4 Things Every American Should Know Before Visiting Canada

Thinking about planning all inclusive Canada fishing trips? Or maybe even your very first visit to Canada? As an American, there are a few things you should know about crossing the northern border.

From checking your passport to getting travel insurance, keep reading to learn a few things every American should know before planning a visit to Sointula Lodge.

1. Don’t Forget Your Passport

If you choose to fly or drive to Seattle and then catch a seaplane directly to Sointula Lodge, you might wind up spending all of your time in Canada at our all inclusive fishing resort. But while you might not plan to do any sightseeing away from Malcolm Island, you’ll still be leaving the U.S. behind and entering Canada. And that means that you’ll need to show your passport.

If you’re driving to Seattle and catching a ferry to Vancouver Island, you’ll show your passport at the border crossing. Those arriving by land can show either a valid passport or a valid passport card. But if you’ll be catching a seaplane to Sointula, or if you’ll be flying into Vancouver and traveling to the Lodge from there, you’ll need to have a valid passport. Passport cards are not accepted for air travelers.

Make sure to give yourself plenty of time to apply for a passport if you need one, or if you need a renewal ahead of your trip. Routine processing for U.S. passports is between 8 and 11 weeks at this time. Expedited processing is also available for a fee, but will still take between 5 and 7 weeks.

2. Your Driver’s License is Valid Over the Border

You won’t need a car during your stay at Sointula Lodge. You’ll be enjoying gourmet meals at the Lodge each day. Each morning, your boat and guide will meet you right at the dock, just a short walk from your room. And in the evenings, you can enjoy a variety of on-site amenities, like a hot tub and traditional Finnish sauna.

In fact, if you opt for a seaplane ride for the final leg of your trip, you can travel all the way to Sointula and back without needing a car.

But if you do decide to drive to Vancouver Island and leave your vehicle at Port McNeil or take it across to Sointula, don’t fret; your U.S. driver’s license is still valid and recognized across the border!

There are a couple of things you should know when driving in Canada for the first time. First, speed limits are posted in metric, which means that they’ll list kilometers instead of miles per hour. Additionally, all provinces and territories in Canada have distracted driving laws, which means that cell phones can only be used if they’re in hands-free mode.

3. Check Your Cellphone Plan

A visit to Sointula is a great chance to disconnect from your busy life back home and reconnect with your friends and family, or simply enjoy some quiet, peaceful moments in nature. But if you do want to have access to your cell phone during your visit, you’ll need to check with your cell phone provider ahead of your trip to see what options are available.

Most modern cell phones newer than 5 or so years old are able to be used globally. However, odds are that your cell phone plan doesn’t extend to coverage outside of the U.S. 

Some providers, like AT&T and T-Mobile, do include coverage in Canada and Mexico in some of their cell phone plans. Others offer added coverage that you can turn on exclusively for your trip for an added fee. This is a simple way to still enjoy access to your phone while on vacation without having to change your cell phone plan completely or get a new SIM card once you cross over the border.

4. Consider Purchasing Travel Insurance

Canada is known for its universal healthcare. But that coverage is only for residents and citizens and does not extend to visitors. Your U.S. health insurance may provide some coverage while you’re out of the country. But you’ll need to check with your insurance provider ahead of time to make sure that your care will be covered if you do find yourself ill or injured while outside of the country.

If your insurance doesn’t extend coverage outside of the country or you want some added security, a travel insurance policy is a great choice. This can not only provide coverage for health-related incidents, but emergency hotel stays, travel delays, and more.

Planning All Inclusive Canada Fishing Trips

Americans looking to plan all inclusive Canada fishing trips can rest assured that their driver’s license will work and that they can still use most of their credit cards and even U.S. currency in most stores. But you may need a travel insurance policy to protect you in case of illness or injury, as well as additional coverage on your cell phone plan if you want access to calling and texting during your trip. And don’t forget to check that your passport is still valid ahead of your trip.

With these simple tips, you can travel to Sointula Lodge from the U.S. like a pro! Ready to start planning your first trip? There’s still time to book a visit in 2022! Check out our available trip dates to get started.