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Canadian Rockies & Vancouver 7th October 2012
Post: #1
Hi Olly,
I know it's early to ask. According to guide books and internet boards. There is only 4 hours of daylight in Vancouver in October(same for The Rockies?), and mixed reviews about the weather.

Also it will be Thanksgiving on the 8th of October. Do you know how this and 4 hours daylight will affect the itinerary? I am still going, it's just my nerves are jangling first time flying anywhere, and my first big holiday on my own (I know there will other people going). Just curious about clothing I need to take, how much money ineed to take for excursions and food.

Holiday Ref SVCRW

Thank you in advance Smile

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Post: #2
Hi Louise
I don't think 4 hours of daylight is accurate - according to this website dawn is around 6am and dusk is at about 7pm.
Also temperatures look on the cool side at around 10 degree Celsius, but not too cold. However, definitely worth taking a warm coat and a jumper or two.
I think it will be fun to be there for Thanksgiving - it's a big part of North American culture so it may be a memorable part of your stay.
It's always difficult to say how much money you should take but bear in mind that you will need to buy lunch and dinner on most days, there are four optional excursions you may want to take (full details will be sent to you two weeks from departure), plus drinks, tips and souvenirs.
Personally I would take about $500 in cash and use my debit card to withdraw more from ATMs if needed. Remeber to let your bank know if you plan to do this.
Kind regards
Olly, your editor
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Post: #3
Hi Olly,
Thank you for the reply. I have cash passport card master card in canadian dollars which I will use instead of my debit card currently have 150 canadian dollars on it at the moment topping it up when I can leading upto holiday. Not sure about taking $500 in cash, I wouldn't carry that much cash normally. Are travellers cheques accepted instead of cash?

Thanks in advance Smile
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Post: #4
Hi Louise
That sounds like a good plan. You should always take money in the form you are most comfortable with so don't take a lot of cash if that is going to worry you.
I haven't used travellers' cheques as cash myself but I know some people do and don't usually have any problems.
Kind regards
Olly, your editor
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Post: #5
Hi Louise

I may be wrong, but nowadays travellers cheques are not very popular and you may have trouble using them in some places. I stopped taking travellers cheques years ago!


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Post: #6
Hi there, this is Sue, one of the tour managers - I'm going out tomorrow (10 June) to do the Rockies/Vancouver tour. You can take travellers cheques but as Jaya says above, these days they are not as commonly used/accepted everywhere. As Olly suggests, you can take cash (as every hotel has safe facilities you can use) and also there are ATMs everywhere we go. The tour manager will usually collect money for optionals at the start of the tour, so then you are not carrying it yourself. And if you're thinking of doing the Rockies helicopter flight, then you can pay for this by credit or debit card direct to the heli company. I'm sure you'll have a wonderful time as it is a fantastic tour - this will be the third one I've done since May. Regards, Sue
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Post: #7
Thank you Jaya, I think I'll put most of my spending money on the canadian cash passport mastercard and take about $200 in canadian dollars in a mixture of $20 and $10. As some of the travel guides say that canadians don't like getting large notes like $100 and $50. I'll get the cash as I need it out of ATM's. Does that sound better? :)
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Post: #8
Hi Ben
Please could you find out if I can take hand luggage (using a rucksack it's not a big hefty mountain climbing rucksack!)
Which will contain my travel documents money, mobile phone, digital camera, cordless lady shaver and electric adaptors toiletry bag (I know about quart bag rule got one of those for foot cream and shampoo and conditioner and toothpaste and deodorant. And the maximum weight for total luggage.

The optional Excursions I'll be doing
Banff Gondola
Banff - Oh Canada Eh
Banff - Athabasca Glacier
Banff - Mountain Lakes (Lake Louise & Lake Moraine
Vancouver - North Shore

Could you clarify what is also included on the tour. And how many are going? Sorry about the 20 questions, just nervous about first holiday and flying far away for the first time!

Thank you in advance

My booking reference is A246422 (A)
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Post: #9
Good morning Louise,

Thanks very much for your post and please don't be nervous, you will have a fantastic time with some super company. Everything that is included in the holiday is detailed in the brochure and on the website:

Below I am going to paste the information we send out to clients prior to travel, you will receive these anyway but I'm happy to give you a head start on reading up on it Smile

There are currently 15 customers booked on the tour, not full capacity but a nice number in my opinion, just right. Ages range from 32 - 77.

I hope this all helps,

anything else please ask,





Please find below some general information and guidelines for your forthcoming holiday with us.

