Top Tips for a Road Trip in Canada

Canada road trip
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Canada is a magnificent country filled with impeccably preserved vistas made up of gargantuan mountains and vibrant pine trees. Therefore, driving through this scenery is by far the most popular and appropriate way to savor its beauties. If you are a newcomer to this expansive country of deep lakes, tall peaks, and endless plains, and you have enough time on your hands to go on a long road trip, here are top tips for a self-drive tour in Canada.

Canadian road tripAuthor Desmond Simon

The benefits of Driving Yourself Around in Canada

The biggest perk of a self-drive road trip is flexibility. You decide every beat on this journey, which also means you’ll have enough elbow room to make on-the-road decisions. Since Canadian cities are brimming with architectural marvels and five-star restaurants, this is a welcome factor. Furthermore, Canada is one of the best countries for self-driving tours because it has an excellent road network and incredibly helpful people around every corner.

If you are ever in need of services, Canadian car experts and medical professionals are among the most mild-mannered and patient people in the world. This means that rental cars are not only a feasible option, but a desirable one, since the state of these vehicles is universally top-notch.

It’s Important to Have a Plan

Canada is renowned for its well-preserved asphalt and user-friendly layout of intersection and roads. Even if you get lost, as it has already been mentioned – Canadians are known for their hospitality and openness, so if you ask for directions, there is a high probability you will get the best and the most detailed breakdown of how to get to your destination as fast as you can.

However, you still have to keep in mind that the Canadian “outback” is enormous – something can only appear to be close, yet these distances can be deceiving – so it would be good if you began your road trip with a solid itinerary for self-drive in Canada. This way, you’ll manage to get the most out of the experience without losing time on needless detours and wrong turns.

Popular Road Trips Routes in Canada:

  • Nanaimo to Tofino, British Columbia, 207 km
  • Sea to Sky Highway, Vancouver to Pemberton, British Columbia, 153 km
  • Montréal to the Peninsule de la Gaspesie, Québec, 806 km
  • The Cabot Trail, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, 298km
  • Regina to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, 388 km
  • Banff National Park to Jasper National Park, Alberta, 288 km

Canada roadPhoto by Gabriel Santiago

Preparation Basics

With a solid itinerary in the bag, you’ll have to think about several basic but crucial things before you embark on this road trip.

  • First of all, you will need to make sure your insurance covers every conceivable circumstance while you drive through the enormous Canadian wild.
  • You’ll need to have an international drivers license, if your home license is not written in English. Don’t forget to pack your drivers license (we’ve actually done this before)
  • Make sure you’ve made backup copies of your basic documentation and placed it in a water-proof folder. You can keep this at the bottom of your glove compartment or on the bottom of your suitcase. Most of these copies are there just in case something happens to the original documentation, which is not an unknown occurrence, so don’t even think about going on the road trip without these backups.

As long as you are familiar with English, you should be golden in most of Canada. However, it would be good if you familiarize yourself with certain French words and phrases if your self-drive road trip cuts through Quebec.

Thankfully, most of the residents of Quebec are bilingual, so communication shouldn’t be a problem, but you’ll run into difficulties while reading traffic signs – since most of them are in French. This is why, above all else, you should try to familiarize yourself with the most frequent French words and phrases used in traffic.

photo by Desmond Simon

Stock up

In order to cover greater distances and stay away from civilization as long as possible, stock up on healthy snacks and nutritious food that will last you throughout the week. This means you’ll probably have to sacrifice the types of foods that cannot sit in storage for longer than 48 hours, but it’s well worth it. Since vast Canadian geography and winding roads offer so many beautiful sites and hidden natural treasures, you’ll want to be as independent and self-sufficient as possible to explore to your heart’s content.

In this regard – water is freedom, and as long as you keep your stocks of water, you’ll be fine. Make sure the plastic bottles are not exposed to sun or smoldering car interior temperatures.


Above all else, driving through Canada is a relaxing, almost meditative experience. The air quality of the northern territories is indisputable, and you are bound to return from this field trip with a boosted immunity and revitalized spirit. Just make sure that, before you embark on this journey, you have everything a person needs to keep the entire trip safe and comfortable. It is bound to be a memorable experience no matter what.



Marie Nieves is a lifestyle blogger who loves unusual trips, gadgets and creative ideas. On her travels she likes to read poetry and prose and to surf the Internet. She is an avid lover of photography who loves to talk about her experiences. You can find Marie on Facebook or follow her on Twitter and Pinterest.

Top Tips for a Road Trip in Canada

2 thoughts on “Top Tips for a Road Trip in Canada

  1. Prakash Gohel says:

    Hey Marie, thank you for sharing this article with us it’s really very helpful and informative article thank you…

  2. Ryan Biddulph says:

    Definitely need that plan in place Marie. If not you are done; at least in terms of wasting sick amounts of time trying to get around a massive country. I only did road trips for the first time here in NZ, from a home base. Even then though we mapped things out and had times in mind for driving to and from spots, as well as time spent at these tourist spots. Rocking tips.

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