WHERE TO ARRIVE?
When you select the tour you want just ensure you are flying into and out of the appropriate airport in Canada! The two main gateways are Toronto and Vancouver. Basically, you’ll enter Vancouver for the West and Toronto for the East. In the West, you can start/finish most tours from Banff (2 hours from Calgary International Airport), but 95% of people start/finish in Vancouver. There is also an option to book an open-jaw trip where you start in Vancouver and end in Banff (Calgary) if you wish. It’s easy to access Banff from the Calgary International Airport. There is a direct shuttle to make the 2 hour trip: www.banffairporter.com. You can also get to Vancouver from Seattle pretty easily. It’s only a 3 hour bus ride from Seatac Airport in Seattle to Vancouver’s downtown. Quick Shuttle offers four shuttles per day: www.quickcoach.com.
Clothes – You don’t want to bring too much to weigh you down but with a variety of weather you will need clothes for both cool weather and extreme heat. We bring you to places where the temperature could reach up to 40°C but you could also be high in the mountains on a cool evening when the temperature dips below zero! Don’t bring a parka, but you’ll need your swimmers and flip flops for the beach and a jacket, jeans and good runners or light hiking boots too.
WHAT ELSE DO YOU NEED?
You should bring your passport along, Canadian bars and nightclubs are stringent with having legal identification to enter.
Bring a camera, swimsuit, towel, sunglasses, sunscreen, and a fun attitude! You should also bring a small day bag to keep on the bus so you can keep these items and your valuables with you. You never know when we will pull over at a beach for an impromptu dip!
A credit card is fairly essential and convenient. They are accepted at most everywhere and it is not common practice in Canada to charge extra fees to use it although you may be charged by your out of country service provider. Bringing some Canadian cash is convenient for some small purchases.
Although tipping is a common practice in Canada tipping your tour guide at the end of your trip is not required or even expected. If you feel you got great service from your guide and you would like to give a tip, it will be accepted and appreciated. If you do choose to tip your guide just do so at the end of your tour!
Restaurants and bars are a different story. The workers there are usually paid minimum wage and live on their tips. As a result, you’ll generally have great service when dining/drinking out as the waitstaff and bartenders need tips to live. Tipping is usually by % – Restaurants range from 10-20% depending on how fancy the restaurant and what level of service is required. 10% is kind of a minimum for waitstaff as they are required to “tip out” the bartenders, dishwashers and bussers. Anything less than 10% and they are tipping out from their own pocket! 15% is around the standard tip amount for good service. Bartenders also expect tips. The % can be less though. A normal practice would be to “round up” (ie. give the bartender $5 for a $4.25 or $4.50 drink).