Our best traveling tips to make the most of your traveling experience.
Author: Yan Desjardins, Founder & Executive Director
Whether you are going to study in Canada, use your Canadian tourist visa for the first time, immigrate to Canada with your whole family, or maybe you are immigrating to Canada under one of the skilled categories; it is time to start looking at your best routing options for you to fly to Canada.
There are many options available to travelers that offer a different travel experience. Canada is a big country with 6 different time zones in total! Therefore, before traveling, you must choose the proper route to make your travel efficient and enjoyable while avoiding unnecessary distances.
Below you will find an easy step-by-step guide to help you decide what option is best for you to make the most of your arrival in Canada.
The first thing you need to determine is where within Canada you are going. For example, are you closer to the East coast or the West coast? This factor can help you narrow down your flying options.
There are no direct flights from Vietnam to Canada; that’s a shame. But do not let that discourage you. You can travel and transit through many large Asian airports that connect you to both Canadian coasts. There are 3 major airports you may want to consider: Toronto international, Montréal international, and Vancouver international.
Suppose you are going to study in Canada and your school is located in Toronto. You might want to take advantage of the direct flights available from Hong Kong, Tokyo, Manila, or even Taiwan. However, the flight times may generally vary between 12 to 16 hours to make it to the east coast of Canada.
You can also use Toronto international airport as a stepping stone to other destinations such as Ottawa, the capital of Canada, Halifax, or any other city in the Atlantic provinces.
Montréal international airport is also a viable option. It has many direct European routes to connect to and direct flights to Asian countries, namely Japan and China. In addition, Montréal is located 200km from the capital of Canada and 400km from Toronto.
If you are traveling to British Columbia, Alberta, or Saskatchewan, you’ll want to hop the direct flights to Vancouver from those same airports. If your final destination is Vancouver, then you’ll enjoy an 8 or 9 hours flight to the Canadian west coast.
Vancouver’s neighbor province is Alberta, followed by Saskatchewan. Both provinces can be easily reached within a 1 to 2 hours flight from Vancouver international airport. Manitoba is in the center of Canada and can be accessed easily from both coasts.
Suppose now that you have your 10-year Canadian visa, and you want to make an epic coast-to-coast trip. You’ll want to make Vancouver your starting point and your final destination one of the East Coast cities. Transiting through Vancouver is also a great way to travel for those who don’t like long-haul flights like the Toronto route.
In fact, at Northern Road, our preferred routing when we visit our friends and family or go to Canada for business is using the Ho Chi Minh City-Tokyo-Vancouver route to continue to the East coast. It allows maximum periods of rest between flights.
Canada welcomes hundreds of thousands of foreign nationals coming to study in Canada and millions of holders of Canadian tourist visas that enter Canada each year. Therefore, many of the world’s largest air carriers fly to Canada with many different routing options.
You will have an array of choices depending on where you choose to transit from in the world. Most will take advantage of the many great connecting airports in Asia to take a flight to Canada. First, let’s take a closer look at Canada’s national carrier and its partners.
Air Canada is the national flag carrier and the largest airline in Canada. It flies to every destination within Canada to all of the major cities around the world. Air Canada has been renovating its older fleet and renewing it with many new and comfortable aircraft. On your longer flights to Canada, you will mostly be on board a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner that offers a comfortable economy class, cozy premium economy, and world-class business class.
Air Canada is one of the founding airlines of Star Alliance, the world’s largest global airline alliance. Therefore, you will most likely be paired up with top-of-line airline carriers on your journey to Canada.
Tokyo is an excellent option for transit as it has direct flights to Vancouver, Toronto, and Montréal. ANA is one of the most important allied airlines with Air Canada. Your journey will start with a 6-hour flight to Tokyo with ANA and then on to Air Canada for the rest of your trip. Transiting in Tokyo is very easy and organized. Take advantage of the fantastic duty-free shopping and all of the great Japanese products offered at Narita Airport.
