Things to know when traveling to Canada for the first time

Are you traveling to Canada for the first time for a business or holiday vacation? Trust me; you’ve chosen the right tourist destination or a short trip. I understand the fear or curiosity that goes along with traveling to a new location for the first time, especially to a country such 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 its unique iconic wilderness, epic landscapes, endless hiking, moose bears, and so on. The list is endless. However, a trip to Canada can be stressful without reading the below breakdown of Canada travel tips.

Canada is a holiday destination

  1. It has a large population.

Canada has about 36 million people. Although Canada is large, over 80% of its population chooses to live within 100 miles of the US border. English and French are the two official languages in the country. Outside Quebec and some part of the East coast that speaks French as its 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. Printing it out is not compulsory; you only need the eTA number. Or if you feel extra secure printing it out, it’s okay.

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

It would be best to watch out for some travel agencies or visa companies charging high amounts to obtain Canada eTa. If you’re browsing the eTA official website, it is clearly stated that eTA only costs $7 Canadian. If you are planning a trip to Canada, please note that eTA shouldn’t require $39 CAD or even 39€ as displayed on most online websites.

Going to Canada can be through “visa-free” entry. But if your passport does not give you access to this, 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 slightly different from the US bills, which 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 have.

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 a “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 helpful.

  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 experience different climatic conditions in its parts, depending on your area and the time of the year.

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

The climatic condition on 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 usually rains in Vancouver from November to April. The summer can be very hot in areas where you find the Rocky Mountains, while the winter shades them in a fair amount of natural snow.

In Atlantic Canada, the far East Coast experiences ocean breezes and sunny summers, but it is usually brutal to travel 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 visit 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 the 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.

Buses 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 challenging 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.

  1. Protect yourself against thieves

Similar to other parts of the world, Canada is a big city with many hotels and tourist centers. Thieves understand how vulnerable most tourists can be and make them their primary 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.

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