Currency Information
The national currency of Canada is the Canadian Dollar (C$). We recommend you take a small amount of local currency and Canadian dollar travellers’ cheques;
Major credit cards are widely accepted. Use of debit cards is widespread, although many stores impose a $5 to $20 minimum per debit card purchase, and service charges may apply. We also recommend that you inform your bank/card company of your trip to Canada, in order to avoid any problems when withdrawing cash from ATM’s; as a security method on your behalf, banks occasionally stop withdrawals in the event that they are being used fraudulently abroad.
Sterling cash and travellers cheques can be exchanged at hotels, banks and exchange offices in Canada. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travellers are advised to take traveller's cheques in Canadian Dollars; these are negotiable primarily in banks, hotels and tourist facilities.

Tipping has not been part of the British way of life but it is a common practice in most holiday destinations. It is a way of saying thank you to someone who has given good service or for a job well done. It is also an important source of income for people working in the tourism industry, whether it is the driver, local guide, hotel staff or in local bars and restaurants. Your Tour Manager will be able to advise you of what an appropriate amount is and when to give it.

As a guideline, a suggested amount would be C$1 – C$3 per person per day for each of the following: Driver, local guide and your Tour Manager. Where meals are not included in your holiday price, there may be an additional 10-15% service charge added to your final bill. If a service charge is not added to your bill then you may wish to leave a tip for the service that has been given.

Tips or gratuities are not included in the holiday cost and are totally at your discretion.

Duty Free
The following goods may be imported into Canada by non-residents without incurring customs duty:

• 200 cigarettes and 50 cigars or cigarillos and 200g of loose tobacco and 200 tobacco sticks per person over 18 years of age.
• 1.5L bottle of wine or 1.14L bottle of liquor or 24 bottles or cans (355ml) of beer or ale per person over 18 years of age if entering Alberta, Manitoba and Québec, and over 19 years if entering British Columbia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan and Yukon.
• Gifts to the value of C$60 per gift (excluding advertising matter, business-related materials, tobacco or alcoholic beverages).

Note: There are three different forms of sales tax throughout Canada; these are added onto the price of goods at the till.

A Goods and Services Tax (GST) of 5% is added on to the sale of most goods and services (in Québec, GST is known as TPS). A Provincial Sales Tax (PST) is payable on most items purchased in shops, on food in dining establishments and, in some cases, on hotel and motel rooms. The level of PST varies from province to province. Alberta, the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and the Yukon are the only jurisdictions that do not charge PST. A Harmonised Sales Tax (HST) of 13% has replaced GST and PST in Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario and New Brunswick.

Note: Visitors may no longer reclaim GST or HST on accommodation and any goods purchased and taken out of the country.
For cameras, radios, personal computers and similar electronic products, a deposit may be requested at the port of entry; this will be refunded to the owner upon submission of proof of export.

The Canada Border Services Agency requires people arriving in the country to declare whether they intend to visit a farm within 14 days.

Banned imports:
The import of firearms, explosives, endangered species of animals and plants, animal products, meat, dairy, food and plant material is subject to certain restrictions and formalities. Enquire at the Canadian High Commission or Embassy for further details.

Public Holidays
06th April - Easter
21st May - Victoria Day
01st July - Canada Day
03rd September - Labor Day
11th October - Thanksgiving Day
11th November - Remembrance Day
25th December – Christmas Day
01st January – New Years Day

Climate & Clothing
Summer thunderstorms are common all over Canada. Occasionally, these may become severe. Tornados also occur throughout Canada, with May to September being prime months. The peak season is June and early July in southern Ontario, Alberta, southeastern Québec, and a band stretching from southern Saskatchewan and Manitoba, through to Thunder Bay. The interior of British Columbia and western New Brunswick are also tornado zones. Earth tremors occur in the western mountains. Forest fires can occur at any time, regardless of the season, particularly in the grasslands and forests of western Canada.

Note: These general guidelines apply mainly to the settled areas of southern Canada. Travellers heading to northern areas, such as the Yukon, the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Labrador, should bring warm clothing for all but the summer months (and even in summer, at least a lightweight jacket is advisable). See the individual provinces and territories sections for more details.

March: Moderate temperatures. Winter clothing with some medium weight clothing.
April: Milder days but the evenings are cool. Medium weight clothing including a topcoat and umbrella is recommended.
May: Warm days but cool at night. Medium weight and summer clothing recommended.
June: Warm, summer clothing with some medium weight clothing for cool evenings. The weather in June is ideal for travel and all outdoor activities.
July/August: These are the warmest months of the year. Lightweight summer clothing is recommended.
September: Warm days and cool evenings. Light- to medium weight clothing recommended.
October: Cool, with the first frost in the air.
November: Cool to frosty. Medium- to heavyweight clothing is recommended. First signs of snow.
December/January/February: Winter temperatures. Winter clothing is necessary (eg overcoat, hat, boots and gloves). Heavy snowfall in most provinces.

