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7 Important Things All Canadians Should Know Before Taking A Trip Abroad Right Now

Don't forget to include testing costs in your travel budget!👇✈️

7 Important Things All Canadians Should Know Before Taking A Trip Abroad Right Now

If you've been dreaming of taking a vacation overseas in the near future, there are a number of things you should know before you book your tickets.

While Canada has lifted its non-essential travel advisory, there are still restrictions and rules in place for travellers leaving and returning to the country.

It's worth remembering that there are COVID-19 testing costs associated with travelling abroad right now, as well as longer wait times at airports and different vaccine requirements in some countries.

If you are hoping to take a trip, here are seven things to keep in mind before you go:

COVID-19 requirements

It may seem like an obvious one, but it's really important to check and double-check the COVID-19 requirements and restrictions at your destination.

For example, many countries now require visitors to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in order for them to skip quarantine periods and you may be required to prove your vaccination status in certain places.

You should also confirm what travel and health documentation will be required wherever you're going, as some places currently have their own proof of vaccination apps or local health passes.

Travel advisories

While Canada has lifted its non-essential travel advisory, the federal government still provides advice when it comes to travelling overseas.

Online, travellers can find specific recommendations for countries around the globe, which range from "exercise normal security precautions" to "avoid all travel."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also shares information about the COVID-19 situation around the world, which can help to determine where you should "avoid" travelling to right now.

COVID-19 vaccines

Even fully vaccinated travellers should ensure their course of COVID-19 vaccinations are accepted at their destination.

Not every country around the world accepts the same course of vaccinations as Canada, which has been an issue in the past for Canadians who received mixed doses or the AstraZeneca Covishield vaccine.

Public health restrictions

Before you head overseas, it's important to check the local public health restrictions at your destination.

There could be COVID-19 vaccination requirements in stores or at tourist spots (which would require your proof of vaccination), mask mandates on public transport, or curfews in place, for example.

Travellers should also research what the rules are if you test positive for COVID-19 while in the country you're visiting — just in case!

Canada's travel rules

Getting home is just as important as getting there, of course!

Anybody travelling internationally should be aware of the travel restrictions in place upon their return to Canada, which includes COVID-19 testing pre-arrival.

While fully vaccinated passengers can now skip quarantine and additional testing, it's still worth knowing what rules are in place so you're not confused or surprised upon your return.

Associated costs

COVID-19 testing could end up making a vacation hundreds of dollars more expensive than anticipated.

Even fully vaccinated Canadians need a negative molecular COVID-19 test to enter Canada, which must be taken in the 72 hours prior to arrival.

Pre-purchased PCR tests that can be self-administered are pretty pricey. Rexall sells a take-home test starting at $200, while Costco sells do-it-yourself PCR tests for $120. Air Canada recently launched its own version too, starting at $149.

Although free PCR testing is available in some places, the cost of COVID-19 tests at your destination and for your return home should be considered.

Delays & wait times

If you haven't travelled on a plane since pre-pandemic, things may look a little different.

As there are more documentation checks and longer lineups at airports, it's a good idea to get to the airport earlier than you may have done before.

Air Canada recently updated their advice on how early travellers need to arrive at Toronto Pearson Airport to check in, with the aim of reducing congestion at security and customs.

The same applies if you're driving into the U.S., too. Wait times are expected to be longer than usual since the land border has newly reopened, so don't leave it until the last minute to get on the road!

This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

Before you get going, check our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your adventure.

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