Chatterbox #113 – Travel in Canada

Canada is a big, big country! Most people who come from other places to visit us aren’t able to visit the whole country because it is just that big. In this episode, Andrew and Harp talk about travelling around Canada, the best places to visit and how to do it. Do you know what the western part of Canada is known for? What does Montreal have to offer? Listen to this episode if you’ve ever planned on visiting or just daydreamed about visiting Canada. There’s tons to see!


Expressions included in the learning materialsEnglish Podcast

  • To be close to our hearts
  • To finish off
  • Seat sales
  • The downside
  • Stuffy
  • At all costs
  • It will cost you
  • To be up and about
  • Hitchhiking
  • To be just asking for trouble
  • Car shares or ride shares
  • To be on a budget
  • Airbnb
  • To get ripped off

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Sample transcript

Harp:              So today we’re going to do a Chatterbox episode and that’s where we chat. We talk about cultural things, we interview people, and today we’re going to talk about something quite interesting and close to our hearts.

Andrew:         Today’s topic was a request from a listener, and she asked us to talk about travelling in Canada. She is planning to come to Canada for a visit, and she was just wondering what places she should check out, how she should travel around the country. And we thought that was a great topic for an episode so that’s what we’re gonna talk about today.

Harp:              Yup. So we’ll start with talking about ways to get around Canada. Different modes of transportation.

Andrew:         And then we’ll talk about places to stay.

Harp:              Yep. And then we’ll finish it off with some of our favourite places in Canada that we think you should go checkout.

Andrew:         Yeah. They’ll be our recommendations for cool places to go visit.

Harp:              All right. So let’s get started.

Andrew:         Yeah. So first we’re gonna talk about ways to travel in Canada.

Harp:              Yes. So what’s your favourite way to travel around and see Canada?

Andrew:         Well Canada is a huge country and that means it’s difficult to travel in Canada, unfortunately. So, usually, I would say the most popular way and my favourite way is to fly.

Harp:              I agree with you one hundred percent. I often and usually fly places because it’s so far and you can’t drive there.

Andrew:         Yeah. Flying is great. It’s fast, it’s convenient, you can get anywhere in the country within a day.

Harp:              Yup. The problem though with flying in Canada compared to Europe or even the United States is that it’s very expensive.

Andrew:         Yeah. That’s the sad part. It’s super expensive. I know, like you said, in Europe they have budget airlines, Ryan Air, and that’s awesome ‘cause you can fly around for fairly cheap. But unfortunately in Canada we don’t really have a budget airline.

Harp:              Nope. And I guess it does make sense ‘cause usually you’re flying such far distances that I can understand why the flight is more expensive here. But still I wish there was more competition.

Andrew:         Yeah. It always makes me sad when I have to travel back to BC when I realize how far I have to go. If I was going in the other direction, east, I could go to Europe instead. It’s almost the same distance.

Harp:              And sometimes it’s even cheaper to go to Europe.

Andrew:         Yeah. That’s depressing too when you look at the seat sales and you see, oh, to go to London it’s $500, but to go to Vancouver it’s $800. It doesn’t really make sense to me.

Harp:              I agree with you completely.

Andrew:         Airline travel we can say is fast, it’s convenient, but on the downside. it’s expensive, so just keep that in mind.

Harp:              Yeah. Another way you can get around in Canada is, obviously, by driving.

Andrew:         Yeah. Driving is a really great way to see the countryside. To get to see all the small towns and really to interact with some of the other people that you wouldn’t get to meet if you were just flying from one city to the next.

Harp:              Yeah. Exactly. And I said before that you can’t drive everywhere in Canada, which is not true because you can still drive places. But, for example if you go up north some of the roads are frozen during the winter, so you can’t even get there.

Andrew:         Yeah. Absolutely. I think there’s a lot of remote towns and stuff that are not accessible by car.

Harp:              Yup. Some you have to take a canoe in or you have to fly in.

Andrew:         Yeah. And driving really depends I think on the season. In the summer it’s great to drive pretty much everywhere, but in the winter, it can be a bit dangerous, so you always want to keep that in mind.

Harp:              Yeah. Driving in the snow is not easy and something I don’t recommend for someone who’s not very comfortable driving.

Andrew:         Yeah. Super stressful to drive in the snow. Especially if you’re going through the mountains; if you’re in Alberta or British Columbia, it can get really dangerous.

Harp:              Yeah. I remember driving through big snowstorms, and it is scary. And the thing is when you’re driving in the snow, it’s different when you’re breaking and it gets slippery. I personally don’t like driving in the winter and wouldn’t do it.

Andrew:         Yeah. I would never do a cross country trip in the winter ever I don’t think.

Harp:              Yeah. I think you’d have to be crazy to wanna do that.

Andrew:         Yeah. OK. So another alternative maybe if you still want to be on the road, you want to see the small towns, you want to see Canada’s scenery from the road, but you don’t like driving, then maybe the bus is for you.

Harp:              It’s cheap and, you’re right, you get to see a lot of small towns.

Andrew:         But a lot of people hate riding on the bus. Especially for long distances because it’s kind of cramped. They’re kind of smelly and stuffy inside.

Harp:              I agree. That’s definitely the images that people have of buses, and it’s kind of true.

Andrew:         Yeah. It’s a stereotype kind of, but it’s also true. Usually, sometimes when you’re riding on the bus you get to sit beside some people that you’re not exactly excited to sit beside. They’re kind of gross. I don’t know, I don’t like the bus.

Harp:              I used to take the bus a lot when I was younger. You know, I would go to Calgary or Vancouver on the but, and I didn’t mind it back then ‘cause it’s mainly students who take the bus. But now I don’t think I would ever take the bus.

Andrew:         Yeah. I try to avoid the bus at all costs. I think if it’s a short trip – maybe three or four hours – then I can ride the bus. For example, I had a friend that took the bus when he moved to Montreal from Victoria to Montreal all the way on the bus. And it was awesome in terms of the price ‘cause it cost him only a hundred and thirty dollars. But it also took five days.

Harp:              Five days! Wow. He probably literally stopped at every small town on the way.

Andrew:         Yeah. If you don’t have a place to live for a week maybe it’s great ‘cause you can just stay on the bus, but otherwise I think I would definitely avoid taking the bus.

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