Work & Travel Canada | 10 tips for how to get started

Hey guys,

As you all might in the meantime know I’m doing Work & Travel in Canada.

Since I have been here for a week now, started to explore the city and organized myself a little bit, I was thinking about to share with you my 10 tips for how to get started in Canada.

So let’s get started…

1. make sure you have your documents ready by arrival 

First things first in order to avoid any delays or unnecessary nervousness at the border keep your documents always handy. The officer at the border asked me for my passport, ‘Port of Entry’ letter and my foreign Health Insurance.

2. get your SIN (Social Insurance Number) directly at the airport

If you’re planning to work while you’re in Canada it would be most convenient to get your SIN directly at the airport. With the two documents, working permit and SIN, you can start right away to search for a job, open a bank account and get a phone number and so on.

3. check out the local transportation 

If you start your journey in Toronto it would be handy to get a PRESTO card right away at the airport. This is a loadable balance card which can be used for any kind of transportation within the Toronto area e.g. on the UP Express train which will bring you from the airport to downtown Toronto and on the subway, bus and tram.

4. get some cash out next possibility

I made the experience that my debit and credit cards might not working as well in every shop, depending on the country I’m and on the payment restrictions in the different shops. So it would be good to get some cash out for any kind of emergency – even if it will cost some fees.

5. get a mobile contract

If you’re planning to stay longer in one country it would be the best to get a local mobile contract. With my contract from home I would have paid around 100€ extra per month in order to use it while here in Canada. So that’s why of course I decided to get a local one. I’m using ‚Chatr‘ a monthly payable prepaid contract without termination.  

6. get a bank account

In the long run it will be more convenient to get a local bank account together with a debit and credit card. Also if you’re going to work here your employer will ask you for it anyway. I’m using CIBC. The customer service was very nice and they helped me out directly.

7. food shopping at Walmart or No Frills

In order to save some money right in the beginning I just asked a local where I can do my food shopping the cheapest and they recommended me Walmart and No Frills. Keep in mind that most people are very kind especially here in Canada and are happy to help you out – so just ask for advice.

8. check out Uber and / or Bike Share 

Another good way to get around the city is using Uber or Bike Share. Both is very affordable and handy for exploring the city. And what is very nice about Bike Share Toronto e.g. is that you can bring back the bike at any next available station. 

9. use kijiji 

What the European might know as eBay is kijiji here in Canada. Kijiji is a very popular website where you can search and find mostly everything for example jobs, cars, apartments and everything beyond. 

10. explore your neighborhood

In order to save some money and time explore your neighborhood right in the beginning. What is around for food shopping? Are there any restaurant’s? Are there laundries next to my place? Or do I need to get some things done while on the way in the city? And so on and so on…

And that’s already it, these were my 10 tips for how to get started. 

As I’m starting my Work & Travel in Toronto, Canada my tips are mostly based on my circumstances here but I’m pretty sure most cities will have similar options for you and you can transfer my tips to your starting point.

Hope you liked my post and maybe find something helpful in it!



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