Essential tips for essential travel

Airplane seats waiting and ready for boarding

Not everyone is ready to get back in the air, but many people still have trips they need to take. Travel is slowly increasing with essential travel leading the way. If you’re in that boat (or plane, actually) there are some things you should know before you go, i.e. essential tips for essential travel.

Most importantly, you should know that the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) has instituted several measures to ensure your security screening experience is as safe and secure as possible.

Wear A Face Covering

People travelling by plane from and within Canada need to bring their face covering. Face coverings need to cover the nose and mouth, be made of at least two layers of tightly-woven fabric (such as cotton or linen) and secured to the head. (Check out Public Health Agency of Canada’s guidelines, including instructions on how to make your mask.)

Use Hand Sanitizer When Out and About

At major airports, hand sanitizing units have been placed by the checkpoints to be used by the public. You can also have one bottle of hand sanitizer up to 355 mL in your carry-on – that is in addition to the 100 mL bottles that fall under the usual liquids’ restrictions. Keeping hands clean is especially important to help prevent the virus from spreading.

Screening Checkpoint at Security

Temperature screening at an airport in Canada

If you’re flying out of one of Canada’s 15 busiest airports, you’ll have your temperature checked when you arrive at the screening checkpoint. You will not be permitted to proceed through screening if your temperature, after two separate tests, is at or above 38⁰C. Note that if you exhibit symptoms of illness such as a cough or difficulty breathing, you will be required to leave the checkpoint.

While in the queue and the screening checkpoint, you must keep two metres between yourself and other passengers. Hold on to your own electronic or printed boarding pass or other documents of entitlement while they are scanned.

Travel Safely

Travel myths abound but the facts are the facts. Aviation is an essential service, ensuring people and goods get to where they need to go, and CATSA has taken every step possible to ensure this happens safely. You can go to their website for more information, or you can download their app for Android or iOS.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Business Travel in a COVID-19 World

This Post Was Originally Published on the Plus Travel Group Blog on August 4, 2020 by Mark Crone

Business Travel in a COVID-19 World is different. Nothing seems normal in a pandemic and travel is no exception. As the economy reopens and we all move forward, it’s time to travel again. Business needs to travel for a variety of reasons including company growth, customer visits, internal company meetings, etc. I flew with Air Canada from Toronto to Montreal on July 16, 2020. Here is what a business trip looks like right now:

Business Travel in a COVID-19 World – Toronto Pearson Airport

Boarding the plane in a Covid -19 world

There are more people travelling than you might think. On the day I flew, there were 15,000 passengers moving through Toronto Pearson. Airport parking was busy with 2 floors full and several other floors with minimal space. As you walk into the terminal, you will need your mask on. You’ll also be stopped by security to confirm that you are a traveller (only travellers are allowed into the airport). The terminal does not look busy, but travel activity is growing week by week. Toronto Pearson has initiated a “Healthy Airport” program in response to COVID-19. This includes anti-bacterial fogging, UV cleaning technology, enhanced sanitization, and physical distancing measures. As you make your way to check-in, you will notice these measures throughout the terminal.

Check-in and Security

Air Canada Touch Free Check-In Kiosk

Advanced check-in is now more important than ever. If your flight is busy (70% or more), and you prefer to travel on a different flight, you will have an option to change to another flight operating within three days or to the next available flight without additional fees. Touch-free check-in at select airports includes seamless TouchFree Bag Check service. During mobile check-in, select the number of checked bags, print your bag tags from dedicated kiosks, and then drop off your bags at the TouchFree Bag Drop.

You’ll see physical distancing measures in place as you line up for security, with decals every two metres on the floor. As you walk up to security, your temperature will be taken by airport personnel. You now scan your own boarding pass at security and proceed through inspection. Hand sanitization stations are available at security screening and throughout the airport.

Airport Lounges and Pre-Flight

Social Distancing  seats near a gate at Toronto Pearson Airport

If you have access to an Air Canada airport lounge, you’ll be happy to know that they have re-opened. Seating has been readjusted to provide social distancing. Food comes in a snack box and drinks are handed to you by an attendant. There are also washroom attendants. As you make your way to your departure gate, some restaurants are open and seating at the gate has been adjusted with social distancing. There are more people travelling than you would expect but there is still plenty of room for physical distancing throughout the terminal.

Boarding and On the Plane

Selfie of the Author wearing a mask while flying on the plane

The number of boarding zones has increased (8 for my flight). There are fewer travellers in each zone with boarding by window then aisle and from back to front of the plane. At boarding, you’ll show your ID and boarding pass. But you’ll be asked to pull back your mask so that the agent can see your face vs. the picture on your ID. As you board the plane, you’ll be handed the Clean Care Kit (if you are flying Air Canada). The Kit includes a mask, antiseptic wipes, hand sanitizer, gloves, water bottle, a headset, and a snack. Seating is spaced out as much as possible. Given current travel activity, it would be odd to have someone beside you. Announcements on board will always remind you of COVID protocols including wearing your mask over your mouth and nose (unless eating or drinking).

