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11 Things Americans Should Know Before Visiting Canada

Canada is one of the most beautiful and popular countries in the world. From breathtaking lakes to glaciers to mountains to wildlife, Canada has everything to offer to its tourists. For many people, Canada is much like the United States as both are located next to each other. But the fact is, both the countries offer a different environment, food, attractions and most importantly, the laws and regulations are different. If you are an American and want to visit Canada with your family or friends, you should plan your trip in advance just like any other tourist. These are few of the things Americans should know before visiting Canada:

1.   You should have a passport to enter Canada

All the U.S. citizens who wish to visit Canada need to have a valid passport or its equivalent document such as Nexus Card. That also means that all the Americans have to deal with immigration and customs once they arrive in Canada. If you don’t have a passport but want to visit Canada at earliest, then you can apply for a passport here and get it within 24 hours. If your children under 16 are traveling with you, they don’t need to have their passports. Instead, the certified copies of their birth certificates will work. This is the most important things Americans should know before visiting Canada.

2.   U.S. currency is not accepted everywhere in Canada

Though U.S. currency is accepted in metropolitan areas of Canada, it is not widely used in other parts of the country. In remote towns of Canada, they only accept Canadian currency. It’s recommended that you exchange U.S. dollars for Canadian currency and enjoy your vacation without any difficulty.

3.   You can drive in Canada on your U.S. driving License

You might think that driving in Canada is similar to the USA but it’s not. Though you can drive in Canada with your U.S. license, you need to follow some driving rules. For instance, speed limits are posted in metric in Canada and you cannot smoke in car if you have minor with you. You should also be prepared to drive in hazard weather if you visit Canada in winter.

4.   Your entry can be refused due to some reasons

Visiting Canada is much easier for U.S. passport holders but you too can be denied entry into the country. If you have any criminal record or anything suspicious then there is a chance that you are refused entry into Canada. There is also much hassle if you are traveling with children who are not your own.

5.   Get your health insurance before you visit Canada

Canada has one of the best healthcare systems but to facilitate its own people. If you are American and wants to visit Canada for vacation, then you must get your health insurance in advance. In case if you get sick and needs medical treatment, you can see a doctor without worrying about the expenses. This is one of the most important things Americans should know before visiting Canada.

6.   Legal drinking age is 19 in Canada

In U.S., the legal age of drinking is 21 but in Canada its 18 in Alberta, Quebec and Manitoba and 19 in all other areas. Additionally, you cannot get beer or liquor easily from convenience or grocery stores like many parts of the world. In Canada, there are special stores from where you can buy a drink.

7.   You don’t get your taxes back

You should know that in Canada, there is federal sales tax on everything. Doesn’t matter where you are staying in Canada; be prepared to pay an additional 15% tax. On top of that, you cannot get your taxes back which means, tax you pay in Canada stays in Canada. This is one of the most important things Americans should know  before visiting Canada.

8.   You’ll find Tim Hortons everywhere in Canada

Yes, that’s true. Just like Starbucks in U.S., there are more than 4,000 Tim Hortons stores in all over Canada. If you crave for coffee or a light snack during your stay in Canada, then Tim Hortons is the best place to fulfill your cravings at an affordable price.

9.   Plan a vacation in small towns to save money

If you want to visit Canada on a budget, then you should spend vacation in a small geographic area including Nova Scotia, Quebec and Ontario. In these areas, you can easily find attractions just around the corner unlike cities where you have travel long distances to reach your destination.

10.  Get a detailed map of Canada before arriving

Plan your Canadian trip beforehand to avoid any hassle. Ask for a tourism package from your travel agent. You should look up at maps, guides, discount books if any and other important stuff which can help you in planning your Canadian vacation. This is one of the most important factors that all Americans should know before visiting Canada.

  1. Be ready to answer questions at border if you are traveling by road

If you plan to visit Canada by road, then prepare yourself for the unusual questions that they may ask you at the border. The officials are supposed to make sure that you are a genuine visitor whose purpose is just to have a vacation in Canada and return to U.S. Just answer them with confidence and you are good to go. These are few of the important things Americans should know before visiting Canada. So what are you waiting for? Do you want to experience the most adventurous vacation in your neighboring country? Start planning your trip now and have an amazing time in Canada with your friends and family.

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