2020 Travel FAQ
Now that travel has opened up somewhat, we want to provide you with some resources you can use to plan and execute your trips safely and comfortably. Here are some frequently asked questions travel during COVID-19.
Is it safe to travel at this time?
The answer to this question depends on where you hope to travel. If you’re Canadian, the government has issued strict guidelines against non-essential travel outside of Canada at this point. You can stay up-to-date on the latest Canadian travel advisories through this government site.
For those traveling from the States, avoid countries in the red zones especially, but you’ll still want to be cautious traveling to places in the yellow zone as well. Be sure to keep an eye on this list from the State Department’s website, it will provide updates and warnings for travel in any destination.
Airlines and other tour operators will cancel or suspend their service if a destination is unsafe, so keeping an eye on the travel industry can also help you make your decision of whether or not to plan a trip to a certain destination.
No matter where you travel, make sure you are prepared with the correct safety measures. Do your research on your chosen method of transportation and the destination you will be visiting to assure you come prepared with the required PPE (personal protective equipment, i.e. gloves and masks) and that you understand any quarantine requirements.
Should I travel internationally?
International travel is more restricted than domestic, especially if you reside in Canada, but there are still some places that are open to tourism internationally. If you are at an increased risk of contracting severe illness, traveling may not be advisable for you at this time, especially to high risk destinations. Here is an interactive map so you can see COVID-19 severity levels for any destination. Many destinations have travel restrictions and mandatory quarantines upon entering, so you’ll want to be sure you have done your research before traveling. Be prepared to have your temperature checked and to be questioned about your health and travel history.
Should I travel domestically?
Domestic travel is open, but you may need proof of a negative COVID-19 test to gain entry in some provinces or states. Many province, state and local governments also have mask requirements in place, so do your research before traveling. Don’t travel if you are sick or have been around someone else who is sick in the last two weeks. Check out this list to monitor infection rates in the last seven days in any state you want to travel to. You’ll want to avoid areas with higher infection rates to decrease your likelihood of being exposed.
If we travel, what precautions should we take to protect ourselves and others before, during, and after our trip?
Don’t travel if you feel sick or have been around someone with COVID-19 in the past two weeks. Before you travel, check to see if COVID-19 is spreading in your destination. During your trip, wear a mask when in public settings. Stay six feet apart from anyone who is not in your group, wash your hands or use sanitizer often. Avoid touching your face.
Should I pack anything differently?
Research your destination to find out about mask mandates. Even if they are not required, you may still want to travel with masks, hand sanitizer, and disinfecting wipes to ensure you are as safe as possible.
How do I plan my trip?
In order to start planning your trip, you should decide on a destination first. If you do plan to travel right now, we recommend starting with a drive destination or if you must fly, a destination that doesn’t require layovers or long flights. Once this is done, pick a time you want to travel. Then you’ll be able to start looking into flights and places to stay. Give yourself some time to plan your trip in order to budget, get the best deals on flights, and assure you can get time off work if needed.
Look up local guides to find the best attractions. Have a general idea of what you want to do there, but it’s best to not plan out an exact itinerary for each day. You never know what could come up- sometimes the best adventures are unplanned. Allow yourself to be more flexible on your vacation.
Are hotel rewards programs worth it?
When you start planning a trip, you’ll likely be flooded with ads for hotel bargains and membership rates. Get to know the benefits of different programs and booking options to ensure you gain all the available advantages.
If you are looking for a hotel rewards system, Coast Rewards offers many benefits for travelers, including special offers, hotel priorities and member rates not available anywhere else.
Should I fly or drive to my destination?
The decision to fly or drive depends upon your destination, your available time, and your personal preferences.
Airlines have instituted significant COVID-19 protocols to help safeguard passengers, and these protocols carry through to airport environments as well.
Should driving be your choice, plan ahead and consider elements such as meals on the road, and bathroom stops. Many quick serve restaurants are operating drive-thru only. Public restrooms can be busy. Especially if you are traveling with children, be sure to allow for any wait times for public facilities.
Do I need a rental car if I fly?
Overall, traveling by foot or renting bikes can be a great way to really see and experience the area you are visiting. Another great way to support the community you are visiting is to use public transportation – while being respectful of local requirements that generally include masks.
Rental car companies have also put significant COVID-19 protocols in place. It is important to note that many rental car companies have consolidated their operations at this time, so not all branches for pick-up and drop-off are open. Be sure to double check open locations when making a booking.
How do I learn more about what there is to do in my destination?
Now more than ever, planning ahead for your trip activities is crucial. Look up local guides and blogs to find the most popular destinations and then do your research on each place you are interested in. Because of COVID-19, you may need to reserve a spot ahead of time, there may be limits on group numbers, and you may need to come prepared with masks.
How can I travel on a budget?
Think about your budget while you are deciding on a destination. Some areas are more expensive than others, so look up budget-friendly options when planning. Try deciding your vacation dates before picking a destination and looking at flight prices. Being flexible on your destination could save you a bundle. Time of year can also play into the cost of flights, so avoid traveling during popular travel times such as holidays.
What are some items all savvy travellers should have?
Packing can be one of the more challenging aspects of travelling. Some items that savvy travellers may carry with them include a powerstrip for crowded airport outlets or a portable charger for while you are exploring. Always have a photo of your luggage and passport in case it goes missing somewhere so you can have a reference. We found a great resource for 20 travel items you might not think about as well.
What are the best airport hacks?
Try downloading Gateguru, an app that will show you amenities in any airport terminal. Especially if you will be passing through a larger airport, this will help you plan the best places to eat or shop around during your stop. If you’re concerned about security wait times, most airports will list estimated waits on the homepage of their websites.
What are the best hacks for traveling with children?
Keep your kids engaged at all times, whether it’s in the car or on a plane, make sure to bring activities like coloring books or games to keep them happy. Always ask about child discounts at tourist attractions, oftentimes there will be a deal for kids under a certain age. You can learn more by reading a previous piece specifically for traveling with children.
What are the best hacks for traveling solo?
First thing’s first, make sure your destination meets your needs in terms of travel safety when traveling solo. Be sure to keep your friends or family at home updated on what you are doing as you go. Carry a portable charger and a map to ensure you won’t be lost no matter what. Plan your itinerary ahead of time so you know how you will be getting from point A to point B to further avoid getting lost.
Figuring out how to travel in this current climate is tricky, but Coast Hotels will be with you every step of the way. From planning your trip to finding a spot to rest your head, you can be assured there is a safe place for you at one of our 35 locations.