Grizzly bears aren’t the only thing you need to be wary of in Canada
– even organised travellers can get caught out by the country’s hidden costs. Between soaking up the scenery in British Columbia, skiing at Whistler Blackcomb and exploring Old Montréal, it’s easy to overlook expenses like tipping
and travel costs. These little outlays can add up quickly, leaving you with less money and fewer sightseeing options for your voyage to the Great White North.
Tipping in Canada
Thought you could dine out on tasty Canadian cuisine without leaving a tip? Not so fast. Tipping is customary in Canada, so prepare to pay a little extra for most meals. Canadians may be famously polite, but failing to leave a tip can annoy even the most mild-mannered Canuck. Some restaurants automatically include gratuity, but most venues expect a tip. Tipping is also common in hotels, especially high-end establishments.
There’s no need to spend all your cash on tipping, but leaving 15 – 20% of the total bill is standard (don’t be afraid to tip a little extra if the service was amazing). For travellers who simply can’t afford generous tips with every meal, skip Canada’s high-end dining scene and stick with less fancy cafés and restaurants. The food will be just as tasty, if slightly less refined.
For an authentic Canadian dining experience that won’t cost the earth, be sure to pay a visit to Tim Hortons, Canada’s most iconic restaurant chain.
As the second largest country in the world, Canada is so huge that getting around can be costly. Whether you’re planning to rent a car, catch public transport, or fly, mapping out your Canadian adventure carefully can help minimise travel costs.
Not everyone can afford to see the sights of Canada from the upmarket Rocky Mountaineer train, but there are budget options available. Travelling by bus is a fairly affordable option, even if it’s not the most glamorous way to travel.
If you’d rather go at your own pace, there are plenty of cheap rental cars in Canada for travellers to choose from. Ridesharing is also a popular option, especially in regions where train and bus networks are limited. For travelling longer distances, book yourself a seat on one of Canada’s low-budget airlines.
When driving in Canada, be mindful of icy conditions and stray wildlife. If you thought running over a kangaroo was bad, imagine hitting a fully-grown moose.
Canada has some of the most vibrant and culturally diverse cities in the world – but experiencing the best of Canada’s urban centres doesn’t always come cheap. From museums and theme parks to art galleries and guided tours, many attractions cost a pretty penny.
Reduce your entertainment and sightseeing expenses by getting to know your destination on a free walking tour. You can also visit lesser-known places where the locals like to hang out. Getting back to nature is another great way to avoid blowing your budget, as many of Canada’s national parks offer free entry (or very cheap admission fees).
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