Update 8.1.2021 – what does canada cost? according to a study you have to pay for the "representative shopping cart" in canada pay about 14% more than in germany. But like everywhere else in the world, the costs for accommodation, food and leisure time depend on the individual lifestyle. what the work and travel in canada will cost you depends on your idea of traveling. I learned to travel cheap in canada. In this article I will answer the question: "how much money do you need for canada". Give you tips to save money. show you how the costs are divided and with how much seed money you should travel to canada. Have fun reading.
1. With or without organization to canada?
The short answer: save 600€ – 2.000€ cost you an organization and use the money in canada to travel longer. Besides, you grow with the experience you gain through planning and that’s what makes work& travel from. your own personal development!
The fear of your first trip plays a big role. you have an experience like work& travel so far not yet had. So it is completely understandable that you and your parents are worried. Exactly this principle is also used by the organizations.
,,there is money to be made with fear."
The whole planning is not as complicated as you think at the beginning. Especially the most complex things like the "working holiday visa" and "finding a job in canada" you have to do on your own anyway.
By the wayYou are not all alone. there are many great people in the facebook groups who answer hundreds of questions every day. But also our blog was created for this reason. We have traveled with an organization ourselves the first time. Unfortunately we were totally disappointed by the services afterwards.
2. Work and travel canada costs before departure
A) international health insurance
In order for you to obtain your working holiday visa, the Canadian government requires that you have valid health insurance for your stay abroad. This must be valid for the entire duration of your trip. It also protects you from high costs if you have to go to the doctor or hospital in Canada. Because the medical costs in north america are particularly high.
Tip: do not go to the hospital for a regular doctor visit. For this you can use the so called "walk-in clinic" in canada, this is a lot cheaper.
The costs of the different insurances vary between 400 and 2.000 € for 1 year canada.
When choosing an insurance, make sure that it also covers working in canada and that it is a long-term insurance. More info and which is the best insurance for canada& USA, you can find out in the article:> "which is the best work and travel health insurance for canada& USA?"
B) working holiday visa
currently you have to apply for your working holiday visa in canada with 341 CAD calculate. 256 CAD is the fee for your application and another 85 CAD for the new biometrics procedure.
To pay the fee you need a credit card. If you don’t have one yet, you can still use a credit card from your parents or friends for this step. For canada itself you should get at least one, or better even 2 credit cards. More information about credit cards can be found below or in the article: "best credit card for work and travel canada?"
,,for 2021 we recommend the visa card of DKB .
Pay and withdraw money for free worldwide"
C) cost flight
My flight from frankfurt to vancouver (one way ticket) cost me at that time 350 € cost. compared to australia and new zealand the flights to canada are cheap. To find cheap flights I recommend you to be "totally flexible" and use one of the flight search engines like momondo.De or skyscanner.De to use.
3. cost of living in canada
as said in the first section, the cost depends very much on how you manage your own consumption behavior. If you often go out to eat in restaurants and always need a private hotel room, then canada will quickly become very expensive. If you watch your money and cook your own food and live in hostels with other backpackers, you can live very cheaply.
A) accommodation / rent
A large part of your money will be spent in canada on your accommodation. Like in germany, rent prices in big cities like vancouver and toronto are more expensive than if you live somewhere in winnipeg. if you want to live in downtown vancouver, accommodation is more expensive than in the suburbs. In vancouver christina and i paid 700 CAD per month for a double bed room in a shared apartment in new westminster. Costs for renting a shared apartment can range between 300 – 800 CAD per month.
If you live in a small town or even in the country, you will pay the least, but may have to spend more money on transportation costs. For accommodation + utilities (water, electricity, phone, etc.).) Canadians spend 35 to 50 percent of their income on food.
For hostels we have on average around the 20 to 50 CAD per night. Which hostel I recommend for your first nights in vancouver you can read in the article: "arrival in vancouver – work and travel in canada"
B) food + cigarettes and alcohol
Dairy products, meat and alcohol are the most expensive items in canada. The price of milk is regulated by the government to support the dairy farmers. For alcohol you can expect to pay on average about 35% more than in germany. in canada there are so called "lquidstore" where you can buy alcohol. cigarettes there is a box for 10 – 20 CAD.
by the way, the food on the farmer’s market is not more expensive than in the supermarket. At certain times you can get fresh fruits and vegetables at half price. food prices in canada fluctuate greatly and it is always worth checking for the latest offers. Many supermarkets offer discounts if you have a loyalty card.
