Things to know when traveling to Canada for the first time

Are you traveling to Canada for the first time for business or holiday vacation? Trust me, you’ve chosen the right destination for tourists or a short trip. I understand the fear or curiosity to goes along with traveling to a new location for the first time, especially a tie one country as Canada, there are so many things to know when traveling to Canada as a solo traveler or when traveling with family and friends.

Canada is a holiday destination; no one would pass the opportunity to venture into their unique iconic wilderness, epic landscapes, endless hiking, moose bears, and so on. The list is endless. However, a trip to Canada can be so stressful without reading the following breakdown of Canada travel tips below.

  1. It has a large population

Canada has about 36 million people. Although Canada is large, over 80% of its population choose to live within 100miles of the US border. English and French are their two-official language in the country. Outside Quebec and some part of the East coast that speaks French as it’s the primary language, the other part of Canada. So, communication and making new friends won’t be a problem.

  1. You will need an eTA for entry

eTA means Electronic Travel Authority. If you are planning a trip to Canada, it doesn’t matter if you are on a “Visa-free” travel, you will still need an eTA. It only costs 7 Canadian dollars, and the numbers will be linked to your passport information.

You will have to answer a few questions as a “pre-screen” before you are given your eTA. You will immediately get an email confirming your registration. It’s not compulsory to print it out, all you need is the eTA number. Or if you feel extra secure printing it out, then it’s okay.

  1. Watch out for visa companies charging high amount to acquire eTA

You must watch out for some travel agency or visa companies charging huge amounts to obtain Canada eTa. If you’re browsing through the eTA official website, it is clearly stated that eTA only cost $7 Canadian. If you are planning a trip to Canada, please note eTA shouldn’t require $39 CAD or even 39€ as it is being displayed on most websites online.

Going to Canada can be through “visa-free” entry. But if your passport does not give you access to this, then you will have to apply for a tourist Visa. You can check the Canada immigration website on how to apply for a tourist visa to Canada.

  1. Payment of bills in Canada

Canada money is renowned and looks like “monopoly money” It’s plastic with different denomination having their colours. This is a bit different from the US bills, that are all green in colour, and a mixture of cotton and paper. This makes it easy for you to understand the amount of money you are having at a glance.

One thing to know about Canada’s money is that the denomination is $100, 50, 20, 10, and even $5 bills. There are coin currencies in a low denomination that can be in dollars and cents. A dollar coin looks golden in colour with a loon on it, and it is popularly called a “Loonie”. A 2 dollar coin comes in two colours with a polar bear on it and it is called “toonie”.  Followed by a “quarter” which is 25 cents, 10 cents is called “dime”, while 5 cents is called a ‘nickel”. In 2012 the smallest of it which is 1 cent popularly called a “penny” was discontinued because it is no longer useful.

  1. The Climatic weather condition in Canada

There are so many articles online on the best time to visit Canada. Still, Canada is so big that people do experience a different climatic condition in its parts, depending on the area you live and the time of the year.

Places like Ontario is divided into four distinct seasons, and there is a possibility of the temperature to go from -30 degree Celsius during winter to +5 degree Celsius when it is summer. Ontario is also known for the humid summer heat, and there is every possibility of sweating in the shade.

The climatic condition in the West Coast of Canada in places like Vancouver usually experiences a maritime climate, similar to that of the United Kingdom. The summer is fair enough and is never too hot. The same applies to the winters; it does not get snowy. It normal rains in Vancouver from November to April. In areas where you find the Rocky Mountains, the summer can be very hot, while the winter shades them in a fair amount of natural snow.

In Atlantic Canada, far East Coast experiences ocean breezes and sunny summer, but it is usually brutal taking a trip to Atlantic Canada during winter. The weather varies in different areas, so if you are traveling to Canada for the first time, you need to specify the part you are traveling to. The month you are visiting is also essential because of weather conditions and temperatures. This will help you to decide what to pack during your visit, and the activities you should participate in.

  1. The transportation system in Canada

There are lots of differences between Europe and the Canada Transport system. Canada, unlike Europe, does not make use of public transport. The areas are large with things well spaced out. It will only be necessary and make sense to use specifically regional trains.

Bus and metros are used in Canadian cities; the system is good enough to take you around the entire city. But outside the cities, it is a tough one because Canada is large and well-spaced. You will also notice the vast expanses of forest, farmland and other landscape between towns—more reason you will need a car to move around.

7. Protect yourself against thieves

Similar to other parts of the world, Canada is a big city with lots of hotels and tourist centres. Thieves understand how vulnerable most tourists can be and make them their main target. A handful of Canada travel tips are to leave your original passport behind in your hotel room, while you tour the city with a photocopy. Avoid leaving your valuables in the car no matter how secure it is. These are some of the things to know when traveling to Canada.

Have you been to Canada before or you have friends who live there? Feel free to share your experience using the comment session below.

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