the afternoon. And on some stretches I went days without seeing or conversing with another human being. Being left alone with your thoughts for such long periods of time, away from your family and loved ones, is not…

How to “Vet” Your Travel Insurance Policy

Critics of travel insurance often argue that claim denials are too frequent, unfair to the customer, and might be avoided if issuers vetted policy applications at the time of distribution instead of when a claim is made. The rationale for that argument is that applicants could then be certain that their policy would pay off in case of medical emergency abroad. Sounds reasonable, as a principle—except that it’s impractical given the millions of policies issued to Canadian travelers each year. At present, most policies are issued on the understanding that customers provide complete and accurate information about their medical histories when applying for insurance. Some are asked a few questions about recent treatment interventions, medication use, or hospitalizations; others, usually elderly travelers, are required to complete detailed medical questionnaires designed to give underwriters a more precise assessment of their health status. And there are other policies—usually attached to credit cards—that…

Product Spotlight! Sporting Coverage with TuGo

Are you travelling abroad for a sporting adventure? You will need to make sure you have travel insurance to match—as your average plan often does not include coverage for injuries sustained while taking part in sports. Luckily, we have TuGo’s Traveller Emergency Medical plan on hand, which automatically includes coverage for most amateur and professional sports. Here’s a quick rundown of some of the plan’s highlights: In addition to coverage for amateur sports, for those who like push the envelope, you have the choice of add-ons for contact sports, adventure sports, and extreme sports. In other words, you can tailor the plan to fit just the types of adventures you like to have. The plan includes emergency transport: either air ambulance or economy airfare back to your home province or territory. Some common sports injuries (like a broken leg) can make travelling difficult, and an air ambulance back to your home…

What Did We Learn From Hurricane Matthew?

The passage of Hurricane Matthew up the East Coast of Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas last week provides a perfect example of what to do, and what not to do, prior to the onset of a potentially lethal storm. I say ’prior to’ because once it arrives there’s not a lot your can do but keep your head down and stay sheltered.  And once it passes all you can do is fix what has been broken and try to remember what to do next time. In South Florida, from Palm Beach County to the Keys, Matthew passed by closely—the eye only about 60 miles out from shore—but left residents relatively unscathed, as it did the West Coast and inland areas south of Orlando. But Central Florida’s East Coast, from St. Lucie up through St. Augustine and north through Georgia and the Carolinas was a different and devastating story that the…

What Is “Home” to a Lifestyle Traveller?

Lily and I had a great chat during our podcast recording. Despite our lifestyle differences, I think we found a lot of common ground with regards to the way we think, feel, and approach our lives. One of the lessons I’ve learned through my 10 years of travelling and living around the world is that, for the most part, we’re all programmed similarly. It may not appear so at first glance, but I’ll use the idea of “home” as an example. I am “The Professional Hobo”; by definition, I’m homeless. But ask any lifestyle traveller, and even though they may staunchly defend their homeless moniker, talk to them long enough and you may hear the word “home” creep into the conversation. “Home” could be the place you grew up, or where your parents live. Many lifestyle travellers also love to say “home is where I lay my head for the…

Alternatives to Travellers Cheques

At one time, travellers cheques were the preferred way to carry foreign currency. They were secure, low on fees, and in some cases were the only way to pay for things abroad. But they’ve been going steadily out of favour since the 1990s. They pose security risks and cause extra work for retailers, the commissions and fees aren’t competitive, and even banks abroad are hesitant to cash them. A reader told me about a European vacation during which she visited 12 banks, none of which were willing or able to cash her travellers cheques. These days, there are other, more secure and cost-effective ways to access your money while travelling, such as the following: Credit Cards In most Western countries, you can pay for almost everything with credit cards. Many of my North American friends don’t even carry cash any more. Credit cards are convenient, they provide a record…

How to Buy Travel Insurance Safely – Part II

Canada’s travel insurance market is rich in choice, even if you’re not quite as healthy as an Olympic athlete. But before you get to the nitty-gritty of comparing products and prices, you should sort out your basic needs according to your general health, age, duration, frequency and purpose of travel. Let’s narrow down the choices to make them more specific to your individual needs. No frills, No Pre-existing Coverage Required If you’re perfectly healthy, take no medications, have no medical history, see your doctor only once a year for an annual checkup, and are not under orders to have tests taken or to see a specialist, consider a basic plan that does not cover pre-existing conditions nor asks you to complete a medical questionnaire. It is the cheapest, and the least complicated to buy: so long as your medical history is as impeccable as you think.  But don’t delude…

Spotlight City: Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok is known as one of Asia’s most cosmopolitan cities and is known as Thailand’s cultural, political, commercial, spiritual, educational and diplomatic capital. Bangkok continues to rank as one of the most visited cities in the world with approximately 16 million tourists annually. The Thai city continues to be a fascinating location for travellers, but before jetting off to the Southeast Asian country, be sure to keep a few things in mind. Threats and risks to travellers in Bangkok: First and foremost, there is a high threat of terrorism in Bangkok. Most recently in August 2015, a bomb exploded at the Erawan Shrine in central Bangkok killing 20 and injuring 125. Prior bombings occurred in February 2015 at the Siam BTS Station and the other in April 2015 in Ko Samui. Even in the unlikely event of a terrorist attack happening during your visit, it is important to exercise a…

