“Van life” to explore Canada
On paper, buying a van (or any other vehicle adapted to life on the road) is the option that will give you the most freedom. No need to carry your luggage on public transportation, no need to check bus schedules, and no bus or train route to stick to either.
You will be able to cross Canada at your own pace, complete road trips you’ve always dreamed of and leave room for the unexpected and the unknown. You may even be one of those drivers who pick up a few hitchhikers along the way!
You could also split the cost of buying a vehicle with another traveller or get gas money by registering on a rideshare website.
The big perk of van life is saving on accommodation when you can find free spots to park and camp (always find out beforehand if it is legal to park overnight to avoid getting fined!).
Finally, unlike with a rental, you can always sell your van at the end of your Canadian adventure and get some money back (and give your van a new chance to explore the country!).
The biggest downsides are the potential for mechanical issues (which can be costly) and paperwork, namely finding proper insurance coverage for a fair price.
Don’t forget that Canada is a land of extreme weather and winter. During the coldest months, driving a van (or a rental, for that matter) requires patience and strong skills. Don’t forget to change to snow tires—some provinces and territories make it mandatory in winter. Weather remains a major hazard, especially if you’re planning to camp. Plan your itinerary carefully!
Note that you can also buy or rent an RV but few Working Holiday permit holders have the budget for this kind of luxury!
Read Everything you need to know to plan for a campervan road trip and Buying a car in Canada for more info.