In a country the size of Canada, you don’t go from one side to the other very fast. The distance from Newfoundland to Vancouver Island is over 7,600 km. There are vast stretches with no habitation in the northern Boreal Forest, and you can drive many kilometres of prairie fields without seeing a farm house.
If you’re in a hurry to get where you’re going, you need to travel by plane. We haven’t covered airlines or airports on this website, but based on personal experience, if you’re thinking of flying, check out Westjet Airlines. They have real people working there, and they’re actually very friendly.
Depending on where you live, and the reason for your visit to Canada, you will need to meet certain entry requirements. When you enter Canada, a Customs officer will ask to see your passport and/or a valid visa, if one is necessary. If you are a citizen of the United States, you need a passport to enter Canada, but do not need a Temporary Resident Visa.
See the Canadian Citizenship and Immigration Canada website for a list of countries whose residents require a Temporary Resident Visa to enter Canada.
Travelling with Children
Border services officers are on alert for children who need protection. Children under the age of 18 seeking to enter Canada are classified as minors and are subject to the entry requirements set out under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
Parents who share custody of their children should carry copies of the legal custody documents. It is also recommended that they have a letter of authorization from the other custodial parent to take the child on a trip out of the country. Such a letter will confirm that the child is not being abducted or taken against his/her will. The parents’ full name, address and telephone number should be Included in the letter of authorization.
When traveling with a group of vehicles, parents or guardians should arrive at the border in the same vehicle as the children. Adults who are not parents or guardians should have written permission from the parents or guardians to supervise the children. The permission letter should include addresses and telephone numbers where the parents or guardian can be reached. Customs officers watch for missing children, and may ask detailed questions about the children who are travelling with you.
Travelling With Dogs
If you bring a pet dog or cat at least three months old, you must have a certificate to show that the animal has been vaccinated against rabies within the last three years. The certificate has to be dated and signed by a veterinarian, and must identify the animal by breed, age, sex, coloring, and any distinguishing marks. Animal tags are not acceptable in place of certificates.
If you bring a pet dog or cat under three months old from the United States, or a guide dog from any country, you do not need a certificate, but the animal has to be in good health when it arrives.
For those millions of us who wouldn’t dream of leaving home without their four-footed best friend, check out the PET FRIENDLY CANADA website for pet-friendly cottages, cabins, B&Bs, and other lodging across Canada.
Although many Europeans are used to train travel, Canadian passenger train service is limited. How To Travel By Train Across Canada is a great place to start. For train service from the USA, Amtrak enters Canada at three locations – Montreal Quebec, Toronto Ontario and Vancouver British Columbia.
For a slower trip across the country, see Greyhound Bus Lines