Before COVID-19, Canada welcomed more than 22 million international tourists each year. Like every other country in the world, Canada saw a drop in visitor number during the pandemic. But as vaccines continue rolling out and travel restrictions are lifting, more and more people are traveling again.

Beautiful British Columbia will no doubt be a popular destination post-pandemic. With plenty of outdoor spaces for social-distancing and getting back to nature, stunning views, and more, the region is a bucket-list destination for travelers from around the world.

Thinking about planning a visit to British Columbia and Sointula in 2022? Keep reading to learn a few things that international travelers need to know ahead of their trip.

You’ll Need a Passport

All international visitors to Canada are required to have a valid passport for entry. This means that you’ll have to present a passport, whether you’re traveling by plane, car, train, or other transportation.

For Americans traveling to Canada by car, there are actually two passport options. The first is a traditional passport. The second is a U.S. Passport Card. This card allows you to cross land borders or arrive by boat to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda. This card is a cost-saving option for travelers who don’t need a traditional passport. However, it’s important to keep in mind that a passport card will not allow you to enter Canada by plane.

Some travelers coming from or going to Europe by way of Canada may be required to have a passport with at least 3 months before its expiration date in order to enter.

A Visa or eTA May Be Required

Americans traveling to Canada won’t need to apply for a visa ahead of their visit, unless you plan to stay in the country for more than 180 days. In fact, Canada allows visitors from many different countries to enter without a visa. 

While you might not need a visa before your visit to Sointula, if you’re planning to fly to Canada, you’ll likely need an eTA. An eTA, or Electronic Travel Authorization, is an online form that international travelers arriving by plane need upon arrival in Canada. You can apply for this authorization online a few days before your trip at a cost of $7 CAD. 

You’ll Want to Check Travel Restrictions and Requirements

Like most countries, Canada has COVID-19 restrictions in place that may alter your travel plans. Your home country may also have travel restrictions or recommendations in place. Depending on when you travel, you may need to present a COVID-19 test or complete a quarantine after your trip.

For the foreseeable future, travelers will want to make sure that they are checking for travel restriction changes in the days and weeks before their trip.

Exchange Your Currency to Shop and Dine

Canada has its own currency. While travelers from the U.S. and some other countries will likely be able to use their credit cards while visiting British Columbia, depending on your card, you may face foreing transaction fees. If you don’t want to pay these fees or if you want to have cash on hand during your trip, you’ll need to plan to exchange your currency.

Time Differences May Lead to Jet Lag

Sointula, British Columbia is located in the Pacific Time Zone. If you’ll be crossing time zones to get to our island, you may need to plan ahead to give yourself some time to sleep off the jet lag.

Adjusting your sleep schedule before your trip, avoiding caffeine and alcohol, and limiting your naps can help you reset your internal clock and avoid jet lag during your trip. But it’s still important to be aware of time zone changes to make sure that your transportation to and from Sointula is properly scheduled to get you where you need to go on time.

Travel Insurance Can Help Protect Your Vacation

Even if you’re closely following any changing travel restrictions ahead of your trip, things happen. You or a family member could fall ill. Or something non COVID-related may occur; you get in a fender bender on your way to the airport or severe weather cancels all flights to Canada from your chosen airport.

If something goes wrong, and you haven’t insured your travel plans, you could wind up being out a lot of money, with no trip to show for it. Travel insurance is a simple way to protect your investment. If something unexpected occurs, you can get the money you’ll need to re-plan and book your vacation at a later date.

Planning Your Next Visit to British Columbia 

Ready to start planning a trip to British Columbia in 2022? International travelers can put these tips to work to ensure a smooth and incredible visit to our beautiful region. After you’ve reviewed these tips, check out the planning section of our site to start searching for the perfect hotel, resort, or vacation rental for your trip.