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Canada

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Expert tip

With the introduction of the new polymer/plastic bank notes, the old paper bank notes are mostly out of circulation. While paper bank notes should still be accepted, many establishments prefer the plastic bank notes, as they have better anti-counterfeiting measures. Try and take only plastic notes with you.

ATM access

5/5 stars – there are ATMs everywhere.

Tipping

Canada has a strong culture of tipping, particularly in restaurants.

Tips are expected everywhere you eat, and a good rule of thumb is to tip 10% for okay service, 15% for good service and 20% for exceptional service. This can be given directly to your waiter or left on the table.

The same rule of thumb can be applied when tipping your tour guide, taxi driver or other people who serve you, in order to show your gratitude.

It is considered rude not to tip in Canada.

Bargaining scale

1/5 stars – bargaining is impolite.

It is not customary to haggle in Canada. Larger ticket items, such as cars and houses, can raise the opportunity to negotiate prices, but overall, haggling and bargaining are not common, and may be considered unusual or offensive.

Card access

Most establishments accept debit and credit cards.

Visa and MasterCard are the most widely used, whereas American Express is not as commonly accepted.

Check with your bank about their foreign currency transaction fees before leaving.

Also, advise them of your travel plans and dates in order to avoid having your international activity flagged as suspicious.

Consider using a prepaid currency card to ensure you aren’t wasting your money on hidden fees.

Cost of a coffee

C$3.75 (regular cappuccino)

Transport

Canada has efficient road, rail, air, bus and ferry networks for convenient travel. Urban areas also have cycle paths.
Transit tickets and passes provide a convenient and economical way to travel, offering monthly, daily or multi-daily travel options.

Pickpocket security rating

3/5 stars – theft is possible.

Although Canada is mostly a safe place to visit, it is still important to be vigilant and cautious to avoid being pickpocketed. Tourists are targeted in crowded areas, and theft from parked cars around popular tourist attractions is also a concern. Keep your bag close to you and never leave valuables in an unattended vehicle.

Scammers and ripoffs

Scams are not common in Canada, but the one to look out for is people begging and pretending to be homeless or ill to get your cash. Con artists have been known to make quite a profit by playing on the emotions of tourists and hitting them up for their travel money.

Departure tax

Any airport or departure taxes are included in the price of your air ticket.

Visa costs

Australians and New Zealanders travelling to Canada for tourism require an electronic travel authorisation (an ETA) as well as a passport that remains valid throughout their stay.

You can apply online for an ETA through the official website, or visit the Visit Canada website for further information.

Individuals with criminal records may not be permitted to enter Canada and should contact their nearest Canadian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate early when planning a trip to Canada.

If you need information on visas and other travel document requirements for your trip, please ask your travel consultant.

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