Dear backpackers and luxury travelers, if you are not sure about your next holiday destination, consider visiting Canada.
From music fests and camping under the stars to yoga on the beach and fireworks by the bay, Canada offers activities for everyone.
So, if you decide to travel to Canada sometime soon, here are 15 things you must know before boarding that flight!
1. Unreliable Weather
From the moment you land in Canada, you will feel personally victimized by the weather. It’s either hot, cold, windy, or wet. There is no in-between.
It’s high time you master the art of layering before your trip. If you are traveling during winter pack scarves, heavy jackets, boots, and hoodies to beat the freezing cold.
The cold is less brutal in the western coastlines like British Columbia in summer, so you can pack a bikini for beach days. And a raincoat.
2. Learn to say “Thank you” and “Please”
Canadians are known for their politeness. Don’t litter, abuse, or catcall in public. If you’re taking the bus, say ‘thank you’ to the driver before getting off.
Paying your bill, ordering, or even breathing? Say ‘please’ and ‘thank you.’ Be prepared to exchange smiles with random strangers and make small talk with cab drivers.
3. It’s A Huge Country
Listen, Canada is a massive country, okay? It’s apparently the second largest country in the world. It’s not possible to cover every place in a week.
The distance between one province to another can be 4-5 hrs by flight. So, contact a tour service if you want to cover more ground.
Staying in the suburbs might seem cheaper, but it’s usually really far from the city center. Check the distance before booking a hotel as you can’t walk everywhere.
4. Tim Horton’s is A Must
If you go to Canada and don’t visit Tim Horton’s even once, please don’t talk to me.
It’s a Canadian franchise that sells surprisingly cheap but great freshly brewed coffee and a variety of donuts. It’s Canada’s favorite fast-food chain restaurant!
5. Be Prepared To Hike
Canadians love a good hike. If you want to experience the true beauty of the country, hike through the coastal rainforests on Vancouver Island.
You can also visit Banff, go skiing, camping, or canoeing.
Feeling lazy? Check out the night markets. Trust me, you’ll not get disappointed.
6. Insane Tax And Tips
There is a federal sales tax on everything in Canada. Food, clothes, groceries, phone bills, EVERYTHING. The price tags are not tax inclusive, so do the math mentally before buying something.
It’s not mandatory, but every time you receive a service, you’ll be expected to tip between 15 to 25 percent of your entire bill.
Note: There is no tax refund policy in Canada. So, you won’t be getting your money back when you leave the country.
7. Internet Is Super Expensive
Mobile internet is super expensive in Canada. You can be charged around $20 for just 2GB internet on your phone.
Take a moment and think, do you really need to post everything on IG? Take pictures and upload them later.
Save your mobile data for using Google Maps instead. You’ll be needing that a lot.
8. Health Insurance
As a tourist, you will need to have travel insurance to avoid paying huge medical bills if you get injured while traveling.
Canadians are the biggest advocates of insurance. So, get one before the trip!
9. Don’t Forget To Carry Your ID
The legal age to drink or smoke in Canada is 18 and 19, depending on the province. If you want to buy liquor, cigarettes, or even cannabis, you need to have a piece of ID on you.
Unlike European countries, you will not be able to buy beer or spirits from convenience stores in Canada. You must go to a liquor store to buy alcohol.
10. Know Your Metrics
If you are from an Asian or European country, know that Canadians write the dates backward.
Not only that, they mix the metric units for measurements. Sometimes they’ll use kilometers, celsius and pounds, other times they’ll use Fahrenheit, kilograms, and inches to measure something.
You’ll know Canada is all about saving the planet when you see 4 different trash cans every time you go to throw something.
You have to sort plastic, glass, papers, and organics before throwing it. It is a big deal.
12. Driving Rules
Even though Canada has one of the best public transport systems in the world, if you are traveling to distant places, we recommend renting a car.
Know the local speed limits and always keep your seatbelt on. You can’t smoke in the car if there’s a child with you and can’t talk over the phone while driving.
Drive safely and slowly if you are driving during the snow. Always keep an emergency kit with you when you go out.
13. All About Healthy Eating
Canadians are all about gluten-free, organic, and vegan food. In other words, they are very health conscious.
So, you will find something in every restaurant that caters to your taste. Don’t worry.
14. You Cannot Smoke Inside Bars
You cannot smoke inside bars or even on the patios. Not even cigarettes. Sorry.
You have to go outside and smoke. Oh and guess what? You can’t take your drinks outside while smoking either.
15. Accommodation Is Expensive
According to The Broke Backpacker, staying in hostels is better than staying in hotels. Airbnb is also a great alternative since accommodation is not at all cheap in Canada.
In cities like Vancouver or Toronto, rent per night can get really high.
Downtown is the best area to stay in and explore the neighborhood. It’s usually located in the middle of the city and has a more lively and hyped vibe.
Canada is not only about maple syrup and poutine. It’s a picturesque country with the most livable cities in the world.
Canada is safe, clean, and has a liberating lifestyle. The vibrant culture, food, and breathtaking views make Canada a must-visit.
Whether you’re planning a summer holiday or a winter getaway, Canada will not disappoint you.