Tips For Travelling Across Canada on a Budget

When it comes to vast and breathtaking destinations, Canada tops the list. As someone who loves travelling across Canada on a budget, I’ve embarked on numerous adventures across this beautiful country. From the bustling streets of Toronto to the awe-inspiring landscapes of Banff National Park, Canada has something to offer every budget traveller. So, let me share some tried-and-true tips for travelling across Canada on a budget, so you can experience the wonders of this nation without breaking the bank.

Best Tips for Traveling Across Canada on a Budget

Best Tips for Traveling Across Canada on a Budget
Lake Louise at Banff, Alberta

Plan Your Trip Smartly:

Before you pack your bags and head out, meticulous planning is crucial. I always start by setting a realistic budget and estimating transportation, accommodation, food, and activities costs. You can get my travel planner to help you make notes while you plan.

Then, I decide on the destinations I want to visit, considering the distances between them to optimize my travel route. This approach saves time and money, making your journey across Canada more cost-effective.

Opt for Affordable Transportation:

Getting around Canada can be expensive, but there are affordable options available. I love travelling by TTC, Go train or bus, as it allows me to enjoy scenic beauty while being easy on the pocket.

If you’d be visiting other nearby cities with no access to public transportation, you can rent a car. VIA Rail’s “Canrailpass” and Greyhound buses offer various passes and discounts for budget-conscious travellers.

Embrace Hostels and Budget Accommodations:

Accommodation costs can quickly eat up your travel budget, but fear not! Canada offers an abundance of hostels, budget motels, and campgrounds. Hostels are budget-friendly and provide an excellent opportunity to meet like-minded travellers worldwide. Websites like Hostelworld, and Airbnb offer fantastic deals on lodging, especially if you book well in advance.

Cook Your Meals:

As much as I love indulging in local cuisine, dining out for every meal can be expensive. One of my top tips is to shop for groceries at local supermarkets and prepare before going on road trips. This saves money and time as finding restaurants in smaller cities can be a hassle. Of course, don’t miss out on trying local delicacies now and then, as it’s an essential part of the travel experience.

Take Advantage of Free Activities:

Canada is a treasure trove of natural wonders and exciting activities; you don’t always have to pay to enjoy them. Many national parks, museums, and attractions offer free entry on certain days or during specific times. I like to plan my visits accordingly to take advantage of these offers. Moreover, exploring nature’s wonders by hiking or simply strolling through the streets of vibrant cities costs nothing and can lead to unforgettable experiences.

Utilize City Passes and Discount Cards:

If you’re planning to explore multiple attractions within a city, consider investing in city passes or discount cards. For instance, the Toronto CityPASS grants access to attractions like the CN Tower, Royal Ontario Museum, and more at a reduced price. These passes can save you significantly, especially if you’re an avid sightseer.

Travel During the Shoulder Seasons:

Canada experiences peak tourism during the summer months when accommodation and travel costs are at their highest. Travelling during the shoulder seasons (spring and fall) can significantly reduce expenses while allowing you to experience pleasant weather and fewer crowds. Some regions, like Quebec and British Columbia, offer stunning fall foliage, adding a touch of magic to your journey.

Be Mindful of Currency Exchange Rates:

Currency exchange rates can impact your budget, especially if you’re an international traveller. Keep an eye on exchange rates and consider exchanging your currency when rates are favourable. I recommend getting a Wise card if you travel frequently as there are no FX fees or use credit cards with low foreign transaction fees or withdraw cash from ATMs sparingly to avoid unnecessary charges.

Fun Things to Do in Vancouver, Canada


Travelling across Canada on a budget is both possible and incredibly rewarding. By planning smartly, choosing affordable transportation and accommodations, cooking your meals, taking advantage of free activities, and being mindful of discounts and exchange rates, you can explore Canada’s vast landscapes, vibrant cities, and rich culture without breaking the bank. So, pack your bags, and embark on this unforgettable journey. 

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