All of us with wanderlust from coast to coast have adjusted to life in 2020: we’ve explored our own backyards, gone on some local hikes, and tried our best to make the most of life in quarantine during the pandemic. Now that the world’s doors are slowly starting to open again, are you feeling unsure about how to navigate this new world of travel? When it comes to planning a trip during COVID-19, concerns such as travel safety and flexible travel policies are bound to come up. More information is key to helping travellers plan and book a trip with confidence, and Skyscanner is delivering just that.
Our newest features are aimed at providing transparency and relevant details so you can plan a safer, more flexible trip during these difficult times. Read on to learn about these new tools and how to use them to book your next getaway with confidence.
Guide for travel planning during COVID
Are you a snowbird looking to head south for the winter or do you want to start planning your dream getaway for 2021? During these difficult times, our new travel features will make trip planning during COVID-19 a little easier.
- Where can I go? Map
- Coronavirus travel advice for Canadians
- Flexible travel policies
- Cleanliness and safety ratings
- Get the latest news for planning travel during COVID
“Where can I go?” map
With entry requirements changing so frequently during coronavirus, it’s difficult for travellers to keep tabs on which countries are actually open for tourism. Deciding where to go next should be the fun part of trip planning! We’re making it easier for travellers with a colour-coded global map which is updated on a daily basis.
Under the ‘Where’s open’ heading, you’ll see that the map is linked to the travel restrictions for Canadians. You can click and choose your preferred country of origin, we’ll show you which countries are open, partially open and closed for now, as well as those that haven’t made any information available. You can also click on a specific country to see its latest COVID-19 case reporting, entry requirements, and quarantine details.
You can also subscribe to travel updates for specific countries. We’ll send you an email as soon as we discover changes to entry or quarantine requirements for your destination(s) of choice. We highly recommend taking advantage of this feature if you already have an international trip planned so you’re prepared with the most-recent information before you step on the plane.
Coronavirus travel advice
Whether you’re searching for domestic travel details or the latest airline policies, our Coronavirus Travel Advice page has all the latest information for planning travel during COVID-19. You’ll find the latest news on provincial travel restrictions, links to health and safety guidance, and all flexible flight policies and travel insurance updates from your favourite local airlines.
We’re updating this page daily, so you can feel confident that you’re provided with the latest details, travel requirements for Canadians during COVID-19, and links to official sources that will be helpful to you.
Flexible travel policies
Flight cancellation policies and hotel cancellation policies give travellers more confidence for planning a trip during COVID-19. When you use Skyscanner as a travel booking tool to search for flights or accommodations, our Flexible Travel options will show you which flights and hotels are offering more-accommodating booking terms.
To help you book with a peace of mind, our hotel search filters will let you browse only hotels that offer free cancellation. When searching for airfares, you can narrow the results to show only airlines that offer flexible booking policies. This flight search page also links directly to the airline’s booking policy in case you want to dive into the details.
These handy features are available on desktop and mobile web for you to book the most flexible travel available.
Cleanliness and safety ratings
A recent Skyscanner survey revealed that 44% of travellers are prioritizing better hygiene and cleanliness when considering planning a trip. Since this is just as important as flexible booking options, we added cleanliness and safety ratings to our airline and hotel search results to give Skyscanner users peace of mind when planning their trips.
Airlines safety policies
Skyscanner’s COVID-19 safety rating filter allows users to search for and choose airlines based on ratings sourced directly from an exclusive partnership with AirlineRatings.com. An airline’s overall score (up to 5 points) is based on how many of the following five health and safety measures are in place in the wake of COVID-19:
- Face masks mandatory
- Plane deep cleaned daily
- Flight crew wearing PPE
- Passenger sanitation packs provided
- Changes to food service
By tapping on the purple badge icon that appears on all search results, you can see the at-a-glance health and safety measures being taken by each airline in the given itinerary, as well as what’s expected from travellers. Search for a flight to see how this new feature works.
Booking hotels during COVID
To instill confidence and differentiate themselves, many hotels are responding to customer concerns by implementing and improving their hygiene standards. Now when you search for a hotel on Skyscanner, you’ll see a new hotel cleanliness rating displayed on some search results. These accommodations had to score a 4.5 (out of 5) or above in order to claim the distinctive hotel cleanliness badge. The ratings are updated in real time and based on direct guest feedback through our partnership with TripAdvisor. Browse hotels now to see which have earned this badge.
The latest news for planning travel during COVID-19
Are you wondering when you can travel to Europe again? Or do you need inspiration for the best winter getaway destinations in Canada? Our travel blog and newsletter will answer all of those questions that Canadian travellers have and more. Seasoned travel writers and Skyscanner staff are continuously researching and writing about the latest travel news, covering topics from tips on planning a road trip during COVID to finding last-minute booking hacks. For more travel inspiration, here are some of our readers’ favourite articles:
- All you need to know about the air quality on planes
- Is it safe to travel right now?
- Planning a family getaway? Here are some expert tips on family travel.
- Best small towns and villages in Canada
- Top destinations to travel to in February
Get these articles delivered straight to your inbox by signing up for our travel newsletter. Just click here and scroll down the page until you see the newsletter signup box with the heading “Dreaming of your next trip??
From finding out which countries you can visit as a Canadian to booking flights with a flexible change policy, Skyscanner has your trip plans covered. Use our new features to plan your next adventure and book with confidence. We are continuously updating the information we provide, but it’s always wise to double-check local government guidelines directly from the source before planning any trip during COVID. As we’ve learned throughout the pandemic, things can change very quickly.
Frequently Asked Questions
Being in any public space with other people, including while travelling, will increase your risk of exposure to the coronavirus. There are ways to reduce your risk and make travelling safer for yourself and others, such as wearing a face mask and maintaining a distance of at least two metres from people outside of your bubble. You should postpone any travel plans if you or a travel companion feel unwell.
As of March 19, 2020, the Public Health Agency of Canada asks that Canadians avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada. They also advise avoiding travel on all cruise ships until further notice. International travel restrictions to Canada due to coronavirus for foreign nationals are in place, with limited exceptions.
Due to the global pandemic, all persons entering Canada must self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival. These quarantine requirements are in place whether the traveller is showing symptoms of coronavirus or not.
Want to read more?
- Coronavirus travel advice: Stay informed on all travel news during COVID-19 with this regularly updated page for Canadian travellers.
- Your coronavirus travel questions answered: Skyscanner’s panel of travel experts answered some of the most commonly asked questions concerning travel and COVID-19.
- Go under the radar and discover some secluded getaways across Canada