In the winter months it is useful to take sunglasses with you as the reflection of the snow can be a strain on the eyes. Rubber soled shoes are also recommended.

Food & Drink
Canadian cuisine is as varied as the country. The colonial influence is still strong, with European menus available in all major cities. The French influence in Québec is easily discernible in the many restaurants that specialise in French cuisine. Areas where particular groups of immigrants have settled have their own distinct specialties; look for German-style cuisine in south-western Ontario, Ukrainian dishes on the Prairies and Asian foods in Vancouver, for instance. Waiter service in restaurants is common. Dress requirements and billing procedures vary. Imported European and 'New World' wines and spirits are widely available.

• The hundreds of miles of coastline offer varied seafood.
• The central plains provide first-class beef and agricultural produce.
• Some more unusual games meats include elk, bison and caribou

The standard voltage in Canada is 110 volts AC, 60Hz. American-style (flat) two-pin plugs are standard. We recommend you take an international adaptor plug with you.

Problems of pick-pocketing of handbags and passports can be common in Canada especially in the major cities, as in any major tourist destination. We would warn you always to be careful of your personal belongings and not to carry your passports/extra cash/credit cards etc unless necessary. These should be left in a hotel safe where possible.

You should be particularly careful of handbags and wallets - where you need to carry money and documents it is advisable to use a money belt under your clothes rather than an exposed one.

If you’re exploring on your own we recommend you carry a card or brochure containing the hotel name and address which you can then give to a taxi driver in case you become lost.

There are currently no compulsory vaccinations for travel to Canada however we strongly recommend that you consult with your General Practitioner or Practice Nurse who will assess your particular health risks before recommending vaccines. This is also a good opportunity to discuss important travel health issues including safe food and water, accidents and insect bites. Many of the problems experienced by travellers cannot be prevented by vaccinations and other preventive measures need to be taken.

A leaflet entitled 'Health Advice for Travellers' is available from the Department of Health and you can contact them for a copy on 0800 555 777 (this is a free-phone number).

Accommodation & Bathrooms
You will find that in some hotels in Canada there is not always uniformity of rooms, so size and shape may vary a great deal. We cannot therefore guarantee that all rooms for our customers will be the same in each property.

Please also note that Canadian hotels generally do provide tea/coffee-making facilities in their rooms.

In some Canadian hotels you may find there is no shower curtain or screen, in which case please be extra careful in case of slippery floors. Bathmats are not always provided.

Tap water
Tap water everywhere contains some bacteria and different minerals. You are used to the tap water back home but when you travel, simply because the water is different, it may upset you. For this reason it is safer to drink the bottled water. It is safe to clean your teeth with tap water, but it is advisable to ask for drinks without ice.

Air Conditioning/Heating
In Canadian hotels which are equipped with air conditioning, the period in the season and times of day when it is operational are at the discretion of the management. The provision of central heating is also at the discretion of the management but in compliance with the current fuel saving requirements in Canada, this is normally limited to the period from Nov-March.

Swimming Pools (if applicable)
Where hotels have their own swimming pools, please arrange to take your own towels, as some hotels do not provide these. Also note that many pools do not have depth markings, so always familiarise yourself with the pool before swimming. Diving is not recommended.

Time zones
As Canada is such a vast country (3,000 miles from coast to coast), it has been divided into time zones.

Toronto is 5 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)
Montreal is 5 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)
Calgary is 7 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)
Banff is 7 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)
Vancouver is 8 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)

From April to late October, Canada adopts ‘daylight saving time’, which is equivalent to our British Summer Time, so the time ratios remain the same between the two countries

Some coaches used on our Canadian holidays may be equipped with WC and washbasin however this cannot be guaranteed. In all cases, regular comfort stops will be made to ensure a relaxing journey.

Please note that smoking is not permitted on any of our coaches.

Extra charges
Please note that payment for any extras such as drinks, laundry, telephone calls and meals other than those included in your tour price, must be made directly to your hotel prior to departure.

Lost property
We will endeavour to trace any lost property and provide you with contact details in order that you may recover your property.

Smoking laws have changed throughout Canada. Smoking is prohibited in all public buildings & areas and only permitted in some designated areas outside
where ash trays are provided.

Many of our tours take in local shops and markets and some will visit factory shops or outlets, selling a range of goods. However we cannot accept responsibility for the quality of the goods you have purchased or for any costs you may incur in having them delivered to your home address.

Please ensure you have a clear understanding of the price you have agreed with the vendor and the conversion rate of local currency to sterling pounds, before signing for the sale either in cash or using your credit card. Please exercise care when using your PIN number abroad making sure it is not visible to others.

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Post: #10
Hi Ben Thank you for your reply. Could you please confirm the maxium weight for luggage and if it includes suitcase and hand luggage.

Thanks in advance
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