What You Need to Know About Visiting Canada from Overseas

While you might be facing a lengthy flight to get here, Canada is well worth the time it takes to visit from overseas. 

No matter where you call home or what you enjoy doing, a vacation in Canada is a chance to get back to nature and enjoy the outdoors, as well as to experience a friendly culture that’ll have you eager to plan your next visit as soon as your last one’s finished.

But as with visiting any foreign country, it’s important to do your research first. Even if you’re planning your visit from an English-speaking country like the U.K. or Australia, there are a few things you should know about visiting Canada. Keep reading to learn a few.

Canada is Larger Than You Might Think

With over 2 million fewer citizens than the state of California, it’s easy to assume that the country is smaller than the U.S. But despite being sparsely populated in many regions, Canada actually ranks as the second-largest country in the world.

Surpassed only by Russia in size, Canada stretches more than 3.8 million square miles.

If You’re Visiting from Somewhere Other Than the U.S., You May Need a Visa

If you’re visiting the Great White North from the United States, you won’t need a visa to get in. Instead, you’ll simply need a passport. If you’re visiting by air, you’ll need a passport book. But if you’ll be driving over the border, you can use a passport card instead.

However, if you’re visiting Canada from somewhere other than the U.S., you may need more than a passport to make it over the border. Canada requires an Electronic Travel Authorization, or eTA, for citizens of many countries. You can apply for an eTA online ahead of your trip. The authorization also costs $7 CAD per person in order to apply online.

Some countries that Canada requires citizens of to obtain an eTA from include:

  • Great Britain
  • Australia
  • Germany
  • Ireland
  • Mexico
  • Switzerland
  • Spain

Click here for a full list of countries that Canada requires an eTA from

Citizens of some countries are required to obtain a visa in order to visit, rather than an eTA. This includes many South American and African nations.

English Isn’t the Only Official Language

Many people assume that Canadian citizens primarily speak English. But while you’ll find that most people in Canada do speak English, what you might not realize is that the country actually has two official languages.

English is the mother-tongue of just over 50 percent of all Canadians. Alongside English, French is also an official language in Canada. About 20 percent of the population claim French as their mother language. French is primarily spoken in Quebec, where the language is actually more widely used than English. In the rest of the provinces, though, English remains the primary language.

North American-Style Wall Plugs are the Norm

If you’re visiting Canada from Europe, don’t forget to pack an adapter if you want to charge your laptop, camera, and other devices.

Like the U.S. and Mexico, Canada relies on the North American-style wall plug. A simple adapter will allow you to use your existing electronics and cables. Or you can always consider disconnecting for a few days to enjoy your vacation tech-free!

Don’t Forget Your Travel Insurance

Canada is famous worldwide for its universal, publicly-funded healthcare system. This system allows citizens to get free healthcare for doctor’s visits, hospital stays, dental work, and more.

However, as a tourist in Canada, you can’t cash in on their free healthcare. That’s why, no matter where you’re traveling from, travel insurance is a great investment.

Depending on the policy and coverage that you choose, travel insurance can cover everything from missed flights to lost luggage to emergency hospital care during your stay outside of your home country. While you might think that you don’t need it if you’re healthy or if you have health insurance at home, in many cases, health insurance policies won’t cover medical costs racked up outside of your home country.

The last souvenir that you want to bring home from your next vacation is a big medical bill. Do yourself a favor and invest in travel insurance to protect yourself and your belongings during your trip.

Planning Your Visit to Canada

From applying for a visa or eTA to purchasing an adapter, doing your research ahead of your visit will ensure that your next trip goes smoothly!

If you’ve not yet secured your spot at Sointula Lodge for summer 2021, now is a great time to do so. Contact us today to learn more or book your spot today!