It’s Ask the Experts time, it’s Ask the Experts time! Can you tell I’m excited?! It’s the time of the week where two of our Travel Experts step away from their duties in store and take the helm of the STA Travel Blog to answer your questions.
This week Rebecca in Aberdeen as been in touch, but before our Experts get started on answering Rebecca’s question, here’s your opportunity to get involved in the STA Travel Blog and have the Experts tackle your own travel question; send us an email now and they’ll answer it for you right here on the blog very soon.
Ok, so, what’s your question for our Experts Rebecca?
At the end of August I am going to Canada to study abroad for a year with my university. I am staying in Kingston, Ontario, not far from Toronto. What are the unmissable sights in Canada, and in Ontario or Toronto especially? Also, have you got any money-saving advice for travelling around Canada? Rebecca, Aberdeen.
Thanks for your question Rebecca, we’ve got two Travel Experts here, both ready and waiting to help you out. Let’s see what advice Lucy and Claire have to share…
Lucy Bolton from STA Travel Leeds Vicar Lane says…
Canada is such an amazing place, so many exciting and different things to do. If you are staying near Toronto then your first point of call should definitely be the magnificent Niagara Falls.
I’d say it is best to go when you have a few days off as there is a lot to see and do around that area; Niagara is such a beautiful village, perfect for a coffee stop before getting stuck into all the activities on offer. You can take a boat ride right to the base of the falls; they are so loud and powerful but make sure you take a raincoat as you will get soaked in the mist and spray! I would spend the afternoon in the Skylon Tower, shopping, eating in one of the many restaurants or maybe catch a movie at the 4D theatre. You can then hop in one of the famous ‘Yellow Bug’ elevators and cruise 223 metres into the sky for incredible views of Niagara Falls over sunset. It is also the perfect place to take time out of your studying to relax and unwind at one of the many national parks, or soak up the gorgeous scenery at the lakes.
If time allows, you should definitely try and get to Western Canada. There are so many breath taking natural wonders, a few of my favourites are the Columbia Icefields at Lake Louise, where you can see glaciers left from the last Ice Age. The Rocky Mountains are also a must see and of course all the beautiful lakes such as Banff and Jasper. Try and head over in the Summer as you can swim and kayak in the lakes and sometimes it can be hard to get to places such as Calgary in Winter time with all the snow!
In terms of money saving advice I would really recommend booking as much as you can before you go, then your spending money is just for spends. There are lots of open dated trips that you can book before you leave, then secure in a date once you know what your plans are. The Moose Travel Passes are a fab hop-on hop-off bus network that will allow you to travel around West Canada at your own pace and also take part in some really cool organised tours on the East.
Claire Whittington from STA Travel Brighton says…
Kingston is less than a couple of hours away from Toronto so you should definitely be able to have a few weekends in Toronto seeing the sights and of course Niagara Falls in a must. Make sure you take the Maid of the Mist boat tour which takes you as close as possible to these incredible falls (and make sure you take a rain coat or poncho as you’re going to get wet!)
Ontario is ideal for the outdoors type as there are so many stunning national parks and loads of activities to try your hand at… whether you want to give canoeing a go or stand up paddling boarding is more your thing (apparently it is how Cameron Diaz stays in such great shape!) or whether you’d rather have you head in the clouds and be zip lining through the trees, you definitely won’t be short of things to do in Ontario.
Personally I think Thousand Islands Parkway sounds amazing, there are over 1000 tree filled islands along the St. Lawrence River which you can explore by boat or kayak or even scuba dive in the waters. You can do days tours from Kingston so great a way to spend a Saturday!
The train journeys in Canada are iconic and a must do for most travellers to Canada. If you have time why not take the VIA train from Toronto to Vancouver and fly home from there. You spend 4 days travelling through some of the world’s most spectacular scenery from the lakes in north Ontario, then move onward through the Prairies and finally travelling through the Rockies.