If you’ve been considering heading to Canada for a vacation, you may want to think again.
It may seem like a region with pleasant summer temperatures and gorgeous landscapes, but it also has downsides. Some of them may have you reconsidering your travel plans.
We’ve collected some of the best reasons not to visit the Great White North on your next trip.
Let’s check it out!
The giant country of Canada covers more than half of the Northern Hemisphere. It measures more than 4,700 miles from east to west. Despite its vast size, its population sits at just over 35 million. For comparison, California has over 39 million people living within its borders.
Though the Great White North may have plenty of space for its residents to spread out, its rugged landscape has kept its population small. Several major mountain ranges stretch through the nation, including the Rockies and the Laurentian Mountains. Nearly 40 percent of it lies in the Arctic Circle, resulting in frigid temperatures.
The rough terrain can also be considered strikingly beautiful. Visitors love spending summer days on the shores of the country’s many lakes, and during the winter, snowsport enthusiasts flock north to hit the slopes. You can even see the Northern Lights if you get close enough to the Arctic Circle.
While the natural beauty draws many tourists each year, visiting Canada can have its downsides too.
Pro Tip: Canada isn’t just a tourist destination. You can also get RVs from our friendly neighbors to the north. Check out these Best Canadian Made RV Campers.
#1 Canada Vacations May Mean Speaking Two Languages
If you want to visit an English-speaking country to avoid learning a new language, a Canada vacation isn’t for you. They have two official languages: French and English. Depending on where you travel, you may need to be familiar with both.
Throughout history, several countries, including England and France, have colonized Canada. While the former occupied the province of Ontario and the latter ruled over Quebec. This has resulted in these two provinces having strikingly distinct cultures and even speaking different languages.
If you want to explore the historical side of the Great White North, you’ll need to know some French. Ottowa, the country’s capital city, sits near the border of Ontario and Quebec. It’s known as the Bilingual City.
#2 Canada Is Really Big for Vacation
We already mentioned this nation’s immense size. Canada has nearly twice the land as the U.S., making it the second largest country behind Russia. It has ten giant provinces spread across six time zones.
You probably won’t be able to visit more than a few Canadian attractions because they’re so spread out. If you really want to experience everything, you should make several trips.
For example, a drive from Prince Edward Island to Quebec takes over nine hours, and both sit on the East Coast. Forget about trying to see Vancouver in the west and Ottowa out east because that drive will take 45 hours.
#3 Even on Vacation, You Always Tip In Canada
When traveling, we think visiting places without a tipping culture, like Japan, relieves some of the pressure and confusion of exchange rates. It’s also nice to go to countries that include tax in the listed sales price, like England.
Unfortunately, if you visit the Great White North, you won’t get a break from the North American tipping and taxing culture. You’ll be fiddling with the exchange rates between USD and CAD while figuring out who to tip and how much to give them.
The extra cash each service costs between taxation and gratuity can really start to add up. Tax can make your total up to 20% higher, not including a tip for service industry workers. If you want to visit somewhere where the price you see is the price you pay, look elsewhere.
#4 Canada’s Climate Is Variable
Many tourists find themselves disappointed each year because it only snows in the winter, not year-round. If you want to escape the summer heat with a snowy vacation, you’ll have to head to the southern hemisphere.
Depending on the location you visit in Canada, it might not even get snow in the winter. Vancouver gets almost none, while cities like Montreal get buried. The high snowpack in some areas can impede your summer hiking itinerary.
While much of this country has a temperate summer, if you go too far north, you’ll have a new problem to deal with.
#5 Sunlight During Canada Vacations Can Mean Long Days
Places in northern Canada experience extremely long days during the summer. The Arctic Circle receives the most light during the summer; sometimes, the sun doesn’t set until after 11 PM. On the contrary, the winter not only brings temperatures down to negative 60 degrees Fahrenheit, but residents barely see the sun.
For anyone not used to heading to bed with the sun out, it can be an awful experience. It’s like jet lag that lingers your entire trip. If you value your rest as much as us, you might reconsider your destination. Pick somewhere with a better sun schedule.
Pro Tip: While exploring Canada, make sure to visit Niagara Falls and use our tips!
Is a Vacation to Canada Worth It?
Before taking a Canada vacation, familiarize yourself with the downsides of traveling to the Great White North.
You’ll want to narrow down your itinerary to just one small part of the country and prepare for the weather at your specific destination. Make sure your accommodations have black-out curtains so you can rest even if the sun’s still out, and don’t forget to tip your servers.
We think a trip here could be quite the adventure, and you’ll probably love your time there if you heed our warnings.
Discover the Best Free Camping Across the USA
To be honest with you, we hate paying for camping. There are so many free campsites in America (with complete privacy).
You should give it a try!
As a matter of fact, these free campsites are yours. Every time you pay federal taxes, you’re contributing to these lands.
Become a FREE CAMPING INSIDER and join the 100,000 campers who love to score the best site!
We’ll send you the 50 Best Free Campsites in the USA (one per state). Access the list by submitting your email below: