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How to travel to the U.S. from Canada (and how to get back)

Let’s face it: international travel these days is… well, tricky.

If you’re planning to come to Washington State from Canada, here’s everything you need to know about planning your trip across the border and back. 

Use the ArriveCAN app to provide the government with necessary information.

You can download the free app here. Fill in the required fields with your info -- vaccination status, planned duration of trip, etc. All information is confidential and the app does not track your movement with GPS.

The ArriveCAN app will speed up your border crossing experience. Please note: if you don’t use the app, the border crossing guards can prevent your entry to the U.S. or Canada.

Have a quarantine plan if you’re not fully vaccinated.

Not fully vaccinated? Here’s the deal.

Before crossing the border, you'll need to confirm you have a suitable place to quarantine in Canada while still in Canada. That means a place where you can stay for 14 days or possibly longer, have access to water, food, medication and heat without leaving quarantine, and avoid contact with others who aren’t traveling with you.

Your quarantine plan must be submitted via ArriveCAN before you go on your trip.

You will also need to quarantine for two weeks upon your return from Canada.

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To cross the border back to Canada, you’ll need a negative Covid-19 test result that is less than 72 hours old. 

You can book a free test online in advance of your departure, using the Walgreens drug store website. Or visit one of the many testing sites in Seattle NorthCountry -- it’s easy to schedule an appointment with little advance notice. 

Just be sure to time things right: most Covid tests take at least 24 hours to process, sometimes up to 48 hours. Make sure you get tested about 3-4 days before your return to Canada to factor in time for test results.

Mask up and follow guidelines.

Washington State has an ongoing public mask mandate. You must wear a mask in all businesses and in certain outdoor settings. Please respect local communities by complying with state and local regulations at all times. When in doubt, check the state’s Department of Health website for the most up-to-date Covid-19 information.

Do your homework, plan your trip.

Looking for the best things to do to maximize your time stateside? We’ve curated a list of our favorite experiences in Seattle NorthCountry. See the content below for trip inspiration.


Explore the Mountain Loop.

Let's hike!

Stay by the sea at Hotel Indigo.

Get cozy

Visit the best breweries and distilleries in the PNW.


Find a bite to eat. Here are our recommendations.

Yum yum