Canada is one of the most beautiful countries in the world and if you want to visit it, there are some things you need to know in order to get the most out of your trip and make sure you have an enjoyable time without any hassles or disappointments.
That’s why we’ve put together this handy guide, which will give you all the information you need to know about travelling to Canada so that you can enjoy a pleasant holiday and not let anything spoil it. So here are 10 things you need to know before visiting Canada…
1) Travel Permits
It is a requirement for visitors to carry proof of identity and citizenship at all times. The most commonly accepted forms of ID are passport, driver’s license, birth certificate or other government-issued photo ID.
Passports can be obtained from your home country prior to departure or on arrival in Canada. For information on visa regulations please contact an Embassy or Consulate of Canada before you travel. Passport Canada is an excellent resource for details and requirements.
2) Canada is a Big Country!
The country of Canada spans more than 9.9 million square miles, meaning that it’s larger than all but 17 countries worldwide (though most are small island nations).
It takes a lot of time to get around! Plan your trip carefully. Most international travellers cross into Canada by air, because rail and sea routes take so long.
A domestic flight from east to west will take at least a full day—and for much of that time you’ll be flying over the wilderness. And there’s a fair chance you’ll have to change planes at some point in the journey.
3) Be Prepared for Canada’s Weather
The weather in Canada can be unpredictable, so it’s always a good idea to pack for various kinds of weather.
There are two seasons in Canada: summer and winter. Summer months (June–September) bring warm temperatures and warmer clothes; winter months (October–May) bring snow, wind, and rain. In case you run into some poor weather on your trip to Canada, it’s always good to have extra layers with you just in case! Be aware that the temperature fluctuates greatly from season to season.
The summer months range from 26-30 degrees Celsius while the winter months range from -6-5 degrees Celsius.
When packing for both seasons, consider what activities you will be doing when visiting different areas of Canada like Quebec City or Vancouver where the weather is very different depending on the location!
4) Canada Has Two Official Languages
English and French. The country is a nation of immigrants, which means that while most people are comfortable speaking one or both of these languages, you should learn some basic greetings in at least one of them.
Making an effort to speak French can score you big points with Quebecers in particular. If your knowledge of the language isn’t up to snuff, use Google Translate on your phone.
The Canadian flag consists of three vertical red stripes and two white ones on either side, though many Canadians see it as a symbol of national unity because the flag’s design dates back to 1868 when Canada was made up of various British colonies that were joined together by royal decree.
5) Be Prepared to Have Sales Tax Added to Your Bills
Before visiting Canada, be sure to figure out whether you’ll need to pay sales tax on your purchases. Most US residents are exempt from paying sales tax when they purchase goods in Canada, but there are a few exceptions.
Items such as dairy products, prepared food and gas will likely come with an extra cost if you’re crossing into another country.
If you’re staying in the province of Quebec, all prices will be listed in Canadian dollars and all cash transactions must use Canadian currency.
It’s also wise to know the rules of alcohol consumption before heading across the border: In most cases, you can bring back one case of beer or wine for personal use; however, if it’s too strong (more than 20% alcohol by volume), it’s prohibited
6) Canadians are Polite
The stereotype is that Canadians are a bit more polite than people in other countries. Take advantage of it by saying please and thank you often, but don’t take it too far. We don’t want to make anyone cringe with excessive politeness.
Do what you would do at home: Introduce yourself when meeting someone new, say good morning to your neighbours when walking out the door in the morning, and always introduce the person next to you at a party or function.
Don’t be rude to others: It’s not really rude, but we just call it eh as an adjective meaning mediocre. People will not be offended if you use this term as long as you don’t overuse it (don’t use it to describe everything).
Canadian English differs from American English: When speaking English on both sides of the border, there are subtle differences between Canadian and American dialects because each country has its own words for things.
7) You Can Expect Good Customer Service in Canada
Canadians aren’t always recognized for their customer service skills, but they can be quite polite and helpful. Unlike in some countries, your waiter or waitress will greet you, tell you about the specials of the day and make conversation while they bring you your food.
Overall, most people in Canada are friendly and want to help out, so if you’re looking for a reason to travel there, expect good customer service.
A Foreigner Won’t Have many difficulties With The Language: Most people speak English as their first language, with more than 20% being bilingual.
There is a second official language called French that is spoken by 8% of the population over half of them live in Quebec. In Ontario, it’s hard to find someone who doesn’t speak at least some English-and almost everyone speaks it fluently.
8) The Legal Drinking Age in Canada is 18 or 19
The legal drinking age in all of Canada is 19. If you are 18, you can’t drink. Period. And yes, that includes alcohol brought over from another country.
A lot of Americans (or people visiting from other countries) seem to think that if they bring wine or beer with them when they cross at Niagara Falls, they won’t get into trouble as long as they don’t consume it while they are driving around town sightseeing. Well guess what?