Our cabin fever has hit an all time high – and we are planning to go south to soak up some sunshine, walk barefoot on the beach and enjoy a fruity cocktail! It’s just been wayyy too long.
But before we go, we’re making sure that we are keeping ourselves and our families safe. So this week we are speaking with the travel experts about how we travel safely.
Before You Travel
Check out the Canada/US Travel Guidelines.
Sadly – many of the Caribbean destinations have been put on the CDC level 4 travel list.
Some of these islands include:
Check your Destination Country’s Vaccination Policy.
Be forewarned – vaccination policy is a bit of a moving target with countries adjusting policies in response to new variants and outbreaks. The three widely accepted vaccinations are Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. It is important to note that some countries do not accept MIXED vaccinations. For example, the United States does not recognize Astra Zeneca as an acceptable vaccine just yet, while Trinidad and Tobago does not allow mixing of mRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna), so you may be subject to quarantine when you arrive at your destination. Be sure to check your destination country’s updates on a regular basis on the country’s website.
Check your Hotel’s Cancellation Policy.
The tourism industry was ravaged by COVID-19. As a result, the lead times for cancellation are often very long. Be sure to check all the gritty details on your hotel cancellation policy, as well as their quarantine policy and rates (should you need to extend while you are there).
Book Your Travel Insurance.
Many islands like Turks & Caicos require proof of a significant amount of insurance (including Medevac)
to access the islands. Unfortunately, many insurance providers are not offering COVID-19 specific insurance, so you may need to shop around. Manulife is offering both Trip Cancellation / Interruption Insurance specific insurance.
Since WF likes to “Be Prepared” we are booking the following COVID-19 specific insurance for our upcoming trips:
Trip Cancellation ( due to COVID-19 )
Trip Interruption (Coverage for Extra hotel stay should your return home be delayed with a positive COVID-19 test )
Medical Insurance – to cover any medical needs while we’re in the Caribbean.
Get Your PCR Test.
You will likely need to take a COVID-19 PCR test (vs rapid screening) within 48 – 72 hours of leaving on holiday. And remember, make sure you have been in Canada at least 14 days before leaving on another trip. If you have been travelling on business or for pleasure – you may be refused entry at the border if you have not been in Canada for at least 14 days. Also, have you had COVID-19 in the last 90 days?
Check on your rules for travel!
Upload Your Results
Many countries have a “health visa” that needs to be completed prior to entering. Make sure you are familiar with the form and get your proof of vaccination uploaded as well as your negative PCR test.
Finally, pack extra masks and hand sanitizer (100ml for the plane) to cover you for the length of your stay.
During Your Trip
It is important to understand what medical facilities are available to you at your destination should you become ill. Is there a Dr on-site? Where will you isolate? Some hotels offer free room stays should you test positive for COVID-19 during your stay or free private jet service to the US – so be sure to confirm what your hotel is offering should you need assistance. Also, check with your hotel – to see if they are providing on site testing for when you arrive and depart.
So, now it’s time to head back to the blustery north!
You made it! Everyone was healthy and happy!
When you are returning home, you must upload you’re your results and vaccine status into the ArriveCan or E-Visa apps (make sure you have the latest version!)
✓ Get to the airport early – some airlines have extended the baggage and check in deadlines – you now may be required to complete check in 90 minutes in advance of your flight time.
✓ Remember you must be in Canada for at least 14 days prior to leaving the country (as of today – keep in mind this may change).
✓ If you’ve had COVID-19 in the last 90 days – you may be refused at the border.
✓ Take photocopies of your passport – just in case anything gets lost. WF remembers being in Barcelona (pick pocket capital of the world) at the Picasso Museum and a fellow traveller was in tears over losing her passport.
✓ Download your province/state vaccine passport app!! It will make your life much easier – less likely that you will get refused at the border.
✓ Plan for worst case scenario – i.e. someone in your party gets COVID-19….you all must quarantine at the hotel.
✓ Always remember it is a good idea to register your family travel with Cdn or US government travel app particularly in case of a sudden lockdown in the country.