This year was Canada’s 150th birthday! To celebrate this massive milestone, lots of activities, celebrations and discounted events were put in places to help Canadians (and tourists) appreciate and discover the beautiful country that is Canada. How’s ready for a Canada trip ? (the answer is me).
Last fall, Parks Canada came out with a pass that allowed free access into regional and national parks for 2017. That was pretty awesome since those parking fees can get pretty hefty!
Then, later in March, the country’s most known train company, VIA RAIL, came out with an amazing discount: a 150$ pass for unlimited train travel throughout the month of July. (I know I screamed too when I heard the news!) Getting those passes turned out to be a chaotic and nerve-racking ordeal but those who managed to get their hands on one had struck gold!
I luckily managed to be one of those people! Even now as I’m writing this blog post 3 months after the end of my trip, I still can’t believe I’m part of the few who got to experience this!
Even though the discount is over and is unlikely to happen again, I still you encourage to discover Canada as much as you can! Here are some of my tips if end up doing so.
Stay in Hostels/Airbnb
I know this sounds obvious but it is especially important if you plan to travel Canada! If you plan to visit tourist hubs like Vancouver, Banff, Jasper or Toronto, a hotel room will be really expensive. By staying in hostels for the majority of my trips, I ended up paying between 30-45$/night depending on the location. Some hostels were even pretty decked out with pool table, sauna and/or waterfront location! Hostels are also the perfect environment to meet like minded people and have epic adventures!
Airbnb is also a good option in quieter cities like Calgary or Edmonton were you can find pretty low nightly rates. It’s even better if you have a group of people! In my case, I was with 4 other travelers when we rented an airbnb in Calgary and it came up to 15$/night! Not bad at all!
Wake up early !
As they say, the early bird get the worm! It is especially important when it’s high season and all the national parks parking spots are full by noon… It might suck to get up super early to go do some exploring but it’ll be all worth it in the end when you have the view/hike all to yourself! On top of that, you won’t be suffering under the scorching midday sun…brutal.
Be active and outdoorsy!
Canada has lots to offer in terms of outdoor fun. Everyone knows about the usual hiking, skiing, snowboarding, etc but did you know there is actually a pretty good surfing scene? I had to opportunity to try surfing this summer on the island of Vancouver in Tofino, and I had a blast! Summer isn’t the best season for waves there but if you are a beginner, it doesn’t really matter because all you are trying to do is stand up on the board!
Point is: go out and try a new sport! There are so many opportunities to be active even while you travel! On top of that it’s often free!
I hope these tips are helpful on your next trip! As you probably noticed, these tips are applicable to pretty much any destinations so not travelling to Canada won’t be an issue (although you should come here, it’s pretty amazing!).