In January, I flew to the US for the 5th time since April, so I had taken that opportunity to make a call for questions about traveling to the US. The list of questions (and answers of course) is coming soon… but before that, today I want to take the opportunity to talk about an important point.
First of all, you can still add your questions about traveling to the US in the comments below the Facebook post if you want us to add them (last chance).
I’m actually going back to the US on Wednesday (if by chance you are flying out of YUL in the late afternoon or evening and want access to airport lounges, let me know!) so I know how it works very well (also thanks to all my other trips of course).
So I’ll take this opportunity to share a vital tip right away, which applies to all pandemic travel in fact: Don’t rely on what anyone says… most of the time what they say is plain wrong!
Basics of pandemic travel
In the meantime, I want to show you the importance of one of the basic tips with a concrete example.
I’ve talked about this before, but it bears repeating: Almost nobody knows what they’re talking about when it comes to travel rules. Unfortunately.
People don’t have bad intentions, but that doesn’t change the fact that what they say is almost always wrong 90% of the time (if not more).
So it can certainly mislead you!
Just never rely on anything anyone says!
It’s really easy to travel during the pandemic (we’ll have a simplified step-by-step guide), you just have to read the official rules and follow them.
Ignore everything that random people say! In fact, ignore even what people you know will say! Sometimes they understand the rules well… but they don’t understand that the rules can change every day, so that’s just as worse.
Often people are very sure of what they are saying… but they are still wrong. Almost always in fact.
I literally see it every day since I follow it all so closely to be your ultimate reference on pandemic travel. I could show you hundreds (if not thousands) of examples.
So for example, I understand that most people want to help, so many have answered questions about traveling to the US that were below the Facebook post so that the person wouldn’t have to wait for our answer… but many of the answers given are wrong!
And while there are some that are right obviously… the only way to know which ones are right and which ones are not is to check the official rules anyway.
So save yourself a step and just look at the official rules right away, it’s much simpler!
A concrete example
The new resource page will also include the most common types of misinformation, because knowing how people misunderstand the rules will definitely help you understand how the rules really work!
So I’m not sharing this other example to make fun of anyone who gets anything wrong, but just so you can see in concrete terms how very well-intentioned people mislead everyone by saying stuff that is just wrong (and yet are so sure they are right)!
So that you don’t get misled!
Those of you who have read our ultimate guide on how to travel to the United States (where a lot of the answers have been already for months and where we constantly update the rules, by the way) know that you don’t need a test to enter the USA by land.
It’s literally always been this way. That doesn’t stop a lot of people from saying false things about something so simple.
Here’s an example from yesterday on Facebook in response to the land rules.
The traveler says you need a test to get to the US by land.
This is obviously 100% false.
Not just that: Even the test that is required to enter the USA by air is not “72 hours” before. It’s the day of the flight or the day before (no time limit at all), a far cry from 72 hours.
In fact, even before changing to the current rule, the US rule wasn’t even 72 hours either, it’s just literally never been 72 hours for the USA (it was the day of the flight or the 3 days before, with no hour limit at all). But even all the major media outlets were always wrong about this, even though it’s their job to validate the information, so just imagine everyone else…
In short, a lot of misinformation in just one comment (we can add “PCR to enter Canada” which is false too, Canada accepts a lot of other types, like the free NAATs that are easy to get in the US, but hey…)
Full of good intentions… but completely wrong.
After writing the real rules so people don’t go and do a test for nothing, the traveler in question responded to me.
So there you have it, because he crossed the border with his PCR test, magically the USA requires a PCR test to enter by land!
You don’t need a test at all to enter the US by land! So of course it worked with a PCR, you didn’t need any test at all.
We see versions of this every day! For example, those who say that a rapid antigen test is accepted to fly to Mexico (!!!).
“Well yes, it worked for me, that’s what I did…”
You don’t need a test to go to Mexico (like in 47 other countries for that matter) so it sure “works” with an antigen test, it works with any test (or rather with no test at all)!
Anyway, people always mix all the rules together and are pretty bad at interpreting rules in general, unfortunately.
I repeat, I’m not saying this to be mean, but to make sure you understand it and stop relying on anyone so you don’t get misled.
Imagine paying a ≈ $100 PCR test for absolutely nothing (multiplied by all the travelers in your group)… when you don’t need anything…
And the most dangerous thing for travelers is that those who say false things are so sure of what they say. It really gives the impression that they know what they are talking about!
He just crossed the border himself, what he says must be true, right? Well no… always assume it’s not true, it’s safer. It will save you a lot of trouble (and money in this case).
Anyway… we’re big believers in the philosophy of teaching someone to fish, not giving them a fish.
That’s exactly what Flytrippers wants to do with its new COVID-19 resource page for travelers: Teach you how to understand the travel rules, it’s really not that complicated if you follow our tips!
We want to help you, so don’t miss it soon! And in the meantime: Don’t rely on others 😉
Want to get more content to learn how to travel during a pandemic?
Beware of everything you read or hear about travel rules, most of the time it’s completely wrong. It’s better to simply look at the official rules.
What would you like to know about this example? Tell us in the comments below.
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