Hostels, safety,alcohol and a long trip - TravelPUNK Backpacker College Student Budget Travel Message Boards!



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Old 08-11-2005, 10:14 AM   #1
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hello all!

ok im a 21yo male from sydney AUS, im gunna be travelling to canada in october staying until around august next year (i have a working visa) and pop past europe on the way home to see family.

this is my first time travelling alone so im abit worried about what is ahead of me. im a pretty outgoing person who likes to have fun, and loves to drink amongst other things

firstly how much should i be budgeting per day in canada starting in vancouver and going east. i have about 2 months free accomodation in montreal with relatives. im staying in gastown first off and want to know if its safe. furthermore when hostels refer to "communal shower" does this mean camp showers (i.e everyone showering together) or just the fact that we have to share

secondly should i be worried about my safety, i.e petty crime etc

and lastly is it really expensive to drink in canada (i am willing to do the bottle o stop beforehand)

thankyou in advance for all your suggestions and advice
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Old 08-11-2005, 10:17 AM   #2
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sorry but i forgot to add a very stupid question about the weather, umm im very aware that its extremely cold!, but how much clothing needs to be worn around october in western canada.... i know that sound soooo stupid, but us sydneysiders dont understand the concept of cold weather (our daily temps for the past month have been like 20 degrees C) and ive never been in anything under the zero mark
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Old 08-11-2005, 02:06 PM   #3
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if you are outgoing you'll be fine - Canada is about the same as Aus for drink..
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Old 08-11-2005, 05:03 PM   #4
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Wicked, well in western canada, especially BC, you shouldn't have to pay much at all, the people are really friendly, it's pretty safe to hitch out there and some people will offer to let you bunk at their house,but as you move east the people become well not so friendly especially here in ontario, but it gets friendly again once you hit quebec. I'd say an average of 50$ a day depending on where you're staying. But the weather is crazy in canada, freezing one day boiling the next, wet here dry as a bone there, glad i don't have to pack for it. Have fun! good luck!
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Old 08-11-2005, 06:23 PM   #5
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Hi

You're going to have a blast. I'm in Toronto, and I hate the cold! Last winter i got stuck outside waiting for a bus, and it was raining ice. By the time I got to work, I had a layer of solid ice on my pants, and my hat. I suggest wearing really warm clothes in the winter. But then again you never know, cause the winter two years ago was very mild. It hardly ever snowed.

Also, there's a guy at my work from Australia. He's on a working holiday visa also. He's leaving soon to continue travelling. Maybe if you stop over in Mississauga (10-15 mins from T.O.), my work might be able to give you a job.

And some of us are still nice in Ontario.

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Old 08-12-2005, 05:43 PM   #6
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Hi franky84,

That you'll be staying for so long here is great, you'll be able to take your time to visit and stay long wherever you please. Like jtr said, in the western and eastern ends you'll find a very friendly and laid-back culture, and in central Canada, it depends on whom you meet (but isn't that the same everywhere anyway ?!).

"Safety" : yes, I'd say it is pretty much ok everywhere. Like in Australia. Just use your head in the hostels and guesthouses, nothing more to do.

"Communal Showers": not sure (I'm french speaking), usually "shared bathroom" is used when it is individual showers but in the same room. Where did you read this ?

"How Much" : depends on the area. Check this out to find a place to stay and help you building up your budget Hostels online. An important part of your budget will be for transportation. Do you know if you want a railpass, rent a car or fly ?

"Weather" : in October, especially in Vancouver, it is fairly mild, anything from 10 to 20 Celsius. As winter sets in you will have to keep warm with a jacket that probably doesn't exist in Australia ! Average in Toronto or Montreal is around -10 in January and February. Average means sometimes -20 or less, but that is just a few days during the season. Find something for -10 (maybe buy it in Canada) and bring a couple of wool pullovers and/or polar shirts to wear under. Layers is the key to keeping warm. And you'll need a good pair of boots as well.

Summers are hot, around 30 degrees.

Montreal from the end of June to mid-August is crazy and busy with music and humor festivals. I live in Quebec City by the way. Said to be the most beautiful city in North America. You can pm me if you have time for a small TravelPUNK meet-up !

