After some record-high Covid-19 patients in Alberta’s ICUs this past month, and numbers expected to rise even more, I couldn’t help it but wonder: When will international air travel soar again? We’ve all put off our international trips since March 2020, and many of us are thinking of booking a winter getaway somewhere outside of the country. Airplane mode is still my favourite do-not-disturb mode, and even though you can put your device in airplane mode at home and enjoy a glass of wine, the experience is still better at 30,000 feet.
Some of the news has been encouraging. U.S.-Canada border’s “full” opening in November, and the federal government is no longer advising against non-essential travel. We’re excited to get going again. I’m starting to see posts from friends already doing some international travel. So are we good to travel internationally then?
Wait a minute – “full” opening of the border they said? Dropping the negative travel advisory for “non-essential” travel? Canadians anxious to travel internationally still face more complex travel restrictions than ever before, leaving travellers confused and discouraged. Let’s get real: Until Canada scraps the PCR test requirement and “random” testing for fully vaccinated travellers upon arrival it’s not a full opening, so stop calling it that.
I’ve scrapped my flight home for the second year in a row. Instead of traveling home, I’ve picked up my grocery run from the Dutch store last week. The longer I live in Canada during Covid19 the more steady my spending is. Especially with travel still being complicated, it’s a minor relief to have some familiar but overpriced (and sometimes expired) goodies to snack on while reading mixed reviews on the Covid19 travel experience. Some people seem to experience little issues, others rated their experience with “zero stars”, vouching to not travel internationally again until “all of this is behind us”.
Staying Safe and Healthy
While some international borders may be partially open, crossing borders still is challenging and maybe not recommended. If you do decide to travel internationally, here’s some tips to keep in mind to keep you safe and ensure you don’t get turned around or get stuck somewhere:
- Make sure you have the proper documents for travel and your passport hasn’t expired.
- Do your research on Covid-19 testing and vaccination requirements, both for your destination, any stopovers (if you don’t fly direct), and return home.
- Ensure you have sufficient travel and medical insurance and that your policy covers Covid19
- Confirm your tickets are changeable or cancellable. Will you get a refund or credit for future use?
- You may want to buy a flexible trip cancellation policy as well.
- This time, don’t unplug and disconnect at your destination – stay up-to-date as regulations could change at a moment’s notice.
Travel Now Or Wait?
Technically we can travel, but I’m not particularly interested in getting my nose stabbed as part of the PCR test Canada still requires upon return. 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 my 4 requirements to travel again are all met. We’re getting closer, but it’s now time for Canada to scrap the PCR test requirement for returning, fully vaccinated travellers, especially now the U.S. Border finally nears reopening.
So are you like us and sat down at your computer in the spring of 2020 and haven’t gotten up since to take a break? Especially if you’ve promised yourself to travel more “in the future” – NOW is the time to get started on making some plans. Traveling more 6-12 months from now starts today. Start doing your research. Were would you go? Hold on to those travel dreams. Because we will travel again.Let’s make some plans