Air Canada Clean Care Kit

At Montreal Airport

There are 3 security entrance points at Montreal Airport. As you enter, you will be required to sanitize your hands and have your temperature taken by infrared thermometer. Virtually every airport, including Montreal, follows updated COVID specific health and safety protocols. You are encouraged to use mobile check-in; you must wear a face mask; physical distancing measures are in place; and enhanced sanitization processes are ongoing.

Business Travel in a COVID-19 World – Summary

With the many biosafety protocols and procedures in place for travel, it quite frankly feels safer to travel than to buy groceries. It felt great to travel again as it seemed to for everyone else on the plane. The travel industry has spent considerable time and effort in developing new procedures to build trust and confidence- and it works! It really is time to travel. And business travel needs to happen to facilitate economic growth. Updated travel guidelines and procedures are the new norm and we are all ready for takeoff!

Flying on an airplane

Feel free to reach out for more information and to inquire about an updated travel program with Plus Travel Group. 

Check out my previous post for more information – Is it the right time to travel again?

Pros and Cons of Working While on the Road

Working and traveling has many advantages and disadvantages. Read on for tips on how to manage working remotely.

Working remotely is possible and can be simple with some good balance. As with any situation – there are pros and cons to working while on the road. Sometimes it also depends on the individual and whether you are able to create a habit and maintain an organized lifestyle while balancing travel and work at the same time. In any case, before you take on a remote job and hit the road, make sure that you are ready for any and all advantages and disadvantages that come with it.

Working while traveling can be both fun and overwhelming. It also is not for everyone. If you are the type of person able to organize your time well and handle last-minute stress – all while going places, then a remote job could be for you. Moreover, our key tip for working while on the road is good time management. With solid tactics and strategies, you can succeed at working remotely and traveling as long as you make a plan before you start your journey. Therefore, come up with a daily schedule that works for you. Meanwhile, create it so that it enables you to complete everything in time and stay on top of your game at all times.

On the other hand, before you begin working while on the road, make sure that things at home are taken care of so that you don’t worry about it later on. For example, why not rent out your place while you are away? Doing so, you could profit while being away. In addition, storing your belongings while you are away would be a great idea.

You can have everything in one place and know that it’s well taken care of. As you are getting ready to leave, you can avoid additional wasted time by booking an efficient moving company and have them relocate your belongings to a storage unit. Now that all things are dealt with at home, bon voyage!

Pros & Cons

The list of advantages and disadvantages when it comes to working while on the road might differ from one person to the next. However, here is a generic list of pros and cons to help you decide whether working remotely is for you.

Advantages

If we think about a regular 9 am to 5 pm job, you spend most of your day in an office within the same setting. An enclosed space with the same people, and daily activities mostly remaining the same. If one place doesn’t hold you, and you need to have a constant change, then working while on the road is for you. Why? You will never be in the same place for a long time. Working remotely will open you up to new places, new experiences, a variety of cultures and lots of sightseeing. This, however, is only possible with good balance and time management.

Another pro of working while on the road is the variety of people you get to meet and the increase in overall productivity. I don’t know about you, but when I travel and work, I have more energy and motivation to complete my work. It is never dull. With every day being different, it always keeps you on your toes, especially if it’s an important trip. In addition, the number of people you get to communicate with and form relationships with is truly amazing.

Disadvantages

One con that might be common amongst people is the fact that you have to maintain an organized schedule. Without organization, working while on the road becomes risky and messy. You start with one missed due date and it can pile on. The constant up-keeping with a busy schedule can add to being more tired. Also, constantly traveling and moving from one place to the next – you might notice a loss of energy and more need for rest.

Another disadvantage of traveling and working is that you will be away from family and friends the majority of the time. You have to be ready for the fact that you might not see them for a while.

Furthermore, we never mentioned the finances of all of this. Yes, you are working while traveling, but going from one place to the next can definitely add up. Managing your finances is definitely key, as well as staying within budget. It can become easy to get carried away with spending.

Work, work, work!

Once again, working while on the road is definitely not for everyone. We recommend evaluating your situation as well as our list of advantages and disadvantages before you contemplate trying to work remotely. Are you good with your time management? Do you work well when setting your own schedule and handling last-minute pressure? If so, and you want to immerse yourself in working while on the road all the while being surrounded by new people and various cultures, then remote work is for you. You never know, as this can help you grow in ways you might not have ever imagined. Meanwhile, if you know yourself well and are aware that balancing all those elements isn’t for you then perhaps working while on the road is something you shouldn’t do. Overall, however, we believe that you cannot know or understand something unless you try it. The pros and cons will always be there, and so what? You might surprise yourself along the way, and in the end, you have nothing to lose and perhaps lots to gain. Get on working!

Author’s Bio

Jane Connors is a journalism graduate who decided to travel the world all the while gaining writing experience. As someone who’s been to a few countries, she enjoys sharing her experiences and tips on traveling, working and sometimes both at the same time.