Being at home for so long and not being able to travel as much as we may have liked has probably got a lot of people feeling frustrated and ready to get back out into the world. For those who love holidaying on their own terms, there really is no better holiday type than a road trip, especially one that is planned by Canadian Affair, the Canada experts.
Canada is home to some of the best landscapes for a road trip, from stunning scenery to rare and beautiful wildlife and diverse and creative cultures waiting to be explored. We know Canada like the back of our hand, so can help you plan the unforgettable road trip you have always dreamt of. Not only will this article come with some great tips and tricks, but you’ll also find great recommendations from bloggers and travellers who all equally love the Canadian experience as much as you will.
Tips for planning a road trip to Canada:
- Make a realistic itinerary
- Check the driving laws beforehand
- Think about your vehicle options
- Plan what time of year you want to travel
- Make sure you have the right insurance
Make a realistic itinerary
If you are thinking of planning a road trip to Canada, it is probably because you want to explore its scenery and all the other unique experiences it has to offer, so choosing the right itinerary for you is really important. The best way to explore Canada on your own terms is when it is planned so making a list of places you want to visit, when you want to visit them and how to get there will ensure you have a smooth and uninterrupted journey. Lucie and Martin from Laidback Trip have visited Canada before and gave us their thoughts on the experience and why they would recommend it:
“Canada is, for us, a special country. Not only have we spent a year of our lives there, but it was also a destination that ignited our passion for road trips. If you are looking for a country that is perfect for road tripping, look no further. Canada offers excellent infrastructure, and the breathtaking views are never far away. We travelled a lot around the Canadian Rockies and what we loved the most about travelling in a car was the freedom and flexibility. There were days when we covered a large distance and just enjoyed the scenery, deep forests, turquoise lakes, and snow-capped mountains. The next day we would make plenty of stops or strenuous hikes. The possibilities were endless.”
The duo continued on to explain why they think that planning your trip and making an itinerary is one of the most important parts of organising your holiday and making sure it is a realistic plan: “If you’re thinking of planning your Canada road trip, there are a few things you should know. First, Canada is a vast country, so always make a realistic itinerary. It is impossible to see it all. As the weather can often be rough, always have a backup plan in case your route is not passable. And finally, bring a camera, you are going to need it!”
Check the driving laws beforehand
The driving laws in Canada are different from those of the UK, so it is worth doing your research and homework beforehand to get familiar with them.
Jacquie, the blogger behind Flashpacking Family has been on a Canadian driving holiday before and offered her recommendations: “Driving in Canada is easy because the roads are large and not terribly busy. The main thing you need to be aware of if you are taking a road trip in Canada with kids is that the car seat laws in Canada are different from the UK. If you are bringing your own car seats with you from the UK, you will need to check that they comply. Be aware also that these laws can vary depending on which province you are visiting.”
Driving laws in Canada:
- Vehicles drive on the right-hand side of the road.
- There are two types of green lights in Canada – a full green light means the same as in Europe but a flashing green light means you can make a left turn.
- The minimum speed on a highway is 60km/h and the maximum is 100km/h unless otherwise stated.
- A UK driving license must have been obtained for a year to be able to hire in Canada.
- UK car seats are not permitted.
READ MORE: Top Tips For Driving In Canada
Think about your vehicle options
There is a selection of ways you can enjoy a self-guided holiday in Canada and Canadian Affair are able to help you choose and book the best option for you. Whether you want to travel in a car or a motorhome, there is a great selection of choices to suit everyone’s plans.
Fly-drive holidays are the perfect option for those who want to experience Canada on their own terms. Fly-drive holidays allow you to travel into your chosen airport before jumping in your own hire car to explore Canada as you please or on one of our pre-planned routes.
Here at Canadian Affair, we can arrange your travel for you, helping you choose the perfect flight and car to suit your trip and offer our suggestions on the perfect itinerary that encompasses everything you want to see. What makes fly-drive holidays even better is your accommodation is taken care of, meaning you can really immerse yourself in the beauty of the scenery around you.
