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Essential Packing List

Updated: October 18th, 2023

Canada is a diverse and beautiful country that attracts people worldwide for various reasons. Whether you're going to work, start a business, bring your family, study, or take a working holiday in Canada, it's important to be prepared for your trip to Canada by ensuring you pack the most essential items.

If you’re getting ready for a permanent move or visit to Canada, check out our list of essential items you need to pack for the momentous trip!

If You're Going to Work in Canada

If you're going to work in canada

If you're planning to work in Canada, whether as a skilled worker, unskilled or temporary worker, there are a few essential items you should pack. This primarily includes clothing, trade or professional equipment, and other items necessary for the performance of your work.

Essential Clothing

Canada lies in the temperate climate zoning, and consequently, the country’s weather tends to be cool even at the height of spring and summer. Therefore, it is essential to pack clothing items such as:

  • Thermal or Long Johns,
  • Winter Jackets & Wool Coats,
  • Merino Wool Sweaters & Cardigans,
  • Thick woolen socks,
  • Jeans or Trousers,
  • Mittens or Gloves,
  • Canadian Toque (Warm Cap),
  • Earmuff,
  • Neck and Hand Warmers, and
  • Scarf.

Trade or Professional Tools, Accessories or Equipment

Many trades or professions in Canada have a set of regulated tools or equipment. If you’re a skilled worker or professional working in an office, ensure to bring along your own:

  • Briefcase,
  • Paper clips or binder clips,
  • Calculator,
  • Blue light eyeglasses (if your eyes are sensitive to light emitted by PC or laptop screens),
  • Stationery, (pens, pencils, folders, envelopes, highlighters, notebooks, Sticky notes, etc.),
  • Charging or connecting cables,
  • Laptop or tablet,
  • Headset or headphones,
  • USB drive, and
  • Portable Webcam.

Packing these essential office items is vital for your productivity, efficiency of work-flow and prompt performance of your duties.

If You Want to Start a Business in Canada

Starting a business in Canada can be an exciting venture, but it also requires careful planning and preparation. When it comes to packing, there are a few essential items you should consider bringing.

Business Attire

It's important to pack appropriate business attire for meetings and networking events. Dressing professionally is crucial in the business world, so make sure to pack:

  • Jacket or blazer,
  • Skirt or Pantsuit,
  • Trouser or Pants,
  • Collared Shirt or Blouse,
  • Dress suit,
  • Necktie, and
  • Dress shoes or loafers.

To enhance your chances of business success and assist your ability to conduct business in Canada, make sure to have a:

  • Briefcase,
  • Dedicated business mobile phone,
  • Business Card,
  • Samples of your products or services, 
  • Marketing materials such as pamphlets, booklets and business manifestos.

If You're Bringing Your Family to Canada

Bringing your family to Canada can be an exciting and rewarding experience. Packaging the right essential items is important to ensure their comfort and well-being. Essential items to pack for your family should include useful items necessary for personal and home caretaking and items with sentimental significance to the family.

Useful Items

Useful items to pack should include:

  • Converter/Adapter plugs
  • Small appliances (kettles, iron, toasters etc.)
  • Personal electronics,
  • Kitchenware,
  • Medication,
  • Clothing and shoes, and
  • Pet food (if your family has any pets).

Sentimental Items

To ease your family’s transition into Canada by ensuring they feel at home in their new country, items with sentimental value to each family member are essential. Therefore you should make sure to pack:

  • Photo albums,
  • Collections (books, music, films, stamps, art, etc.),
  • Home videos,
  • Toys (if you have children),
  • Jewelry,
  • Childhood stuffed animals,
  • Inherited crockery,
  • Holey old jumpers, and
  • Other items such as postcards, clothing, faded letters etc.

If You're Planning to Study in Canada

Studying in Canada is a popular choice for international students, thanks to its world-class educational institutions and multicultural environment.

