Even as a travel professional who has flown too many times to count, my first international flight since before Covid 19 began was interesting to prepare for. Do we need tests, what tests do we need, when do we need to test and how much is this going to cost? These are all very valid questions with today’s travel plans, emphasizing the fact that booking with a travel adviser has never been more important than it is at this time!
Here is my firsthand experience and I hope I can convey that even though there is a little more work and planning to be done it is manageable. We can guide you through the testing protocols. Considering it to be part of your adventure and travel experience will make it a little easier to process.
My first flight had me heading to the United States for a work conference. The Affluent Traveler Collection Symposium held at the JW Marriott Marco Island, Florida, where I was a speaker on a panel, addressing the attendees.
As I was traveling to the US I was flying Air Canada, they have great resources on their flight page to advise what is required for Canadians heading to the different countries https://bit.ly/3idiCLY
From there I determined that I only needed a negative Covid Antigen test result within 72 hours of my flight departure time. I made my appointment, and the results were emailed to me within a couple of hours.
I then researched what I needed to have to return to Canada. https://travel.gc.ca/travel-covid
Here I learned that I needed to download the ArriveCan App and have a negative Covid PCR test within 72 hours of the departure of my last flight segment back to Canada. I did learn that there are rapid PCR tests (Molecular Rapid Test) available and they are approved by Canada. If you are leaving from a larger city, they should be easy to find and I recommend as the preferred testing method unless you can get a guarantee that the results of your regular PCR test will be done in time for you to depart. This does take a little planning and finding a place to get the test done but the staff at the WJ Marriott were very helpful.
I got the rapid test done and waited only 30 min. for the results. (I had to pay cash for this test so is good to know if you didn’t bring much cash with you, in my case it was $180USD). I received the negative printed result and headed back to my hotel.
From there I entered the information on my ArriveCan app and once I received an approval receipt on my app I took a screen shot to save to my photos. When I checked in for my flight online I had to take a picture of my negative Covid 19 result paper and upload it into the airlines check in process.
With all of this done, flying back home was very easy. When I arrived into YVR and went through security I did learn that even though I had my double vaccination record saved as a photo on my phone as well, security did not accept that and I had to show them my actual vaccination record card that I was given when my vaccines were completed. Is very good to know to bring that with you as well!
Let our trusted travel advisors help you plan your next vacation or work trip and we can help you through the process!
Written by Janice Lonnqvist