Eight Tips for a Safe & Hassle-free Trip to Canada
Canada is a much sought-after destination for avid travelers and expats from all parts of the globe. It has amazing landscapes and cosmopolitan cities – from the Maritimes in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west. Canada is a large country with a fairly small population with unmatched natural wonders. Many tourists to Canada come for the mountains, glaciers, secluded lakes, and forests. The Canadian weather can get a bit harsh at times. Here are some tips for tourist visiting Canada, that will help ensure that your stay in this beautiful and multi-cultural country is obstacle-free and enthralling:
1. Canadian Weather for Tourists
No matter what time of the year you intend to travel to Canada, carrying out the necessary checks and gauging the weather conditions before you move is vital. Canada experiences heavy snowfall between November and February. So, be sure you’re geared up adequately if you are a snow lover and want to indulge in some thrilling skiing on the snow-filled mountains and cliffs. But if you are not a great snow enthusiast, you should plan your visit during the warmer months or when the weather suits you.
2. Travel Insurance for Visiting Canada
To ensure that there are no hiccups during your travel to Canada, purchasing travel insurance is a must. The difficult terrain and extreme climatic conditions could lead to a situation where you would require medical assistance during your travel and stay. Take note of local health consultants or medical practitioners so that at the time of an emergency you are not left stranded.
Note that while Canada has universal healthcare for Canadian residents, visitors to Canada are not covered. Canada’s universal healthcare system offers inexpensive medical facilities to its citizens wherein patients have easy access to top-quality clinics and doctors. Short-term visitors are not eligible to avail services of the Canadian Medicare system, but expats & may be able to gain access to a provincial medical plan after a few months or years.
3. Contact Details for Emergency Services
Keep important contact numbers and critical details handy. An emergency could arise anywhere and at any time. At such a time you should know whom to contact and how. During an emergency, you can call 911 for quick assistance and for non-urgent issues you can try contacting 311.
4. Road Safety
Canada is very popular for its pristine national parks and hiking trails. One of the best ways to explore the country’s natural beauty and enjoy its landscapes is by driving around. However, there are chances that you may have some ‘wild encounters’ during one of these thrilling road trips. To avoid these threats it would be wise to identify the safest route or trail and stick to it. It also helps to read through various travel guides before heading out into the unknown. Be prepared and know how to take necessary action to protect yourself if attacked or threatened by some wild animal.
5. Crime in Canada
No country in the world can be deemed completely safe. Petty crimes do exist in Canada too, so avoid carrying important documents or too much cash when you are traveling alone. It is safer to carry a credit card and copies of the important documents that you may need. Avoid leaving valuables in your rental car.
Petty crimes like pickpocketing and sale of counterfeit products are some risks that you would have to be a little careful about. All major Canadian cities have taken stringent measures to prevent drug-related crimes. Even urban crime rates are much lower than most of the nations across the world. Crime Victim Compensation Boards in every Canadian province ensure that unpleasant incidents related to safety are addressed on time and all complaints resolved at the earliest.
6. Know your Embassy Contact Details
Knowing the contact details of your embassy including phone numbers is vital for travelers as well as expats. A situation to use these contacts may not probably arise, but it would be wise to save the contact details on your phone for any unexpected scenario that you may face during your stay.
7. Snowboarding and Skiing Safety
Canada is undoubtedly a snow lover’s paradise, especially at Whistler Blackcomb. You can enjoy the adrenaline rush as you ski on the snow-clad peaks. It can be great fun snowboarding during the peak season but check thoroughly if these activities are supervised by trained and certified professionals. You may expose yourself to grave risks if you are not adequately proficient and not aware of the speed limits while skiing or trying your hand at some other extreme winter sport. We also recommend you stay within the ski boundary as many tourists have been killed or injured by avalanches and other dangers while skiing past ski boundaries.
8. Medications During Travel
Even if you are on a short trip to Canada, carrying the essential medicines along with their prescriptions is important. Standard medicines are easily available in the country, but they may be expensive. Ideally, you should keep all the prescription receipts with you so that you can get them reimbursed through your insurance provider. In most Canadian cities, medicines are sold over-the-counter in pharmacies, clinics, grocery stores, and drug stores.
A Final Reminder
A global travel insurance plan would come to your rescue in case you have a medical emergency because emergency services can be very costly in Canada. Check with your insurance provider whether your existing insurance policy would provide you adequate coverage in Canada. Enjoy your trip to Canada, it has a lot to offer!