When my friends ask me where they should travel next, they always expect me to recommend something off the radar like Myanmar or Montenegro. Great places they are. You should absolutely go.
But lately, I’ve been pitching Canada—and the responses I get are terrific. “Wow, I’ve only ever been to Vancouver/Niagara Falls/Montreal. It would be kind of a relief to stay closer to home this time.”
It’s hard to argue with how easy and close Canada is. Those are huge benefits if you have limited time for a vacation or want to keep the logistics simple. But trust me, there is also plenty of adventure and cultural variety to be had. A vacation in Canada can be just what the doctor ordered if you want to feel far away without straying too far from home.
Sometimes you’re in the mood to fly halfway around the world or plunge into a culture that’s utterly unfamiliar.
And then there are those vacations when you’d rather hop off a plane without any jet lag (or even drive to the starting point of a trip). That’s Canada for you: just right, just when you need it. With minimal effort and complete peace of mind, a vacation here slips into high gear fast with no time spent in getting acclimated.
Who knew that Nova Scotia has a culinary scene? Would you guess that you could go elk spotting in wilderness a short drive from 500-year-old Québec city? Could you even imagine how neat the nights are in the Canadian Rockies, where the world’s largest accessible Dark Sky Preserve lets you see the Milky Way and understand for the first time how it got its name? I’ve had revelations in Canada that are the equal to anything I’ve felt in Peru or Turkey. In fact, the surprises are even bigger, just because you think you know what to expect.
Worldwide, the good news is that U.S. dollar is strong against currencies such as the euro. But the fact is that some of the main elements of any great vacation are just priced a little better in Canada. For example, the trips that Classic Journeys offers in Canada beat all other destinations for low cost per person. Yet, you’ll still have the full time company of local guides, stay in amazing hotels, and never pay an extra penny for trip activities. If you are planning multiple trips for the year—or if you’re just keeping a careful eye on your travel budget—Canada makes real sense.
The Québecois are not Nova Scotians are not British Columbians. My point being that coast-to-coast, Canadians are as different from one another as Vermonters are from New Mexicans. But I’ve yet to visit a province where I was greeted with anything but genuine warmth and civility. If you have days when it feels like those traits are in short supply, you couldn’t do anything better for yourself than heading north of the border.
All of the plusses I’ve mentioned so far add up to even more when you apply them to a multi-generational family vacation. If you’re luring family members from different parts of the States, Canada presents fewer logistical barriers. The language is easy too; even in French-speaking Québec, English is commonly spoken and your local guide handles any translation you need. What I like best is that it is so easy to have fun, fun, fun in Canada. Glacier-walking, whale-watching, canoeing, catching the crazy tides at the Bay of Fundy, picnicking up in a Rocky Mountain meadow. The list is endless…and a trip fits in one easy week of 6 days and 5 nights. It’s also easy for us to arrange a Private Journey for your family in Canada—whether you want to do one of our regular Canada itineraries or customize your visit for a longer stay or to visit more places.
That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. If you want my advice, if this doesn’t feel like your year for Europe, go to Canada. You’ll have a super-cool, low-stress vacation that feels a lot farther from home than it really is!