While Canada shares the border with the USA, for a tourist, things differ entirely. What works in one country doesn’t work in another. Hence, if you are planning to visit Canada shortly, for whatever purpose, whether personal or professional, make sure you have done your research well. These tips will make your stay in Canada safe and easy.
Here are a few basic and essential tips that would help you Plan Your Trip To Canada well and make it hassle-free:
Get Canadian Visa: Know The Basics & eTA
While everyone knows that it is necessary to get a Canadian Visa, it is necessary to be very clear about the eligibility. There are a lot of requirements put down by the Government of Canada, Immigration and Citizenship that needs to be met.
These include having no criminal record, showing the willingness to leave Canada once the trip is finished, being healthy, and having valid travel documents (travelers from few countries would require a Visa, valid driver license, insurance proof). The Canadian Authorities are very particular about these requirements.
If you are someone who is traveling from the UK, it is now compulsory for you to obtain Electronic Travel Authorization. This amendment came as a result of the Canadian Government’s border security policy. Also, if you are a citizen of one of the Visa Waiver Program countries (check Canada Visa Application for details), you are eligible to make an application for eTA when planning a trip to Canada. The only condition here is that you should have a valid passport.
The introduction of eTA was made in March 2016. This was done in connection with ESTA, which was explicitly introduced from those travelers who are entering the USA. eTA authorizes traveling for business or tourism purposes. The validity of eTA is five years, wherein the stays should not exceed six months. You can use eTA to fly to Canada several times if you have a valid passport.
Every traveler, including children, should apply for eTA before flying to Canada. They would not be able to board flights if there is no confirmation of eTA. Details of eTA application are sent electronically to the Canada Department of Immigration. Mostly the Canadian eTA visa is submitted online through email within few hours.
Knowing The Country
Being the second-largest country in the world, Canada has a lot to explore. Do research well, talk to the people who have visited the country and make a list of places you would want to visit. Make an itinerary. It is practically not possible to visit the whole of the country in one go. Hence the best advice is that you divide the country into few parts and thoroughly explore it such as West Coast; Quebec and Ontario; Canada’s North and such.
Once the places are decided, the second most important thing is choosing the month in which you would be visiting. The country experiences intense weather and hence be prepared for all sorts of rapid weather changes.
November to February usually are not advised for tourists since extreme weather conditions also mean experiencing avalanches and heavy snowfall. Thus, keep an eye on weather conditions and don’t forget to pack appropriate clothing and footwear.
Emergency Numbers And Backup Plan
One of the thumb rules of traveling overseas is to know the emergency number of the country you would be visiting. The emergency number in Canada is ‘911’, same as the United States. Also, make sure that you know where the embassy of your country is and what its contact number is. Thankfully, you may never have to contact them, but it is always advisable to be prepared for the worst.
There are quite a lot of muggers and snatchers in Canada. Yes, if you are one of those who might get mugged, it can be a real fun-spoiler and trip-ruiner. Thus, carry plastic money instead of cash and keep photocopies of relevant documents instead of taking the original ones.
Safety Tips During Driving
There are high chances that you would be driving across the country during your stay here in Canada. What everyone knows about this country is that it is home to quite a lot of beautiful National Parks, but what everyone doesn’t know is that there are strict Animal Awareness rules applicable to drivers.
All across Canada, Wildlife Warning Signs are put up which reminds drivers to be extra cautious while driving. Wildlife Collision Prevention Program is an excellent platform that gives essential tips on how to avoid colliding with wildlife and what to do in the scenario where colliding with animals is inevitable.