Got a holiday to Canada planned? Whether you’re backpacking across states, hitting the ski slopes or seeing the city sights, here’s some useful advice from a friend who lives there on what to bring along in your suitcase so that you’re all prepped and ready.
Cash in some Canadian dollars
The currency of Canada is the Canadian dollar. Make sure to take out some notes before you go, or take your debit card. Having a prepaid travel card can help combat the transfer costs – you won’t be charged for paying off this card unlike a regular debit card and it’s safer than carrying a wad of cash. Check out prices for this card at your local post office or bank, or shop online.
Gather your documents
Depending on how long you’re staying and what you’re doing whilst you’re out there, the documents you need to bring will vary. You’ll need a passport to get through border control and possibly a Visa – check out this site https://official-canada-eta.com/ to see if you are eligible. Travel insurance may be worthwhile in case you get injured or fall in during your travels and need medical care. If you’re driving, you’ll need to be insured and may need an international driving permit (those travelling from English or French speaking countries can use their own country’s license). Print off copies of these insurance documents, plus any other documents that may be useful (hotel bookings, homestay letters, work permits, doctor’s notes for prescription medicine ect.)
Pack for the weather
Canada is such a huge country with widely varying climates. Go north and you can expect snow and cold weather most the year round, however near the American border it can get very warm, especially in the summer.
Check out the weather forecast and pack clothes accordingly. For winter travel or arctic expeditions, get some thermal clothing, a warm jacket and some decent footwear. If you’re visiting during summer and the weather’s looking warm, you may only need short-sleeved shirts. A lot of the cities, particularly Vancouver, can be pretty unpredictable so bring a raincoat even if the forecast predicts sun.
Check Canadian security requirements
Those that are travelling by air should take into account airport security. Canada prohibits many of the same items that most international airports disallow (weapons, sharp objects, blunt objects ect.) as well as having various laws on liquids and non-solid foods. Keen mountaineers may be allowed to bring an avalanche rescue pack with permission from the airline. If you a CPAP, bringing supporting documentation such as a doctor’s note is recommended. Portable electronic devices are allowed in your personal hand luggage, although you’re not allowed to use these during take-off and landing. Electronic cigarettes are also allowed, but cannot be used during the flight. For a more comprehensive list of what you can bring through airport security, go to https://travel.gc.ca/air/what-to-pack.