A visit to Canada is on the bucket list of many people all around the world and it can be a beautiful country to visit. However, there are some things you should always know about before you decide to visit Canada.
Internal Flights Might Be a Good Way to Get Around
Canada is a big place but you may be interested in seeing as much of it as possible in your time there. If you to see what each of the major cities of Canada have to offer, particularly on the East Side, you should book a flight or two to do so. Porter Airlines offer some great options for flights all over the country
Flying around gives you the chance to see much more of it in a shorter timeframe than if you were committing to driving or public transport. It should definitely be a path to consider for you to get around.
You Can Visit the National Parks at Any Time of Year
If you want to head up into one of the national parks, you are probably thinking about doing so for the winter sports. Whether you are heading to Banff, Whistler, or any of Canada’s other winter sports resorts, you will most likely want to do so for the skiing or snowboarding.
However, if you are visiting them in the summer then you are going to find plenty still to do. Depending on when you visit, the ski-runs might even still be open, but there is also a plethora of beautiful hikes to go on plus activities such as mountain biking. Don’t think that there is nothing to do here just because the snow has melted.
Canadian French is Not French French
If you took a few lessons of French to help you navigate your way around France, you might think that you have the necessary skills to keep yourself afloat in Quebec. Not so, there are actually some subtle differences between the varieties of French spoken in France and Canada.
Most French-speaking Canadians will understand you without any trouble but you should definitely look up some of the most common differences so you don’t get caught out by people idly chatting with you. Remember that English will also always be an option, so you have no reason to not give French your best shot.
Beware of Bears
Canada is home to many varieties of bears and there is always the chance that you will bump into one. As such, you need to look up some basic bear safety precautions so you always know what you have to do in the unlikely event you have to face one down.
This is especially important if you are hiking and camping. Keep all your food in airtight containers and properly bury your waste or take it with you. These are all precautions to stop a bear tracking you. You should also try to camp in actual protected campsites where you can instead of wild camping. Finally, if you are going to visit the arctic circle, be particularly vigilant about polar bears. These are one of the few types of bears that actively stalk humans so you should try not to get to close to them for your own safety.
Keep Yourself Safe
Canada has a well-deserved reputation for being friendly and welcoming. However, this does not mean that the country is crime-free. Keep vigilant in urban areas and watch out for muggers and pickpockets. You should also know which areas of the city are safe and unsafe for tourists. You often find that areas with great bars and restaurants can be in newly gentrified districts. While this might mean a great savings for your wallet, it can also mean that you are right next to some of the more questionable neighbourhoods in the city. A wrong turn in the wrong place might not be best.
When you are out in the wider country, make sure you have everything you need to protect yourself. Don’t hitchhike; there are reliable and safe channels you can go through if you need to find a car-share. Keep a spare battery pack on you and a wireless charger so your phone can always bee good to go. If you need to make an emergency call in Canada, you should ring 911 like you would in the USA. Knowing little things like these can mean the difference between you leaving a situation fine or something unsavoury happening. Don’t get caught out.
Always Carry Cash
While this is less of an issue in the big cities, if you are travelling out to the rural areas of Canada you should always try to have a little extra money on you at all times. It is very difficult to know where you will find the next ATM, especially if you are on one of the islands or a big stretch of highway, and you don’t want to find yourself cashless in a place which doesn’t accept cards.
Take a little more cash than you actually need and spread it around yourself and bags. You can store some of it in your personal bags and some of it in your wallet so it is always accessible. Consider also getting a money-belt; just for extra precautions.
Canada’s weather can change in the blink of an eye and you need to be able to adequately protect yourself at all times. Make sure you know where you can look to see how the weather is going to be changing over the next few days and consider finding an app to give you up to date warnings.
If you are travelling in winter, make sure you have the right clothing. You need a thick winter coat and some decent snow boots. If you are hiring a car, make sure it comes with snow tires. You should also be prepared for sudden road closures due to either an avalanche further up the road or a worsening snow storm. You may have to make emergency stops you had not planned in your itinerary.
No matter where you are coming from to visit Canada, you should always take out some sort of travel insurance. This becomes even more important if you are coming to Canada for skiing and snowboarding and you will find many travel insurance policies which cover these activities waiting for you to browse.
Insurance protects you from a whole range of different calamities way beyond injury. If you are thinking of travelling to a foreign country for any length of time, you should make sure that you take out some form of insurance policy.
Canada is a beautiful country and it has much to offer its visitors. You can lose yourself in the urban metropolis of Toronto or Vancouver, take in the amazing islands of Nova Scotia, or head to the breath-taking wilds of the countryside. Where would you like to go on your Canadian adventure? The time is right for you to start planning your journey here today. Remember to think sensibly, and keep in mind some of the tips listed above. With them on your side, you are in a much better position to enjoy your time in Canada safely.