Things you should keep in mind when traveling to Canada
When traveling to Canada, there are a few things you should keep in mind in order to have a smooth and enjoyable trip. First, be aware of the items that you are not allowed to bring into the country, such as weapons, illegal drugs, and certain food items. It’s always best to double-check the list of restricted items before packing your bags!
Secondly, familiarise yourself with the laws and regulations of Canada. For example, public intoxication is not tolerated there and can lead to arrest. Ad
ditionally, it is important to remember to drive on the right side of the road. Canada can be quite similar to Australia in some ways as they are both western countries, but it’s still important to remember that Canada is its own country with its own, distinct laws.
Also, be aware of the potential dangers when traveling in Canada. This includes making sure you have travel insurance in case of emergency, being cautious of wildlife, and being aware of the risks of altitude sickness when visiting mountainous regions. Luckily, though, Canada does rank quite low in its overall risk ranking.
You may be relieved to find out that you don’t require a visa to enter Canada. Citizens of some countries do need one, but travelers from Australia, the Republic of Korea, Japan, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and the United States do not, as long as your visit is shorter than 180 days.
So, keep in mind these simple but essential tips to keep in mind during your trip to Canada, ensuring that you have a pleasant and enjoyable experience!
Some useful tips to help you prepare for your Canadian trip
While we briefly skimmed the surface earlier, there are a few other details that you should keep in mind about Canada to make sure you’re well prepared for your trip.
The official currency of Canada is the Canadian dollar, which is slightly stronger than the Australian Dollar. Currently, one CAD is worth 1.12 AUD, but remember to always check the currency exchange rates before you head over there as they are always fluctuating. ATMs are available throughout Canada and credit cards are accepted in most establishments.
If you plan on visiting multiple countries alongside Canada, you may consider grabbing a travel card, which works much like a debit card, except it allows you to simultaneously hold multiple currencies. The conversion rate on the day you load on the currencies is also automatically locked in, meaning you can get a good deal if you play your cards right.
Weather-wise, Canada is usually a fair bit colder than Australia, so if you’re visiting during the months between October and April, you’ll definitely want to pack winter clothes. Unlike most of Australia, Canada also experiences some substantial snowfalls! So, if you’ve never experienced snow before, then you may want to specifically plan to visit Canada during these colder seasons. Throughout the rest of the year, the daytime temperature for most of the country is about 15 degrees on average but reaches anywhere between 20-30 degrees.
As for airports, the Toronto Pearson International Airport (more commonly referred to as the Lester B. Pearson International Airport) is the busiest international airport in Canada. This large airport is located 22.5 km northwest of Downtown Toronto and has a large area of the airport located in Mississauga, the neighbouring city. A smaller part of the airfield extends into Toronto’s western district, Etobicoke.
In addition, we recommend you get some travel insurance, regardless of what country you’re visiting. This insurance covers the costs of medical problems, but also often includes cover for any loss of valuables and theft incidents.
What to do in an emergency
If you run into an emergency while in Canada, don’t worry, there are a few simple tips you can keep in mind. Regardless of what kind of emergency you’re experiencing, you can contact Canada’s fire and rescue services, ambulances/medics, and the police by calling 911. Be sure to get a police report if you’re reporting a crime and remember to note down your insurer’s 24-hour emergency number. (Keep in mind that the Government of Canada does not pay for any medical treatments if you get sick or have an accident, so be sure to get health insurance to cover any medical procedures.)
If you become ill or injured while traveling, you may be able to get medical assistance through locally provided health care resources. Your hotel, for example, may offer in-house physician services or might be able to help you arrange an appointment with a physician. For urgent care, though, you should always head to the nearest hospital. If you have travel insurance, always contact our insurer as soon as you can.
Many insurance companies provide a 24/7 emergency service that can help you locate care, payment arrangements, and notify your family if you’re unable to. Some insurance policies require you to contact them as soon as you can (generally around 24-48 hours after seeking medical attention). If you’re unsure about your insurance policy, you should always check out their specific requirements before beginning your travels.
We hope the above tips have been helpful – and wish you all the best on your trip to Canada!