Here is a small overview with average prices of food in canada:
Product average price in CAD
|milk (1 liter)
|eggs (12 pieces)
||$2,30 – 5
|bread (675 grams)
||$2,50 – 5
|water (1,5 liter)
||$1 – 3
|cornflakes (675 grams)
||$2 – 6
|bananas (1 kilo)
||$2 – 7
|lettuce (1 head)
|rice (white) (1kg)
||$2 – 8
||$12 – 30
|cottage cheese (1kg)
|maple syrup (0.5 liter)
|root beer (2 liters)
||$9 – 19
attentionunlike in germany, prices in canada are quoted in net prices. This means that this is the price without the sales tax. In canada, there are a total of three different taxes on products:
- GST (goods and services tax): 5 %, levied by the government
- PST (provincial sales tax): 5% to 10%, levied by the provinces/territories
- HST (harmonized sales tax): merging GST and PST
Since the level of PST varies from province to province, and some provinces do not levy PST at all, there is considerable variation in gross prices.
C) transportation costs and rental cars
canada and the USA offer so many beautiful places, that 1 year will not be enough for you. Since the distances in america are so huge, it may make sense to fly by plane. The leading airline is air canada. There are also a number of airlines that offer cheap flights, such as westjet. From winnipeg to toronto the roundtrip costs here are approx 370 CAD, from vancouver to toronto approx 470 CAD. Depending on the booking period and airline the prices vary greatly. the same tips apply here as in my video "9 tips to find cheap flights"
For shorter distances it is cheaper to travel by train. The cheapest way to travel is with long distance buses. With the greyhound you can get from regina to winnipeg for just under 70 CAD driving.
In the populated areas of canada the infrastructure is very well developed and it is easy to get from A to B. A one-way ticket on the city bus/train costs on average 3 CAD, day ticket 10 CAD and a monthly ticket 90 CAD. More info in the article: ,,compass card – vancouver: how to save money on skytrain, seabus and bus"
The cost of a rental car varies between 25 and 70 CAD per day. Christina and I paid for 1 week just under 500 CAD on vancouver island. If you share this price with several people you will get away cheaper together. if you want to go on a longer road trip, it is worth buying your own vehicle. Or find someone who has one.
D) buying a car + car insurance
If you have your own vehicle, you are completely free to go wherever you want. This had just for me a pretty big reitz. On your own canada& to explore the USA. &
Attention: in canada there is no TuV. So you have to be more careful when buying. If you are not familiar with vehicles, I recommend you to do a pre-check at a garage. This "pre-check" costs approx. 120 CAD. Possl. You can prevent a bad purchase or you can use the knowledge to lower the purchase price.
Depending on the type and condition of the vehicle you have to choose between 2.500 and 5.000 CAD plan on. The cheaper, the more likely you will get a junk car. My first car in canada was a red dodge grand caravan which i bought for 1.500 CAD I had bought. At the end I had almost 7.000 CAD put money into the car in the form of repairs and get nothing out because the car had engine damage. Nevertheless, the loss was not too big, since I had lived in the car for 9 months.
Buying tipinstead of buying an already converted backpacker vehicle, it can be cheaper to buy a car from a private family. My first conversion only cost me about. 50 CAD cost.
for insurance it depends on the province where you register / buy your car. The prices vary a lot. It seems to be cheapest in ontario and most expensive in british columbia. In BC I had for 1 year 2.200 CAD paid. Without charging percentages. With up to 8 years of accident free driving, you can get up to 40% off the price.
Unfortunately there are hardly any videos from my van life time in canada. So watch the video from marie& jan (travelventure) to. They also did a road trip in canada and show you their camper van in this video. That brings back memories for me&
E) cell phone contract in canada
to avoid high roaming charges you should get a canadian SIM card. Unfortunately, there is no cell phone provider that covers the whole country. In Canada you can choose between a "plan" (contract) or a "prepaid" (month to month payment). Prices vary widely and can range from 15 – 150 CAD lie. If you want to know which is the cheapest SIM card in canada, then read on in the article: "which is the cheapest SIM card in canada?"
F) sights and other
Canada is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. but also in cultural and culinary terms the country has a lot to offer. How much the different activities cost depends on what you want to do. Also here it can be worthwhile to look for promotions.
Here are some prices for typical trips in canada:
Average price in CAD
|eating in a cheap restaurant
|canadian beer (0,5 liter)
|ticket for a hockey game
||$8 – 15
||mostly for free (skate rental: 5.00)
tipping in canada
it is customary in canada to give a tip (gratuity) in the amount of 15 to 20 percent. This is because waitresses in a restaurant are paid a lower minimum wage. In fast food restaurants, where you are not served at the table and you get the food yourself, you don’t have to give a tip. Also cab drivers, guides and other service providers usually receive tips.
