With my face glued to the window, the clouds crumble and dilute as the plane descends. Suddenly my pupils shrink, my face bathed in light from a sun reflecting off the mirrored surface of an emerald ocean. The plane continues its descent and I am treated to the spectacle of a luxuriant nature of vibrant and invigorating green.
I landed in paradise.
The plane lands. In the accordion corridor that connects the plane to the airport, I can already feel that the degrees are on the rise. I take my luggage, go through customs and hurry towards the large automatic doors of the exit. On the other side is my world for the next 3 weeks. The closer I get to the doors, the more humidity rises, and the more humidity rises, the more my bangs start to frizz. I love.
I am in front of the doors. They open and then… I wake up.
It was only a dream.
Tears arise behind my eyelids. It’s been a while since traveling internationally has been impossible. Damn pandemic. It robs me of an aspect of my life that thrills me. But I’m holding on, because I know that someday, hopefully soon, we can travel again.
That day has arrived. FINALLY.
Obviously, traveling is a little different, but well-prepared everything can only go well.
So here are 5 important things to do before you take off.
Check if you can travel
Before November 29, it was still possible for unvaccinated Canadians to board a plane. However, as of November 30, all Canadians aged 12 and over wishing to board a plane or train will need to be doubly vaccinated. The last dose should be received 14 days before the departure date.
You will also need to:
- Have no signs/symptoms of COVID 19
- Wear a mask (except during meals)
For more details, visit the Government of Canada website.
You will no longer have to take a drug test before boarding unless you take a flight to a country that requires it and, of course, no quarantine will be required upon your return.
This brings me to my next recommendation.
Learn about the requirements for COVID-19
Unfortunately, the situation is not the same everywhere. This is why it is essential to inform yourself with your travel agency, on this covid travel map, or on Air Canada covid dashboard, on the destination requirements related to COVID-19, because the foreign authorities may not recognize or accept proof of vaccination issued by Canadian provinces and territories. You may need to get a translation, notarization, authentication, or legalization of the document.
So do your homework!
Check the situation at your destination
Nobody wants to go and jump into the mouth of the wolf. Choosing a safe destination makes good sense. Here you will find an up-to-date list of several destinations. Depending on the situation, the status of the destinations may be as follows:
- Avoid all travel
- Avoid non-essential travel
- Exercise great caution
- Take normal security measures
Also check with your travel agency, which keeps up to date with all destinations.
Check your travel insurance coverage
Insurers and several tour operators are now offering new coverage. This specific COVID-19 coverage can therefore be in addition to the travel insurance that you should normally have to travel unless it already covers costs related to COVID-19.
To avoid unpleasant surprises, take the time to fully understand all the details of the COVID-19 coverage offered or that you may already benefit from. Here are some essential elements to check with your insurer:
- The overall limit or ceiling
- The exclusions
- The length of stay and duration of insurance coverage
- Quarantine compensation if you contract the virus
- Possibly limited access to emergency medical care abroad
- Trip cancellation insurance
Check your first aid kit
Like any good traveler, you’ve never left without your first aid kit, have you? Given the situation, I invite you to improve your kit with the following elements:
- Face masks (disposable and washable)
- Hand sanitizer
- Disinfectant wipes
- Thermometer (you should already have it in your kit. Now it’s more important than ever.)
We hope that this checklist will be useful to you in order to travel in a safe way, but above all to avoid unpleasant surprises. What are 5 more small steps for the fun and happiness that travel brings? It’s almost nothing!
If you are a passionate traveler, I am sure you too are looking forward to pin your new trips on a world map again. I offer you my hand-drawn, personalized world map, which is just waiting to be hang 😉.