Travelling Around Canada – Alternatives To Hiring A Car

Although many tourists see hiring a car as the most convenient way to travel, it can actually be kind of a hindrance. Not only do you have to work out driving schedules, but if you're visiting from overseas then you are dealing with unfamiliar roads and traffic laws. Next time you visit Canada, consider some of these alternative ways to get around, leaving you time to just relax and enjoy the view.

Travelling by water

If you're visiting either the east or west coast, or somewhere along the Hudson Bay area, then traveling by boat is a relaxing way to get around. Those in the USA can arrive by boat from Alaska, Seattle, or the New England area, and there are even cruise ships arriving from as far as the UK. This is great for those who don't enjoy flying and want an easier alternative with a higher baggage allowance. Once you arrive in Canada, you can explore various areas on a mini cruises and river tours. This allows you to see plenty of different places, without having to drive for hours at a time. Cities such as Vancouver make for a stunning view when arriving by boat, and even getting around the city is easy when taking the Aquabus. With many major areas accessible by water, it's the perfect way to get around for families and older travelers.

Rail network

With plenty of wide, open countryside between cities, driving from place to place isn't that much fun. Hopping on a train means you can enjoy the view, and don't have to worry about getting fatigued. With a wide rail network, Canada is an easy place to get around by train, and VIA Rail also offers sleeper cars for those longer journeys. Trains are great for families on a long trip, as there is plenty of space to move around, and children can easily be kept entertained. Try the trip from Vancouver to Toronto aboard The Canadian and you can enjoy views of the Rockies and the Muskoka Lakes. With beautiful cities such as Winnipeg and Saskatoon on the way, there's plenty to see and discover. With many different rail passes available, you can explore on a budget and at your own pace.

Buses

If you're on a limited budget, then it's very easy to get around Canada by bus, although the journeys can be long. Greyhound coaches are clean, comfortable, and cheap if booked in advance. It's easy to plan routes online, and you can enjoy the view or just snooze on the way to your destination. Although coach travel is hardly luxurious, much of the fleet has now been upgraded, so you can enjoy comfortable seats and Wi-Fi on your trip. Coach travel makes it easy to visit more remote areas, so consider taking a trip to the Northwest Territories. Not only could you see an aurora borealis at certain times of the year, but there are many museums and cultural attractions in cities such as Yellowknife. If you're visiting from the USA, then Greyhound even offers a service from New York and various cities on Canada's east coast, saving you the hassle of taking a flight.

Organized tours

Those who don't drive often find organized tour groups convenient, and they're not just for older travelers. Although there are plenty of great tours in the Niagara Falls area, many companies are becoming more adventurous and catering for those who want to go off the beaten track. Try the Moose Network which gives you a chance to see the wilderness, without having to make the ridiculously long car journey. If you like being in the great outdoors, but worry about getting lost, then try a tour group that can take you cycling, hiking, or kayaking. You can go for a day trip, or spend a week in the mountains, great for those who need some time away from it all. Heli-hiking is also popular in regions such as the Rockies. You get taken by helicopter to the middle of nowhere to explore and try various activities, at the end of your trip, you get picked up again. Much easier than trying to drive to a secluded spot and great for avoiding the crowds.

Although Canada covers a vast area, there's no need to always travel by car. There are much more interesting ways to explore that allow you to relax and just enjoy the view. Work out whether you can leave the car behind and try a more environmentally friendly option.