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17 mistakes to avoid when moving to Canada

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In this post, I will review 17 mistakes to avoid when moving to Canada.

When we're planning a big move like this, we don't want to make mistakes so let's go over them beforehand so that you can be prepared.

Table of Contents

1. Lack of research
2. Bringing your whole life
3. Bringing an insufficient budget
4. Not learning the language
5. Don't focus on your mental health
6. Renting a place while still in your home country
7. Buying winter clothes in your country
8. Carrying electrical appliances
9. Buying expensive tickets
10. Forgetting to check entry requirements
11. Not carrying medical insurance
12. Exchanging money at the airport
13. Forgetting your passport or documentation
14. Wearing uncomfortable clothes while travelling
15. Not carrying at least one travel adapter
16. Running out of battery on your phone
17. Having your cards declined

These are the 17 mistakes you should avoid when moving to Canada.

1. Lack of research.

Don't wait for someone else to give you the necessary information; do your research.

Make sure you research every step you take, so you will be accountable for what you do.

Be sure to look for paperwork, applications, places to live, etc.

Seek help from people who have already made a move when you have additional questions, but ultimately, the primary responsibility is yours.

2. Bringing your whole life.

One of the recommendations I give in 40 things to do before moving abroad is to declutter your space.

Don't take your whole life with you, don't take appliances, pots, pans, or too much stuff. Instead, bring the minimum you need to survive.

Don't bring a ton of towels and sheets. Remember that at least here in Mississauga, the apartments have a washer and dryer, and you can easily wash everything in one day.

The rest of the stuff you can buy at affordable prices here.

Try not to bring too much stuff | Photo by Caroline Selfors

3. Bringing an insufficient budget.

It is true that depending on the program, Canada asks for a certain amount of money to prove that you can maintain yourself initially.

For example, for the Working Holiday Program, you must demonstrate 2500 CAD, but please bring more.

In the worst case, you will have an amount as a plan B. So make sure you save as much as possible while preparing for your trip.

4. Not learning the language.

You may find a job where you don't have to speak English or French, but if you want to increase your chances in Canada, make sure you take action and practice the language.

I recommend you explore the Italki platform, where you can access tutors and teachers worldwide at affordable prices.

I used it before I came, and it helped me to connect with a tutor from Canada, who told me details about my trip.

A shout out to my Canadian tutor who lives in Croatia, just in case she reads this :)

5. Don't focus on your mental health.

Moving to another country is not easy. If you are not feeling right, seek help, visit a therapist and start a process to heal or resolve what you need.

This will help you healthily focus on your process; believe me; it will help you overcome difficulties.

Visit a psychotherapist if needed | Photo by Media from Wix

6. Renting a place while still in your home country

There are (unfortunately) a lot of scams out there, so don't rent a place or send money to a potential landlord while you're still in your home country.

Use platforms like Airbnb or Booking when you arrive, and then give yourself a couple of days to visit the places to rent. This is the only way to make sure the site exists.

If you still don't know where you want to live, visit the post with 13 tips to choose the perfect place to live in Canada.

7. Buying winter clothes in your country.

Winters in Canada are cold, and I understand that you might be concerned about that when planning, but don't buy winter clothes in your home country.

They are generally not going to be helpful for the Canadian weather. Everything you need you will find here at affordable prices and prepared for the colder temperatures.

I brought the only jacket I had for three years in Chile and wore it during spring and fall.

Then I found a parka to get through the winter and had time before it got cold.

8. Carrying electrical appliances

At this point, I am guilty as charged.

I brought my hair dryer, and it worked, but it was so weak that it was better to blow my hair.

So there is no need to bring electrical appliances of this type. You can easily find them in Canada at affordable prices.

9. Buying expensive tickets

As I mentioned in point 1, be sure to research every step you will take.

This also applies to the purchase of tickets. There are sites like Google flights, Skyscanner and Kayak where you can search for prices and compare when they are cheapest.

Be sure to use incognito or private mode to browse so that prices do not increase during your search.

Search in incognito mode to compare prices | Photo by Benjamin Dada

10. Forgetting to check entry requirements

Since the pandemic, everything has changed in terms of entry requirements.

Be sure to check what you need to enter Canada when you are close to your trip.

11. Not carrying medical insurance

Another requirement of some of the programs to move to Canada is medical insurance.

Depending on the province you arrive in, you may not immediately have access to a health card under the provincial system.

Make sure you come with insurance for the entire time you will be in Canada.

Sometimes, as with Working Holiday, your work permit will tie to the length of your health insurance.

12. Exchanging money at the airport

Try to find a place to exchange money in advance, and avoid changing money at the airport because usually, those rates will be more expensive.

Also, don't carry much cash since almost everything accepts credit and debit cards.

13. Forgetting your passport or documentation

Make sure you have valid documentation and that your passport and permits are valid upon arrival.

Make sure your documents are valid | Photo by Tonik

14. Wearing uncomfortable clothes while travelling

When you are taking the plane, make sure you are dressed comfortably.

Don't come with high heels, clothes that tighten your body or similar, because your trip will likely be long, and you will suffer during the journey.

Bring comfortable clothes and something that will make you enjoy the trip.

15. Not carrying at least one travel adapter

Be sure to look for a universal adapter, which will be helpful for at least the first day here to connect whatever you need.

I bought this one; it was helpful in charge of my computer and cell phone from the first day.

Adapter used from day one | Photo by myself

16. Running out of battery on your phone

Make sure you print your documentation, but if you need to show something from your cell phone.

Make sure you have your battery charged or recharged at the airport. You may need it at the airport, to call someone, locate an uber, etc.

You can also have a portable battery charger.

17. Having your cards declined

Make sure you have activated your credit and debit cards before leaving the country and have some cash in reserve.

Sometimes the card activation process takes time, so be sure to ask your bank in advance.


I hope these tips will help you be more prepared for your trip.

Also, don't forget to check out 40 things to do before moving to Canada to complement this list and how to travel with a cat if you are travelling with your pet.

Let me know in the comments below if there is any other mistake that comes to your mind.

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