It’s been almost a year since I shared my 4 required steps before travelling again – so it’s time to do a quick check in: where are we at in terms of resuming traveling. Are you ready to board a plane again – or is it better to wait a bit longer?
First, a recap – these are my 4 required steps before travelling internationally again:
- Destination requirements dropped (improving)
- Getting fully vaccinated (done – details here)
- Departure border to re-open (depending on where you’re leaving from: done)
- No more quarantine upon return (done, with some restrictions)
In the last weeks and months there’s been a number of positive developments for Canadian travellers across these four items – but we’re not there yet. Here’s the executive summary.
So where are we at today?
Destination requirements are improving, but not completely removed yet. This depends on where you’re travelling, of course. For example: Canadian travellers wanting to visit the United States are still required to provide a negative Covid19 test result. This test can be done with a self-administered antigen test as long as it’s supervised by a professional on a video call. The long lineups at a Canadian passport office still suggested only people that were travelling same day could be seen.
Getting fully vaccinated, or having access to easier testing options for those not able to get vaccinated (for example due to medical exemptions) has become more widely available and should no longer be an issue. In Canada the vaccine passport requirement to enter restaurants and other public facilities has been mostly removed. That being said, Canadian airspace is federally regulated (not at a provincial level) and Transport Canada regulations require all travellers who are departing from a Canadian airport to have proof of vaccination. The same goes for wearing masks at the airport and onboard the plane, which is still required and may make your travel experience less enjoyable.
While Canada has lifted its general negative travel advisory, which makes it easier to leave the country, returning to Canada still could be tricky. As of April 25, 2022 there are fewer federal requirements to follow after returning to Canada. You also no longer need a negative test result before boarding your flight back to Canada, however once you return to Canada the border services officer may notify you that you’ve been randomly selected for a mandatory arrival test. Fully vaccinated travellers are not exempt from mandatory randomized arrival testing, and if you do get selected, you’ll be required to get tested before exiting the airport with on-site testing. In addition, using ArriveCan continues to be mandatory for travellers to Canada. Those who do not comply could be subject to a $5K fine.
Ready To Board A Plane…?
Whether or not related to Covid19, travel is still not as easy as it used to be. Technically we can travel, but I’m not particularly interested in potentially getting subjected to a “random” test on arrival. I’m the kind of person who would obsess over that and let it ruin too much of the trip. So I’ll wait until all 4 requirements to travel again are all met. We’re getting closer, but until the “random” test requirement for returning, fully vaccinated travellers is dropped, I don’t think we’re quite there yet.
Travel doesn’t mean you have to (always) go far. It’s about changing your environment for a while to inspire and re-energize yourself. With restrictions within Canada, in between provinces, being easier, I have start to plan a few local trips to the mountains over the next few months. Especially when you live almost anywhere in Canada there’s so much to see in our own backyard, closer to home.
As travel starts to resume, more and more people are starting to make plans for future travel. Airports are getting busier again. But with demand on the rise, so are the ticket prices. I recently spotted a return flight from Calgary to Vancouver offered for over $500 one-way. That’s more than a thousand return for a 45 minute flight.
Luckily I don’t necessarily depend on the usual supply and demand of plane tickets. Even though I opted not to travel internationally even when restrictions relaxed, I never stopped applying my travel hacking principles. As a result, I have more miles and points saved up than I’m able to use right now. That’s not meant to impress you – but it’s meant to impress upon you that you can do the same, if you wish.Travel Revolution Preview
Last but not least: Please note travel requirements can change quickly. Always check yourself to determine the travel requirements for your itinerary, whether travelling internationally or within Canada. We recommend reviewing requirements for your itinerary before you book your trip, and once again prior to travelling to prevent surprises.