Canada Travel Insurance
A popular overseas holiday destination, Canada is full of stunning natural wilderness, an abundance of iconic wildlife and welcoming and interesting cities. Made up of 10 provinces and three territories which each have their own unique attributes, Canada is the second-largest country in the world by land area and has something for everyone. Whether you want to take a road trip to one of the country’s many famous National Parks, hit the ski slopes or see the Northern Lights, trips to Canada always come highly recommended.
However, it is important to ensure you have a suitable comprehensive international travel insurance policy before jumping on a plane Canada. Without appropriate travel insurance, your dream holiday to Canada could be a disaster and leave you many thousands of dollars out of pocket if something doesn’t quite go to plan.
Which travel insurance is best for Canada?
Your choice of travel insurance should be based on your individual needs and your individual holiday plans. There is no single travel insurance policy that is perfect for everyone and every trip. As with any overseas travel, it is highly recommended to take out a comprehensive travel insurance policy before a trip to Canada. These policies can not only cover medical and hospital expenses but also things like cancellation fees, lost deposits and lost or stolen property. Some policies have lower age limits, while some have no age limits.
If you are a senior and have a pre-existing medical condition, you will need different cover to a 30-year-old traveller with no medical issues. Always carefully read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) before purchasing any travel insurance policy to ensure it meets your individual needs.
Getting to Canada
On the other side of the Pacific Ocean in North America, Canada is a sizeable long-haul flight away from Australia but well worth the trip. Direct flights are available to Vancouver from Australia’s east coast. The approximate flight time from Sydney is 15.5 hours and from Brisbane you are looking at around 14.5 hours in the air.
When is the best time to visit Canada?
The best time to visit Canada really depends on what you want to do on your trip to Canada.
Spring (March to May) and Autumn (September to November) are considered great times to visit. In Autumn, the weather begins to cool down but is still comfortable and the leaves on the trees begin to change colour from green to yellow and orange which makes for some stellar scenery. Spring can be a little cooler but is also a nice time of year as plants come back to life after the winter and begin to flower. The warmer months between June and August are the busiest time for tourists in Canada, which means there can be queues for attractions and accommodation prices are elevated. If you are looking to head to Canada for some skiing or snowboarding, the ski season generally runs between November and May.
Do Australians need a visa for Canada?
Australian passport holders need to apply for an electronic travel authorisation (eTA) before travelling to Canada by air. This can be done online and is valid for up to five years or until the passport used for it expires. Most eTA’s are processed in minutes, but others can take several days to process so you should apply for one early if you can.
Top things to do in Canada
Road trip through the Canadian Rockies
Described as a “magical place” the Canadian Rockies region is covered with amazing landscapes and plenty of native wildlife. It is worth spending at least a week – if not two – on this road trip, allowing for plenty of stops along the way and some time to get out in the wilderness and do some hiking. Many suggested itinerates are available, most of which start in Calgary and visit places including Banff, Jasper National Park and Lake Louise. If you are hiring a car in Canada, make sure your travel insurance policy includes rental vehicle excess cover. This can cover you if your vehicle is damaged or stolen while in your possession.
Take a train through the Canadian Rockies
If you would rather not drive through the Rockies, you can always take the train. The Rocky Mountaineer train offers a range of different routes and cabin classes and all you have to do is sink into a seat and enjoy the wonderful views out the window. The trains operates between April and October.
Ski the slopes of Whistler
The largest skiing area in North America, Whistler attracts snow sports enthusiasts from around the globe for some world-class skiing, snowboarding and more. Whistler offers a huge variety of incredible terrain to suit all skill levels and is easily accessible, situated just a two-hour drive from the city of Vancouver. The ski season at Whistler generally runs from November to May. If you are planning a trip to Canada to hit the ski slopes, make sure your travel insurance covers snow sports. Some standard policies exclude activities like skiing and snowboarding but may offer snow sports cover as an optional add-on.
Visit the Niagara Falls
Located on the border between the Canadian province of Ontario and the US state of New York, the Niagara Falls are a group of three magnificent waterfalls at the end of the Niagara Gorge. The largest of the three falls is known as ‘Horseshoe Falls’. Open every day of the year, the Niagara Falls are a major tourist attraction that offer a range of observation decks and plenty of surrounding hiking trails. But with so much water around, be careful of slippery paths around the falls. That is another good reason to take out Canada travel insurance, to ensure you are covered if you have a fall of your own.
Get a glimpse of the Northern Lights
You don’t have to travel to Europe to see the Northern Lights. The amazing natural spectacle – which is a bucket-list item for many – can also be seen in parts of Canada.
On the western side of Canada, one of the top spots to view the lights is in territory of Yukon. While the lights are generally visible here from mid-August to mid-April, they are at their best between late December and early January.
Hike the West Coast Trail
If you love the outdoors and are a serious hiker, give the West Coast Trail a go. An iconic multi-day backpacking trail, it runs 75km along the coast within the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. Not for the faint-hearted, this trail includes more than 100 ladders and you may have to trudge through deep mud and wade through fast-flowing water. The trail is open between May and September but you need to book a spot in advance. Be sure to have a good travel insurance policy before attempting this hike, because if something goes wrong evacuation won’t come cheaply.
See some Polar Bears
You might have seen a polar bear at a zoo, but there is nothing like seeing one in its natural habitat in the wild. If you want to experience this, one of the best places in the world to do so is in Churchill in the province of Manitoba in Canada. Here there is a healthy population of polar bears that spend the winter months feasting on seals in Hudson Bay. In the summer, the polar bears lounge around on land. Bus, boat and helicopter tours are available to get up close with these magnificent animals.