So, you've booked your ticket to Canada. Before flying to the land of maple syrup, ice hockey and Justin Trudeau, there are a few things about this diverse and exciting country you should know before you land to make your holiday stress- free.
1) Remember that in Canada they use the metric system…
Like most countries in the northern hemisphere, Canada predominately uses the metric system. Though they are a mix of both metric and imperial, be mindful of their measuring systems. Might be a good idea to take a crash course or google metric conversion.
2)“Je ne parle pas français?” Bilingual communication is to be expected
Canada is a multicultural country with half of its population speaking French. Many travellers are surprised by the linguistic multiculturalism of Canada, and depending on where you go, they may only speak French! Knowing how to say ‘Hello, my name is’, ‘How much is that?’ and ‘where is the bathroom?’ can go a long way.
3) Canada has its own currency
Canada has its own currency and though they do take American dollars it would be worthwhile purchasing some Canadian dollars before you leave.
4) Be mindful of the seasons
Canada is known for its unpredictable weather. From warm to cool to snowing to dry, Canada is a diverse country with more seasons in the year than the Southern hemisphere. It’s a good idea to consider packing for all seasons and weather occasions.
5) Drink responsibly!
One of the reasons people love travelling to Canada is because of the lower drinking age compared to other countries in North America. Though it is considered a safe country remember to drink responsibly and, like most countries, don’t leave your drink unattended.
6) Be a patron who tips!
Like America, Canada works on a tipping system. Because wages are quite low compared to Australia, many businesses expect patrons to tip – whether the service was exceptional or not! It is custom to tip 15-20% of the total bill. Though restaurants are the obvious places to tip, you can also show your gratitude at your hotel.
7) Be nice!
Canadians are known for their polite disposition. Hearing ‘thank you’ and ‘please’ will be common when travelling throughout Canada. It is said that Canadians are quiet by nature and more reserved than Americans or Australians. Canadian generosity is a cultural norm and should be reciprocated when travelling in Canada.
8) Research your travel insurance options
If you are participating in the IEC Working Holiday Visa Program in Canada, you may need an insurance policy that satisfies the visa requirements. Otherwise, if you are planning on hitting those slopes, a policy that covers skiing and snowboarding may be useful.
9) Have fun!
And last but not least, have a great time! Canada is known for their sincere hospitality, interesting culture, amazing scenery and opportunities! Many traveller seldom regret going to Canada for their working or leisure holidays.
If you are looking for an extensive guide to tipping etiquette for Canada you can find more information here.