If you’re a young backpacker, with a longing to travel, you may be thinking about planning a solo vacation to Canada.
Travelling alone can be a life changing experience and we highly recommend that everyone takes a solo journey at least once in their lifetime. In fact, our company founder Lisa first came up with the idea for FML Adventures during a solo trip to Australia! If you're interested - read about our origin story here!
As with any trip, there’s a lot to think about when planning your vacation. So, we put together this guide to help get you started. In it we’re going to discuss our top tips for solo travel, then we’ll let you in on some of the best vacation spots in Canada.
If you’re looking for the ultimate cross-country experience, whether you’re travelling alone or with friends, be sure to check out our affordable tour packages for young backpackers.
Top Tips For Solo Travel In Canada
1. Stay In A Hostel
When you travel to Canada solo, it can be difficult to meet other people. So, we recommend staying somewhere that makes it easy to connect with other travellers and make new friends.
If you want to meet like-minded travellers, a hostel is one of the best places to stay while on vacation. These are low-cost accommodations where you can rent a bed in a communal room, along with a shared washroom and kitchen space.
Being in close quarters with other guests makes it easy to strike up a conversation and get to know other solo travellers.
On the other hand, if you value your time alone, consider renting a private room through Airbnb instead. You’ll have a room to yourself but the shared bathroom, kitchen and living quarters will make it easy to get to know the owners of the home or other travellers who are staying there.
2. Travel Safe
Exploring Canada by yourself can be an exciting experience but it’s important not to forget about the inherent risks that could present themselves when you travel solo.
Try not to stand out in order to avoid scammers who prey on tourists from out of town. Keep your belongings safe, secure and hide any valuable items you may have on your person.
Always plan safe transportation and familiarize yourself with the local emergency numbers and support systems for people in distress. If you’re going to be out drinking, do so responsibly and avoid ending up heavily intoxicated in potentially dangerous environments.
For more tips on safe travel check out this in-depth guide on the topic.
3. Check-In With Friends
While on your solo vacation to Canada, it’s best to find time during your travels to call friends or family. There’s a couple of reasons why it’s a good idea to stay in touch with people from home.
First, it can help to avoid any homesickness that you could encounter. Being away from everyone you know may seem like absolute bliss at first. However, not seeing any familiar faces can eventually start to take a toll on everybody’s mental health.
The second reason to check-in with someone regularly is as a safety precaution. If you end up injuring yourself or running into trouble while alone in a foreign environment, no one could find out for a long time.
So, organizing a daily check-in is a great way to have someone looking out for you, even if you’re in another country.
4. Be Open To Small Talk (Even If You’re Not Fluent In The Language)
One of the best ways to make the most of your solo vacation is to meet as many people as you can during your travels across Canada. Like anywhere else in the world, the best way to do this is simply by making friendly small talk.
Every person you chat with may have tidbits of advice that could help you in your travels. On top of that, some of the connections you form could end up growing into strong friendships (this tends to be the case most of the time!)
One thing to keep in mind during your trip to Canada is that the country has two official languages, French and English. So, depending on where you travel and where you’re coming from, you may not be entirely familiar with the language people are speaking.
However, that shouldn’t be any reason to deter you from talking to local residents. If you’re polite, people will understand the language barrier and making conversation will help to strengthen your fluency in the language.
5. Take Part in Group Activities With Other Solo Travellers
Group activities are a great way to meet people and make new friends even when you travel solo through Canada.
Let's be real for a second - alcohol has a natural way of bringing people together. So, finding a local bar crawl is a great place to start meeting others.
If drinking isn’t your thing, consider taking a few classes related to the local culture, whether that be cooking, dancing, or outdoor activities. The classes you choose will reflect the type of person you are, so there’s a good chance you’ll run into like-minded people no matter what you do.
Attending local events like concerts, festivals and carnivals are also a great way to run into people who are looking to have fun and make friends.
6. Enjoy Your Alone Time
Up until this point, most of this guide has been about finding opportunities to meet other people. However, if you’re planning a solo vacation to Canada, you’re probably looking forward to some alone time as you travel.
So, make sure you plan opportunities during your itinerary to enjoy some peace and quiet. Canada is home to some of the world's most beautiful landscapes and nature hikes are a great way to experience Canada while away from civilization.
Going to local cafes, strolling through local farmers markets and sightseeing are also great ways to enjoy Canadian culture without the need to interact with other people much.
For many solo travellers, moments like these are the reason they want to take a vacation alone. If you’re the type who’s most content doing activities without other people around, there’s nothing wrong with that at all!
7. Hop On a Tour Bus
If you’re looking to travel solo and make strong friendships in the process but don’t want to worry about the planning side of things then FML Adventures is here to help.
Our affordable tours are the ultimate way for backpackers to enjoy everything Canada has to offer in just 30 days. Best of all, you’ll be experiencing all of it alongside other young travellers just like you. Along the way, you’ll form friendships that will continue long after the trip is over.
Check out our tour packages page for full details on FML Adventures’ life-changing experiences.