Canada: Planning Your Trip from A To Z

Are you going on a trip to CanadaWant to know what to do and see?

You are in the right place! I have prepared a complete guide for you, with the 5 steps to organize the tour of your dreams in Canada.

Whether you want to go on a road trip in Canada or use a travel agency, I give you all my best advice and tips to prepare your vacation.

You will see, organizing your trip to Canada will be super easy!

How to organize your trip to Canada?

1. What to do and see in Canada?

First essential step to organize your trip to Canada: determine what are the things to see and the best activities to do according to your interests.

Said like that, it may seem complicated as the country is so vast and there are many beautiful places not to be missed. This is why I have prepared a summary for you in order to know what to visit and what to do in Canada.

So, what are the must-see places of interest?

In Canada, you will be able to:

  • Visit big cities mixing historic buildings and districts: Montreal, Toronto , VancouverCalgary
  • Browse the sublime national parks, the most famous of which are those of Jasper and Banff
  • Discover splendid natural landscapes such as Niagara Falls
  • Live extraordinary experiences such as whale watching in Quebec or take a helicopter flight in Niagara or a seaplane in Vancouver
  • Take the most beautiful scenic roads: the Icefield Parkways or Route 132 in Gaspésie
  • See the Northern Lights in the North of the country
  • Get off the beaten track by traveling through Nova Scotia or the Yukon, where the wild landscapes are absolutely beautiful!
  • Taste typical dishes such as poutine or beaver tail

During your trip to Canada and depending on the season, there are also several really nice activities to do:

  • Sled dog rides
  • Snowmobile, also called “Skidoo”
  • Skiing, snowshoeing, sledding
  • Snow rafting
  • Ice skates
  • Descend the rivers by canoe
  • Go fishing (on ice or not!)
  • Hiking  in national parks
  • Observe the fauna and flora, outings with a guide are offered, for example, to meet black bears

All the places, cities and activities that I mention here are detailed in my complete guide of the 20 places to visit absolutely during a stay in Canada.

You will find it here: What to do and see in Canada?

On the same principle, if you already know that you prefer to focus on the province of Quebec, I recommend that you read my article: What to do and see in Quebec?

Canada - Plan trip from A To Z
Banff National Park, to see during your trip to Western Canada

2. Travel to Canada: prepare your itinerary

Now that you know what to do and see in Canada, for the second stage of planning your trip, you will have to prepare your itinerary.

For Canada, this step is really important because it is necessary to study beforehand the distances between each place to organize these days.

The country is huge and even focusing on just one province, there is quite a bit of travel time to expect. Sometimes it takes almost a whole day on the road to get from one point to another.

And of course, depending on the duration of your trip and your city of arrival, you have to realize that you will not be able to see everything at once. To give you an idea, just to do Calgary (in the West) – Montreal (in the East) by plane, the flight takes 4 hours!

That said, even for a week-long Canada itinerary, you will have time to visit very well-known places like Montreal, Quebec or Toronto and Niagara Falls. The whole thing is to stay focused on an area.

For a trip to Canada of 10, 15 days or more, you will have time to travel more of the country, while still trying to group visits to the West or East of the country.

In order to help you optimize your stay, I have prepared recommended itineraries lasting from one week to one month in Canada.

Each of them is divided into stages where you will find for each day the visits to be made and the travel times.

They are all full of advice and good plans to do the maximum of things and you will also find a selection of the best hotels where to sleep according to your budget.

You will just have to click on the links on the names of the hotels to book them.

In this regard, for a trip to Canada, it is very important to book your accommodation as far in advance as possible, especially for those near national parks (Banff, Jasper, in Gaspésie or in Quebec). There aren’t a lot!

For some very popular activities and tourist sites, it is also better to book in advance using the links or green buttons in the articles.

Montreal, for a trip to Eastern Canada

Here are my 5 itineraries in Canada, to choose from depending on the length of your trip:

For those who prefer to visit the province of Quebec on their trip to Canada, my itineraries in Quebec are here:

Finally, if you want even more detail on each city, I recommend reading my other articles on Canada.

You will find the top things to do , tours in 1, 2 or 3 days, my hotel recommendations, as well as a tourist map to guide you easily.

Quebec City

3. Book your flight to Canada at the best price

Now that you have an idea of ​​the route to follow, and if you already know your travel dates in Canada, you will be able to book your plane tickets.


For your trip to Canada, you must first apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization (AVE). This form, which you can  complete online, must be done before your vacation in Canada.

The eTA applies to all travelers who do not need a visa.

You will find all the information on this site.

Toronto Skyline

4. Rent a car in Canada

Another step to prepare your trip to Canada: car rental.

To cover great distances and above all enjoy magnificent landscapes, a road trip in Canada is the best way to discover the country! Renting a car is really essential to follow all the stages of my routes.

Super practical, you will find all the rental agencies present at the airport of your arrival city. You will immediately see who is the cheapest rental company, its reputation in relation to the opinions of former customers and the different options included in your rental.

For a circuit in Canada, I recommend that you choose a comfortable car to be well settled during long journeys. If you are going on a trip to Canada in the winter, don’t worry, the cars are very well equipped for the weather conditions.


To rent a car in Canada, you are not required to have an international driving license.

Your driver’s license is sufficient provided it is in the Latin alphabet and you have had it for more than 12 months. 

If you still prefer to present an international driving license, you will still need to show your national driving license. Without it, you will not be able to withdraw your car.

The Niagara falls

5. Get Canadian travel insurance

Last step to organize your stay in Canada: take out your travel insurance.

If you need to go to a hospital or clinic, it is required for treatment. The hospital can refuse your admission if you are unable to cover the costs for your care.

Not to mention that even if you are accepted, if you do not have travel insurance, the costs can quickly fly away. When you know that hospitalization costs amount to at least $1,000 per day, it is better to go on a trip to Canada with good insurance!

Before leaving for snowmobiling in Canada, we take out travel insurance!

When to go to Canada? Weather

When is the best time to travel to Canada?

Excellent news, there are no bad times! It all depends on what you want to do.

For example, you can visit major Canadian cities like Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto or Quebec at any time of the year. 

For national parks, they offer as many activities regardless of the season:

In winter, you can indulge in skiing, snowshoeing, sledding and typical activities such as dog sledding or snowmobiling. Snow rafting or ice skating is also super fun!

In summer, river descents by canoe, bike or hike are in the spotlight!

Besides, if you want to practice hiking, spring is also an excellent time to walk. The weather is good and there are a lot of people than in summer.

And I’m not telling you anything if I tell you that going on a trip to Canada in the fall is the perfect opportunity to witness the famous Indian summer, where the trees take on their most beautiful colors!

A few additional tips before going to Canada:

  • In the summer, Canadian companies generally close at the end of July-beginning of August during the construction holiday period. So in addition to other tourists like you, this little world also goes on a trip! You must book your accommodation even further in advance if you are leaving at this time.
  • In winter, even if Canadians are familiar with the season and the roads are generally clear, check the weather forecast before setting off on the road. No one wants to get stuck in a blizzard.
  • If you go on a trip to Canada to observe whales in Tadoussac, know that the best period extends from July to October.
Canadian Fall in Mont Tremblant

Are you going on a trip to Canada? Read also

Check out all our articles about Canada: All articles about Canada are listed here!

Camille L.

Passionate about foreign languages, cooking and writing. I wish to share with you the places, the meetings and the gastronomic discoveries which gave relief to my travels.

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