Top tips and travel hacks for an unforgettable Canadian holiday

Culturally diverse, spectacular landscapes, and friendly people everywhere you turn, Canada is an amazing country to visit. Regardless of what time of the year you want to travel, Canada has so many destinations to choose from, each one with its own unique charm.

You have the bustling streets of cosmopolitan cities like Vancouver and Toronto, as well as the pristine lakes in the Rockies. It’s no surprise that Canada holidays are more popular than ever.

Planning a trip to Canada can be an exciting experience, and here are some of the best tips and travel hacks you need to know.

Book early and travel smarter

Canada’s popularity means that accommodation, car hire, and tours get booked early, especially during the busier months of the year.

Booking your hotels and flights to Canada early not only means you can benefit from the best prices with early bird offers, but you will have a wider selection of options for your trip.

Life can be stressful enough, so you don’t want the added weight of worrying about all the parts of the holiday you still haven’t planned. Getting it booked early will mean you can stop stressing about your trip and instead look forward to it.

By speaking to our travel experts early, we can check the dates you want to go and get to work planning your dream trip.

What to pack for Canada?

Canada is so vast that depending on what part of the country you are visiting, what you pack can change dramatically. Winters in Toronto, for example, are colder and harsher than other large cities like Vancouver.

Below is an essential Canada travel packing list that you can use:

  • Passports, travel documents and visa
  • Hiking boots/comfortable shoes
  • T-shirts, long-sleeved tops and light layers
  • Trousers for walking, and shorts (if you are visiting in the summer)
  • Warm coat
  • Gloves and woolly hat (for the winter months)
  • Underwear
  • Toiletries
  • Camera

Use Google Maps offline

If you are planning on hiring a car or a motorhome and are planning a road trip, one way to save money on using your data or GPS rental is to download maps from Google Maps so you can use it offline.

Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Open Google Maps on your mobile (it is available on both Android and Apple devices)
  2. Using the search bar, find your destination
  3. Using your two fingers to expand or reduce the map frame, you can make your selection. Google Maps will save all the information such as street names, parks and other attractions.
  4. Go to the destination options located at the bottom of the search result, under the map, scroll to see all options and when you find the ‘download’ button, click on it. You must do this when you are connected to WiFi.
  5. This will save the map to your Google account. From your account, you can choose the ‘offline maps’ tab.
  6. Once you have downloaded your maps, you need to click on the one you want to use, and you will be able to access it without any mobile or internet connection. These digital maps can be used like a road map, but they will have all the information on your Google Maps.

ALSO READ: Top Tips for Driving in Canada

Budget saving tips

Whilst Canada is not a budget holiday destination, there are plenty of ways you can save money

Canadian Coins

Consider saving money on the little things

Saving money doesn’t just apply to the big elements of your holiday like flights and accommodation, you need to also consider the smaller purchases you will be making on your holiday.

Lucy, a travel blogger who runs her own blog called Absolutely Lucy, says that if you are going on a road trip, something you can save quite a bit of money on items like water and snacks:

“Much of what makes the difference when you’re managing your finances out on the road is how you deal with the little things. You’ll need to have a good supply of water in your vehicle wherever you go, but this doesn’t mean that you need to splash out on the bottled stuff – just take a few large bottles and fill them from taps when the opportunity presents itself. Don’t buy expensive snacks in roadside eateries or garages – pick up multipacks in supermarkets or bake your own.”

Make use of public transport in the cities

If you are on a city break, one way you can look to save money is to use the public transport like trains and buses.

This is something that Will Hatton, the writer behind The Broke Backpacker, recommends: “For an altogether cheaper way to get around Canada than using trains, try the buses on for size. The long-distance buses in Canada are usually run by Greyhound, but they’ve recently cut many of their routes.

“Thankfully, there are a number of regional companies that connect up the dots, meaning bus travel is still a viable option. Megabus is one of the big ones, as is the Autobus Maheux, which is centred in the region of French Canada.”

One of the best and easiest ways to get around Canada is to hire a car or motorhome, and at Canadian Affair we are able to get you the best deals.

Eat smart

Eating out at restaurants can get very expensive, but you don’t have to miss out on experiencing Canada’s incredible cuisine.

You can be selective about when and where to dine out. You can splurge out on a fancy restaurant for a special occasion and be more selective the rest of the time.

There are so many dining options available, so you will have plenty of choices during your Canada holiday.

ALSO READ: Canadian Cuisine Hunt

Pick up a Discovery Pass

Canada is home to stunning natural beauty, and one of the best ways to explore it is by visiting the national parks.

Admission fees to the parks can add up, especially if you are visiting multiple parks, and that is where a Discovery Pass comes in. This pass gives you unlimited access to more than 80 national parks, historic sites, and marine conservation areas across the country for a year.

That means you avoid the hassle of buying individual park passes. It is a great way to access some of the most beautiful landscapes across the country, and it will save you some money.

Visit off-the-beaten-path destinations

The likes of Niagara Falls, Vancouver, the Canadian Rockies, and Toronto often get all the headlines, but there are so many spectacular places you can visit in Canada that are off the beaten path.

  • Haida Gwaii: With hiking, biking, wildlife viewing, sailing, and caving, there is so much on offer to visitors. Add in the art galleries and the history of the Haida people, this hidden treasure is a must-visit.
  • Dinosaur Provincial Park: This park in Alberta is home to millions of dinosaur fossils that you can dig for. The landscape is jaw-dropping and there are some amazing hiking trails you can follow.
  • Prince Edward Island: The province is a stunning destination, filled with wandering trails, endless beaches and unique experiences everywhere you look.

ALSO READ: Alberta - Land of the Dinosaurs

Consider booking a tailor-made holiday

To get the best out of your visit to Canada, you should consider booking a tailor made holiday.

At Canadian Affair, you’ll find carefully curated tours with hotels, flights and our favourite locations included in the package, but all of our holidays can be tailor-made just for you.

Tailor-made holidays ensure that you get to see everything you have dreamed of, and our experts will do the leg work for you so you don’t need to spend hours researching how to get from place to place.

Travel tips to Canada

Canada is a spectacular place to visit, and these travel hacks are some great ways you can experience the very best the country has to offer.

We are the Canada travel experts, and can tailor make an adventure to include everything you want to see. Contact our experts and start building your dream holiday today.

Latest Articles

Let's make your dream holiday to Canada a reality

Our expert team have travelled Canada from coast to coast and can't wait to share their personalised recommendations with you.

Get in touch

Our commitment to responsible travel

We are committed to sustainable travel from carbon offsetting to supporting local communities and so much more.

Find out more

Follow Us for offers & inspiration