Where are you going on your next vacation? Unless you're planning on staying at a hotel just down the street from your condo, you're probably going to need some sort of documents to smooth your way while traveling. Failing to have the right documents can ruin a vacation, prevent you from getting on a plane, and even get you deported in the middle of your vacation. Don't let a lack of documentation stop you from having a great trip. Let us tell you how to get what you need.
If you're flying from place to place within the same country, you'll need to have identification with you. This could be a passport if you have one but all you really need to get to your vacation rental without hassle is a driver's license or photo ID to present to the agent at the airplane gate. Your provincial health insurance will cover you while traveling in Canada, so you don't need to buy travel insurance.
Flying or Driving Internationally
If your plan is to drive down to the United States or to another country, you're going to need a passport. Whenever you cross a border you need to present your passport, even to the United States. This didn't used to be the case, but since 9/11 rules have changed. Your passport will have to be valid for more than one year longer than the length of your stay, so make sure it's current. Passports expire every five years. Passport applications take several months to process, so apply well in advance of your trip.
Visiting Another Country
To visit another country you will need a whole host of other documents. Many countries have arrangements with Canada that mean you don't need a visa (like the USA, the UK, and other Commonwealth countries) but for other countries like China, or Russia, you will need to send your passport away to get a visa stamp before you get into the Pearson airport taxi. A visa gives you permission to enter the country for a certain length of time. If you're planning to work while traveling, you'll also need a work permit, even if you don't need a visa. Any time you leave the country you'll also need travel medical insurance, the proof of which you must carry with you.
Traveling with a Child
If you are traveling with a child that is not yours or that you share in the custody of, you will need to have a letter of permission from the child's other legal guardians in order to leave the country. Otherwise the border police might infer that even if you have a good job selling real estate in Toronto, you might be kidnapping the child. Children also need their own passports, visas, and insurance. Even babies.