Canadians regularly forget our passports, but at least we don’t forget our kids. New booking.com survey reveals our travel habits

Leaving our hats in the bedroom closet. Forgetting our passports. And leaving our kids’ favourite toys under the bed at home.

Just in time for the Christmas holiday season, the folks at booking.com have released a fun survey that shows the most common mistakes Canadians make when they leave for a winter vacation.

We’re pretty good at remembering to take our kids with us (no Home Alone situations, thank goodness), some 88% of Canadians routinely forget to take their child’s favourite toy or comforter/blanket when they go away. This is easy to do when one has to remember travel documents and cell phones and chargers, but it can really cause problems. (On the other hand, my wife and I once drove to Florida with our three kids and our daughter left her favourite doll, Sarah, at a hotel near Pittsburgh. We called and they kept Sarah in a safe place until we could pick her up on our way home, and we told our daughter that Sarah had had an exciting vacation of her own.)

Don’t forget your passport and sunscreen if you’re heading to Hawaii.

On the other hand, most of us seem pretty good about remembering to feed our kids. Forty six per cent of respondents in the booking.com survey said they bring emergency food packs for the road. It’s also important, I think, to have them on the plane in case of delays or for times when the airline doesn’t order properly and runs out of that favourite chicken wrap you like just as the cart rolls up to your row of the plane. Not that I speak from personal experience or that I’m bitter at the airlines for failing to know that I really like those wraps and do NOT want to order an airline pizza.

Forgetting passports is a huge problem for Canadians, with 86% of saying we’ve forgotten either important travel documents or accommodation booking information, which adds considerable stress.

On a more personal note, 79 per cent of us say they’ve forgotten their underwear (ahem) and 70 per cent have forgotten their swimsuit, in which case they must hope for a nude beach in their destination.

Canadians love our winter vacations to Cuba and other Caribbean spots.

A full one-quarter of Canadians forget to bring a hat on holiday, which probably accounts for the number of lobster-looking folks you see wandering the beaches of Cancun and Cuba every winter. I don’t burn, which is lucky. My wife claims I get a sun tan just by walking past a travel poster for Florida. But this is a common and fairly serious issue. Be sure you stock up on sunscreen and wear protection on those winter breaks. A little Vitamin D is good for you, but not at the risk of high exposure to dangerous rays.

Two-thirds of us (65 per cent) admit to having made a fashion faux pas in the first 25 hours of their holiday, including wearing too many layers (33 per cent) and wearing the wrong type of shoes (31 per cent). I didn’t see a note about “wearing socks with sandals” but that is a faux pas of the highest order in my book.

This part of the survey might be the best part: The most in-demand local language phrase we want to learn isn’t a request for the bathroom or what time breakfast is at but …. wait for it … “What’s the Wi-Fi Password?”

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