You are currently viewing Questions about travel to the USA and another example of misinformation

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

We’re working on a brand new pandemic travel resource page to make it easier to find all the information you’re looking for (sign up for our free newsletter to get access first).

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.

Misinformation about entering the US by land (image credit: Flytrippers)


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.

Justification for the misinformation (image credit: Flytrippers)


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!

But no!!!

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 😉


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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.

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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 14 Comments

  1. Colette

    Bonjour Andrew,
    Si le (mauvais) sort me désigne pour le test aléatoire à mon retour de NY en voiture, est-ce que je dois attendre le résultat du test avant de prendre mon vol pour l’Europe?

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Bonne question. Quand la quarantaine de 14 jours existait, c’était permis de quitter la quarantaine pour sortir du pays, donc en théorie ça devrait, mais c’est un des nombreux cas d’exceptions moins communs qui ne sont pas listés sur le site officiel. Je vais demander aux relations médias de Santé Canada et te revenir.

  2. Brenda

    We are flying to Philadelphia in March. We were there in Jan and had Covid and had no trouble coming back with our PCR test results. I understand that we only need our positive test result and a letter from our Dr. saying that we are in good health. I found that on the USA CDC site but others are telling me that I still need the antigen test. Any help would be appreciated!!

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, to enter the USA with no negative test you can provide a positive one (last 90 days) AND a letter from a healthcare professional confirming you have recovered.
      To enter Canada with no negative test you need only proof of the positive test (from 11 to 180 days).
      Here are the details for the USA:
      Here are the details for Canada:

      1. Brenda

        Thank you so much for your answer!!!! We are excited to go to Philly again to celebrate a 6yr old birthday boy!!!

      2. Andrew D'Amours

        Enjoy 🙂 I loved Philadelphia, very cool city!

      3. Brenda

        Thank you!!!

      4. Christiane Dufresne

        But the College des médecins tells its members NOT to provide this letter (I was refused by my family doctor this morning, even though I did an antigen “home test” last night – and got a negative result – to back up my request…). I had Covid over the holidays (confirmed by a PCR test and entered on my vaccination passport), so all I can hope for is that my “official test” reconfirms what I got last night… or I am grounded!

      5. Andrew D'Amours

        Hi, yes well the antigen tests labs perform are exactly the same as the ones you do at home so if you did that one correctly and it’s negative, it’s really veryyyy unlikely that your next antigen one later would be positive 🙂

  3. Ben

    Is it possible for unvaccinated travellers to cross the border by land?

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      It’s not *allowed* as the rules say you need to be vaccinated to enter the USA. But you asked if it is *possible* and yeah apparently US customs agents at the land border often only ask to confirm verbally that you are vaccinated and don’t check for proof, based on many testimonials we received from travelers. So it’s *possible* but that entails lying to the US government, not to mention they could of course ask for proof.

      1. Jessica

        Hi Andrew,
        On the FB group Canada/US Border Crossing, some people say they are only asked, but others say they were asked to provide proof. These are anecdotes, but just further info for you.

  4. Astrid

    We fly to the US out of Kelowna on Monday March 7 at 4:20 pm. The testing facility at the airport closes at 4 pm the day before because it’s a Sunday.
    SO are you saying we can do our antigen test the day before earlier than the exact 24 hrs – so around 3 pm?
    I was worried that we need to go to the airport extra early before our flight to get our test within 24 hrs. Would be wasting a few extra hrs .

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