CANADA | Best For: Stunning Scenery, Snowshoeing, Parties
Canada’s raw natural beauty is unparalleled. From the staggering mountains, the glowing green-blue lakes, the alpine forests, the soft powder snow… it’s a place of pristine beauty and definitely one to add to the bucket-list.
I was lucky enough to explore Canada for seven months, living in Banff for five of those. It’s a magical little town, (emphasis on the little – it’s pretty much one main street), straight out of a fairy-tale.
Smack in the middle of the famous Banff National Park, you’ll often see deer walking around the town, and if not, there are multiple hikes in the area where you’ll encounter wildlife.
In winter, there are also three ski hills to choose from – my ski pass was for Sunshine, and I also went snowboarding at Lake Louise too.
One thing you absolutely must do if you go to Canada for the snow season is to go snow shoeing in the Canadian Rockies. It was one of the most liberating expeditions of my life.
Words can’t describe the feeling of being on the top of a mountain, seeing the endless expanse, and carving fresh footprints in deep powder snow. You might be with friends or loved ones, but you’ll feel completely alone in the moment – it’s just between the mountain and you. So still, so quiet, so untouched by humans… it brings everything into focus and instils a profound sense of peace.
On the contrary, once you get back to civilisation, there’s a huge social scene.
Banff (and Whistler too for that matter) are melting pots of travellers from all over the world, so the hostel party scene gets pretty rowdy and makes for a lot of fun.
Snowshoeing in the Canadian Rockies | Photograph by Gemma Edwards
The prettiest sunrise I’ve ever witnessed. From my apartment window in Banff, Canada. | Photograph by Gemma Edwards
Lake Louise in all her glory. To see Lake Louise, it’s usually best in late spring or early summer, but I was lucky enough to see it on the cusp of autumn and winter - just before it would freeze over. | Photograph by Gemma Edwards.
TRAVEL MONEY FOR CANADA
If you’ve decided Canada ski season is on your horizon, you’ll need Canadian Dollars (CAD)!
If you’re doing a short stint, take a balance of cash (some people say it smells like maple syrup!) and a Currency Pass prepaid travel card, and for a longer stay, have it weighted more towards your Currency Pass (more money, less physical cash to carry!). Or, if you are like me and decide to move there for a working holiday, use our Travel Money Transfers service to get the bulk of your money set-up in destination.