So, you’re planning on going to Canada? Exciting!
There is so much to think about when visiting any new country, from making sure you’ve got all your documents sorted to what to pack!
To help you focus on the excitement instead of the admin, our destination specialists have offered their own personal advice for making your trip hassle-free and answered some of the most frequently asked questions from our travellers below.
Whilst we have done our best to cover as much as possible, please feel free to get in touch if you find you’re still left looking for answers and we’ll gladly help!
- How long does my passport need to be valid for?keyboard_arrow_down
You should also ensure that your passport is valid for at least 6 months after your return date. It’s also a good idea to keep a copy of your passport details with a friend or member of your family back home, just in case the unfortunate happens and you do mislay them.
- Do I need a visa to visit Canada?keyboard_arrow_down
British passport holders are required to complete an ‘Electronic Travel Authorization’ (eTA), which allows travel to Canada for up to 6 months. The process is very simple, is done online by following this link, and is usually approved within minutes, with a small fee of $7 CAD per person. We recommend that you arrange this at least 4 weeks before your departure, as if you fail to have a valid eTA you may be refused entry into the country and face the possibility of a fine.
- Do I need travel insurance for my trip?keyboard_arrow_down
Yes, we would always recommend taking out comprehensive travel insurance when travelling, especially overseas, that is suitable for your requirements and needs.
- What should I pack for a trip to Canada?keyboard_arrow_down
Packing for Canada is all about layers. Whether you are travelling in Spring, Summer or Autumn it is best to take a range of clothing to cover all eventualities as you will find the weather changing as you travel through this vast country. Lightweight clothes and sandals are great for the sunny days whilst an insulated jacket is useful for colder evenings and when visiting the Rocky Mountains. Remember a raincoat and walking shoes or trainers with a good grip too.
- What vaccinations do I need to visit Canada?keyboard_arrow_down
No additional vaccinations are required from what would be needed in the UK, however it’s always best to check the NHS Fit For Travel website for the most up-to-date information and also check with your GP if you have any questions or concerns.
- What do I need to think about on the day of departure?keyboard_arrow_down
We know heading off on holiday is always a little bit stressful, especially on the day you leave, so we would advise doing these things before you depart:
- Check you have all your necessary documentation, including your passport!
- Take a photo of your documents and email it to yourself and travelling partners. Having a copy on your phone always comes in handy too.
- Ensure you have all your chargers and converters for any phones, cameras, tablets you are taking. A portable battery pack is a handy item to have in your hand luggage.
- Take snacks and a big bottle of water for your flight.
- Get to the airport with plenty of time to spare, we advise arriving 3 hours prior to your flight departure.
- Pack a change of clothes in your hand luggage and take a photo of your checked bag in case it goes missing en route.
- Sit back and relax knowing we have your holiday sorted!
- What language do people speak in Canada?keyboard_arrow_down
English is the predominate language in Canada, with French being spoken in parts of East Canada.
- What is the food like in Canada?keyboard_arrow_down
The food is Canada is very similar to what you would find in the UK or USA, but they have some unique dishes which are distinctly Canadian. Poutine is probably the most famous, consisting of fries, cheese curds and rich gravy – the ultimate in comfort food. Sweet treats are plentiful to, from Beavertails, deep-fried dough covered in different toppings like chocolate spread, to Nanaimo bars, the layered no-bake chocolate treat.
- What aspects of Canadian culture do I need to take into account?keyboard_arrow_down
Canadians are notoriously friendly, and they generally live up to this reputation, so expect a warm welcome from this maple-loving nation. In French Canada, locals will likely appreciate your best efforts to try to speak a little French.
Canada is home to a host of indigenous populations, often referred to as Aboriginal Canadians. Many people also use the term ‘First Nations,’ which describes a collection of diverse cultures; each nation practicing its own customs, beliefs, and views (though it’s worth remembering that the First Nations doesn’t include the Inuit or the Métis).
For the First Nations, Inuit and Métis people of Canada, there is no all-encompassing “indigenous religion.” In fact, cultural practices, spiritual beliefs, and even creation stories vary from nation to nation. What’s more, traditional practices, such as hunting, are often linked with spiritualism and religious beliefs; holding significant meaning to many communities. The Aboriginal communities of Canada have fought for centuries to protect their ancestral lands and culture. Sadly, many are facing a greater threat to their homes and livelihoods, as a result of climate change and its impact on the environment and the natural resources they depend upon.
Our advice is to always keep an open mind while travelling in Canada, remaining sensitive to the issues around you, and aware of your own consumption of natural and man-made resources.
- Is it safe to travel to Canada?keyboard_arrow_down
Canada is considered a very safe country to travel to, with a well set up infrastructure and tourist routes. Exact the same caution as you do when travelling anywhere, keep your belongings with you and utlise the hotel safes if provided.
- What do I do if I have a problem?keyboard_arrow_down
We are contactable in the UK during office hours and our local partners in destination are available 24/7 for any support or help you might need. They are in the best position as they will be on the same timezone, they should be your first contact in a case of emergency.
Tips and practical information
- What is the local currency in Canada?keyboard_arrow_down
The National Canadian currency is the Canadian Dollar, abbreviated to $ or CAD, with £1 exchanging for approximately $1.75. Did you know, that one dollar is often nicknamed a ‘loonie’?!
You can find ATMS in most reasonably sized towns to withdraw money, with most shops and restaurants also accepting card payments.
- How does tipping in Canada work?keyboard_arrow_down
Tips aren’t included in the cost of your trip, and as with the rest of North America, a tip of 10-15% is commonly expected on top of your bill. You can expect food and drink costs to be very similar to the UK.