Canada Travel Tips to help you plan your trip.
If you’re an American, you most likely consider Canada to be your little brother in the north. Despite being so close to the United States, there are plenty of Americans who have never travelled to Canada. Do you fit into this category? If yes, then you should see pictures of Canada and you’ll definitely want to change that as quickly as possible.
Canada is a great travel destination and it offers a little something for everyone. The lakes are super clear, the Canadian Rockies (mountains) are majestic, the Prairies are wide and open.. and even the cities are very interesting,
So, what should you expect when visiting Canada? Read the travel tips for Canada below to find out.
Easy Access and Visa for Most Countries
Visiting some countries can be far more difficult than you could ever imagine. You’ll be required to jump through tons of hoops and work through lengthy paperwork for the visa. Heck, you might even have to get vaccinations. Canada is different.
In fact, it is safe to say that the Canadian government is pretty laid back when it comes to American tourists. You still have to complete some tasks, but they’re very limited. Just make sure that you get an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) in advance (yes most travelers need it). If hold an EU / British or Australian passport, you need an ETA too. You can do that by visiting www.eta-canada.com. Thankfully, that won’t take you more than ten minutes (unlike the ETA for India, haha).
Weather in Canada – Winters are Harsh
The temperature in Canada is usually colder than the USA and most of the European countries. The temperature in summer can be around 35°C degrees in Ontario and around. Winter can be under -10°C. The temperature can be extreme in the Prairies because of dry climate. There can be storms too, be sure to check the storm and unexpected weather alerts on the Canadian government website.
Summer in Canada doesn’t last for long and that’s the time when you should visit. June and July are summer months. April and May are spring months and that’s the time for music festivals. Theatre and Film festivals are also organized in the spring and fall months. If you enjoy winter sports like skiing and snowboarding, then you should consider visiting Canada at this time.
Canada is Diverse
Many people do not know it, but Canada is a pretty diverse place. You probably think that you’re going to enter Canada and see nothing but Caucasians. That definitely isn’t true.
Canada is full of people from many difference countries. Under the leadership of Justin Trudeau, Canada’s diversity has climbed higher and higher. When visiting the country, you’re going to see people from all types of backgrounds. You’ll meet Africans, Mexicans, Americans, and Middle Easterners too. The possibilities are endless.
Money in Canada – Canadian Dollar
You also need to realize that the Canadian dollar is a little different from the United States dollar. A single Canadian dollar is worth roughly .77 cents in the United States. That means that your American money is going to go a little bit further in Canada.
The difference isn’t major, but it is definitely something to take note of. It doesn’t mean that Canada is cheaper than the US. In fact, Canada is more expensive than the USA interns of food, groceries, alcohol and cigarettes.
You don’t really need to convert the currency if you’re traveling to Canada from the US. Many places accept US dollars but at a fee. The ATMs will give you an option to withdraw in both USD and CAD. Credit and Debit cards are easily accepted in most of the places.
Another major misconception is that all Canadians speak English. It is true that a lot of Canadians speak English, but not all of them. In fact, there are tons of French Canadians. These individuals may not speak English at all.
Canada has become very diverse over the years. Therefore, you might run into people speaking Punjabi (from India), Spanish or another language. Don’t let that catch you off guard. Still, you won’t have to look far to find a Canadian or two who is capable of chatting with you in the English language.
Canada has Excellent Transportation
When visiting some countries, it is very tough to get around. In fact, you’ll need to rent an automobile. If you want to save money and skip the hassle, you’ll definitely love Canada.
In Canada, you can always take advantage of the public transportation system. It works exceptionally well and the buses are very clean. Plus, the country is very safe. You can ride the bus and never have to worry about being mugged or robbed. Try to travel in Canada by rail too, so that you can enjoy some epic views.
Time Zones in Canada and Daylight Saving
Canada being the second largest country in the world, has 6 timezones. These are – Pacific Time, Mountain Time, Central Time, Eastern Time, Atlantic Time and Newfoundland Time. Simple enough? Well there’s more. There’s daylight saving and some places like Saskatchewan do not change their time, so don’t follow daylight saving at all. Moreover, It is worth noting most of Canada uses the 12 hour clock format, but the French speaking region uses the 24 hour format.