How to Save Money in Canada as a Tourist
Travelling to another country can be expensive. However, proper planning and budgeting can help you reduce your expenses without sacrificing the experience. If you’re planning to visit Canada for the first time, you may not be aware of where most of your money will be spent. It would really help you if you planned in advance and knew where to save money before travelling.
The truth is, travelling to Canada as a tourist can be expensive. There are various attractions and activities available that can be costly to visit. You’ll also likely be spending money on hotels and meals—all of which add up and can spread your money thin.
This guide explores some of the best tips that can help you save money when you travel to Canada. Keep reading to learn more.
Six Money-Saving Tips in Canada for Tourists
When travelling to Canada as a tourist, these planning and budgeting tips will help you save money without having to compromise on the experiences Canada has to offer.
1. Acquiring the Canadian Dollars
If you are travelling to Canada for the first time, you will need to acquire Canadian dollars to pay for tickets and other services. You can exchange your currency before or after arriving in Canada. However, you have to compare the benefits of each option.
When you have to exchange the money before the trip, check if the exchange rates in your local bank are affordable. If you plan to get Canadian dollars upon landing in Canada, avoid exchanging currency at the airport as you can end up paying unnecessary additional fees due to the high operating costs. Instead, use a local and trusted money exchange in the city that offers better rates.
Converting your currency at KnightsbridgeFX can help you save hundreds of dollars for every transaction because we offer consistent bank-beating rates. While most banks charge up to 2.5%, our fees are as low as 0.1-0.5%.
2. Travel during Off-Seasons
Travelling to Canada during summer and Christmas can be very costly because tourism is usually booming around that time. If you are visiting Canada as a tourist, travel during the off-season (fall or spring). A lot of the same places that otherwise charge full price for admission offer great discounts during these times.
It’s also easier to find cheaper accommodation and cheaper air tickets during the off-season. If you love skiing, visit resorts that offer ski packages, usually available in January and April.
3. Save Money on Accommodation
Consider looking for accommodation in smaller towns that offer better nightly rates, yet still close enough to activities and attractions that big cities offer. This way you won’t have to spend on expensive parking fees and high-end restaurants. Additionally, most hotels in small towns also offer huge discounts on top of their lower rates.
Some other alternative to staying in expensive high-end hotels that you can consider include:
- Hostels: Hostels are a perfect place to stay if you are travelling solo. Hostels are extremely cheap to stay in and you get an opportunity to interact with fellow travellers from different parts of the world.
- Airbnb: If you need comfort and more space with household amenities, consider choosing Airbnb. It’s a great alternative to expensive
4. Save Money on Meals
Try to limit your visits to the restaurant when travelling on a budget. If your accommodation offers kitchen amenities, prepare the meals yourself to save money. Purchase locally grown produce to cook.
High government taxes affect the food and beverage industry in Canada. If you want to explore Canada’s local cuisine without spending a fortune, consider getting it from food stalls on the streets. Since the food is cheap, you’ll save a significant amount of money and enjoy the local experience at the same time.
When planning for a day trip, pack a few snacks and drinks to avoid frequent and costly restaurant visits.
5. Choose Affordable Transportation
Moving around Canada in a taxi can be very costly. If you want to travel around the city or country during your visit, choose a mode of transportation that’s within your budget. Consider using public transportation whenever possible.
If you are travelling by air, book your ticket using budget airlines such as Swoop and Flair Airlines to take full advantage of their deals.
If you are looking for a unique travelling experience, consider travelling by rail. It is a fast, efficient, and comfortable mode of transportation. Trains also offer an incomparable view of the beautiful Canadian landscape along the way.
However, the most economical way to travel within cities in Canada is by bus or subway. Cities like Toronto have a robust public transportation system for streetcars, subways, and buses. A good example is the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC), which can get you around the city for extremely low fees and, depending on the day, also offers special rates and discounts.
6. Take Advantage of Free Attractions and Activities
Look for cheap or free local activities and attractions to enjoy your vacation. All major cities in Canada host several free or inexpensive events and festivals all year round.
A lot of museums, parks, and cultural centers also offer many activities for free or at a cheaper rate. Check their websites or local city websites for a complete list of free events and activities before choosing your favourite.
Now that you know how to save money in Canada as a tourist, you’ll be ready to visit Canada without stressing about spending too much and stretching your budget too thin. Thankfully, Canada is home to numerous attractions. All you need to do is prepare a practical budget and a travel itinerary with all the places you intend to visit and take advantage of the numerous free and affordable deals available to tourists.