11 Tips For Travelling Safely During Covid-19 (Canada)
The COVID-19 pandemic put a damper on summer plans for travellers around the world. Even FML Adventures had to cancel our exciting cross-Canada tours. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t help the independent traveller make the most of this unfortunate situation.
As Canada begins to reopen, there’s still time left in the summer to travel. Although you can’t leave the country on vacation, we’ve always thought the best adventures can be had right here, in Canada.
With that said, it’s more important than ever to exercise caution and stay safe while you’re away travelling. By exercising safety precautions, you can ensure that you have a memorable experience while keeping those around you safe.
Below you’ll find our top tips for travelling Canada safely during COVID-19:
Educate Yourself on Travel Restrictions
Solo Travel or Stay Within The Same “Bubble” of Friends
Keep a Mask Handy
Pack Sanitizing Products
Avoid Crowded Tourist Destinations
Explore Remote Destinations
Stay In a Tent Not a Hotel
Get Tested and Self-Isolate After Travelling
1. Educate Yourself on Travel Restrictions
If you’re planning to travel across Canada, it’s important to educate yourself on the COVID-19 safety restrictions that each province has in place.
Some regions will be relatively easy to travel in because the amount of active cases is declining. However, certain provinces or territories may be more difficult to visit, only allowing essential workers to enter or requiring people to self-isolate upon arriving.
If all of this sounds a little complicated, don’t worry! We go into detail on Canada’s travel restrictions in our guide on Travelling Canada During Covid-19: National and Provincial Restrictions.
2. Solo Travel or Stay Within The Same “Bubble” of Friends
Minimizing contact with others is the name of the game during the COVID-19 pandemic and for the traveller who craves alone time, this may sound like a dream!
However, there are others who will get a little lonely spending days in the wilderness, with no one around. For people who want to travel with friends, “bubbling” is the safest way to do so.
Bubbling is when a group allows themselves to come in close proximity with each other while avoiding contact with those from outside of their “bubble”.
This is especially easy to do when travelling, as it’s not likely you’ll run into anyone else you know, other than your travel buddies!
This is another common piece of safety advice during the time of COVID-19, but it’s especially important to keep in mind while travelling.
When interacting with anybody outside of your “travel bubble”, it’s important to maintain a minimum of six feet between the two of you. Doing so can dramatically limit the spread of the virus.
You should also keep this in mind when you’re taking part in activities where you may be in close proximity with others. Always be conscious of your surroundings to ensure that yourself and those around you are safe.
4. Keep a Mask Handy
It’s absolutely necessary to bring a mask with you as you travel. Wear it whenever you find yourself in public environments or near others, especially when indoors.
Masks are an awesome first line of defence against the spread of germs when interacting with people. Although not necessary, when you’re spending time outside, you may still wish to wear one if you’re suddenly in a crowded environment.
To get an idea of just how effective they are, everyone’s favourite scientist Bill Nye recently took to TikTok with an awesome demonstration. Check it out below:
5. Pack Sanitizing Products
Hand sanitizer should be the number one item on any packing list for safe travel during COVID-19. Hopefully, at this point in the pandemic, there’s not much explaining necessary for this item.
When you’re spending time out in public, wash or sanitize your hands often to prevent the spread of germs.
It’s also a good idea to pack some kind of sanitizing spray or wipes to clean your personal items such as your phone, wallet or the outside of your backpack, at the end of each day.
6. Avoid Crowded Tourist Destinations
Major tourist traps such as Niagara Falls or bustling cities like Montreal aren’t the best places to explore during a pandemic.
As previously mentioned, maintaining social-distance is extremely important to limit the spread of the virus. The packed nature of these types of destinations makes it difficult to maintain a safe distance between yourself and other tourists.
Thankfully, there are plenty of places you can visit in Canada that aren’t crowded and that’s where our next tip comes in!
7. Explore Remote Destinations
One upside to the travel restrictions of COVID-19 is that there has never been a better time to explore the great outdoors!
Canada is a vast country with so many exciting outdoor destinations to visit. So, rather than spend time in a busy city, look for activities you can do in secluded areas.
Some awesome ideas include hiking, canoeing or mountaineering. When it starts to get colder out, cross country skiing, snowmobiling or snow snowshoeing are all fantastic ways to have fun and stay away from crowds!
8. Travel Locally
Many people feel that in order to go on a vacation they have to visit somewhere far away, when in fact there’s plenty to see in your own backyard. Travelling to local destinations is a great way to stay safe and have a memorable vacation during the coronavirus.
It’s pretty common to feel like there’s nothing to do close to home. But you’ll be surprised at everything you can discover when you change that mindset. Travelling locally doesn’t necessarily mean staying in your hometown either.
Look for new experiences you can have anywhere in your province. Check out our guide on 13 of The Best Places To Travel In Canada to get an idea of some worthwhile destinations near you.
9. Avoid Flying
COVID-19 has had a big impact on the travel industry in a number of ways. The biggest of these, however, has been a dramatic drop in the number of tourists travelling by plane.
This is largely due to the fact that airplanes create the perfect environment for the virus to spread. Travellers are in close quarters with other people, who are travelling from all over, for an extended period of time, in an indoor environment.
Although airlines have introduced a number of safety precautions to reduce the spread of the virus, it’s still recommended that you only fly when necessary.
The upside to all of this is that there are plenty of other ways to see everything Canada has to offer. In fact, we highly recommend travellers go on a good old fashioned road trip. An awesome way to see sights and places you never would have during air travel.
10. Stay In a Tent Not a Hotel
In the interest of avoiding communal spaces where germs are easily spread, COVID-19 provides the perfect opportunity to go camping in a tent, rather than rent a hotel room.
Hotels may have introduced new cleaning procedures, but the level of cleanliness still varies. If you own the tent that you're staying in, you can sleep soundly, knowing that it’s as virus-free as you are.
Thankfully, tents are not only a safer choice during this time, but they’re also a ton of fun! In fact, we’d recommend spending at least a portion of every vacation camping, regardless of the virus.
11. Get Tested and Self-Isolate After Travelling
Once your travels are complete it’s important to think about the safety of people in your hometown. It’s good practice (and in some regions, it’s the law) to self-isolate for two-weeks from your date of returning.
It may be annoying to have to work quarantine time into the end of your travel schedule but it’s the right thing to do. On the bright side, it gives you a chance to unwind after a long trip and catch up on what you missed during your time away.
In addition to this, you should also go to a testing centre and get tested for COVID-19. If you do this, you may be able to end your quarantine early, given that your results come back negative.
With all of that said, it’s especially important to follow the advice and requirements laid out by your local health department for returning travellers.
Conclusion: Staying Safe and Seeing Canada
Canada is a beautiful country with so much to offer to travellers. As the country begins to reopen and everyone catches up on some long-overdue time away, it’s more important than ever to exercise safety precautions.
Always check with the local health and safety recommendations of the area you’re going to be staying in. The standard safety advice of sanitizing your hands, wearing a mask and maintaining social distance can go a long way.
In addition to this, it’s important to think about where you’re planning to visit. Going to a secluded destination, instead of a crowded tourist hub is a good idea. We highly recommend camping, as you can avoid crowds and stay in a tent that you know is sanitary.
Although you may want to travel across the country, check out everything there is to do close to home first.
Travelling with friends can be safe as long as you stay within your “bubble” and self-isolate upon returning home.
We hope this guide helps point you in the direction of safe, yet memorable travels in Canada! If you found it useful, be sure to share it with your friends. Sign up to our email list for more tips on travelling Canada and leave us a comment below if you have some tips of your own that you'd like to share!
Written by Lliam Buckley of FML Adventures