Category : Guest Post
If you are planning to travel to Canada for the very first time, you should give yourself a pat on the back because this is no mean achievement. Canada is a magical destination, and one of the best countries in the world, and a chance to visit it is wished by millions, yet very few ever manage to fill the Canada ETA forms because they got the opportunity to visit.
In as much as you expect a lot of roses during the visit, you shouldn’t forget that roses do have thorns and if you are not careful, you can get a very painful prick. Presented here are some of the things every first-time traveler to Canada should know, and ignoring them may lead to a very unpleasant trip in an otherwise a very pleasant country.
THE COUNTRY IS VERY BIG
Canada is the second largest country in the world after Russia in terms of landmass. This means that it is a fairly big country and so you should dispel your expectation of sampling everything and visiting every attraction in just a few weeks.
Its huge size also means that you will be traveling very long distances from one place to another, and given that the cities are also very spread out, you will have to be more than average in your planning.
If you are pressed for time, say you have just a couple of weeks to visit, restrict your trips to one or two provinces so that you get the most out of your trip. Also take time to plan very well, lest you will spend a lot of time on the road and you are likely to struggle to get decent accommodation, especially when you will be exploring areas away from the city.
GET READY FOR CANADA’S WEATHER
If you are visiting Canada for the very first time, then there are three things you must always have in mind – layers, layers, and layers. This should be the case even if you will be visiting in summer when you would naturally expect the temperatures to be hot. In Canada, it can get very cold at night, especially in the mountains, and if you are not prepared with the right clothing, you can expect to have a very long night.
You should also know that winters in Canada are very unforgiving.
You don’t want to take chances with your comfort when the temperature hit double digits below zero during winter.
GET YOUR CANADA ETA VISA IN ADVANCE
The last thing you want on your maiden trip to Canada is to be denied entry simply because you didn’t get your Canada ETA visa in good time. ETA is Electronic Travel Authorization and it is now a mandatory requirement for all visa-exempt nationals going to Canada, except Americans.
Depending on your country of origin, you may have to get your ETA visa before you board the flight or while you are on the flight.
Getting it requires a simple online process that takes just a few minutes and some of the requirements you will need to make the applications include your passport, a credit card, your email address and then give responses to a few personal questions. The application fee for the visa is just $7.
THERE ARE TWO OFFICIAL LANGUAGES OF CANADA
Canada is one of those few countries in the world with two official languages. The largest part of the population speaks English as their first language, but there is also a considerable demographic that speaks French as their first language, making French the second official language in France. French is mainly used in the Province of Quebec, though you will not find it to be free and flowing as you would hear natives speak it in the streets of Paris.
TIPPING IN CANADA
Tipping is a worldwide culture and is very much alive in Canada just as it is in the United States. Remember, you have no obligation to give tips for the services you get, but if you decide to do it, you should do it in the right manner so as not to show contempt or disregard to the recipient.
In Canada, you are expected to tip when you get served by hairdressers, waiting for staff in restaurants, hotel employees, and taxi drivers amongst other service providers.
Tips in Canada are expected to be anywhere between 15% and 20% of the cost of the product or service. Feel free to give more than this, but don’t feel obligated to tip if you have to give below this rates.
SALES TAX WILL BE ADDED TO YOUR BILLS
All goods and services in Canada usually come with a federal sales tax, and most provinces in the country also have their own tax structures that may be applicable to the goods or services you get in those provinces. This simply means that you should expect to pay an additional 15% for every good or service you secure. But one thing you should remember buying goods or services in Canada is that Canadians are also fond of promotions and sale offers.
Therefore, as a smart shopper, be sure to spend a couple of minutes searching around for good deals.
CANADIANS ARE QUITE POLITE!
Canadians are known to be very polite human beings, and this is not a trait displayed when you are in their country, but also they will carry their politeness when they visit your country. They are well mannered in public places and they will always frown upon anything that may pass as offensive or disruptive.
If you are fond of a jumping queue, throwing litter in the wrong places, making scenes, or being drunk and disorderly in public, then you will not make a very good friend to the Canadians.
When you are in Rome, you do as the Romans do, and so when you are Canada, do as the Canadians do.
THE CUSTOMER SERVICE IN CANADA IS GREAT
The customer service experience in Canada is one of the best in the world. Most stores open seven days a week, and the attendants are not only polite but also very caring and will always ensure that you get everything you needed. They can ensure that you will provide.
These were few things to know before going to Canada if you’re traveling there for the first time. Pin it for a perfect Canada trip!
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