To save on stationary costs, make sure to pack your childs:

  • Ruler,
  • Mechanical or solar calculator,
  • Exercise books,
  • Coloring pencils,
  • HB Pencils,
  • Rubber erasers,
  • Safety Scissors,
  • Glue Stick,
  • Lunch,
  • Pencil Sharpener,
  • School Bag,
  • Maths set (protractors, compasses, etc.)

If you're going to be an international student in Canada, your Canadian college or university may provide you with a packing including the items below.

Type of Essential Item Item Examples
Clothing Jeans/khakis, t-shirts/tops ,long sleeve shirts, workout clothes, trainer/hiking shoes, business suits/attire, skirts
Electronics Laptop and charger, tablets/e-readers, travel adapters /converters, USB, mobile phone with data cable and charger
Kitchenware Pots, pans, plates, kitchen utensils and another useful crockery
Toiletries Comb or brush, deodorant/perfume, toothbrush, toothpaste, soap/shower gel, razor/shaving supplies
Miscellaneous Laptop bag, umbrella, watch purse/wallet

It's also a good idea to bring a laptop or tablet for taking notes and completing assignments.

If You're Taking a Working Holiday in Canada

A working holiday in Canada is a great way to explore the country while gaining valuable work experience. While exploring Canada on your working holiday, most of your adventures will occur in Canada’s great outdoors. Therefore, you must pack items that will help you thrive in Canada’s warm and cold regions.

Warm Regions

If you're planning to hike the trails in Canada’s National Parks, go running or cycling along the beach or canoeing in the country’s rapid rivers, make sure to pack light clothing and equipment such as:

  • T-shirts,
  • Sandals,
  • Water bottle,
  • Tent,
  • Sleeping bag,
  • Sunglasses,
  • Knapsack,
  • Hiking boots,and
  • Board shorts.

Cold Regions

If you want to experience Canada’s wintry wonderland by ice skating, snowshoeing, ice climbing and skiing down Canada’s mountainous peaks, you must pack the following essentials:

  • Wool-based sweaters,
  • Fur-lined coats,
  • Stove and Fuel,
  • Stove Platform,
  • Scarves and gloves,
  • Flashlight,
  • Headlamp,
  • 4-Season Tent,
  • Insulated Sleeping Pad.

Find out more about why you should go on a working holiday in Canada.

Canada Immigration Documents: What You Need to Pack

Canada immigration documents: what to pack

When it comes to Canada immigration, there are several important documents you need to pack to ensure a smooth entry into the country. Whether you're a worker, student, visitor, or family member coming to Canada, there is a general set of documents you need to certify and bring to Canada for successful immigration. Here are the documents you need to get ready for Canadian immigration.

What to do if Your Luggage is Lost in Canada?

Losing your luggage can be a frustrating experience, especially when you're in a foreign country. Here are some helpful tips for adopting in case you lose your luggage.

Report Incident to the Relevant Authorities

Report the lost luggage to the airline or transportation company as soon as possible. They will provide you with a reference number and instructions on how to track your luggage.

Have Essential Items On Hand

While waiting for your luggage to be found, it's important to have essential items on hand. This includes a change of clothes, toiletries, and any necessary medication or medical supplies. Pack these items in your carry-on luggage so you can immediately access them in case of loss or delay.

Carry Receipts or Documents Related To Your Lost Luggage

Keep all your travel documents and receipts related to your lost luggage, as you may need them for insurance claims or reimbursement.

Take Photos of Your Luggage Before Traveling

Take photos of your luggage and its contents before you travel, as this can help with identification and proof of ownership.



What Should I Pack for a Canada Rail Vacation?

When packing for a Canada rail vacation, it's important to pack light and bring only the essentials. Pack comfortable clothing and shoes, as you'll spend a lot of time on the train. Don't forget also to pack a variety of clothing options to account for different weather conditions, as well as any necessary medication or medical supplies.

What Type of Luggage Should I Bring to Canada?

The type of luggage you bring to Canada will depend on the length of your trip and the activities you plan to do. For short vacations, a suitcase or backpack may be sufficient. For longer trips or backpacking, a duffel bag may be more practical. Soft-sided luggage is generally preferred over hard-shell luggage. Some tours may only permit duffel bags.

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