Good to know
Internet & wifi
Wifi and internet is widely available in all cities, restaurants, bars and hotels. However, internet coverage is very limited once you are heading into nature. If you want to stay connected, you will have to purchase a Sim card for your device.
Sim cards in Canada are fairly expensive in general, and it is worth shopping around to find out which provider offers the best data plan for you. The main telecommunications companies are Bell Mobility, Telus (Koodo), and Rogers. Additional options include Public Mobile, and GETUS Communications. Walmart also provides its own service. Sim cards can either be purchased in stores or via the company’s websites.
The best way to discover Canada and BC is by car or camper (also known as RV’s in North America). Car and RV rental companies are conveniently located at or near most airports. The majority of RVs do not require a special license to drive or tow.
Vancouver International Airport is the main gateway to British Columbia, and there are many smaller airports throughout the province. Seaplane services connect downtown Vancouver with many destinations on Vancouver Island and along the coast.
Vancouver’s buses, SkyTrain, SeaBus, and the West Coast Express commuter train are operated by Translink, while the rest of BC is served by BC Transit.
To get to Vancouver Island by bus, visitors have the choice between Pacific Coach’s service between Vancouver International Airport and Victoria or the BC Ferries Connector, which joins downtown Vancouver to downtown Victoria. To get around the island, Tofino Bus (Vancouver Island Connector) serves a number of destinations, including Victoria, Nanaimo, Port Alberni and Tofino. The IslandLinkBus serves similar routes, but heads north to Campbell River rather than over to Tofino.
Long distance bus connections such as Calgary, Edmonton, Prince George, Williams Lake, the Kootenays or Kamloops are served by various companies such as Rider Express, Ebus, Adventure Charters or BC Bus North. The BC Ferries Connector also has options for Kamloops and Kelowna.
During the ski season, SNOWBUS provides daily service between Vancouver International Airport and Whistler, with pick-up and drop-off points in Vancouver (including YVR) and North Vancouver. The Skylynx service also connects YVR (and downtown Vancouver) with Whistler.
BC Ferries is the province’s main provider of ferry services and connects the mainland with Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands, the Sunshine Coast, Haida Gwaii, and other coastal communities.
VIA Rail operates two tourist routes to the Canadian Rockies, one starting in Vancouver, and the second one in Prince Rupert. Rocky Mountaineer offers three scenic routes from Vancouver to Jasper and Banff in the province of Alberta.
Credit card payments can be done everywhere in Canada, be it at restaurants, public transport or shops. ATM’s are common anywhere in Canada in case cash is needed. Canada’s currency is the Canadian Dollar.
Canada in general is a safe country for visitors to travel. However, some precaution and common sense is advised. As everywhere, single woman should be cautious at night and avoid dark streets and isolated places in cities. The area around Hastings in Vancouver should be avoided, especially at night.
When traveling to remote areas, eg. national parks, be aware of wild animals and keep a safe distance at all times. Make sure not to have any food in your tent overnight, as this attracts bears and other animals. Keep any food in your vehicle or hang it up in a tree. It is important not to feed wild animals, for their safety and yours.
When travelling by car or camper, especially up north, make sure your car is tanked up, as distances between petrol stations can be very far.
Medical & healthcare
Medical facilities in Canada are good, but please be aware that evacuations in case of an emergency in a remote area can be lengthy and difficult due to the extreme distances and terrain that needs to be covered.
It is recommended to obtain a travel health insurance before traveling to Canada to cover any eventual costs.
Visas & immigration
Most nationalities do not require visas for visiting Canada. Foreign nationals who require a visa to enter Canada must apply and obtain it in advance at a Canadian embassy. If you are not sure about the requirements for your country, please visit the official Canada immigration website. The link can be found on the Vancouver main page under Immigration & Transport.
Passports and travel documents must be valid for more than six months beyond the intended visiting period. All visitors need to apply for an ETA (Electronic Travel Authority) in advance. The process is simple, fast and costs a small fee. ETA’s are valid for 5 years. You can apply for the ETA on Canada’s official immigration website.
In order to enter Canada, visitors need to show proof of a double Covid-19 vaccination, as well as a negative PCR Test not older than 72 hours from the departure of the last leg of their flight. Visitors also need to register on the ArriveCan App in order to fulfil the requirements to enter the country. Please note that requirements might change overnight, and it is recommended to visit the official immigration website for updates before travelling to Canada.
Travolution360 tries its best to cover as much as possible, but it is always worth to stop and visit a tourist information, as they have spezialized knowledge of the area and can often point out places and events that are not well known to a broader audience. And, of course, engage yourself in conversations with fellow travellers, as the best information is by word of mouth.