The ultimate solo travel guide to Canada: Everything you need to know

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Canada solo travel is certainly a bucket list adventure. Chances are, if someone you know has travelled to Canada, you know it. One trip to The Great White North and you’ll see why.

Immense Canada holds a string of charms for solo travellers in its not-insubstantial pockets – stretching from the magical northern lights in the Northwest Territories to Newfoundland and Labrador way out east, with its green valleys and 20,000-year-old icebergs drifting by. Go west, and it’s through Alberta’s fossil-studded badlands and easygoing cowboy city Calgary, to the jagged frontier of the Rocky Mountains and into British Columbia.

Canada is a great place to solo travel in, not least for its wow-worthy landscapes. Snowy mountains, picturesque river valleys, cascading waterfalls, rocky canyons, towering ancient forests – you’ll run out of space naming scenic highlights way before the land does.

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There’s no shortage of thrilling activities in this alfresco playground, making Canada the perfect destination for those seeking an adventure-packed holiday. From caving, climbing and rafting, to a floatplane taking off from a mirrored lake of unreal blue. You’ll find Canada’s rich and inspiring indigenous culture across the country, with sacred sites and cultural spaces dedicated to First Nations history such as the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre in Whistler and the totem poles in Vancouver’s Stanley Park.

Canada also does a great line in buzzy cities. Whether the capital Ottawa or high-rise Toronto, creative Montreal or cobblestoned Old Québec, beachy Penticton or cosmopolitan Vancouver, you’re in for a warm welcome and some top-notch food and drink.

Below, we’ve detailed where to go and what to do on group solo trips to Canada; making the most of its majestic natural beauty, impressive wildlife and fantastic cultural heritage. Learn more about solo travel with Flash Pack.

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Canada travel facts

How big is Canada? As the second largest country in the world, it spans six time zones and reaches more than halfway up the Northern Hemisphere. This vastness is home to strikingly blue lakes, untouched forests and snowy mountains, as well as lively, welcoming cities. It’s littered with Unesco World Heritage Sites, from the fortified Historic District of Old Québec to the sacred site of Áísínai’pi (Writing-on-Stone) on the edge of the Great Plains, with thousands of ancient engravings. With its incredible heritage from its Indigenous peoples, truly remarkable landscapes and warm welcome, Canada is somewhere to breathe deep and take it all in.

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Is Canada good for solo travel?

Canada solo travel is great for first-timers and veteran travellers alike. It’s generally a very safe destination and is popular amongst solo travellers who want to experience the snow-covered mountains during the winter season and also the breathtaking scenery in the height of summer. If you take your exhilarating outdoor adventures with a side of boutique food and drink experiences, then a group solo trip to Canada is definitely for you. Think whitewater rafting through canyons surrounded by pine trees and wildlife in British Columbia, caving in Banff National Park and admiring pristine alpine views at 7,000ft – Caesar cocktail in hand. Traverse this showcase of sweeping scenery with a small group of like-minded travellers, with all accommodation and internal travel taken care of in advance by Flash Pack.

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Best places to travel solo in Canada

With its reach from the US border to the North Pole, you are certainly spoiled for choice when it comes to places to visit in Canada. Visit Banff National Park for hiking, caving and a jaw-dropping gondola ride elevating your sightseeing game by about 8,000ft. Immerse yourself in nature in Whistler, with bear-spotting and a morning with a skilled Indigenous herbalist. Revitalise yourself by bathing in warm mineral pools in British Columbia, and sleeping in an Anishinaabe-style teepee riverside in Kumsheen. Don’t forget to soak up the vibrant cities of Calgary and Vancouver, too. Planning a solo trip to Canada could be overwhelming – but we’ve curated a Flash Pack getaway full of natural wonders, dynamic cities and even a floatplane flight to make sure you tick off the very best of The Great White North.

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Where to stay as a solo traveller in Canada

What are the hotels like in Canada? As you’d expect from such a vast country, there are myriad options making the most of the exceptional outdoors: imagine bedding down in a riverside teepee under the stars in Kumsheen, or taking in glacier views from the deck of a rustic log cabin in a charming mountain town nestled between Selkirk and Monashee mountain ranges. Meanwhile, there are plenty of top-notch contemporary hotels in the cities, serving up bold design and craft cocktails. Flash Pack sorts all your stays, so you can focus on your adventuring, and our room share option means first-rate overnighters without the single supplement (however if you’d rather pay to go solo, just let us know).

