What I learned from my trip to Canada

Many Israelis visit Canada each year to enjoy the country’s natural beauty and friendly citizens. There’s no need to go through the hassle of applying for a visa either.

When the opportunity arose to visit Vancouver and the beautiful mountains of British Columbia, I jumped at the chance. The trip was unforgettable but not without its bumps and challenges. Here’s what I learned from my trip to Canada.

Be Prepared for the Weather

In March, temperatures range from 16-24 C (sometimes higher), but in Vancouver, they can range from 7-13 C (sometimes a little higher). Temperatures can vary greatly from one region of Canada to another, so it’s important to do some weather research before traveling.

I knew it would be colder in Canada, but no matter how much you try to mentally prepare yourself for the change, you won’t be ready for it.

I thought I was prepared with my winter jacket, gloves, hat and scarf. But I wound up having to buy a waterproof jacket and a pair of snow boots while I was there. Lesson learned.

Preparing for the weather goes beyond packing the right clothes. I also found myself glued to The Weather Network to make sure I could get where I needed to go.

I rented a car to do some exploring on my own. Thankfully, my car rental came equipped with snow tires. Not all rental cars do. Make sure yours has them if you plan to travel when there might be snow.

If you don’t plan to visit rural areas of Canada, you can probably get away with using public transportation or Uber.

Wandering Through National Parks Can Actually Be Dangerous

When most of us travel, we worry about other humans. Theft is a concern when traveling to any country. In Canada, you also have to worry about the wildlife.

One of the appeals of traveling to Canada is being able to visit their national parks. But you also have to be careful when visiting these parks. Depending on the time of year and the region, you may wind up crossing paths with some unfriendly creatures.

In the summer, grizzly and black bears are commonly found in Canada’s parks. When I visited one park, I was told to keep all food products hidden from sight and to store all food in airtight containers.

Bring Cash – Always

If you plan to venture outside of urban areas, you may wind up in a rural area, a small town or on an island. Some of these areas may not have ATMs or accept credit cards. Always carry around some spare cash for these types of situations.

Tipping is another reason to carry cash. Tipping is expected in the tourism, hospitality and services industries — usually 15-20%. If you’re paying by credit card, you can normally leave the tip on the card, but if you’re in an area that only accepts cash, you’ll want to make sure you have some extra money on you.

Be Smart

I never felt unsafe when I was traveling in Canada, but that’s because I played it safe. I knew where to go and the places to avoid. If you’re smart about where you go and are aware of your surroundings, you’ll stand a much better chance of having a good experience.

About the Author
 Jacob Maslow is passionate about internet marketing and writing. For more than ten years, he's used that passion to transform the web presence of a number of legal and medical professionals in creative, innovative and effective ways that get them noticed in a crowded field. Always learning and reaching for the next wave in e-marketing, Jacob funnels his creativity and desire to help into writing on LinkedIn and for publications such as the Huffington Post.  Currently employed as a marketing consultant; Jacob is originally from Brooklyn. He packed up his five children and made Aliyah in 2014. Jacob's experience and varied interests lend themselves to a diverse palette of topics ranging from technology, marketing, politics, social media, ethics, current affairs, family matters and more. Jacob owns several sites including an affiliate site and Legal Scoops In his spare time, Jacob enjoys being an active member of social media including groups on Facebook and taking in the latest movies. 
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