Here's what you need to know about traveling to Canada

You can cross the border once again from Washington to Canada, but you're going to need to make plans a few days in advance.
Peace Arch at the border in Blaine
Peace Arch at the WA/Canada border in Blaine Photo credit psching / iStock / Getty Images Plus

It's been a minute since you've been able to cross the border into Canada. Okay, it's been more than a minute -- it's been more than a year and a half, in fact, since March 2020 when the border was closed to all nonessential travel.

As of August 9, you can travel to Canada, but as the Seattle P-I explains in their story Heading to Canada soon? 6 things Washington travelers should know before visiting, your trip planning has to start three days in advance, when you go get a COVID test -- and pass it. You're going to need to get that done within 72 hours of your trip.

There's also a questionnaire to fill out (which includes your negative test results) and you need to upload proof that you've been vaccinated. That's where the ArriveCAN app comes in, and this link explains what you need to know.

You're also going to need to have hard copies of all that info to present at the border, and you're going to have to take another COVID test after you enter Canada. They mostly use a service called Switch Health, so you should get signed up for that online in advance to save some time.

The P-I also suggests you be aware of the requirements of your particular mode of travel, the easiest and simplest of which is to drive into Canada vs. flying, taking the train, or coming in on a ferry. Those non-driving methods may not be fully in gear yet, so check that out. (You can definitely fly to various destinations across Canada; you just need to make sure the airline lets you know their procedures in advance.)

It's also a good idea to make reservations well before you travel if you're planning on dining out, staying in a hotel, or attending concerts or events. Like other vacation destinations right now, a lot of Canadian tourist attractions are short-staffed and may not be prepared for a mass influx of Americans yet.

This Seattle Times article, Canada reopens its border for vaccinated US visitors, gives you the big picture on Americans traveling to Canada -- good for some perspective.

It's definitely a bit of a hassle, and who knows how the Delta variant will affect the border policy as things open up. It's always smart to check official sites for the latest rules and requirements well before you travel.

And don't forget a supply of masks. Bon voyage!