Considering a trip up north to take in Canada’s stunning natural landscapes, vibrant multicultural cities, and friendly local culture?
As the world’s second-largest country spanning six time zones, Canada offers tremendous scope for adventure – snow-capped rocky peaks towering above turquoise lakes, vast forests rich with wildlife, and cosmopolitan cities with a laidback vibe.
So, how do you maximise those drool-worthy Instagram selfies without ending up managing a hectic holiday?
As vast as Canada is, planning travel in the Great White North takes a bit more forethought than a domestic getaway.
So, read on for savvy tips to make the most of your Canadian holiday.
Don’t Get Stopped at Customs
Before trekking up to the Great White North, make sure your documents are in order, including:
Only driver’s licenses or valid passports are accepted at land and sea points of entry between Canada and the US. Indian passports must have adequate remaining validity of usually at least 6 months beyond the intended stay in Canada. Check current passport expiry rules on the Government of Canada website before booking tickets.
You will need a visa to travel to Canada. Make sure you have completed the application for the appropriate visa category. Examples include a tourist visa, work visa, or student visa. Provide detailed and accurate information on the application.
When travelling by air to Canada or even transiting through a Canadian airport, Indian citizens must obtain an Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA) prior to departure. The eTA for travel to Canada serves as an electronic document similar to a visitor visa. Applications only take a few minutes online. So, you must have an approved, valid eTA before attempting to check in and board any flight heading to a Canadian destination. Air carriers will deny boarding if a passenger has not secured this mandatory entry requirement pre-travel.
Canada currently requires all passengers flying in from India to provide a negative COVID-19 molecular test result from within 72 hours of departure. Check official government websites for the latest test reporting rules and health screening measures in effect at the time of travel.
Insurance: Dull But Essential
Consider policies covering emergency medical costs, smashed gear from extreme sports, and logistics if unexpectedly iced in by freak blizzards. Use options like:
Health Insurance with Travel Benefits
While Canada has an excellent public healthcare system, services do not come free for Indian nationals. Purchasing comprehensive travel insurance for Canada that includes emergency medical coverage can help safeguard you from unexpectedly high hospital or doctor bills during your trip. Review policy terms to ensure adequate coverage for adventure activities you may have planned as well, such as skiing, rock climbing or kayaking.
Overseas Travel Insurance
Look into international travel insurance options in your home country that include trip cancellation, lost baggage and emergency assistance services. If crossing multiple countries en route to/from Canada, an international policy spanning all locations may be less hassle than securing separate coverage for each destination. Make sure you confirm the territorial limits match the entire length of your upcoming travels.
Use Tech Tools Wisely
Navigating the world’s second-largest country, spanning six time zones, requires next-level travel savvy. These tools simplify logistics:
Download savvy apps
Transit apps like Google Maps, Moovit, Transit and Trippr integrate schedules from regional transportation agencies. Airlines also offer handy electronic boarding and flight status updates via mobile apps.
Buy local SIM cards
Purchase local SIM cards granting affordable data/calling rates, available at Canadian providers like Lucky, Public and Chatr Mobile.
Backup digital photos
Having cloud storage and external hard drives can safeguard your priceless moments captured during your trip against device failures or losses.
Summers in Canada are great for relaxing by the lake and eating a lot, but winters offer just as many amazing things to do.
Layer like a local
Rather than shiver in thin layers, take wardrobe cues from savvy locals. Thermals, heavy parkas, thick socks and snow boots equip you to revel in winter’s wonderland comfortably.
Try snow sports
Dog sledging, ice skating, snowshoeing and downhill skiing/boarding deliver extra dose of winter magic. Many outdoor survival companies offer winter gear rentals and starter lessons for newbies. Glide like an Olympian along the Rideau Canal Skateway’s frozen expanse!.
Travel Light, Travel Easy
Loading down your luggage cart with heavy suitcases full of non-essentials can turn a fun vacation into an exhausting haul. Instead, embrace the art of minimalist packing – especially for shorter trips – and reap the rewards like easier mobility, less risk of bag fees, and flexibility if plans change.
Stick to key devices like phones, tablets or lightweight laptops. Heavy photography gear and bulky electronics add unnecessary weight and could attract thieves. For must-have valuables, use secure bags and in-room safes.
Get in on that Local Flavour
You may have already researched the top attractions and sights for your international vacation spot. But taking time to get better acquainted with your destination before departure allows for smarter packing, efficient planning, and a smoother overall travel experience.
Beyond main tourism hubs, read up on local history, cultural customs and etiquette, average weather and climate conditions at that time of year. This helps determine optimal items to bring for comfort while avoiding overpacking.
Map out locations you hope to visit and get to know the transportation options available (bus, train, trams, cycle, etc.) to find the best ways to navigate the area. Having a loose itinerary prevents wasting precious time on long trips.
As you can see, Canada promises endless travel adventures. Follow these insider tips for smarter insurance, packing, navigation and more – then get ready to lose yourself in this staggeringly beautiful, culturally vibrant, and geographically vast nation.