Helpful Websites For Planning a Cross Canada Trip

My home country of Canada is a fantastic travel destination. It’s vast and beautiful and it offers so much to discover, from the beaches of Vancouver Island to the huge prairie skies, the festivals of Toronto and Montreal and the tiny fishing villages of the Maritimes. The landscapes are pristine and gorgeous and you’ll meet many kind and welcoming Canadians on your journey.

Unfortunately, although Canada has a lot to offer the traveller it’s not very easy to travel on a budget. Compared to destinations like Europe and New Zealand there are very few budget hostels, which means that accommodation can be expensive. Also, the distances between destinations are huge and transport is not always cheap.



That said, it’s absolutely possible to plan a cross Canada trip on a budget – we travelled from Vancouver Island to Newfoundland in 2011 and had an amazing time. Here are some helpful resources that can recommend to make your journey a little easier:

Getting From Place to Place

If you plan to drive across the great white north, the Trans-Canada Highway website offers a lot of useful information for planning your trip. There is even a mobile version of the website so that you can refer to it while you are on the road. This Lonely Planet guide to planning a Cross Canada road trip and this Wikitravel guide to the Trans-Canada are also great resources.

Hitchhiking Newfoundland Canada
Hitchhiking in Newfoundland

If you are attempting the trip without a car (which is how we did it), this Guide to Travelling North America without a Car will offer you a lot of ideas including buses, trains and rideshares. You can often find cheap deals on Via Rail when you travel at the last minute and there are also Greyhound Buses for the budget option if you don’t mind an uncomfortable journey.

Where to Stay

During our trip we used Couchsurfing to find locals to stay with, which was an awesome experience. It not only saves you money, but it will connect you with a local person who can show you around and give you a deeper insight into the location.

As I mentioned before, Canada doesn’t have an abundance of hostels. You will find a few on Hostel Bookers, and Hostel World but in the smaller towns you will be limited to hotels and motels. However, you can also check AirBnB as there are also great options there, from a room in a shared house to an entire home to rent.

General Travel Planning Info for Your Cross Canada Trip

Hiking in the Rocky Mountains, Alberta, Canada
Hiking in the Rocky Mountains, Alberta, Canada

Here are a few other websites that will help you when planning your Cross Canada trip:

Nomadic Matt’s Guide to Travelling Canada

Wikitravel’s Canada Guide – Canadian Travel Magazine with lots of stories to inspire you

How to Get a Working Holiday Visa for Canada – This post is from 2011, but most things are the same and it is still a good indication of the application process.

Kijiji – A classifieds website widely used in Canada. We mainly used to look for jobs, housing and accommodation.

These are just a few valuable websites that will help you plan your trip across this larger than life travel destination. If you discover any other great Canada travel resources, please share them in the comments below! 

Kelly Dunning

A Canadian freelance writer with a love of art, culture, literature and adventure, Kelly loves exploring foreign lands and expressing her experiences through the power of the written word.

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One Comment

  1. Hey! I thought I’d mention another option for finding somewhere to stay — has hosts all over the world (including in Canada) and travellers can stay with them for free. In exchange for a bit of volunteer work, the traveller will receive free room and board.

    It’s a fantastic option that allows a traveller to stay in one place for an extended period of time without worrying about completely draining the bank! (And some of the hosts are in areas that they might never have been able to visit otherwise!) 🙂

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