You are currently viewing How to travel anywhere in the United States test-free (and now mask-free)

Traveling hasn’t been this simple in a while: if you go to one of the 130+ countries with no test requirements, you can travel completely test-free (if you’re fully vaccinated). The United States is on that list… but only if you go by land. To be more specific: only if you enter by land.

That distinction means you can easily go anywhere in the country without a test and without driving all the way there! Many Canadian pro sports teams are using this trick we shared a month ago, and it’s been in the news these past few days.

That seems to be very surprising for many, so here’s how Canadians can travel anywhere in the US test-free. The same tip also works to be able to fly mask-free now.

 

US entry rules

I won’t repeat everything about how to travel to the United States (or about the 3 simple sets of rules you have to check for any trip), as we’ve been repeating those for months now and all the details are in those posts.

The key takeaway is that if you’re fully vaccinated, you don’t need a test to enter the US by land… but you do need a test to enter the US by air. If you aren’t vaccinated, you can’t enter the US (well… in theory).

However, that test requirement for entry by air may be removed in the coming weeks, finally.

And even if it isn’t removed, rapid antigen tests cost as little as $17 in some provinces, or $25 anywhere in Canada… That won’t break the bank.

(I am personally very glad I was able to go on 12 pandemic trips, even if it means I had to get tested 26 times, instead of staying in Canada — I just did one again to fly to the US on Thursday, and I also entered by land last Saturday to tell you how easy it is.)

But many travelers are very stressed out about the test, and it’s not always practical to drive to the best US destinations, which are mostly in the southern part of the country (at least in my humble opinion as a traveler who has been to 47 of the 50 states).

 

The way to go anywhere test-free

So based on those entry rules, the trick is simply to enter the US by land, and then you can fly from a US airport to go anywhere else in the US test-free.

I give you the list of airports near the border below, with direct links to search for the cheapest flights from each, too.

Your plane ticket might actually even be cheaper this way too, although as with all airfares, there are no absolute rules and it won’t always be the case (prices always depend on the dates/destinations, so compare!)

For some reason, many people seem to think that a test will magically be required to board a domestic flight.

But what they need to realize is that apart from Canada, no other country in the world has any testing/vaccine requirements for domestic flights (we didn’t check them all as we did for entry rules, but at the very least, there are very few countries with requirements for domestic flights, and we’ve never heard of any).

It’s especially true in the US. It might be a cultural difference or whatever else you want to call it, but most Americans sure would not tolerate discrimination in terms of their freedom of movement.

There has never been any test requirement or vaccine requirement for their domestic flights — and there will never be either.

So beware if you’re one of the many Canadians who seem so happy that Canada has banned unvaccinated travelers* from all flights departing from a Canadian airport: you might not like that domestic flights in the US are filled with untested, unvaccinated travelers.

(*except unvaccinated foreigners transiting through Canada; those unvaccinated travelers are allowed to be on those same flights, it’s “The Science™”!)

Domestic flights in the US are now mask-free too, so the trick of flying out of a US airport is really not for the faint of heart (yes, that’s sarcasm).

Kidding aside, the US probably isn’t the best destination for you anyway if you’re worried about catching COVID-19 in the place with literally and factually the best air quality of all indoor spaces (an airplane cabin) because there are no mask requirements in any other indoor space where the air quality is much worse than on a plane.

But anyway, the rules are very clear: you can enter test-free by land if you’re vaccinated and there are no rules whatsoever for domestic flights in the US, same as since the beginning of the pandemic and same as pretty much everywhere else in the world… except Canada.

 

US airports near the Canadian border

As a reminder, here’s a list of US airports relatively close to each major Canadian city to take advantage of this trick and travel to the US test-free.

You can click on the links to see the cheapest destinations from that specific airport for your dates.

 

From Toronto

 

From Montreal

 

From Ottawa

 

From Vancouver

 

From Calgary

 

From Winnipeg

 

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Summary

No tests (or masks) are required to board domestic flights in the US! This means that if you’re a fully vaccinated Canadian, you can easily travel anywhere in the US test-free and mask-free (even the great places further south) by crossing the border by land, driving to a US airport near you, then hopping on a flight to any other destinations in the country. Simple!

What would you like to know about traveling to the US? Tell us in the comments below.

 

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Featured image: Shiprock, New Mexico (photo credit: Jimmy Conover)

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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: 64/193 Countries, 47/50 US States & 9/10 Canadian Provinces).

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Dave

    You clearly state that if you cross the US border from Canada by land, you don’t need a Covid test to fly within the US. We are flying from Buffalo to Savannah and Delta Airlines has told us that we must have a negative Covid test within one day of the flight leaving. Is this just a Delta requirement??

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, either they are wrong or you misinterpreted what they said, but you clearly need absolutely nothing for a domestic flight. Same as since day one 🙂

      1. Dave

        I called Delta again and received a favourable response. No test required. Thanks!

      2. Andrew D'Amours

        Nice, yeah a classic case of “hang up, call again” because unfortunately airline agents often have no clue what they’re talking about. Was this way before the pandemic (for travel rewards program rules for example) and is just always going to be that way. We recommend always looking at the official source for COVID-19 rules, they’re all on the same website so it’s easy to find at least 🙂
        https://flytrippers.com/how-to-travel-during-a-pandemic-simplified-version/

  2. Wendy

    Any news about USA dropping antigen test to enter by May.

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      No but we’ll definitely let you know as soon as something changes 🙂

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