3 Global-Sized Revelations from My First Year Abroad

As a new grad released from the tethers of institutional education, I leapt into a year of solo travel in Australia. That trip turned into three years abroad and an entirely new outlook on life and my association with the world around me. Here are a few of the big lessons that I was confronted with on that first trip abroad when my world suddenly got a lot bigger. 1. Understanding where things come from is important. In Western nations, we live completely detached from the manufacturing and production processes of most items we possess and consume. We moan about the cost of things, without considering the journey they have made to get to us. And though I studied global development, it wasn’t until I witnessed, first-hand, the arduous process that something as small as a cashew nut has taken to land on our shelves1 that I developed a…

Travelling to Race or Racing to Travel

I am a traveller. I love everything about travelling. The airport. The airplane. I am constantly on the lookout for new places to explore and I am always excited to take in the people, cultures, foods, languages, customs, and natural beauty of the places I visit. I am also an ultra-runner. Ultra-trail running is a footrace on trails that stretch even longer than a marathon. About six years ago, I started running local 50-kilometre and 50-mile races. After my first attempt, I vowed I would never do another—but just three days later I was hooked. After a couple of years, I needed bigger challenges, so I started to search for tougher and longer races all over the world. After doing my first 100+-km European mountain ultra-trail race, it was clear to me that a very deep bond had formed between my love of travel and my love of running in…

New Zika Travel Warnings for Miami Beach

As Florida public health officials announced Miami’s Wynwood neighbourhood to be Zika-free this weekend, they affirmed that mosquito-borne transmission had spread through greater Miami Beach to an area encompassing its major tourist hotels and resorts. The newly expanded Zika risk zone now runs south from 61st street, along the Northern edge of La Gorce Country Club, to 8th St. at the southern end of South Beach; and from the Atlantic shore to the inland waterway, an area of 4.5 square miles embracing iconic hotels such as the Fontainebleau and Eden Roc. The expansion of the Miami Beach Zika zone was announced after five new cases of locally-acquired Zika infection were identified among 3 women and 2 men in the newly-designated area. That brings the number of locally-acquired cases traced to Miami Beach to 35. So far, a total of 93 non-travel related Zika virus infection cases have been identified in…

Podcast – Lily Likes It Here

The Lily Likes It Here podcast came to fruition over the winter of 2016 shortly after sisu production hit the frosty streets of Toronto to conduct interviews about the NBA all-star weekend. Later, in a warmer think tank, sisu and other creatives held a podcast brainstorm. At first, a common thread that tied all of our colleagues together was their love of travel. Or so we thought, until Lily expressed an attitude of indifference towards it. The road to Lily’s logic is far more complex than opposition, and we are determined to learn more about it. Welcome to Lily Likes It Here. Join Lily and her panel of distinguished guests as they duel over distant lands, culinary firsts, and missed connections. Lily doesn’t not like to travel, per se—she just hasn’t been inspired to. Can she be convinced to leave the comforts of home and travel the world? Tune in…

No Walls Expected on U.S. Northern Border

If you’ve been paying any attention to U.S. politics  and the forthcoming national election, you know that immigration, border control, vetting of who comes and goes into and out the U.S., and entry/exit visas have been a big part of the rhetoric. Will that have any effect on Canadians wanting to spend a week or a few months in the sun this winter? We’ll give you a typically political answer: Yes and No. Let’s expand on that. If you are a Canadian citizen with a valid passport and you have not  overstayed you welcome in the U.S. on previous visits (no more than 6months–preferably calculated as a total of 180 days—in the past 12 months) you should have no problems crossing the border, or returning to Canada when your visit is over. That’s because the U.S. and Canada have a special relationship and though nationals of other countries are allowed…

Spotlight City: Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Amsterdam is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe, receiving approximately 8 million international visitors annually. Amsterdam is relatively small compared to other capital cities, with fewer than one million people living in the city proper. The Dutch capital is characterized by its network of canals and some 1,500 bridges, known as a place of cutting-edge innovation in the midst of its 700 years of history as a city. Visitors flock to Amsterdam to experience its uniqueness and variety of districts. But before you head off, there are a few important things to keep in mind. Practice good personal security It’s easy and tempting to let your guard down in Amsterdam given its reputation as one of the safest cities in the world. Muggings and violence do occur, however, but the serious crime rate is extraordinary low—even with the legalization of prostitution and soft drugs. Nevertheless, tourists should…

How to Make a Portable Travel Workout Kit

One of the biggest drawbacks of travel is its effect on your health. As a travel blogger and fitness enthusiast I’m very familiar with the struggle. When you travel, all of the healthy habits and routines you’ve worked so hard to develop are thrown into disarray. The restaurant food you rely on is notoriously high in calories and fat—and even if you were disciplined enough to maintain a regular workout routine at home, that routine is obliterated by the schedule changes and uncertain access to exercise facilities that inevitably come with travel. Despite the challenges, staying in shape on the road is not at as hard as it may first seem. In fact, it’s nearly as easy as staying fit at home if you know what you’re doing. Your body is built to stay fit through unassisted movements like running, swimming, and climbing. A gym is nice to have, but…