A Few Travelling Tips
Before You Fly
All passengers are encourage to check in at least 2 hours before scheduled departure for flights departing Edmonton (YEG), Yellowknife (YZF), Iqaluit (YFB), Montreal (YUL), Winnipeg (YWG) and Ottawa (YOW).
Passengers must present themselves at the check-in counter no later than 45 minutes before scheduled departure for flights departing from Edmonton (YEG), Yellowknife (YZF), Iqaluit (YFB), Montreal (YUL), Winnipeg (YWG) and Ottawa (YOW), or 30 minutes before the scheduled departure time of your flight from all other stations.
It is the responsibility of passengers to ensure that they have allowed extra time to:
- Arrive at the airport
- Present themselves at the check-in counter
- Complete Government-mandated check-in, security, and boarding procedures. See additional restrictions by region here
- Clear security
- Arrive at the boarding gate at least 15 minutes prior to scheduled departure time
At check-in and at the boarding gate, passengers must provide Government-issued identification:
1 piece of Government-issued photo identification that shows full name and date of birth OR
2 pieces of non –photo Government-issued identification; at least one of which shows full name, date of birth, and gender.
While many of the major centres in Northern Canada have all the conveniences of a big city, the smaller, more remote communities have very few amenities. It is important to be prepared for your final destination, as it may be either very difficult to find the supplies you need or very expensive if you do find it. Here are some other useful tips:
- If you are traveling on to other parts of NWT, Nunavut or Nunavik by plane, be sure to book your flights and accommodations well in advance.
- Lodgings in all but the largest centers are limited. In smaller communities, it may be necessary for you to share your hotel room with another guest of the same sex.
- Few communities in northern Canada have bank branches. Bring adequate cash or travelers cheques to cover your needs.
- Be sure to pack any personal items you may need, such as a blow dryer, personal toiletries and medical prescriptions (prescriptions should remain with you and not in checked luggage)
- Pack good sunglasses with UV filters. Anyone without sunglasses who is out on the land in the spring risks snow-blindness
- Sunscreen, moisturizing lotion and lip salve will help protect against the Arctic’s dry conditions
- Casual business attire is most suitable; pants, sweatsuits or tights, usually with T-shirts, casual shirts and sweaters. Always have warm layers, even in summer.
- Proper casual footwear is most appropriate for the rugged terrain, even in the cities.
- If you’re heading out on the land, away from the communities, it’s advisable to go with a licensed guide, outfitter or tour operator. If you do go alone, register your plans with the RCMP, or with the local search and rescue group, accessible through the hamlet office.
Depending on where you are in NWT, Nunavut or Nunavik, the sea ice begins to freeze around September to November, and stays frozen until July or August. Winter’s coldest spell comes around January, February and March, when temperatures can go from daytime highs of -20°C to -30°C or lower. Low humidity reduces the impact of the cold, making a -20° C day feel more like -5°C in Southern Canada. Winds, however, can cause frostbite, so it’s wise to have a parka with a ruff around its hood for wintertime visits. Summer temperatures can range from daytime highs of 10°C up to 30°C.
Head north above the Arctic Circle and you’ll find communities get longer daily stretches of darkness in winter and daylight during summer — those furthest north experience months of never-ending nights in winter, and continual daylight in the summer.
Up to date weather conditions for all northern communities can be found at The Weather Network.