Travelling to Canada? These are my five tips you must know before you travel there.
There a several things you need to know before going to Canada; especially if you plan to explore the Rocky Mountains like we did. From their closing season to their open season, with most of Canada exposed to arctic weather conditions, here are five of my travel hacks you need to know before travelling there.
These tips are designed around you hiring a car ans self-driving around Canada. That’s my number one hack for travelling anywhere really, if you want to get down and dirty with the country you are travelling through (so to speak).
Travel out of Season:
This means travel through Canada in either early Autumn or late Spring. The reason being, 5 star accommodation is on sale for half the price. We stayed in some of the most amazing hotels we wouldn’t have normally been able to afford.
Especially coming from Australia and our dollar never being as strong as many other currencies in the globe. By doing this, we were able to track down some really luxe hotels in so many beautiful parts across Canada, from Vancouver to Old Quebec.
Just be mindful when travelling in Autumn, that you don’t travel too late in the season. As the months slowly transition into Autumn, weather becomes very unpredictable and you might find yourself lacking in activities, as many places (including accommodations in the Rocky Mountains) close for the season and re-open once the snow has fallen for winter.
Drive through the Rocky Mountains:
When we started planning out trip to Canada, the original plan was to catch the Rocky Mountaineer through the famous Rocky Mountains of Canada, so we could really enjoy the breathtaking landscapes, without the stress of driving on unfamiliar roads.
However, at last minute we opted to rent a car instead and there was definitely no regrets in doing this. Sure the Rocky Mountaineer looked lovely in the brochure, but what sorts of things could you really enjoy when being stuck for days on a train.
Having a car, we had the freedom to take the back road and discover mountain towns built of log cabins and boutique cafes serving incredible hot chocolates.
Stay in old Quebec:
Depending where you are travelling in Canada, there are so many beautiful places to go and visit. With a car those options really are unlimited. We started out road trip on the West Coast and slowly made our way to the East Coast. With a plane trip somewhere in between to cut the road trip down a bit.
Quebec City is a beautiful part of Canada’s east coast, however if you stay in old Quebec City, that’s really where all the action is.
From ambient french restaurants to horse drawn carts, the moment you cross the old gate from Quebec City into old Quebec City you are immediately transported to the south of France and it’s stunning. From the people to the building, you won’t be disappointed when you stay there.
Visit West Edmonton Mall.
At the time, when we visited Canada, there really wasn’t anything like West Edmonton Mall. However, since our visit the United Emirates has successfully built two incredible malls in Dubai and an even more impressive one in Abu Dhabi.
Being part of the state of Alberta in Canada; which is tax-free shoppers haven due to it being oil mining country, if you are planning on shopping whilst travelling through Canada, then leave all your shopping until you hit this mall.
They have everything and anything you could possible dream of. Including a casino, a water fun park and ice rink. And everything is completely tax-free. Yep! you heard that right, because of all the oil mining there, the entire state of Alberta is tax-free.
I do recommend flying into Edmonton for the day to shop though; with Calgary being the closest city. We spent half a day travelling there via car and then had to get to Calgary that night; which didn’t leave much time for exploring the mall or shopping as much as we wanted to, at a leisurely pace.
Stay in Jasper:
Famous Ski Resort Banff is beautiful, but if you’re looking for a real Rocky Mountain getaway, then you need to stay in Jasper.
That doesn’t mean I don’t recommend a visit to Banff, of course, you need to go. It’s definitely a must thing to do when visiting Canada. However, Jasper; which is located a lot higher north in the Rocky Mountains is where you go to experience the real life of the snowy mountains.
From deer crossing the road whilst you’re eating breakfast, to the glacier river which runs right by the town. Jasper is magical and far more scenic than Banff, due to its location in the mountains. Banff is rather flat and is a bit of a distance from the Rocky Mountains, Jasper you are in the Rocky Mountains. Hello pine trees and snow. It’s also a lot more quiet in Jasper, which just added to the ambience. Especially at night.