Passports and Visas
All passengers require a machine-readable passport valid for six months beyond the conclusion of their trip, with appropriate visas. You should carry your passport with you at all times to ensure against its loss or theft in hotels. U.S. citizens do not need a visa for Canada. All other passport holders must check with the Canadian Consulate to determine if any visas are needed. This information is a guide only and it is essential that you check all current passport and visa rules with your travel agent before departure.
The currency used in Canada is the Canadian dollar (CAD). Notes are issued in 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 dollar denominations; coins are issued in 1 dollar (loonies) and 2 dollar (toonies) denominations and .5, .10 and .25 cents. The production of the penny was recently stopped, though they still may be in circulation. You can change US dollars at banks and currency exchange agencies for the best rates, hotels and some shops can also change them for you, but the rate will likely be much higher. ATMs are also an efficient way to get money in the local currency.
Canada has 120 V at 60 Hz, generally with a socket like those in America. You will not need a converter or an adapter.
Wireless and wired Internet access is widely available throughout Canada. Many of the hotels we use offer this service free or at a small charge. There are also Internet cafés that allow you access, usually for a small charge.
Phoning home from another country can be expensive, between roaming charges and data plan fees. All hotels will add a service charge to the cost of any phone calls you make from your room. This charge can be very high. It is always cheaper for you to use public telephones (payphones) if your cell phone is not set for international calls. Your Travel Director can explain how to dial internationally if you are unsure.
There are wonderful shopping opportunities throughout Canada, from malls to boutiques to outlets. Some items to look for include smoked BC salmon, ice wine or cider, maple syrup, butter tarts, Nanaimo bars, an inuksuk - a stone sculpture originally made by the Inuit, and toonies - two dollar coins which make fun souvenirs.
We suggest the following tipping rates: Taxis 10-15% of the fare on the meter, Restaurants and bars 15-20% of the total bill. If a service charge has already been added there is no need to tip as much or at all.
Canada is well equipped to escort you throughout the country. Your options range from plane to bus to car to train. Regular and efficient domestic flights and trains for travel between cities are available on a daily basis. Bus service within cities is a convenient way to get around. Taxis are also an option. Car rentals from both local and international agencies are available, and a driver's license from your country of origin is valid for up to three months of your stay.
Generally, casual jeans or slacks, shirts, sweaters, a jacket and comfortable walking shoes are all you'll need. If you plan on an evening at a nicer venue, dressier clothes may be called for. Depending on when you are traveling, you might want to bring a swimming suit, or a raincoat and an umbrella.