A First Timer’s Guide to Canada

Canada Travel

If you are visiting a country for the first time then you should know how important it is to travel safely and smartly. This is equally true when you are visiting a vast country like Canada as a first-time visitor. You should be acquainted with the cultural practices and emergency procedures. If you are planning a maiden trip to Canada, then make your sojourn seamless, easier and hassle free by adhering to the valuable tips being provided here. You may also consider these tips as a first timer’s guide to Canada.

Carry correct travel documents

You must always carry the correct travel documents along with you whenever traveling from a foreign country to Canada. You will require a valid passport to enter Canada. However, the citizens of countries exempted from visa requirements include those from USA, Switzerland, Italy, Japan, Australia, and UK, among others. All visa-free nationals except those from USA are required mandatory Electronic Travel Authorization or eTA for gaining entry into Canada.

Basic info about Province

Canada is a huge country comprising of 10 provinces and 3 territories. The provinces include Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, and Saskatchewan. The three territories are Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and Yukon. Whenever planning a trip to Canada, it will be good for you to have basic information and knowledge about the province or territory you want to visit. You may go through a detailed map of Canada as well.

All about Canadian currency

Canadian Dollar is the legal tender in Canada. Paper money, popularly called Canadian Bills are in the denomination of $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100. The coins are in the denomination of$1 and $2. The Canadian $1 coin is known as a “loonie”, while the $2 coin is called a “toonie”. You should enquire about the current exchange rate, which keeps on fluctuating daily and even every hour, before embarking on your trip to this magnificent country.

Know about how to tackle emergency

If you are visiting Canada then what will you do when an emergency situation arises being a first-time visitor. In order to confront such eventuality you need to keep yourself updated about the phone number to contact emergency services. In Canada, the phone number for contacting police, firefighters and medical services during an emergency situation is 911. This is a free service, but you must be cautious that it should be used only in case of emergency.

Tipping procedure

Whenever you are dining out at a restaurant in Canada it is expected that you will be tipping the wait staff 10% to 20% of the cost of the service. However, for the hotel staff, taxi drivers and bartenders who are assisting you during your stay there are different tipping standards. If you are still not sure about what to do on tipping then observe the patrons around you or consult your hotel’s concierge.

Rules about consuming alcohol

Each province in Canada has set its own rules for drinking age. Nearly all the provinces in Canada allow drinking after attaining 18 years of age, except provinces like Alberta, Manitoba, and Quebec. The legal drinking age however in most parts of Canada is 19 years. You must carry official document like passport for proving your legal drinking age when visiting a bar or restaurant for drinking alcohol in any province. The alcohol consumption regulations also apply to local nightclubs as well.

Weather information

Canada experiences four very different seasons. You can plan your visit during the summer season as it is warm and absolutely the best time to enjoy the outdoors such as going out into the wilderness and enjoy camping, boating, hiking, and other adventures. Consider visiting the country during the autumn to witness the color of the changing leaves in all its glory. Winter is also a great time for those who want to experience snow. You however need to be adequately warmly dressed to escape the cold.

Canadian culture

There are two distinct cultures as well as two official languages – English and French. However, some of the cities, particularly Toronto, have extremely multicultural outlook. A sizeable Indo-Canadian population can be seen residing in the cities of Vancouver and Toronto. In fact, the fourth most common language spoken in Toronto is Punjabi. English is a predominant language throughout Canada, except in the province of Quebec where French is largely spoken.

These are the basics and valuable information that every first time visitor to Canada should be aware of. Knowing them beforehand will make your travel to Canada hassle free and convenient.