Once you’re done with all the immigration processes related to your move to Canada, the next step you’ll be taking is to prepare for the trip you’ve been waiting for. Preparations shouldn’t be taken lightly as it will be a great move. You have to be equipped with some essentials that you will need for the first few days (or even weeks) in your new home country. Luggage space is limited so you must be wise in using up all the space very well. We have prepared a list of important goods to help you organize your trip and a list of things to consider packing for Canada, which are recommended to arrange before you leave.
The following must be in your personal bag or carry-on for easy access:
Visa, work permit, or other immigration documentation (best to have a photocopy and a soft copy saved on your laptop or hard drive as well)
The address of your first accommodation (e.g. hotel, Airbnb, or a friend’s/relative’s place)
Driver’s license or other government-issued ID
Some Canadian currency, if possible
Copy of your travel insurance, if any
Copy of bank balance or proof of funds (this may be required upon arrival depending on the visa or permit that you have)
Any medications that you might need during your travel
Some winter clothing (thick jacket, pair of gloves, warm hat and a scarf) if you plan on arriving during winter. You will need this upon arrival to help you get through the airport to your accommodation on your first day.
Personal gadgets and chargers (e.g. phone, laptop, camera, etc.) that you need during your travel. You may also bring a travel adapter if you can.
The following are some examples of what you can pack in your luggage:
Shoes and clothing. Depending on the season in which you are arriving, just bring some shoes and clothes good for 1-2 months. Once you arrive in Canada, there are many affordable shops you can take advantage of to add to your wardrobe depending on your preference.
Over-the-counter drugs or other medications that you are already used to. Different countries may have a different version or brand of what you’ve been using.
Non-perishable food items. Just bring a few that will last you until you can visit a grocery store that sells items from your home country. This will also help you save a bit on grocery expenses in your first few weeks. Just make sure not to bring canned goods as they will add some weight to your luggage.
Hygiene items. Depending on your preference, a lot of immigrants prefer using products from their home country. These hygiene products may include shampoo, conditioner, lotion, soap, feminine wash, feminine napkins, moisturizer, and a lot more. Although you may be able to buy these from the grocery stores in Canada, you may have some brands of your choice and this will also help you save a bit on your initial expenses. Just make sure to pack them well. Many Filipinos also prefer to bring a dipper (tabo) as this is not commonly available abroad but it is a household staple.
Depending on the type of your first accommodation, some international students may opt to bring at least 1 set of bed sheets, especially if they would be going directly to a dorm type of accommodation from the airport. You may not have time to go out immediately and buy on your first night.
Large (but not too large) goods that you may be particularly attached to, such as a guitar or surfboard. Rather than shipping them individually, it may be cheaper and easier to check them as supplementary luggage on your flight.
The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has established regulations for personal things that accompany you to Canada, including important information on which products may be eligible for duty- and tax-free imports, as well as how the procedure works. Visit this CBSA page for further information. You may also have to check with your airline on other regulations that they may have.
Once you have safely landed and settled into your new home in Canada, make sure to download the Remitbee Money Transfer App from the app store or play store. They have helped thousands of immigrants in Canada send money back home safely in just a few minutes or up to 1 business day at most. Best of all, you don’t have to pay any fees when you send over $500. They also have the best exchange rates among all. Download the app now and sign up for your free account!