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What an American Needs to Know When Traveling to Canada in 2020

Many people say Canada is a part of the United States. It is so, but only geographically, having in mind it stretches across North America. Although very similar, there are also many differences between these two countries, especially when it comes to law regulations. Many people do not know that this country is the second-largest in the world, right after Russia. It is interesting to mention it has ten provinces and even six time zones! So, before you go, do a little research about the area you are going to visit so that cold weather, rain, or other weather conditions do not find you unprepared.

People are open-minded and very liberal and this country is one of the first that legalized same-sex marriage. In addition to Ottawa, which is considered the capital, there are many other metropolises worth mentioning, such as Vancouver and Montreal. There is no need to mention Niagara Falls in particular because there is no person who has stepped on the territory of this country without first visiting this tourist attraction and one of the greatest wonders of nature.

You need to have all documents and visa

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However, if you are an American tourist eager to visit this country, you should know a few things about it. As you already know, since it lies on the same continent as America, it is possible to reach Canada by land and by air. Whichever of these two ways you choose, you will need to have a tourist visa. Once upon a time, until 9/11, you didn’t need it, but after that unfortunate event, this country tightened the precautionary measures regarding the entry of foreign citizens into its territory. However, this should not be a big concern for you, because you will easily get a visa online.

For more information Click Here. Still, you should know you will not get a visa if you have a criminal record. Like above mentioned, precautionary measures have been tightened. However, if you are clean before the law, we believe that you will get a visa without any problems and enjoy the natural beauties of this country. Also, it will not help you if you only have a driver’s or ID card from your documents, you have to bring everything, including your passport.

Two official languages

Another interesting thing is that the official languages are English and French, although English will be quite enough for you to communicate, as it covers 80% of the spoken area. Just like the United States, Canada is a multicultural community, so you will be able to hear many different languages on the street.

Canadians use the metric system

Another thing that distinguishes them from America is that they use a metric system. Speed limits are expressed in kilometers, which can be complicated if you are traveling by car and you do not know that 1 kilometer is approximately 0.62 miles. U.S. driver’s license is valid in this country. Also, the temperature is measured in Celsius, not Fahrenheit, and the price of fuel is expressed per liter, not a gallon. However, today it is easy to manage anywhere, considering that you can find converters of various units of measurement via smartphones. As for the traffic law itself, it is very strict, so it is better to be careful and drive at the allowed speed, using headphones for the phone. Also, if you drive a child under 16 in the car, smoking is prohibited.

Canadian dollar as an official currency

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They have their currency and if you are traveling inland, know that it is better to buy Canadian dollars. You can also use a credit card, but keep in mind that there are plenty of rural areas, and finding an ATM can be exhausting. The Canadian dollar is plasticized and, unlike American banknotes, which are green regardless of value, have a different color. Their banknotes are plasticized and many people call them monopoly money precisely because of their looks. The US dollar is slightly stronger than the Canadian (1 USD = 1.34 CAD). Interestingly, the smallest value of the coin is 5 cents, so their prices are rounded to 5 and 10.

Drinking age

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Many young Americans adore this country for several reasons, and one of them is certainly the fact that buying and consuming alcohol is allowed at the age of 18 or 19. So you shouldn’t be surprised if you see a lot of young people going crazy, especially in the border zone. Washington, Montana, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Maine, and New York are just some of the American states that border Canada.

Health Insurance

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This country has excellent health insurance, but only for its inhabitants. Therefore, if you do not have one that also covers going to this country, we recommend that you afford it. In case something happens to you, hospital costs and medical services can cost a small fortune.

Beautiful nature

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The landscape of Canada will certainly not leave you indifferent and many rightly consider it one of the most beautiful countries in the world. This is no wonder since right here you can see frozen lakes, sandy beaches, rocky shores, as well as incredibly lush forests. If you are in the Yukon area from August to April, you should not miss the opportunity to see an amazing spectacle in the sky. It is aurora borealis that is provided in yellow and green tones.

Hello, additional taxes!

Image source: investopedia.com

Now comes not so good news from this country. It’s about taxes. Namely, in addition to the fact that you will pay taxes on every good or service as everywhere else, here you will have to pay an additional 15% because Canada has a federal sales tax. You probably think that you, as foreign citizens, will get away without paying for this, but let us tell you right away – you are wrong!

As we have already mentioned, the climate is different and very changeable. So, dress in layers and enjoy exploring some of the sights of this beautiful country!

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