Tips to Explore Canada on a Budget

by | Sep 8, 2022 | Destinations, Travel Tips

Tips and tricks to save your travel budget for Canada

Canada has a lot of things to offer. The country’s beautiful nature and friendly people will give you warmth and an unforgettable experience. However, traveling to Canada might be rather expensive. Therefore, if you want to set foot and explore the country, there are some things you must plan for traveling to Canada on a budget. Do not sweat! We have provided you with some tips and tricks to save your budget for traveling the in and out of Canada.


Camping in Canada on a Budget
Copyright: Mike Erskine

The first thing you need to consider if you want to travel to Canada on a budget is the cost of accommodation you must pay during your stay. The rates vary depending on which cities you are going to visit. On average, you need to spend around CAD 35 per night for a dorm room at a hostel. If you want to stay in a hotel room, you need to pay at least CAD 85 per night. 

Canada has so much beautiful nature that you must visit, which you can explore immersively by camping. If you travel to Canada during the summer, you should try camping to save your money for accommodation.

Many major campgrounds sell out early in Canada, so you need to book it in advance during the peak season from June to August. The prices also vary depending on the location, and however, most of them will cost you approximately CAD 25 to 35 CAD per night for a basic ground for two people.

Here is the list of lowest prices for hostels in major cities in Canada:

  • Toronto: CAD 24 per night
  • Montreal: CAD 29 per night
  • Vancouver: CAD 33 per night
  • Ottawa: CAD 32 per night
  • Halifax: CAD 32 per night
  • Banff: CAD 28 per night

Please note that the prices above are subject to change. 


Train in Canada
Copyright: Nathalia Segato

The next tip for traveling to Canada on a budget is to improve your mobility budget through the transportation you use. Canada is 5,514 km wide from the west to the east. Therefore, in such a vast country, you need to consider your mobility by choosing a suitable mode of transportation.

City Travel

Let’s focus on traveling within a city first. If you want to travel around a city, public transportation is a perfect transportation option for you. Many big cities offer public transportation to accommodate their citizens. Usually, they provide daily pass travel tickets. Those daily passes may include in-city transportation such as metro, bus, or even public ferry. However, things will be different if you want to travel across provinces in Canada. 

You can buy the daily pass through many means, such as purchasing online or buying a physical card from a Transit Customer Service Center to Shoppers Drug Mart. Here are some daily pass rates for major cities in Canada:


If you are planning to go on a long-distance journey in Canada, Train is the top choice, considering the scenic views you will witness. Via Rail is the long-distance train network in Canada that you can take to transport from coast to coast, covering eight provinces in Canada. Although taking a train is relatively expensive, remember that you also contribute to the environment by taking a train for sustainability.

There is also an option to purchase a CAD 650 Canrailpass from Via Rail, which you can use for six one-way tickets for at least 15 days. You can also have the 60-day unlimited passes for CAD 1,520. Some most famous routes in Canada and their one-way economy rates (not including the taxes) are:


Although Canada is a vast country and traveling by bus is less flexible, a bus can be the best travel mode if you want to travel between cities that are a reasonable distance. Although there is no singular country-run bus network in Canada, regional operators are based on location. 

Some bus options you can use in Canada are:


Although the fact that traveling from Canada to Europe is much cheaper, there are still some budget-friendly options for air travel. Some examples of airlines that offer cheap prices to travel domestically in Canada are WestJet, Flair Airlines, AirTransat, and Swoop. For one-way routes, their average prices are:

  • Toronto to Vancouver: CAD 72 
  • Toronto to Halifax: CAD 62
  • Calgary to Vancouver: CAD 40
  • Toronto to Calgary: CAD 66
  • Montreal to Vancouver: CAD 192

Once again, you must pay attention to the peak season and the availability of the air trips that may influence the fares. You can check the updated fares on Skyscanner.

Car Rental

This transportation tip and trick to tweak your expense for traveling in Canada on a budget is legit. Car rental is the perfect choice for you to explore many places in Canada without mind-mapping the networks of routes you have to take by taking public transportation. You can stop by every place you find most interesting and spend some time there.

Moreover, the rates for renting a car are considered enough for your tight budget. The average cost of renting a car per day is around CAD 25 to 40 CAD. Bear in mind that you also need to spend more on gasoline or insurance. There is also a rule in Canada that you must be at least 25 years old to rent a car. However, it becomes really affordable if you travel in a group and you split the bills altogether. 


Food in Canada
Copyright: @withlovefromchile

There are plenty of food options that will suit a mid-range budget. Usually, in order to save money, you want to buy fast food that costs you between CAD 5 to CAD 10. However, if you prefer to eat healthy at a restaurant, you will likely spend around CAD 15 to CAD 30. All of them depend on your food preferences, of course.

If you are staying at accommodation providing a shared kitchen, you should be able to save much more money. Just go to grocery stores and buy something to cook, such as pasta, vegetables, fruits, or eggs. Then, while you are back at the accommodation, you can use those to cook some nutritious, cheap food. Also, it will be much better if you can make more so you can save it next time.


Activities in Canada
Copyright: Kalen Emsley

With its breathtaking nature, most of the that you want to visit in Canada must be everything related to nature, such as hiking, camping, or watching the dancing northern lights. Luckily, most of the outdoor activities in the Canadian wilderness are, and therefore, it is perfect for arranging your vacation in Canada on a budget.

Even so, if you are more of an outdoor person, we highly recommend visiting the western part of Canada, such as British Columbia and Alberta. These places offer great wilderness adventures for you to explore. Meanwhile, if you are into art, history, and exploring urban cities, then the eastern part of Canada, such as Southern Ontario and Montreal, is the perfect p you to visit. They have a lot of museums, cool city landscapes, and many things to discover.

Here is a list of activities you can do in Canada with the costs you must pay if you want to experience them. Please note that the prices are subject to change.

  • Parliament Hill Tour in Ottawa: Free
  • Niagara Falls: Free
  • Anne of Green Gables Heritage Place: CAD 6 per person
  • National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa: CAD 12 per person and free on Thursday evenings
  • Canadian Museum of Human Rights in Winnipeg: CAD 14 per person
  • Columbia Icefield Skywalk in Banff: CAD 28 per person.
  • CN Tower in Toronto: CAD 30 per person
  • Banff Gondola in Banff: CAD 43 per person
  • Whale watching in Vancouver: CAD 119 per person

Travel together as a group

Travel with JoinMyTrip
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As you may notice, everything is very cheap when you split the bills among others. It is easier for you to arrange travel together with the perfect itinerary to save as much budget as you want to spend for the trip. Meanwhile, at the same time, you also experience the greatest moment on your journey to Canada on a budget. In that case, JoinMyTrip comes to the rescue! There are many trips available for you to discover at an affordable price with complete packages.

JoinMyTrip connects you with lovely travel buddies who will patiently guide you to have a fantastic moment in your life. What are you waiting for? Check out Canada and other worth-visiting places to explore worldwide with JoinMyTrip now!

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