Known for its breath-taking nature, friendly people and diverse culture, Canada is an incredible country to visit and explore. While mostly visited by its neighbours in the United States, Canada is popular among people from across the globe - there is something for everyone there. If you are planning to visit and discover Canada on a holiday, there are a few things you may want to be aware of before your trip.
Be prepared for the weather conditions
The most important thing to know about Canada is that it’s much colder than what you may think, so be prepared for it. Make sure to bring layers and layers of clothing, as you don’t want to spoil your explorations of its beautiful nature by being too cold and uncomfortable. This also applies to the Canadian summers - while it may be nice and warm in the daytime, it can get quite chilly in the evenings, depending on what part of the country you are in.
The best time to travel to Canada, according to most people, is Spring (April to June). That is the time the weather is nice and mild, while it’s not yet too busy with tourists. Again, this may vary depending on where you are and what activities you get up to. The Western coast of Canada, known as the British Columbia Coast, is the warmest part of the country.
Canada is a huge country
Some tourists underestimate how big Canada actually is. Being the second-largest country in the world, Canada is not that quick and simple to travel around. This means that you need to be realistic when planning the itinerary for your holiday in Canada. You will likely only be able to explore one part of the country - it’s not all that bad though, as it gives more reason to come back again.
However, this also means that the public transport in Canada is not quite as used as it is in many other countries. With it being so large and everything so spread out, it simply does not make sense for Canadians to use such means of transport as intercity trains or buses. Therefore, unless you are staying in one large city, where you can use the local metro system, you will need a car to get around.
Besides, due to the size of it, Canada has 6 time zones across its 10 provinces and 3 territories. These can be up to 4.5 hours difference between two sides of the country, so make sure you take that into account when travelling too.
The local culture
As with every country you may visit, there are certain things to know about the locals and their culture in Canada. First of all, Canadians as a society are incredibly polite and respectful people, and so the same is expected from their visitors. The locals often get stereotyped for their obsession with maple syrup and hockey - while the country is popular for these two things, remember that not everyone’s the same and avoid accidentally stereotyping everyone you meet.
Canada also has two local languages. The majority of the Canadians speak English, however, around 20% use French as its mother-tongue. Quebec is where French is spoken the most but you will come across it in different parts of the country, including many different dialects and accents.
Lastly, tipping for different services is seen as a normal practice in Canada. The tips will usually be around 15-20% and that’s where workers such as waiters, hotel staff, hairdressers, cab drivers, etc. will get a big chunk of their income from. Not giving a tip can be considered rude in many situations, so take that into account when using local services too.