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How to get to Canada

Most of the big Canadian cities have international airports – some of the busiest are Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ), Vancouver International Airport (YVR), Montréal–Trudeau International Airport (YUL) and Calgary International Airport (YYC). There are plenty of direct flights from the US and the UK, though fares and frequency can change depending on season. Booking long-haul flights to Canada as far in advance as you can is the best flight-price hack to secure cheaper tickets. Travellers driving from the US have the option of road-tripping or catching a bus; some border crossings are busier than others (the Canada Border Services Agency publishes current wait times) and holidays can impact traffic. There are two direct trains to Canadian stations from New York, and another connecting Vancouver with Seattle and Portland, as well as passenger ferries from spots on both the East and West Coasts.

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How to get around Canada

Once in Canada, renting a car is popular and there are plenty of bus routes for long trips, but if you’re short on time or want to travel to areas inaccessible by road, you might want to investigate the trains, ferries and domestic flights connecting the country: rail travel yields some stunning landscapes and luxe options, such as sleeper trains with gourmet meals. Once you’re where you want to go, all major cities have buses, subways, taxis and bike routes to help you get around with ease.

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Best time to visit Canada

Canada has an average summer temperature of 30ºC (86ºF) and an average winter temperature of -15ºC (5ºF), but given its size, the climate varies in different parts of the country. July and August are peak season thanks to the warmer weather, so if you prefer mild temperatures with fewer crowds, a fall visit between September and November might appeal – though if Vancouver is on your list, remember late September and early October brings the busy Vancouver International Film Festival to the city.

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Canada travel itineraries

Flash Pack’s 15-day group solo trip to Canada overflows with outstanding adventures in the beautiful wild mountains, forests and rivers of Western Canada. Your journey through the Unesco-recognised Rockies and British Columbia takes in hiking in Banff, whitewater rafting the Thompson River, walking the thrilling Golden Skybridge and an unforgettable flight in a floatplane taking off from the water of Green Lake. We’ve sketched in time for a taste of city life, too. Sink a craft beer in sunny Calgary, get beachy in picturesque Penticton and explore happening Vancouver on two wheels. Canada has endless delights on offer – bear-spotting, hot spring bathing and exploring the secrets of nature with an Indigenous herbalist – and it’s all connected by jaw-dropping road trips.

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What to pack for solo travel in Canada

You’ll need adaptors for A and B plugs, as well as your usual travel essentials, such as your all-important passport, plus a visa or Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) depending on the country you’re flying in from (always check beforehand), insurance documents and money – both cash and cards (Canada’s currency is the Canadian dollar). As plenty of Canada’s attractions are smack in the middle of the great outdoors, pack appropriate gear such as sturdy footwear, and keep an eye on the season. It depends where you are but there are big swings between summer and winter; with average temperatures for the former at 30ºC (86ºF), plunging to -15ºC (5ºF) for the latter.

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Solo travel advice for Canada

From disconnecting and allowing the great outdoors to wash over you, to upscale private tastings at a boutique winery, Canada has all the adventure and unique relaxation a solo traveller could want. Raft a rollercoaster river before bedding down in a comfy teepee under the stars, and soak up First Nations culture from the people who know this beautiful land best. We’ve sought out lesser-known gems, such as a dip in hot springs in the foothills of the Selkirk Mountains, and big hitters (navigating a bridge suspended hundreds of feet above a canyon, anyone?) for an epic journey across Western Canada. The best part of solo group travel is having first-rate experiences hand-picked and curated in advance by Flash Pack.

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Is it safe to travel solo in Canada?

Canada is generally considered one of the safest countries in the world for solo travel, but no travel can be guaranteed as trouble-free, so always take sensible precautions against crime and be aware of your personal safety. Check out your country’s travel advice before you leave, including the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (for UK solo travellers) or the Department of State Travel Advisories (for US solo travellers). A Flash Pack adventure offers the security of travelling with a small group, and the knowledge of local experts.

Ready for your next adventure? Try group solo travel to Canada with Flash Pack – designed exclusively for people in their 30s and 40s, seeking the independence of solo travel within the safety of a group.

A cool 98% of Flashpackers arrive solo to join our group adventures. So, you’ll be in good company – whether a first-time solo traveller or a seasoned pro looking for like-minded new friends.

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