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Traveling now requires lots of planning and research. For international travel, the regulations for each country seem to change almost daily. Before you travel, you need to stay on top of the rules and requirements. Here’s our first-hand experience traveling to Portugal in 2021.

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What it’s like traveling to Portugal now

How to prepare before travel

Pearson International Airport 2021

We had been waiting like many other travelers for over a year to travel to Portugal. Before you travel, you need to book a PCR test within 72 hours prior to departure. We booked ours at Lifelabs. There’s also a passenger locator card (PLC) to fill out online. 

Arriving at Pearson International Airport (YYZ) terminal 1, we checked in with our airline. We were required to show our passports and PLC paperwork. As long as you have all the proper documents, the process wasn’t much longer than usual.

Getting through security

lineups for security at YYZ airport

Proceeding to security was easy, as we book business class tickets. There was no lineup. Each traveler was required to have their temperature checked before entering the security area. Otherwise, the process was the same as usual.


laurie johnson luxury travel advisor

The international lounges closer to our gates were closed at this time. We chose to spend a few hours at the Maple Leaf lounge. At this time, the lounge only accepted 106 people to enter. So there was a wait time.  The Plaza Premium lounge was also open with a 1 hour special for $19.99 plus tax.

In the lounge, staff served wine & beer, packaged food, and salads. From this lounge, it takes about 15 minutes to walk to the international gates. If you prefer hot food, you will need to scan the QR code on your table. In my opinion, the food was a disappointment.

Experience on the airplane

traveling business class to Portugal

On the airplane, masks were required at all times unless you were eating or drinking. Our pods on the plane were in the front of the cabin, row 3.

travelig to Portugal in 2021

[our pods in the center with large tv screen, bedding kit, personal protective kit]  Seats 3D & 3G

We were pleased with the service on the plane. In business class, we had a choice of wines, spirits, liqueurs, and beers. Our dinner appetizer was smoked yellowfin tuna, citrus, fennel, and olive salad with horseradish cream.

appetizer on airplane

[appetizer, salad, and roll]

The main course choices were falafel or beef tenderloin. Both of us chose the beef, which was very good. Dessert choices were cheddar, grapes & crackers, fresh seasonal fruit, or a raspberry tart.

Breakfast was not so enjoyable. However, we did plan to make a stop after leaving the Lisbon airport.

Arriving at Lisbon Airport

landing in Lisbon

[Air Canada 787-8 flying from Toronto to Lisbon]

When we arrived at the Lisbon airport, the first step is passing through immigration. Since our plane was one of the first to arrive, there was no long line.

imigration at Lisbon airport

Renting a car

waiting for car rental

After collecting our baggage, we followed the signs to the car rentals. Our car rental was booked in advance as July & August are still in high season. Unfortunately, our car (Audi 3) was not going to hold all the luggage.

In replacement, we upgraded to a Toyota Rav4. This process took about 1 hour to complete. Check prices here with Auto Europe for available car rentals.

What to expect in Portugal

driving from Lisbon airport

[leaving Lisbon airport on the highway]

Expect regulations for traveling to Portugal to change frequently along with the rules. For the latest information, please check At the moment, hotels and restaurants require a full vaccination certificate.  


Here is how to reach us if you want more information about our experience traveling to Portugal or help planning your trip.