Hong Kong international airport is a short flight from Ho Chi Minh City. Cathay Pacific is another major partner airline with Air Canada. You will be carried to Hong Kong on a fleet of new Airbus 350 or a Boeing 777. Cathay Pacific is world-renowned for its luxury and comfort, and transiting through Hong Kong is a pleasant experience. With service to both Canadian coasts, Hong Kong is an excellent choice for your transit.
Taiwan has direct flights to Canada on Eva Airways. Eva is also a partner of Star Alliance; whether you choose to fly Eva directly to Canada or team up with Air Canada, your travel to Canada will be efficient and comfortable if you decide to transit in Taiwan. Transit times are generally moderate and well organized.
There are many other options to travel to Canada. For example, you can transit in the middle east or Europe, or the United States. So while you make the best of your 10-year Canadian visa, you can take this opportunity to see more of the world on your way there. Canada keeps you connected wherever you are going.
Stay aware of travel restrictions at all times. If there is one thing that the global pandemic has taught us in recent years, travel can be significantly impacted and rapidly. Therefore, it is essential to stay informed to ensure safe travels to and from Canada. Visit Canada’s travel website for more information.
Also, make sure you pack your bags accordingly. If you visit Canada during the fall and winter, you’ll want to bring some warmer clothes and a warm coat. During the summer, temperatures often reach 30 degrees celsius, so you can pack your shorts and sandals and come enjoy the sizzling Canadian summer festivals.
You’re almost on your way to Canada. How exciting! So we thought we’d share some other helpful information. So here’s a list of a few other traveling tips to help you maximize your travel to Canada.
Most flight carriers allow you to take 2 checked-in pieces of baggage of 23kg in economy class and 32kg if you are traveling in business class. That is mostly a standard on Asia-Canada flights but check with your carrier before purchasing. Not every company has the same allowances, and if you combine different airlines in both your trips, you may incur extra costs if you do not choose airlines with the same bag allowance.
If you are traveling within Canada by air, there are many companies you can choose from. Unfortunately, most companies offering low-cost flights within the borders will not offer any bag allowance on a low-cost ticket. Therefore, you will most likely have to buy an extra bag allowance so that you can carry all of the bags you took with you on your cross-border journey. But, don’t worry, it is still quite affordable.
As mentioned earlier, Canada has 6 times zones. This can definitely make your head spin in terms of jet lag. For example, there are a 3 hours time difference between Vancouver and Toronto and many other 1 to 2 hours differences between many other provinces. Using the west coast as a stepping stone to the rest of the country can allow working your way through the time zones by following the sundown, which can help minimize your jet lag.
If you have a long layover in Canada, look at taking advantage of the great lounges in the different airports. If you are traveling in business class on any Star Alliance carriers, you will be able to check in the Air Canada’s Maple Leaf lounges. If not, you can purchase an hourly to a day pass at other lounges where you can sit, eat, drink and freshen up.
Canada has so many great attractions to offer. Whether you are a city kind of person or a nature lover, you will be sure to find the perfect adventure to ignite your dreams of travel. Unfortunately, there are too many attractions to list in these few lines, but we suggest that you visit Parks Canada website for adventures in the great outdoors.
If you are looking for tourism ideas in Canada’s main cities, we suggest searching online using the city’s name and the word ‘tourism’. For example, ‘Toronto tourism,’ Montréal tourism’ etc. You’ll be off to plan your visit in no time.
At Northern Road, we love to bring you the authentic Canadian experience through the eyes of Canadians. Both founders are from Canada, one from the west and one from the East. We strive to inspire our clients to ignite their dreams.
If you are looking to apply for a Canadian tourist visa, study in Canada or immigrate to Canada with your whole family, Northern Road can help you reach your immigration goals. Take our self-assessment test today and see how you can qualify.
Don’t forget to keep reading our blog section for more useful information about Canada.