This is a contributor’s blogpost …
Canada is a gorgeous country well worth visiting for any traveller. Whether exploring the wild tundra of Nunavut, having skiing experience on the Rockies to rival the Swiss Alps, or enjoying the fabulous mash of cultures in cities like Toronto, there’s plenty of reason to fall in love with the country. However, there are still some mistakes that can have you making a moose of yourself if you don’t prepare properly.
Make sure you can actually get in
Canada’s a highly-developed country with high standards and those standards apply to people travelling inside as well. Depending on your homeland, you’re going to need to actively seek permission to enter Canada. There are plenty of eta resources for Canada that can help you through the process, but there are a few common mistakes that can sabotage your chances of getting in. Leaving any parts of the application empty, misrepresenting yourself, and failing to disclose the reason you would return to your home country can end up getting you no further than the airport. Make sure you always take your ID and travel documentation with you. Canadians have a reputation for being friendly and easy-going, but you won’t get that treatment from officials if you don’t have your documentation.
Expect a chilly reception
We’re not talking about the people, of course. That reputation for warm people is well-earned. But so is the reputation for the weather. Southern parts of Canada are much milder but they still have Canadian weather. Amongst everything you pack, ensure that you’re checking ahead to anticipate the weather to see just how warm you should pack. It’s a good idea to bring a backup coat no matter what the forecast says, however. The cold can jump in pretty unexpectedly.
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Prepare for some exorbitant costs
What a lot of people don’t realise is that Canada is widely regarded as one of the most expensive countries in the world to visit. The cities will be most expensive, obviously, but they also serve as a good look at just how the economically favourable situation of visiting Canada in the past has changed. Toronto, for instance, has become the 19th priciest city in the world on the UBS Prices and Earnings index.
Don’t fail to explore
Most Canadian trips take advantage of one of the gorgeous metropolises of the country. The big cities are packed with a calendar full of great events so there’s likely to be something on whenever you visit. However, Canada’s a big country with lots of gorgeous stops to make. Don’t under-plan that itinerary. If you’re going to Vancouver, for instance, then brush up on the available day trips and get outside the city to see some gorgeous country and smaller, warmer towns. Just factor in the size of the country in any of those trips. What looks close on the map might be a lot further away and require a lot more travel time than you would expect. Once more, don’t forget any travel papers and ID when you take those day trips, either.
We all make some mistakes when travelling to a foreign country. Little social mishaps and shattered expectations are to be expected. But neglecting any of the tips above can leave you out in the cold or, worse yet, out of the country altogether.