COVID-19 travel checklist: How to prepare for travel during the pandemic

You might be ready to dust off your passport and suitcase and get back to seeing everything the world has to offer.

If you’re thinking about booking a trip for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began, TICO’s checklist is here to help you keep track of all the important details:

  1. Do your research – understand the conditions at your destination
  • While a country’s borders may be open, will the attractions or sights that you are interested in visiting be available? Are there any special requirements to access tourism destinations, accommodations, or restaurants?
  • COVID-19 infection rates can change dramatically from one destination to the next, and even within different areas of the same country. Be sure to understand the risk involved before you book.
  • Check out a COVID-19 tracker, such as this one from the World Health Organization.
  1. Have the right documents to cross the border
  • Is vaccination required to enter your chosen destination? Which vaccines are accepted? Have you downloaded Ontario’s vaccine passport?
  • Will you or anyone that you’re traveling with be required to quarantine upon arrival?
  • Do you need a negative COVID-19 test? Which types of tests are accepted?
  • Check the Government of Canada’s travel advisories and the government website of the destination where you want to travel for specific details.
  1. Know the requirements for coming home
  • Requirements for re-entry to Canada can be found here.
  • A negative PCR test is required to re-enter Canada if your trip lasts longer than 72 hours. Be sure to research where you can get the test in your destination within the required timeframe.
  • As of November 30, 2021, fully vaccinated Canadians who travel abroad for less than 72 hours will no longer need a PCR test to re-enter Canada by land or air.  This exemption extends to accompanying children under 12, and individuals with medical contraindications to vaccination. Click here for more details.
  1. Read the fine print
  • Before you book your travel, be sure to read the terms & conditions to know if you’re able to cancel or re-schedule your trip, if needed, and if there are any penalties associated with doing so.

       5. Be covered with the right type of insurance

  • Now more than ever, it’s critical to know what your travel cancellation, interruption and medical insurance will and won’t cover. You may want to consider additional insurance beyond what’s covered through your group benefits or credit cards.
  • For more information on travel insurance, click here.
  • For COVID-19 travel insurance FAQs, click here.
  1. Be flexible!
  • Expect the unexpected. The pandemic continues to change the conditions and rules for travel, sometimes on a daily basis. Even after booking, stay up-to-date with what’s happening in your destination and be prepared to make adjustments.
  1. Book with a TICO-registered travel agency or website
  • With ever-changing travel requirements and conditions, booking with a TICO registered travel agency or website will help ensure all your t’s are crossed and i’s are dotted as you plan your trip, including necessary paperwork and the availability of travel insurance.
  • You’ll be able to lean on the expert knowledge and professionalism of someone whose job it is to stay on top of travel requirements and regulations.

To verify if a travel agency or website is TICO registered, check our online directory. For more travel tips and information, click here.

All travel agencies and websites located and operating in Ontario are regulated by TICO. Registered TICO travel agencies and websites provide additional consumer protection for your travel investment that may not be available when booking with travel agencies and websites based in other countries or provinces.

Any questions can be directed to TICO’s complaints team at tico@tico.ca or 1-888-451-TICO (8426).