Canada Working Holiday Packing List – A Checklist Before Coming

February 10, 2016
Posted in Working Holiday

Canada WH Packing List

If you’re reading this, you’re probably in one of these situations: you either got your work permit and are ready to come to work and travel in Canada, you’re still in your country’s working holiday pool for International Experience Canada 2018, OR you’re simply considering a working holiday sometime in the near future. No matter who you are, we did some research and also looked at our own program participants’ experiences. From that we compiled a working holiday packing list of what to pack in your suitcase before you embark on your working holiday in Canada. Remember: the key is to try to pack only what you really need, because anything else can usually be found and bought once you are in Canada. Print off this page and cross things off as you get ready for your Working Holiday adventure in Canada! Is there anything else you’re considering packing? Comment down below and let us know what you would take with you!

The Essentials

  • Some cash converted to Canadian currency (around $200 CAD). You may also bring currency from your home country and convert it in Canada as the rates are generally better. For those on a Working Holiday City Job in the Vancouver area, you may use services such as VBCE.
  • Debit/Credit cards from your home country in case of emergency (check with your bank to see if you are able to use your cards overseas, and how much the service will be as well)
  • Medication that you are currently taking, and a copy of your prescription or a doctor’s note
  • Plane ticket/hotel or hostel booking info

Identification and Important Documents

The following items you will need to show to the Boarder Services Officer upon arrival to Canada in order to collect your Canadian work permit.

  • Passport
  • Birth certificate or other official ID (optional, but recommended)
  • Port of Entry (POE) Letter of Introduction
  • Proof of funds (at least $2500 CAD)
  • Proof of health insurance
  • A ticket for your departure from Canada or proof showing sufficient funds to purchase such a ticket
  • Copy of host company job offer (optional if you have it, mostly for those on International Co-op)
  • Copy of your hotel’s contact info, and directions from the airport to your accommodation (optional)


Canada has very distinct and different seasons (summers are warm, and winters quite cold):

  • Interview/fancier clothes (business casual items in various solid, neutral shades), as well as everyday, casual clothes
  • Summer time: Lighter clothing such as t-shirts, button downs, polos, board shorts, light jeans for men
  • Summer time: Lighter clothing such as t-shirts, blouses, dresses, shirts, tanks, camis, shorts for ladies
  • Winter time: Heavier clothing such as wool based sweaters, cardigans, coats, heavy jeans, hats, scarves, gloves, etc for men
  • Winter time: Heavier clothing such as the above for ladies
  • A few pairs of shoes: a pair of formal shoes, and 2 pairs of casual shoes
  • Pyjamas for sleeping in
  • Undergarments, socks
  • Raincoat


  • Shampoo/conditioner
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste, dental floss, mouthwash
  • Bar of soap/facial cleanser
  • Body lotion/facial moisturizer, lip balm
  • Any hair products
  • Makeup/makeup remover and feminine products, if you use it
  • Contact lens solution/kit, if you wear contacts
  • Deodorant
  • Sunscreen with at least SPF 30 (even in the wintertime)
  • Razors, nail clippers, tweezers, hairbrush, etc and any other daily care tools you use
  • Small first aid kit including band aids, polysporin, and common medication for pain, cold & flu, upset stomach, and whatever else you think you may need

Electronics & Other Small Things

  • Small camera
  • Laptop (to check emails, manage banking, check for updates from your job, staying connected with friends and family, etc.)
  • USB for backing up important documents
  • Cell phone that is UNLOCKED
  • Voltage adapter and travel plug adapter! (Very important, please note that Canadian voltage is 120v and the outlets support “Type B” North American NEMA 5-15 standard)
  • Compact/micro-umbrella
  • Sewing kit
  • Pens and notebook
  • Backpack or carryon bag, in addition to luggage
  • Pictures of family and friends, because we know that you will be missing them dearly!

Items Applicable To Working Holiday Resort Job Participants


The list up until here is a general list more suited for those participating in our Working Holiday City Job program. If you are planning on coming to Canada via a Working Holiday Resort Job, then there are other things to take into consideration when packing (especially for the cold weather, assuming you are coming during the winter, and of course any ski or snowboard related gear that you might want to bring)

You will want to also bring (in addition to what was already mentioned above):

Reminder: When on the mountains, make sure to wear 3 layers on top and 2 layers on the bottom!

  • Heavy sweaters (wool based)
  • Hoodies/Long sleeve shirts
  • A scarf
  • Ski goggles
  • Ski/snow boots
  • A snow hat & ski helmet
  • Thermal underwear (polyester, nylon or Thinsulate)
  • Waterproof ski pants
  • A waterproof ski jacket
  • Waterproof socks
  • Waterproof ski gloves/mittens
  • High SPF sunscreen/heavy duty lip balm or Vaseline
  • Ski Equipment (bring or buy in Canada, we suggest buying or renting in Canada)


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