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Summer Vacation Survival Tips for Canadian Travellers in 2023

survival tips for canadian travellers

With school out in a matter of weeks, and Canadian airports anticipating high volumes of travellers, now is the time to be proactive to ensure your travel experience is as stress-free as possible. From efficient packing tips to managing those lengthy security wait times, here are a handful of survival tips to help Canadian travellers enjoy their upcoming summer vacations.

Book Your Security Screening

No, you didn't misread that! If you're efficient, gone are the days of wasting time at the airport because of ridiculous wait times. Programs like YVR Express allow travellers to schedule a time slot to enter security screening. Domestic passengers and those flying to the U.S. can pre-schedule their screening up to 72 hours before their flight departure. You'll need the following information to book this service:

  • Airline

  • Destination

  • Flight number

  • Number of travellers in your party

  • Your email address

This service is also available at Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, and Montreal International Airport, so if you're flying out to any of these cities, remember to book your return security screening.

Pack Light, Pack Smart!

Baggage fees have never been more astronomical, and not sound cynical, but airlines are cracking down more than ever on travellers with overweight bags (and yes, that includes carry-on!) As lists are constantly changing, please make sure to always check the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority's website to find out what is and isn't acceptable to bring on board. Additionally, remember to keep bagging your liquids. And please remember not to check your vapes & e-cigarettes in your checked bags as they have been deemed a fire hazard if they have lithium batteries.

survival tips for canadian travellers

Book Your Bags in Advance

You'll always save a minimum $10-20 or more on your baggage fees when you log into your airline app and book in advance - especially if you're booking excess baggage. This will also encourage you not to pack the kitchen sink!

survival tips for canadian travellers

Book Your Seats in Advance

I can't stress this enough. If you think you can still get a decent seat at the 24-hour check-in mark, you'll be singing the middle-seat blues. Or worse, suffering from a stiff back sitting in that crappy row up against the bathroom. Airlines are doing more now to try and seat families together, but there are still stories floating about of young-ones being separated and sitting with strangers. Please don't rely on the 'kindness' of strangers. Book everyone's seats together in advance.

If you have specialized mobility requirements, specifically travelling in a wheelchair or powerchair, David Lyons-Black is the premier accessibility travel specialist, a dear colleague of mine, and understands the ins and outs of travelling on two or four wheels.

Stop Booking on Third Party Sites

I've said it before and I'll say it again - Stop. Booking. On. Third. Party. Websites! Or at least go over those terms and conditions with a fine tooth comb! Those flight prices may look enticing, but these sites often have an extra set of rules on top of the airline's, and getting funds back can be a huge headache.

survival tips for canadian travellers

Buy The Best Travel Insurance Money Can Buy!

Step one, check your credit card coverage. Most folks have solid coverage on the Visa or Mastercard, but there are a few things to watch out for; Do you have interruption coverage and what is the amount you're covered for if you get stuck in destination and it all hits the fan? What are the covered risks if you need to cancel your trip? What are the pre-existing that are not covered in your credit card insurance? This is not a travel component to skimp out on.

survival tips for canadian travellers

Airbnb vs Hotels - What's the Best Deal?

I could write an entire article about this (in fact, I will, later this week). My initial remarks are this: Airbnb has a very unique business model, and it serves a purpose for travellers who prefer a self-catering experience. Unfortunately, we've seen cleaning costs and service fees increase dramatically on the platform over the last year. Deals are becoming harder to come by for highly desirable rentals located in city centres and popular resort areas. Mid-week bookings tend to be less expensive, so if you have flexibility, you can work that to your advantage.

On the other hand, hotels have also seen a significant increase since the pandemic. Whether it's trying to make up for lost revenue during the pandemic or recuperate costs for expensive renovations, per-night pricing is on a runaway train of sorts. However, they often offer better amenities, you don't have to worry about tackling a long-cleaning list at the end of your stay, and hotels offer more safety and security (generally).

So when it comes time to sort out your accommodations, think about what you want to get out of your experience, what's important to you, and what you value above all else. Focusing on the cheapest price, as we know, can make for a less than cheerful experience.

Pack Your Patience

You've heard it a thousand times, but it's always good to give ourselves a reminder. It's going to be a zoo out there, and there's nothing you can do about it other than learn some coping skills. Travel was up 4x in the summer of 2022 over 2021, and this summer experts are forecasting a significantly higher increase, even with inflated flight and accommodation pricing. As a travel advisor who works closely with travellers who live with anxiety, PTSD, and various invisible disabilities that make travel challenging, I look forward to working with you to ensure this upcoming travel season is goes as smoothly as possible.


Accessible Travel Specialist - David Lyons-Black

Montreal International Express -



Jordana Manchester

Welcome to my passion project - the Storied Lands travel blog. Gather here for trip inspiration, stories, destination spotlights,  helpful tips, and thought-provoking discussions about important issues throughout the travel and tourism industry.

Posts on the Storied Lands Travel Blog may contain affiliate links which may result in a small commission generated from clicks that result in a purchase. Posts that contain such links will always disclose as such at the beginning of the post.

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