Many Canadians still reluctant to travel: survey

As some travel restrictions ease for fully vaccinated Canadians and permanent residents, Air Canada has announced it is resuming 17 routes to 11 destinations around the world.

The news comes at a time when a new survey on travel found that while more Canadians are starting to book vacations, the majority plans to stay close to home this summer.

About three-quarters of those surveyed say they will stay put over the next three months while those who do plan to travel are more likely to end up in Calgary or Halifax than in London, England or Paris, France.

Still, as more people get vaccinated, there is more interest in getting back on a plane.

“Clearly Canadians are starting to make some moves when it comes to travel," said Nicole McKnight, with Finder.com, a comparison website that conducted the study.

Finder found that 13 per cent of Canadians said they planned domestic travel over the next three months. Only seven per cent said they planned to take an international trip, while two per cent planned to do both.

Canadians who have been fully vaccinated don't have to quarantine upon their return, which could lead more people to take international flights.

“Our vaccination program has really improved and so many people are double vaccinated now and once they are, it really can help them to pull the trigger [on their decision to travel]," said McKnight.

Companies like Orion Travel Insurance are providing coverage for COVID-19 as long as you have proof of full vaccination.

“If you are double vaccinated, than you are eligible for coverage not just for COVID-19, but for any type of issue you may run into while traveling," said Elliott Silverstein, with Orion, a CAA company.

If someone is not vaccinated, you may still be able to get travel insurance that does not include COVID-19 coverage, but a person runs the risk they could be refused entry to a country when they reach their destination. .

Silverstein said, “It's really critical that people do their research to understand what the restrictions will be, because you don't want to end up somewhere and be turned away because you don't have what's required to enter the area."

Anyone traveling internationally is advised to monitor their destination’s government to stay informed of possible changes to entry requirements.

Over the next three months, vaccination rates will be even higher so it's expected the fall and winter travel season will be much busier and more Canadians may become more comfortable taking an international flight.