Summer is the perfect time to visit Canada. You can avoid the snow storms and sub-zero windchill and enjoy everything the country has to offer, from vibrant city markets to remote, rural communities. Before you set off on your grand adventure, though, you’re going to need a plan of action. Canada is enormous and popular sites may be far apart, so it’s often best to focus on a particular region. But even if you’ve got all summer, these key advisories will help make your Canada adventure your best vacation yet.
Address The Logistics
If you’re traveling to Canada from the United States, among other countries, you won’t need a visa, but that doesn’t mean you should just show up at the airport with your passport or head to the border. No, to enter the country, you’ll still need a Travel Authorization. The good news is that you can now complete these authorizations online through the eTA program, but you should still leave enough time to go through the process. While most eTAs are processed within minutes, some can take weeks to complete because of special circumstances or the need for additional documentation.
And while you’re covering the documentation side of things, you’ll also want to think about how you’ll handle money while abroad. Most people today pay for things almost entirely with debit and credit cards, so you’ll want to notify your financial services company of your upcoming trip. Check into the exchange rate, as well, as recently Americans have benefited from this swap.
As noted, Canada is a big place, so you’ll want to be creative when it comes to planning your travels. Take this as an opportunity to try something new; ride a motorcycle down wooded roads or go horseback riding in a small town. If you have to spend a lot of time in transit, make that part of your trip an event in itself.
Consider The Coasts
Did you know that Canada has the world’s longest coastline? It’s true, and during the summer months, the coast offers lots of great places to swim. There are also many freshwater lakes scattered throughout the country. Depending on the month you visit, the waters may be chilly, but they’re also clear and refreshing. Just be careful – if you’re not a strong swimmer, the currents can be difficult to contend with.
Know The Hot Spots
Some people like to go off the beaten trail and see things the parts of a country that only locals know about, while others are all about the tourist hot spots. Here’s what the touristy types know, though: those places are popular for a reason. Who wouldn’t want to see the thousands of belugas that gather in remote Churchill during the summer months or visit Okanagan Valley’s wineries during peak season? In late summer, Arviat in Nunavut is more popular, as visitors gather to watch the tundra change the same way people go leaf peeping in New England. These scenes are incredible and you should enjoy them, but you should be prepared for crowds.
Canada may not seem exciting or exotic at first glance, but this expansive nation has something to offer everyone, whether you want to scope out the immigrant influences shaping Toronto’s food scene or escape to the deep woods – so don’t count Canada out. It may be just what you’re looking for in a vacation spot.