Canada is a place where everyone just seems to get along. It’s one of the world’s most successful multicultural countries, and it’s famous for its easygoing and polite locals. Travellers won’t find much in the way of hair-raising experiences, but there are a few things to be aware of to help keep your trip trouble-free.
The Canadian healthcare system is the envy of the developed world. But although services are widely available and top-notch, the government doesn’t cover any bills for tourists. If you’re staying for an extended time you can buy a Canadian healthcare insurance policy, but for holidaymakers especially it may be easier and better value to purchase an appropriate travel insurance policy.
However, there are a couple of points that travellers should be aware of:
- Drunk driving could get you deported and prevent you from re-entering Canada. This isn’t an exaggeration — it’s a criminal offence, and a conviction can automatically disqualify a visitor from holding a Canadian visa.
- On October 17 of 2018, the recreational use of cannabis became legal in Canada. With that came new laws and penalties around driving under the influence of cannabis (and other drugs). New screening and testing measures have been used by the police to detect impaired drivers. Please refer to the Government of Canada website for more information.
Take care with your belongings in bigger cities. Thieves have been known to scout cars and motorhomes that are parked in tourist areas, looking for visible valuables before breaking in. This is so common in some areas that police will give you an on-the-spot fine if you leave your vehicle unlocked. Tourists have also lost luggage and handbags in snatch-and-grab thefts, but violent crimes and assaults are less common.
Cold exposure can be a problem for travellers who aren’t used to subzero temperatures. And it’s not just skiers and hikers who succumb to hypothermia — there are many places in Canada where simply being outside and exposed for too long can chill people to the bone. Make sure to bundle up by dressing in layers and covering as much of your body as possible.
Two ailments that strike mainly outdoor adventurers are giardiasis and Lyme disease. Giardiasis is a gut infection that’s commonly acquired by drinking from freshwater sources, like rivers and lakes. Lyme disease, which is spread by tick bites, can be a risk in the warmer, southern parts of Canada during spring and summer.
Road conditions in Canada can vary considerably throughout the year, especially in winter. Snow and ice test even the locals’ driving skills, and bad weather often closes roads and highways. On longer trips, it’s a good idea to plan ahead by identifying alternative routes and emergency stopovers, tuning in regularly to weather reports and making sure you carry food, water and warm clothing in case you get stuck.
NOTICE: While the Information is considered to be true and accurate at the date of publication, changes in circumstances after the time of publication may impact on the accuracy of the information. We strongly recommend verifying the travel advisory of your destination prior to departure.
DISCLAIMER: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of all information as at the date of publishing, Allianz Global Assistance does not accept liability for any errors or omissions. Allianz Global Assistance strongly recommends seeking the guidance of a professional travel agent/agency for further information on a specific destination. On your next trip, whether to another province or country, ensure you have travel insurance as it may assist you in cases of unforeseen medical emergencies and other types of mishaps that can happen while you travel. Travel insurance does not cover everything, please always refer to the policy document for full terms and conditions, including limitations and exclusions. Allianz Global Assistance is a registered business name of AZGA Service Canada Inc. and AZGA Insurance Agency Canada Ltd.