Older travellers

On this page you will find useful information and advice to help you have safe and healthy travels outside Canada.

On this page

Before you go

As an older traveller, you could face certain barriers and risks when you travel outside Canada. Research and prepare for your trip in advance to help your travels go smoothly.

Travel advice 

Visit the Travel Advice and Advisories page for your destination for information on:  

List of destination-specific Travel Advice and Advisories  

Travel documents 

Passports

Be sure your passport is valid before you leave Canada. 

More information about applying for a Canadian passport  

Visas and other requirements 

While you may not need a visa for all destinations when travelling with your Canadian passport, most countries require a visa for longer stays (usually more than 90 days). 

More information about visas 

List of foreign embassies and consulates accredited to Canada  

Register your trip 

Sign up for the Registration of Canadians Abroad service so that Global Affairs Canada (GAC) can contact and assist you in case of an emergency. Through this service, GAC can also help your family or friends reach you in case of an emergency abroad.  

Register your next trip 

Travel insurance 

Make sure you get travel insurance that includes health, life and disability coverage. This will help you avoid large expenses, such as the cost of hospitalization and medical treatment outside Canada.  

More information about travel insurance  

Accessibility and accommodations  

More information about travelling with disabilities  

Health information 

Visit a health care provider or a travel health clinic to discuss your travel plans, preferably 6 weeks before you leave, to reduce your risk of illness or accidents while abroad. For more information, visit Receiving medical care outside Canada and Well on Your Way - A Canadian’s Guide to Healthy Travel Abroad 

Vaccines

Visit a health care professional to find out if any vaccines are required or recommended for your destination.   With increasing age, it may take your body longer to develop immunity. If possible, get vaccinated well in advance of your travels so that you have enough time to develop immunity. Be sure your routine vaccines and adult boosters recommended in Canada, such as the pneumococcal vaccine, are up to date.

The protection you received from vaccines when you were younger decreases over time. This could increase your risk of getting some diseases. Discuss your immunization history with your health care professional before you travel. 

For more information, visit Travel vaccinations

COVID-19 vaccines

Yellow fever vaccine 

Some countries require proof that travellers have received a yellow fever vaccination and have an International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis before allowing them to enter the country.  

Influenza vaccine 

Travelling with medicines 

In some countries, drugs that are legal and readily available in Canada may be considered illegal, require a prescription or may arouse suspicions among local officials and customs and immigration authorities. 

More information about travelling with medication 

More information about travelling with a medical device 

What you can bring on a plane 

List of foreign embassies and consulates accredited to Canada  

While you are away

Health considerations 

If you become ill and require medical assistance while outside of Canada, consult Sickness or injury

Malaria  

If you are travelling to areas where malaria is present, you should discuss your risk with a health care professional to determine if antimalarial medication is required.  

Travellers’ diarrhea 

Complications from travellers’ diarrhea are a particular concern in older travellers with underlying medical conditions. Ask a health care professional if there are any extra precautions you should take.   

Transportation considerations

Air travel

Air travel may cause blood clots known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT). You may be at greater risk of developing blood clots if you have cancer or congestive heart failure or had recent surgery.   

Jet lag

You can get jet lag after crossing multiple time zones. Symptoms of jet lag can include difficulty falling asleep at night, waking up earlier than usual and feeling irritable and tired.  

Driving

Climate considerations  

High altitude

Extreme temperatures

If you need help 

If you need assistance while you are outside Canada, contact the Canadian embassy, high commission or consulate in your host country or GAC at the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.  

Retiring abroad

If you plan to retire outside Canada, check with the foreign government office accredited to Canada of the country where you plan to live to find out what regulations are in place, what the tax implications might be and what documents you may require.   

More information about retiring abroad

Returning to Canada

Entry requirements can change suddenly. Even if you are a Canadian citizen, check the updated travel requirements before your departure to return to Canada. 

COVID-19 travel, testing and borders  

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