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Last week, there was an absurd complaint in the media from a Quebec author regarding the pandemic travel rules. And I tried hard to resist getting involved. But in the end, I just have to comment so that at least it might help other travelers understand how to travel (which isn’t that hard).

To be clear, of course, we can’t wait for all these rules to be over, just like you.

But in the meantime, not traveling is just not an option for us as passionate travelers.

And so that means there’s no way around it: We have to follow travel rules.


Traveling cluelessly

I absolutely must point out the absurdity of a French article in the Quebec media, where an author complains that she was refused entry to the USA… because she didn’t follow the USA’s rules of entry!!!

Hello, it’s 2021. There’s a pandemic. It’s not OPTIONAL to read the countries’ entry rules, it’s ESSENTIAL.

You can NOT travel somewhere without reading their entry rules!!! No matter the destination.

In short, she had been to Europe and then tried to enter the US right after… of course, she was denied entry because for literally the entire pandemic (from March 2020 up until last Monday; but now it’s over), you couldn’t enter the US if you had been in Europe (or a few other countries) in the 14 days before.

If she had read the US entry rules, they were very clear before November 8: You couldn’t enter if you had been in Europe within 14 days before. It was written, obviously.

You may find their rule absurd (and it was), but it’s infinitely more absurd to be surprised or shocked that a country enforces their clearly-written rules (that you just didn’t take the time to read..).

Traveling right now is not rocket science:  You literally just need to know how to read… and do it.

Our ultimate guide to pandemic travel will explain it all for you, it’s really not that hard if you take the time to learn.

It’s nothing against that person or anyone who complains about rules being applied to them. And of course, it must be frustrating to have to postpone a trip… but when it’s 100% your fault, you can’t complain that a country applies its rules.

So just make sure you follow them.

At Flytrippers we’re known for being upfront and telling you the truth no matter how unpopular it may be. And I like to tell it like it is so you can learn. It wouldn’t do you any favors to lie to you and tell you that you’re right to be upset that countries are enforcing their rules, because that’s just not true.

The best way to help you travel is to help you understand that you have to follow the rules (and how).

If you don’t want to (or think that you’re so special that countries shouldn’t enforce their rules on you), you might be better off waiting until when everything is over in 2024 to travel.


Understanding the most important thing

Finally, I do want to add a special mention to the fact that the article headline said that the author was fully vaccinated.

That is so utterly irrelevant: The US didn’t require vaccination until last Monday so it was completely useless information.

What the US required was that you had not been to Europe, so even though she would have had 0 vaccine doses or 17 vaccine doses, if she had met that simple requirement, she would have been able to enter…

Just because Canada doesn’t care if you have been to Europe or gives you exemptions because you are fully vaccinated… that doesn’t mean any other country has anything similar at all (plenty of countries are closed even if you are fully vaccinated; that guide of every country’s entry rules will be updated again this weekend by the way).

It’s just fascinating to us how hard it seems for people to understand that EACH COUNTRY MAKES ITS OWN RULES. Just like they did before the pandemic. Just like they should.

Sorry for the more direct approach and tone, but maybe it’s what is required for travelers to understand this. Which is vital, it’s the most important thing.

We’d love for all countries to remove all requirements and restrictions. But regardless, it’s very logical that they can make their own rules (and they most certainly all have a very legitimate right to do so).

How could it be any other way? How would you feel if the US or China would decide who could enter Canada? That would make no sense.

That’s why each country makes its own rules and why nothing is harmonized or standardized. And sorry to be the one to tell you this, but it will never be either.

We have another recent example of a bad experience with a country that applies its rules to share with you (and it is Canada too). To be continued soon.


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Many complain about travel rules, us included. But the fact remains that if you want to travel, you have to follow them. Countries will, unsurprisingly, apply their rules. That’s why they made the rules. But even with the hassle required, it sure beats staying here in Canada.

What would you like to know about travel rules? Tell us in the comments below.


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Andrew D'Amours

Andrew is the co-founder of Flytrippers. He is passionate about traveling the world but also, as a former management consultant, about the travel industry itself. He shares his experiences to help you save money on travel. As a very cost-conscious traveler, he loves finding deals and getting free travel thanks to travel rewards points... to help him visit every country in the world (current count: 71/193 Countries, 47/50 US States & 9/10 Canadian Provinces).

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