Ultimate Canada Travel Safety Guide COVID-19 Edition (UPDATED 2021)

Last Updated on 2/16/2021

blue outline of arrow pointing right Is Canada a safe travel destination?

Yes! In fact, Canada is thought to be one of the safest countries to visit as a traveler. Canada prides itself on having low crime rates and well-managed police. Like anywhere else, the country has experienced violent crime and drug-related activity in the past. However, it’s likely your trip won’t be interrupted by any foul play or unexpected negative events. It never hurts to get travel insurance though! Get a free quote today.

blue outline of arrow pointing right How to get to Canada safely

Can U.S. citizens travel to Canada right now?

Unfortunately, if you are a U.S. citizen without dual citizenship to Canada, your entry into Canada could be denied. There are a few exceptions to this but you’ll need approval and authorization first. The border will remain closed for non-essential travel until March 2021. Currently, the U.S. State Department has issued a Level 3 travel advisory, or “reconsider travel” to Canada.

Moraine Lake in Canada

If you choose to travel by air: The U.S. has recently mandated you show proof of a negative COVID-19 test upon re-entry. The test must be taken within three days of your return date to the U.S. In addition, travelers will be required to take a PCR test when arriving at the airport and must quarantine for three days. You’ll need to take another test after the three days and if you are negative, you will be able to continue your remaining quarantine period. Once the 14 day quarantine period is completed, another test will be required.

If traveling by land: Starting February 22, 2021, travelers crossing the U.S. – Canada border will need to take another PCR test upon arrival at the airport in addition provide proof of a negative PCR test within 3 days of arrival. A 14-day quarantine is mandatory once arriving in Canada. All quarantine lodging costs are put on the traveler to pay, so make sure you have travel insurance to cover the bill.

What is considered non-essential travel?

According to information relayed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Canada has suspended tourism and recreational travel.

Is Canada requiring visitors to quarantine?

Yes, upon arrival it is mandatory for all to quarantine for 14 days, regardless if you have symptoms or not. You’ll have to show credible proof of where you plan on quarantining.

Should you fly or drive to Canada?

Once the borders open, it will be important to keep track of any possible regulations to follow when entering Canada. However, flying versus driving probably depends on a few factors such as where you are traveling from, costs of airfare versus gasoline, and how much time flying versus driving would amount to. For example, if you live relatively close to the Canadian border and don’t mind spending a few hours in a car for a road trip, driving might be the way to go. However, if you only have a certain amount of PTO and don’t have enough time to enjoy your visit if you have to spend days in the car just to get there, then flying might be the best option.

Do you need a passport to visit Canada?

Yup! If you’re a U.S. citizen your passport or passport card will be your golden ticket gaining access into and out of Canada. Don’t have a passport yet or need to renew yours? Check out our guides on how to get your passport and passport photo without any hiccups.

blue outline of arrow pointing right Canada travel & safety tips

Despite Canada being such a safe vacation destination, you should still be prepared for anything. Keep these tips in mind:

If you see something, say something: Shootings and violent crime are extremely rare, but you should still report suspicious activity when you see it.

Stay warm: The temperature in Canada can often be much colder than you’re used to, especially during winter. Be smart and pack extra layers!

Leave the weapons at home: Handguns and assault weapons are prohibited, so it’s a good idea to leave them at home. Plus, it will make it easier going through airport security!

Stay on the trail: If you decide to experience immersive nature and hike some trails, don’t wander into the wilderness too far. Canadian nature isn’t something you want to mess around with –especially alone!

Is Canada a family-friendly travel destination?

We like to think so! Given that Canada offers a variety of multigenerational travel activities, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Check out these family vacation destinations in Canada based on your type of travel:

For the adrenaline-seeking family: Vancouver is full of experiences for the whole family! Try out the Capilano Suspension Bridge for an adrenaline-pumping memory you’ll never forget. The best times to visit Vancouver are in the spring and fall –you’ll get better weather and more savings. If your family is into skiing, you can’t forget about nearby Whistler!

Ski lift in Whistler, Canada

For the nature-loving family: Niagra Falls is a popular one, but have you been to Prince Edward Island or Jasper National Park? Immerse your family into a nature-based getaway where you can admire the organic beauty of Canada.

Jasper National Park in Canada

For the history buff family: Visit Montreal for a hub of science, art, and history. St. John, New Brunswick and Halifax are other great places to visit museums and learn about surrounding nature.

Skyline of Montreal, Canada

blue outline of arrow pointing right Don’t forget travel insurance for your Canada vacation!

The last thing you’d want is to lose out on your trip expenses if you had to suddenly cancel your trip! Make sure that should anything go wrong before or during your family vacation, you’ll have travel insurance to cover the bill.

New to travel insurance? Check out our previous blog post where we explain travel insurance in more depth. Given the past year of COVID-19, we’d recommend purchase Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) coverage, since it’s the most flexible cancellation travel insurance on the market. In simple terms, it allows you to cancel your trip for any reason at all (even for reasons normally excluded) and receive a portion of your trip costs back. Why is this necessary? Let us explain in our guide to CFAR coverage.

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