If you want to make your own way to Canada by picking up a hired car upon your arrival, then the car hire option is a great choice. Jacquie from Flashpacking Family hired a car through us on her latest visit to Canada and explained a little more about her experience:
“We love taking road trips with the kids and in Canada in particular. The soaring peaks of the Rocky Mountains and beautiful turquoise lakes of Banff National Park really appealed to us. We hired a car through Canadian Affair because it was one of the only agencies that would allow a one-way car rental (renting in Vancouver and dropping in Calgary) without an additional charge and it worked really well for us. We drove from Vancouver up to Whistler and over to Jasper National Park, down through Banff National Park and ended up in Calgary with a quick stop in Drumheller, the Dinosaur Capital of the World before hopping on a flight back to Vancouver.”
She continued and told us how car hire offers you the freedom to explore Canada the way you had desired: “One of the best things about hiring a car in Canada and travelling under our own steam was that we could stop whenever and wherever we wanted. Whether it was for a quick dip in a beautiful lake or to admire the breathtaking scenery while having a picnic. Canada is such a vast country and really is best explored on a road trip.”
Motorhome hire is one of the popular choices for those who want to travel around Canada on four wheels and there are many reasons why. A motorhome holiday in Canada offers you the freedom of car hire or fly-drive holiday but without the worry about finding or planning accommodation beforehand, as you’re accommodation is with you the whole journey.
Canadian Affair’s specialist team can help you choose the perfect motorhome for you, whether you need sleeping space for two or for your whole family.
Plan what time of year you want to travel
Canada is a lovely location all year round but can become very cold and snowy in the winter months, so planning what time of year you want to travel beforehand is a great idea. Many travellers try to avoid the busy and popular summer months and choose spring and autumn months to plan their trips.
Spring in Canada is a stunning sight to see. With blossom filling the trees and mild temperatures, the roads are often quieter and attractions easily accessible. Autumn is a similar sight with mild and comfortable temperatures and the bustle of the hot summer months in the past.
Temperatures in Canada through the year:
- Montréal – -6c to 18c
- Toronto – -3c to 17c
- Vancouver – 5c to 16c
- Montréal – 12c to 26c
- Toronto – 11c to 27c
- Vancouver – 11c to 22c
- Montréal – -1c to 20c
- Toronto – 0c to 21c
- Vancouver – 2c to 7c
- Montréal – -13c to -2c
- Toronto – -10c to 0c
- Vancouver – 0c to 7c
How long should a Canadian road trip last?
If you are planning to visit in spring or autumn, then it can be tricky to know how long to visit for. Many plan a visit for a week or two, as any less just isn’t enough to see everything this marvellous country has to offer. 7-14 days is the perfect amount of time and can be adapted to your itinerary.
Popular Canadian road trip routes
Canada is huge, so knowing where to start when it comes to planning your route can be very daunting, that’s why we have done all the hard work for you. We have a selection of great holidays that mean there is a package perfectly suited to your needs and requirements.
15 nights/16 days
This magnificent fly-drive package takes you to some of Canadas most popular destinations including British Columbia, Alberta, Lake Louise and Whistler to name just a few. 15-night accommodation, 16 days’ car hire, UK flights and various experiences included. View the holiday here.
13 nights/14 days
This amazing package offers you the delights of the west coast including The Rocky Mountains, Calgary and Vancouver. 13 nights’ accommodation and 14 nights’ car hire are all included as well as international flights from the UK. View the holiday here.
Eastern Canada Highlights
13 nights/14 days
This tour is a motorhome hire package and offers the best of Ontario and Québec. The package comes with one night’s hotel stay and 13 days’ motorhome rental with insurance covering 2,000km. View the holiday here.
Nova Scotian Adventure Holiday
15 nights/14 days
Explore the beauty of the whole of Nova Scotia on this wonderful motorhome package. Drive the famous Cabot Trail on this 15-night holiday with your first night hotel and 15 days’ motorhome hire included. View the holiday here.
If you’re looking at Canada holiday packages and want to visit this wonderful country when restrictions allow, then we hope this article has given you a little inspiration and some top tips for planning your very own road trip.
READ MORE: Why you need to visit Canada on a road trip