Canada Backpacking Budget – Cost of Travel in 2023

Toronto market - travel costs in Canada.

This page looks at the estimated cost of travel in Canada. Read on for our suggested shoestring and more comfortable Canada backpacking budget. We also have some sample prices and info on how to pay for things in this huge North American country.

Canada Backpacking Budget
Map of Canada regions from wikitravel, can be re-used under CC BY-SA 2.5

Canada Cost of Travel in 2023

Shoestring Backpacker Budget

  • 90 Canadian Dollars per Day (US$65)

Canada is one of the hardest places to give an accurate backpacking budget for, due to both its size and regional price variations. Our other country travel budgets are generally based on trying to visit all the main destinations and a few things in-between but in Canada that will either involve covering in excess of 5,000 km by land or taking several domestic flights which are long and can still work out to be quite expensive when baggage fees are taken into account. To put things in some perspective, Montreal is roughly the same distance away from Vancouver as it is from London.

A Canada backpacking budget of around 90 Canadian Dollars per day may be a useful starting point for travellers to have in mind. That’s based on staying in dorms and and a mixture of preparing your own food and eating out in budget places.

Canada is not cheap by any means and you’ll find Toronto and Vancouver particularly expensive places to visit. Other regions, particularly Quebec, offer better value and that includes Montreal and Quebec City which are among the cheapest cities to live in Canada (of the big ones) if you’re considering a longer stay.

More Comfortable Canada Backpacking Budget

  • 120 Canadian Dollars per Day (US$90)

People tend to come to Canada for specific reasons such as hiking, winter sports and/or perhaps a short visit to Niagara Falls and maybe Toronto. Therefore your exact costs will depend greatly on your personal circumstances but if you’re looking to do a lot of activities and visit some of the main attractions, you may be wise to increase your Canada travel budget to around 120 Canadian Dollars per day.

Such costs can quickly add up, with high taxes and tips a factor that many travellers don’t take into account when budgeting for Canada. In addition, if you are planning on doing a lot of winter sports or more adventurous hiking trails that will require a guide, you can probably expect to spend considerably more than this still.

Canada certainly has a huge range of amazing places to visit for nature. If you are a happy camper in the wild, you can get by on less than either of these budgets in somewhere like Prince Edward Island given sleeping in your own tent will offer huge savings on accommodation costs which are high across the country.

Rainbow Bridge
A short boat ride at Niagara Falls costs 37 CAD in 2023.

How much are things in Canada?

Approximate Price
Train from Toronto to Montreal (Fastest trains: 5 hours)From 76 CAD
Flight from Toronto to Vancouver (5 hours)From 50 CAD + Baggage Fees (Advanced Fare)
Meal in an affordable local restaurant15-30 CAD
Local beer in bar/restaurant5-8 CAD
Dorm bed in a hostelFrom 40 CAD
Budget private roomFrom 60 CAD
Niagara Falls Boat Tour37 CAD
Travel insurance for backpacking CanadaDepends on your age/circumstances – Get a quote from Heymondo in under a minute!

Prices in Canada are in roughly the same ballpark when compared to the cost of travel in the USA and the cost of travel in Australia, although there are subtle differences and all those countries have some notable regional variation. The accommodation and transport prices listed above showcase some of the best value options you can find. However you may end up paying significantly more in some of the more expensive parts of Canada, particularly during the most popular times of year for travel.

One way to cut travel costs in Canada is to look for short to medium term work placements. Worldpackers is a great platform which allows travellers to search for work exchanges and these can see you get a bed and some food for a few days, weeks or months which is a major help in terms of keeping costs down in an expensive country like Canada. Be sure to use our Worldpackers discount coupon if you decide to register!

If you want to spend a longer time in the country, but don’t have enormous funds, consider applying for a job at one of the ski resorts during the ski-season and using it as a base to travel.


Currency – Canadian Dollars

£1 = 1.63 CAD

€1 = 1.45 CAD

US$1 = 1.36 CAD

These exchange rates and the prices in the previous section are accurate as of March 2023. Contactless or mobile payments are common across Canada but it may still be useful to get some cash. US Dollars may be accepted in some places, particularly those that attract high numbers of US tourists but it’s almost always going to be better value to pay for things in the local currency.

This Canada backpacking budget was last updated in March 2023.

Canada Backpacking Budget – Cost of Travel in 2023

2 thoughts on “Canada Backpacking Budget – Cost of Travel in 2023

  1. $50 5 hour flights
    $5 beers
    and $40 dorms
    What universe are you from where this reflects even 2000 prices let alone 2023? Seriously this is like criminally misleading.

    1. Absolute Nonsense. A 30 second search on a flight comparison site shows there are some flights for under 50 CAD from Toronto to Vancouver next month. There are plenty of places in Canada where you can find dorm beds for $40. It’ll most likely be more in the more expensive destinations, particularly during more popular times of year, but “from” indicates the starting rate. Beer costs will obviously vary wildy but this being designed for budget backpackers, we’re not talking about the poshest bars and night clubs. It’s not that difficult to find beers for $5-8 if you do your research. The average price of a litre of beer is between 4.50-9.89 according to Numbeo – data supplied by people across Canada.

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