travel tips

“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.”—Saint Augustine.
The world is full of marvels, waiting patiently to be discovered. Preparing in advance is always a good idea.

Here are some tips to make sure you’ll get the most out of your travel vacation.

Currency and Taxes

Canadian currency is comprised of dollars and cents. One dollar and two dollars are represented by coins, also known as loonies and toonies respectively.

As for taxes, there is a 7% Provincial Sales Tax and 5% Goods and Services Tax that applies for services and goods purchased in BC.

TIPPING

When dining out, stopping by a café for a cup of coffee or grabbing drinks at a bar, it is customary in Canada to provide a service tip on top of your bill total. The average tip is 15% but many tip between 10-20%.

Geography of Greater Victoria

Located on the Saanich Peninsula, on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, Victoria’s geographical location is 123 degrees 22’ west longitude, 48 degrees 25’ north latitude. Greater Victoria has an area of 432 square miles (695 square kilometers).

Health & Safety

Emergency Services
If you need to call the police, ambulance and firemen, call 911.
Otherwise, you can dial “0” and tell the operator to connect you to medical services or police.

Laws & Regulations

Driving in Canada
It is mandatory to use the seat beats for drivers and passengers. Also, the usage of phones and electronic hand held devices are forbidden while driving.
If you hold a driver’s license from another country, state or province, you are allowed to drive in British Columbia for up to six months.
The B.C Canada-USA borders are available 24 hours/day at: Peace Arch, Highway 97, Osoyoos, Kingsgate, Douglas truck crossing, Huntingdon and Highway 9, Roosville.

Cycling Laws and Regulations

When cycling, it is mandatory to wear a safety helmet—those in traffic who do not wear a helmet can be ticketed. Also riding on sidewalk, not having a headlight and taillight after dark, and not obeying the Motor Vehicle Act, is forbidden. No license is required.

Motorcycles Laws and regulations

Wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle is mandatory, though exceptions can be granted for people who are of Sikh religion, people who wear a turban and people with unshorn hair.

Drinking and Alcohol
Drinking and driving is forbidden. The legal age for consumption of alcohol, wine and beer in British Columbia is 19. 2 pieces of government ID (one photo piece) may be requested to have provided at the point of purchase, and operators have the right to refuse to serve or sell to anyone who fails to provide the proper documentation.

Smoking in Public Places
Smoking is not allowed in indoor public places and work places, as well as within 3m of public doorways, open windows and air intakes. Smoking on restaurant/bar patios and terraces is also illegal.

Fishing and Hunting Regulations

Fishing licenses can be bought from most sporting goods stores, department stores and government agents’ offices. To fish in saltwater and freshwater, two different licenses are mandatory and different stamps may be required depending on your intended catch. There are also carrying limits per type of fish.

To hunt in Canada, whether you’re a native or a visitor, you must obtain two licenses: one to carry firearms and another to hunt. In addition, for every province and territory you visit, you must obtain a specialized license.

Passport & Visas

Documents required for Travellers

 Travelling by Air
For those traveling between United States and Canada, Central and South America, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda, a valid passport is required. For more info, click here: http://www.cbp.gov/travel/international-visitors

Travelling by Land or Sea
A passport is required for those who travel by land or sea between United States and Canada, Central and South America, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda.

Traveling with Minors
Children of age of 18 and under should check this site http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/travel-voyage/td-dv-eng.html#_s3  for more information about visiting Canada.

Visa Requirements
If you’d like to apply for a VISA, click here: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/apply-how.asp
If you don’t know whether you need a VISA to visit Canada, click here: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/visas.asp

Passports
For more information on passports
For Canadians: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/passport/
For US Citizens: http://www.travel.state.gov/passport/passport_1738.html

Special Needs

Disabled Travellers and Wheelchair Accessibility

All Canadian transportation carriers, by law, are required to ensure that travelers with disabilities do not encounter any problems while using their services. Public buildings are equipped with ramps, adequately equipped washrooms and automatic doors.
Most commercial buildings, such as parking spaces and shopping malls are equipped with these facilities.

Weather and Climate

Being located in a sub-Mediterranean zone, Victoria B.C. has the mildest climate in Canada. With very dry summers, Victoria enjoys on average 2,193 hours of sunshine yearly with an annual rainfall of around 84 cm (33.1 inches).

Spring
While most of Canada is buried under snow, Victoria enjoys a early spring, as early as February. The cherry blossoms are the messengers of the Spring.

Summer
Victoria enjoys warm and dry summers with very low humidity. This makes Victoria a popular destination for people looking to get a tan and spend a lot of time outdoors while engaging in entertaining activities.

Autumn
Fall is always late to Victoria. Usually, during the September the sun is still brightly shining on the sky.

Winter
During January, February and March, Victoria gets rainfall along with some light snowfall. The winters are mild and rarely include snow.

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victoria weather

VICTORIA WEATHER

Overcast
Currently
11°
Overcast
Today is forecast to be Warmer than yesterday. Showers possible.
Chance of Rain
Today 11/22 50%
High 14° / Low 10°
Chance of Rain
Overcast with rain showers at times. Record high temperatures expected. High 14C. Winds SSE at 10 to 15 km/h. Chance of rain 60%.
Rain
Tomorrow 11/23 80%
High 11° / Low 7°
Rain
Windy. A steady rain in the morning, with showers continuing in the afternoon. Thunder possible. High 11C. Winds WSW at 25 to 40 km/h. Chance of rain 80%.
Chance of Rain
Friday 11/24 40%
High 10° / Low 7°
Chance of Rain
Cloudy early with showers for the afternoon hours. High near 10C. Winds SSE at 10 to 15 km/h. Chance of rain 40%.
Rain
Saturday 11/25 90%
High 9° / Low 7°
Rain
Rain likely. High 9C. Winds E at 15 to 30 km/h. Chance of rain 90%. Rainfall around 6mm.
Chance of Rain
Sunday 11/26 60%
High 9° / Low 6°
Chance of Rain
Mostly cloudy early with showers developing later in the day. High around 10C. Winds SSE at 15 to 30 km/h. Chance of rain 60%.
Chance of Rain
Monday 11/27 40%
High 9° / Low 6°
Chance of Rain
Showers in the morning, then partly cloudy in the afternoon. High 9C. Winds SW at 15 to 25 km/h. Chance of rain 40%.
Overcast
Tuesday 11/28 20%
High 9° / Low 6°
Overcast
Overcast. High 9C. Winds ESE at 10 to 15 km/h.
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