Talking about sightseeing in canada: irene from "black hoody blog" writes in her article "my secret tip in ontario: niagara-on-the-lake" about the little sister of niagara falls. You might also be interested in. &
4. money in canada
A large part of your work& travel canada costs you will earn yourself directly on the spot. There is a minimum wage in Canada that varies from province to province. on the website of the retailcouncil.Org you can compare the current minimum wages. Also, the minimum wage is adjusted every year.
What job opportunities you have as a backpacker, I have written down in the article: "10 job tips for backpacker. Even if you arrive in Canada with little money, you can find a local job to earn for yourself.
A) bank account in canada
For the time in canada you should get a canadian bank account. it is common to receive your pay in canada in the form of a cheque. you can deposit this money in the bank to your account. how easy it is to open a bank account, you can read in the article: "how to open a canadian bank account?"
B) transfer with transferwise
if you want to transfer money from germany to canada. Or maybe you. If you get money from your friends or family, the best way to do this is to use the transferwise service. A regular bank transfer will cost you more money due to the exchange rate. The higher the amount you transfer, the more money you have in your pocket.
C) credit card
For your work and travel stay in canada you should get a credit card. Bookings of flights, hostels, rental cars or the like are mostly impossible without a credit card. you can also use your credit card to withdraw cash at almost any ATM, which is problematic with a giro card in canada. With which credit card you can withdraw money worldwide for free, you will find out in the article "best credit card for work and travel canada?".
,,for 2021 we recommend the visa card from DKB .
Pay and withdraw money free of charge worldwide"
5. Tips& tricks to save money locally in canada
The own consumption behavior: you can save the most money if you do without luxury. spending $50 every weekend makes in a year $2.400 from. The same applies to eating out. If you get by with $25 every day instead of $50, that makes an annual total of 9.000$ from. If you smoke 2 packs of cigarettes every week ($28), that’s $1.344 in a year. You understand what I am obviously trying to do here. Sounds so simple: but this is how you can save the most money. &
fishing offersin general wall-mart is the cheapest of all supermarket chains. there are safeway, safe on foods and some smaller chains. Every evening there are products that get a special offer sticker. how to get bread and meat cheaply. If you plan your shopping around this, you can save a lot of money.
Membership cardsome supermarkets offer membership cards (for free). If you use the cards you will get cheaper prices for some products. You can also collect "rewards" with which you will also receive something. My absolute favorite was the card from starbucks. If you achieve "green" status there, you get so many refills of coffee and tea for free as long as you don’t leave the store. Perfect for the time to charge my laptop.
Second hand storesespecially with clothes or the furnishing of your camper van, you can save a lot, if you buy it in a "value village" or a "salvation army" second hand store. since my time in canada i only shop in second hand stores.
Vanlifeduring our time in canada we lived in our car for more than 1,5 years. We even rebuilt the campers ourselves. This makes a huge amount in the long run.
Choose your job smartly: if you work in the kitchen you often get food cheap or for free. if you work in a backpacker hostel you can save on accommodation etc.
Wwoofing: with woofing you get the costs and logis and help out on a farm for it. This option allows you to spend almost no money at all. some travellers travel month to month from one farm to the next. You can sign up on the website of WWOOF canada. The current membership fee is 50 CAD and is valid for 2 years. You can find the farms directly on the website and write to them. Another website that offers farmjobs and house sitting is helbx and workaway.Info.
Au pair& house sittinganother way to save money on accommodation in canada is to take care of someone’s house or to help out as an au pair in a family.
6. Conclusion – how much should your starting capital be??
The working holiday visa in canada already sets the minimum capital requirement. You have to 2.500 CAD prove that you have sufficient financial means when entering the country. You will also need either a return ticket or enough money to buy a ticket with. Here I recommend ca. 1.000 CAD extra to take with you. So you need min. 3.500 CAD. The more money you have, the longer you can travel in the beginning without looking for a job.
I came at that time with 7.000€ in canada and bought me a car and traveled the first 4 months only. what are the work and travel canada costs? -> as a guideline christina and I had at that time per head 1.000 CAD per month needed. This included everything: accommodation, repairs, food etc. Per day you can pay 25 – 50 CAD calculate.
Since I have a credit card with which I can withdraw cash completely free of charge worldwide, I have not taken any money with me in Germany. At the airport I took out the first few 100 CAD to pay for my accommodation. in some articles they write that you can exchange a part already in germany into canadian dollars. since the exchange rate in germany is worse than in canada, i would only change a small part of it. Nowadays this is hardly necessary. You can also take euros with you and exchange them on the spot.
What else you might be interested in
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