It’s been hard to give your kids a sense of “normal” life since the pandemic started, but you’ve been doing your best. Now that you’re ready to travel as a family again, how can you make sure the experience is as easy and stress-free as possible? That’s where we come in.
As parents and travellers ourselves, there’s nowhere Flight Centre’s Experts haven’t been. We’ve put together the most important information for travelling with kids while COVID-19 is still a factor. We’ll cover travel restrictions, vaccine guidelines, testing, mask rules, and much more so you can plan and travel with peace of mind. Let’s get started!
Canadian Travel Restrictions: What’s Changed?
Travelling by plane, VIA Rail, or Rocky Mountaineer train? You’ll need to make sure that everyone in your family who’s eligible for a vaccine has had their shots at least two weeks before your trip. This includes travel both within and outside of Canada.
A few days before your getaway, we highly recommend double-checking the latest travel restrictions and information so you don’t get any last-minute surprises. Start with:
Travelling Abroad? – Be Sure to Check Destination Travel Rules
If your vacation plans are taking you anywhere outside of Canada, you have a little bit of homework to do before you go. (But don't worry, we've got the cheat sheet).
“Does our destination require a COVID-19 test? If so, which one? Are my kids young enough to be exempt? Do we need to fill out any forms? Is travel insurance required? If we’re fully vaccinated, do we still need to get tested?” Get all of your questions about international travel restrictions in one place: our Help Centre.
Before you return home to Canada, make sure you’ve downloaded the ArriveCAN app and uploaded your test results and vaccine history. The app will prompt you to input your children’s information.
COVID Testing – What Tests do Kids Need?
Depending on where you're travelling and how old your kids are, you may or may not need to bother with a PCR or antigen test to visit your destination. Many popular travel destinations such as Mexico don’t have any testing requirements, and many countries have exemptions for young children.
Use our interactive travel map to find the COVID-19 testing requirements in place for your travel dates, destination, and passenger ages. The map will also tell you which members of your family will need to get a PCR test done before you board your flights back home. Visit the Government of Canada's website for more details about returning to Canada with children.
Helpful Tips for Travelling with Kids During COVID
- With additional health screening in place at most airports, give yourselves some extra time at the airport. Come prepared with easy, mess-free snacks and lots of fun distractions.
- You’ll find plenty of hand sanitizing stations on your travels, but it won’t hurt to bring some bottles of your own. Take advantage of any extra liquid limits your airline provides for hand sanitizer containers. Look for a brand that’s fast-drying and bring baby wipes to help clean those little fingers before meals.
- Opt for private airport transfers whenever possible. Not only will this help to cut down insufferable wait times, but it helps to avoid close contact with strangers in long, crowded trips.
- Double check the opening hours and rules for kid-friendly attractions. Many museums, theme parks, and other establishments have made changes to their entry times and ticketing system to accommodate guest limit rules. Planning ahead will help to avoid any disappointment.
- Take breaks! It’s tempting to fill your itinerary with all the things you’ve missed in the last year and a half. Try to keep in mind that it’s been a while since your kids have last travelled, and they might need some more downtime than usual.
- Pack light, and pack smart.
Additional Travel and Health Resources for Canadians
Have more questions? Ask away! We've compiled the answers to a few of the most common questions about travelling with kids in these times.
Looking for more information about travelling during COVID-19?