Canada is so huge that you may never see enough of it in one trip. Traveling to Canada can be a memorable trip. If you are a first-time visitor to Canada, then it can become very exciting. Canada is full of the most wonderful wildlife parks, mountains, glaciers, lakes, forests, islands, cities, and beaches. But there are so many things to take into consideration if you are visiting Canada for the first time. Above all, you should not forget that Canada is a vast country that spans from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean on both sides as well as the Arctic Ocean to the north. Here are the top 9 tips for first-time visitors to Canada.
1. Learn French
You must take into consideration the languages that Canadians speak, and those are English and French. While you can trust your English language proficiency is at par with the best speakers in the world, try learning French when you visit Canada. Quebec has much of its population who speak French. When you go to rural areas, knowledge of French will be of much help. In cities, though, you can converse in English. Also, if you go to other provinces like Manitoba or Ontario, you will get some areas where people speak mostly French.
2. Canada is huge
Canada is the second largest country in the world and that means there is so much to see here. You will have to do a lot of driving in Canada. Stick to one or two destinations or provinces at the most, if you truly want to enjoy Canada. Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver, and Montreal are the biggest cities in Canada. Going for SUV Rental Vancouver might be just what you will need if you are going to rent a car for your transportation in Canada. You can pick a particular province or go for national parks or cities in Canada. This might be the most important thing to take into consideration before you embark on your Canada visit.
3. Book in advance
Canada is a huge tourist destination, and accommodation might become full. So it is better to do a booking for your hotel, hostel, or camping trips. You will get cheap hostel accommodation in places like Toronto, Alberta, Halifax, and Vancouver. Even if you are going to national parks, it makes sense to do a booking for your camps or lodges in advance as tourist season always brings in a large number of tourists. You can check websites that offer cheap accommodation in Canada. Also make note that the accommodation can be as varied as cabins, campsites, chalets, motels, hostels, guest houses, apartment blocks, homestays, and vacation rentals, to name a few.
4. The weather
Most of us consider Canada to be very cold. Indeed, it is, and it can be very cold when you go to places like Newfoundland or Manitoba can be very freezing at night. But when you are planning to visit British Columbia or anywhere on the west coast, on the shores of the Pacific coastline, then you will get milder temperatures which are best for doing most touristy activities. You should pack in extra woolens and thick gloves, scarf, and woolen hats if you are wandering out to one of the colder parts of Canada. Evening temperatures can dip considerably and it even gets very windy and biting cold.
5. Travel insurance
Canada has such a highly developed healthcare system, but it applies only to Canadians. When you are visiting Canada on a tourist visa, you will need proper healthcare insurance in case of medical emergencies. It can prove very costly to you if you travel to Canada without health insurance. You can even choose a healthcare policy with regards to the climatic and other geographic conditions in Canada.
6. Drinking age
The drinking age in Canada is below that of the USA. So it is pretty obvious that Americans cross the border to be in Canada to party with friends. The drinking age is just 18 or 19 in Canada. You can buy liquor or beer if you want from stores. But not all stores are good for buying beer. You should also take note of the cities that are safe for drinking and having a night out with friends. Rules can also vary from province to province.
Canada is a huge country and if you have to travel long distances, you should do proper research into the available transportation. In most cities, you will get a train, bus, or subway. If you are visiting destinations on the Atlantic coastline of British Columbia, you will most probably get a ferry ride. Toronto has a streetcar system or trams. Vancouver Car Rentals can be very helpful to cover long distances in Canada.
8. Canadian food
Gourmet lovers will love visiting Canada as there is a bustling food culture that you can expect here. Craft beer is very popular in many parts of Canada, particularly, in British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Ontario, etc. Food trucks have burst into the scene offering a plethora of gourmet international delicacies while including organic and healthy ingredients in their food. You can also taste local delicacies and street food that is popular in Canada.
The one absolute must that you should do before planning a trip to Canada is to know about the Canadian dollar exchange rate. Also, do a bit of research about coins and legitimate banks where you can use debit or credit cards. Sales tax is also a thing that you should check out and what restaurants or stores have different sales tax rates.
You can enjoy Canada more if you take care of the things mentioned above. You can plan a trip to Canada and do the most exciting activities. If the weather and climate favor you, you will do a lot more than you would have hoped to do. You should make a detailed Canada tour plan and include things to do, top places to visit, transportation needs, etc so that you get the most out of your trip to Canada.