“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.
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.
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%.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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
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
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.
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).
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.
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.
Fall is always late to Victoria. Usually, during the September the sun is still brightly shining on the sky.
During January, February and March, Victoria gets rainfall along with some light snowfall. The winters are mild and rarely include snow.