Taking precautions while traveling and before you leave can help prevent you from getting COVID-19. We share some practical travel recommendations to help you prepare for take-off this year, and into next.
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If you are planning to travel this summer, one of the most important things you'll need to bring along is patience, since renewed interest in travel is resulting in long lines at passport offices and delays at airports across Canada.
COVID-19 travel restrictions have meant many Canadians have been grounded for the past two years. Now that some restrictions are being lifted, demand is outstripping existing resources and infrastructure at passport offices and airports.
Lineups at customs and security, staffing issues and lost baggage have plagued airports in major cities such as Vancouver and Toronto.
While you might have to work with any health measures that are in place to protect public health as COVID continues to spread, there are some things you can do to make travel less stressful in 2022 and 2023. We'll share a few tips in this article.
Travel Tips to Remember
Here are some hints to remember for safer travel while you make your plans to take off on that much-needed vacation.
Confirm you have a valid passport.
To travel anywhere in the world, you'll need a valid passport, so check the expiry date on yours. You won't be able to fly if your passport has less than six months remaining on it, or if it's expired.
Predictably, Passport Canada is seeing very high call volumes and longer-than-typical wait times.
That's why it's wise to be holding a renewed passport before booking or confirming that trip to your long-awaited destination. If you don't receive your passport in time, travel insurance will not cover costs of cancelling your trip.
Check air fares.
High inflation in Canada and the war in Ukraine have meant we're seeing fuel prices soar, leading to road trips and air travel becoming significantly more costly. If you're planning to travel this coming fall or winter, you might consider booking your ticket early to potentially see a reduction in prices for fares and tickets.
Beware of any remaining travel restrictions.
While travel restrictions have eased across the country, some still remain at points of entry. One is that you may randomly be tested for COVID-19 upon arriving.
All incoming travellers also still need to submit their vaccine and travel information to the ArriveCAN app and show it to border officials when they land.
Avoid booking early morning flights.
Security and customs lines can become backlogged as they open early in the morning, so you might want to consider booking a mid-morning or late-day flight. Some airlines allow you to change flights one time without paying a fee or penalty.
Arrive at the airport well in advance of your flight.
Hours-long lineups can be frustrating, so we recommend getting to the airport at least three to four hours prior to your flight. Pearson International, Canada's busiest airport, is expected to see the number of international passengers jump by almost 50 percent, says the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA).
Look into the airport that you'll be departing from and where you'll be coming back. If you have a connecting flight through another airport or country, allow yourself as much time as possible for any unforeseen delays.
Many travelers are finding themselves sitting on the tarmac for two to three hours after landing.
Get Your COVID-19 Test
Being up to date on vaccines and getting tested for COVID prior to leaving can help ease worries and bring more peace of mind. If you require a COVID test for travel, our team can schedule your RT-PCR Test or Antigen Test, or answer any questions you may have about COVID Certificates.