5 Top Travel Tips for Visiting Canada

yellowstone national park

Canada, with its vast landscapes, diverse cultures, and warm hospitality, is on the bucket list of many travelers. It has much to offer, from its majestic Rocky Mountain range to the cosmopolitan allure of bustling cities like Toronto and Vancouver. Each province has something different to offer, from sprawling plains with waving fields of wheat to jutting snow-capped mountain peaks. 

But to make the most out of your Canadian adventure, a strategic approach is key. Here are five top travel tips to help you plan for and enjoy your excursion. 


1. Research and Plan Ahead

The first step in any vacation is the research and planning phase, which helps ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip. With its vast landscapes, diverse climates, and abundant attractions, Canada has something to offer everyone. So, as you plan your trip, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the best places to eat, stay, and visit at your chosen destination. 

There’s plenty of information floating around on the Internet to help with this phase of the process, but the official Canadian tourism website is a great place to start. It details some of the top tourist destinations, valuable insights, and tips and tricks to make the most of your time. 

Once you choose your destination city, it’s time to look for flights and rentals. If you plan to travel to multiple towns or cities, you’ll probably need to rent a car, although this isn’t true for every excursion. For example, if you visit the Canadian Rockies, you’ll probably need a vehicle to carry you from place to place, but if you visit larger cities like Toronto, the public transportation system might be sufficient. 

What Are the Requirements Needed to Travel to Canada? 

After booking your trip, don’t forget to consider entry requirements. If you’re not a Canadian citizen residing in the country, you’ll need to provide specific documents, such as a passport, enhanced ID, or birth certificate, to enter. These requirements vary based on your country of origin, so ensure you check before leaving on your trip. 

2. Pack Accordingly

As you begin prepping for your journey, you might wonder, “What is the weather in Canada like?” The answer? It varies. Canada experiences diverse climates, with some provinces experiencing milder seasons and others getting the full brunt of every season. 

For example, the Canadian Rockies experience diverse climates, from icy cold winters to warm, sunny summers. The elevation in the Canadian Rockies contributes to its varied weather, sometimes escorting in shockingly cold nights after warm, balmy days. 

So, when packing for your visit, ensure you prepare for this variable weather. Pack layers for easy adjustments to temperature changes. Don’t forget the essentials, including comfortable walking shoes, a waterproof jacket, and, depending on the season, winter gear or sunscreen. 

Having a weather-ready wardrobe will keep you comfortable and cozy or cool, depending on the season. In the warmer seasons, pack lightweight clothes with layering jackets for cooler nights, sunglasses, sunscreen, and comfortable hiking shoes. During the cooler seasons, bring along thermal wear, plenty of layers, and accessories, including warm hats, gloves, and socks. 

If you’re unsure what to pack, check the weather forecast for your specific destinations. This can help you pack accordingly and ensure you’re comfortable while embarking on your Canadian adventure. 

3. Familiarize Yourself With the Canadian Currency

Canada uses its own currency, called the Canadian dollar (CAD). Depending on current market conditions, the Canadian dollar might be worth more or less than the U.S. dollar, which can impact the cost of goods and services in Canada. So, before you go, check in on the current exchange rate to get a better sense of what to expect for pricing and expenses.

While the basics of Canadian currency are similar to U.S. currency, Canada uses a combination of bills and coins. They use nickels, dimes, and quarters but also have $1 and $2 coins, called loonies and toonies. If you frequently pay with cash and get change back, you might end up with quite a few loonies and toonies, so you may want to carry a coin purse. 

You can exchange cash for Canadian currency at many banks throughout the United States and Canada, although availability can vary from one bank to the next. Some businesses in Canada may even take the U.S. dollar as a form of payment, but it’s best not to rely on this. 

Of course, you can always choose to use your credit or debit card, as most businesses take cards. However, if you go this route, call your bank before leaving to notify them of your travels and avoid possible holds on your card. 

4. Get Travel Insurance

Sometimes, things come up that are out of your control. From weather delays to sicknesses, various situations could press pause on your Canadian excursion. So, to ensure you don’t have to foot the bill for a trip you don’t go on, get a comprehensive travel insurance plan. 

This same travel insurance plan can come in handy during your trip, too, should the need arise. Some travel insurance plans, specifically travel health insurance plans, cover medical emergencies, such as hospitalization or evacuation. Having insurance can add that extra security blanket for peace of mind. 

5. Be Respectful to Wildlife

Millions of visitors flock to Canada every year. Many visit the captivating coastlines, sweeping plains, and the Canadian Rockies every year, many going to see the stark beauty each has to offer. It’s important to remember that these peaks, valleys, and coastlines are home to a diverse range of wildlife, so you may encounter them during outdoor excursions. 

If you come across wildlife, be respectful. Leave the animal alone and follow the instructions your guide gives you. These areas, particularly the mountains, are home to various predators, and since interactions can be deadly, it’s important to be alert and aware. 


Enjoy What Canada Has to Offer in a Guided Tour

While planning a Canadian vacation can be exciting, it can also be equal parts stressful and overwhelming. There’s much to consider when venturing to another country or province, from entry requirements to transportation. If you prefer to sit back, relax, and enjoy your vacation without the stressful prep, a guided tour might be the perfect fit for you.

At Caravan, we offer two guided tours that take you through the wonders of Canada. We offer a nine-day tour that brings you to the steep peaks and glistening lakes of the Canadian Rockies and Glacier Park, plus a Nova Scotia & Maritimes tour that explores Canada’s Atlantic coast. Ready to embark on a trip? Call 1-800-CARAVAN or 1-312-321-9800 to book your adventure today!