6 Reasons Why Canada is Perfect for Solo Travellers
Travelling solo is one of the most thrilling things you can do; setting off into the world alone with no safety net and no one else to rely on but yourself (and maybe your guidebook).
It’s intimidating, there’s no doubt about it, but in truth, there’s nothing else that compares with the particular rush of adrenaline you get from setting off on an adventure that is unique to you and you alone.
It’s brave, it’s freeing, you’ll gain so much confidence and it will change your life.
Once you’ve decided to take the plunge and head off on your solo travel adventure, choosing a destination for your trip is the next thing to figure out. South East Asia gets a lot of press for being the number one destination for solo travellers and there’s good reason for that; cheap prices, white sand beaches and a well-worn backpacker’s path means it’s often the go-to for a lot of first-time solo travellers.
But I’d argue that there’s a country that’s even more perfect for a solo trip; Canada. Solo travel in Canada will provide you with a wealth of stories and experiences to share – and I’m here to give you the low down on what and why.
1. Canadians are the friendliest people in the world
Most countries have their stereotypes, but Canada’s do ring true – Canadians are some of the most friendly and welcoming people in the world, which is why solo travel in Canada is so good.
They’ll tell you all about themselves, sing their country’s praises and in some provinces, like Newfoundland, it’s perfectly normal to hitch a ride from town to town with the locals. Even if you don’t have your thumb up by the side of the road, you can’t go far without someone pulling over, offering you a lift, and probably filling you up with a few Canadian snacks along the way.
Getting lost is inevitable when you’re travelling, and it can feel particularly scary when you’re alone, but don’t be afraid to ask for help! Canadians are super helpful and happy to help a confused looking tourist and point you in the right direction – and if they can’t, they’ll help you find someone who can. Solo travel in Canada will show you that there's always someone there for you.
2. Solo travel in Canada is really safe
As North American countries go, Canada is top of the list when it comes to safety, ranking as the 8th safest country in the world.
When you’re travelling alone in Canada, personal safety is more than likely going to be your number one thought, and this especially rings true for solo female travellers in Canada. Being safe, there aren’t many extra precautions you need to take when travelling solo in Canada – just use common sense and take the same precautions you would do at home, especially in big cities.
In some ways, the most important safety tip to remember when solo travelling in Canada is to respect the wildlife and environment! Be mindful of keeping your distance from wild animals like bears and moose, as despite it looking like a good opportunity for a photo, these animals are incredibly strong and move quickly when scared. Another tip is to always keep an eye on the weather, especially when you’re hiking or travelling solo in Canada off the beaten path. Canadian winters especially can be ridiculously cold, but the speed at which it can turn nasty is the issue. Ensure you check the correct weather apps and plan well ahead.
3. You'll never get bored
As a solo traveller in Canada, you won’t find yourself twiddling your thumbs - it’s an understatement to say that the country is huge!
As the second-largest country in the world by size (after Russia) there’s so much to see and do that you’ll never run out of activities to fill your itinerary with… in fact, the truth is you won’t be able to fit everything in!
From ice-capped mountains with the best ski slopes in the world to emerald-coloured lakes perfect for canoe trips. From bright, buzzing cities filled with culinary delights to rugged coastlines that offer a glimpse of icebergs and whales. In fact, you certainly won’t be short of rugged coastlines, with it’s shore stretching a mind-boggling 150,000 miles long. There are epic glaciers to hike and even rainforests to explore on the island of Haida Gwaii! Canada really does have it all.
If you’re a city lover, the multitude of museums, galleries, cafes, parks and sports games will keep any solo traveller in Canada occupied, and also give you the chance to get chatting to people. Cities are great for solo travel in Canada, as you can decide things on your own terms. You can choose to blend into the crowd and stay anonymous or get chatting to people at a bar or sports game if you’re feeling social. In short – you won’t stick out as a solo traveller in Canada if you don’t want to.
4. There's no language barrier
It can be nerve-wracking being on your own in a foreign country, especially when you can’t speak the local language and you have no one else to rely on.
When you begin your solo travel in Canada, this won’t be an issue, and even in the French-speaking provinces, you’ll find English is spoken widely. It’s always worth learning a few basic words and phrases like hello and thank you, and generally, locals will appreciate the effort you put in - even if your French is rusty.
5. You can earn money to fund your travels
It can be hard to keep costs down when you’re travelling solo, mainly because you don’t have someone to split the bills with!
Canada isn’t the cheapest destination in the world but that doesn’t mean it’s unaffordable as a solo traveller. There are a lot of ways to keep costs down - by travelling slowly over land instead of flying internally, grabbing a ride with other travellers when you can (a fast way to make friends too), staying in budget accommodation like hostels or campsites and travelling outside of the busiest tourist months (usually spring and summer).
Another option, and probably the most fun of them all, is to work while you’re in Canada. This could be a summer at a camp, on a working holiday visa, or even volunteering in exchange for food and board at a hostel or B&B. Working when you’re travelling solo is not only a great way to make friends and get great experience for your CV, but it also helps you to become more immersed in the country and feel like a local. You could settle down in a city for a while and pick up some shifts at a neighbourhood bar or café, or try ski instructing up in the snowy mountains, or even become a counsellor at a lakeside summer camp and live the Canadian dream.
6. There will be lots of other solo travellers in Canada
When you’re travelling Canada solo you don’t have anyone else to hide behind – it’s all you!
It forces you to open up and be fearless of talking to new people and putting yourself out there. It will be scary at first, but before you know it will be second nature.
The sheer size of Canada means that you’d have to stray pretty far off the beaten track to meet absolutely no other travellers! It’s easy to make friends in the usual traveller hang outs, like hostels and backpacker bars and you’ll find that people will often be looking for travel buddies to join them in a road trip, chipping in for gas money along the way. The big cities have so many opportunities to meet people, from cafes and bars to apps that organize meetups for travellers, expats and locals alike.
So if you’re trying to decide where to set off on your solo trip, as a newbie traveller or a seasoned one, Canada should be at the top of your list. You’ll fall in love with the stunning landscapes, beautiful wildlife, thrilling cities and the wonderful locals.
Travelling Canada solo is one of the best choices you will ever make, and afterwards, I can guarantee you won’t want to stop.