Hope that helped. And don't hesitate to ask more questions.
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Old 08-12-2005, 09:13 PM   #7
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Heya all!
thankyou all for all your suggestions and information. i cant begin to express my gratitude towards each of you! i really appreciate it...moreover if any of you end up in AUS one day dont hesitate to ask any questions or even for a room in sydney till u get yourselves organised (my mum and sister make wicked italian home cooked meals heheh)

Teri: thanks heaps! i may take you up on that offer! and i will email you if i may to ask a few questions about working
atchoum: thankyou your help has been noted and you have definately put forward things that i hadnt even thought of! so once again if possible i will email you
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Old 08-12-2005, 09:30 PM   #8
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Actually im cracked! i couldnt find emails so i'll just post it!

well firstly TERI: i just wanted to inquire about work in toronto and in fact elsewhere in canada. to work behind a bar, or to work in a pub all together do you need any certificates? like in Sydney NSW to work in a pub you need a certificate in the "responsible service of alcohol" or else you cant work in a pub and stuff like that. does canada or any states in canada have these rules? and how hard is it, in general, to find work in and around toronto?

to atchoum: thankyou for raising some issues i hadnt thought of!. firstly to transportation. now im aware that in winter some roads and stuff are closed due to the snow and ice. so my question is what is the better transport Bus/Coach or train and which is cheaper and more accessible. to avoid these winter troubles im actually gunna go to the job fair in Whistler BC in october so that 1) i can actually for the first time experience snow and an actual winter and 2) to avoid the complications of travel and the relatively colder climate in the east. whistler work should finish around march or so so then when the snow has melted (i hope) i can see the wonderful green paradise which is canada so yeah from this time i will make my way east. as for ontario probably toronto and niagra falls is all i;ll be seeing as i want to get to montreal to see my family who i havnt seen in 10 years. i was in montreal as a kid and i remember how clean, green and comforting it was. ottawa was also gorgeous and i will be back there...as for quebec city that is my number 1 new destination to visit while in quebec! ive heard to many good things about that city and will definately make my pilgrimage there!. but this leads me to another very important question........how hard would it be to find work in montreal given that i dont speak french? i speak fluent english and italian but EXTREMELY limited french (jsut the basics, how are you, my name is stuff like that) would this be a major problem? even if i try work in their italian districts? on the same token i wanna stay in montreal for a good couple of months as i wanna emerse myself in the french speaking culture which i do think i a wondeful thing (except for some experiences i had as a kid in montreal which still s*@t me to this day). but yeah i learn latin based languages pretty quickly as i know both italian and english

sorry for dragging this out so long but lastly what are these boots you speak of? what kind of boots will i need. please forgive me for stupid questions but most of us aussies are snow virgins!

thanks once again for all your help!

ps thanks jas_the_ripper for your advice also! it has helped me better shape my itinerary!
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Old 08-19-2005, 07:15 AM   #9
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"secondly should i be worried about my safety, i.e petty crime etc"

Um Hey,
Not to be the enabler of your fear but while in Toronto, if you end up staying at the global (www.globalbackpackers.com) just mind your things, its pretty cracked out right now, although still friendly (inside). Other good ones are the *college* (www.affordacom.com), and the hi (http://www.hihostels.ca/hostels/Onta...oronto/Hostels). Or if your not one to avoid things you can stash your stuff at the bus terminal on Bay Street 1 block north of dundas on the west side, or at union station on front street. (both 5 mins walk).

Oh and just one more truth, a heroin addict will rob you for your money, a crackhead wil help you look for it... (i love that one)...(so true)...(RIP LEM)!

Yours,

R.R.

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Old 08-19-2005, 08:22 AM   #10
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Hi.

As for working in T.O. it's pretty easy to get a job in a bar or restaurant. I've worked in a few places that hired travellers. Both of them had a working visa. And one place paid a guy cash, cause he didn't have a visa. You need to have your "Smart Serve" certificate to be able to work in the industry. It is normally available at any bar or rest. If you get hired, you pay like $25 can and watch a two hour video, take a test, and voila! You need your smart serve for all of canada i think. As for working in other parts of canada, I'm not sure on how easy work is to get.

I'm coming to Austraila next year. I should be in Sydney in September. So i'm going to need to get that responsible service of alcohol.

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