Travelwise Vancouver: Tips for Packing and Visiting

Don’t laugh, but some people think we live on ice here. Just consider that Vancouver is a two-hour drive north of Seattle. But it’s still a few hours flying time to the Arctic.

Yes, in wintertime it’s cold, but it’s warmer than in Eastern and Central Canada. Sometimes it’s even warmer than Northern California. The Pacific Ocean and the Pineapple Express (a Hawaiian current pushed by the Jet Stream) keep us both warmer… and wetter. In fact, think rainforest:  So, if you are planning to visit, here are:

The Don’ts…

Find multi-ethnic food at Granville Island Market downtown Vancouver (Photo credit: MCArnott)

Find multi-ethnic food at Granville Island Market downtown Vancouver (Photo credit: MCArnott)

Don’t arrive at YVR (Vancouver airport) wearing a ski jacket in July: This is what a famous actor coming to work here did.

Don’t wear white pants when it rains, even in the summer: It’s weatherly incorrect.

Don’t think you have to give up your Housewives-of-Beverly-Hills-look: We have our own Housewives of Vancouver on Canadian television — they look just like them.

Don’t pack food: Vancouver is made up of people from all over the world. We like to share our differences and our foods: from Italian to Middle Eastern, to Asian, to fresh seafood, or French pastries. Trust me: you’ll find something you like.

The Do’s…

The Village at Park Royal Mall in West Vancouver (Photo credit: MCArnott)

The Village at Park Royal Mall in West Vancouver (Photo credit: MCArnott)

      Do wear trendy clothes in the evening, and sportswear during the day. Even yoga pants are OK: Lululemon was founded in Vancouver.

Do bring your best straightening hair products: Unless you enjoy your hair natural frizz.

Do wear black: We’ll think you work in the film industry.

Do bring your bikini in the summer: Vancouver has beaches and palm trees.

Seriously: Buy What you Forgot to Pack

Bowen Island Golf Course is a day-trip from downtown Vancouver (Photo credit: MCArnott)

Bowen Island Golf Course is a day-trip from downtown Vancouver (Photo credit: MCArnott)

We have many sportswear stores: With mountains and ocean at our doorstep, a seawall for walkers and rollers, biking lanes, and public golf courses, Vancouverites are an active bunch.

Vancouver has several malls: Our main department store is called The Hudson’s Bay, our high end one (as in expensive) is called Holt Renfrew.

Vancouver shopping can be Rodeo-Drive style: Tiffany, Gucci, Prada, Escada, Vuitton, Coach, and other luxury brands have found the North of the Far West.

Browse the trendy shops of local designers in Yale Town, or Robson Street for everything else, or stroll through the quaint villages of the North Shore.

Last but not least…

The Canucks are Vancouver hockey team (Photo credit: MCArnott)

The Canucks are Vancouver hockey team (Photo credit: MCArnott)

    Do bring an extra bag to take Canadian products back: salmon candy, maple syrup, Mac Cosmetics, Lush personal care products (made from fresh everything), Coffee Crisps (wafers), native art and crafts, jade jewelry, Crown Royal Whisky, Saskatoon berry jam, and yes: icewine, and other wines too.

Don’t miss Hockey Night in Canada broadcast (Saturdays): Or attend a Canucks game to soak up the hockey culture!

Finally: don’t leave home without a camera and an umbrella: When the sun shines, there is no place more beautiful than Vancouver.

Comments

  1. Barbara Radcliffe Rogers says

    Let me add one more don’t — definitely don’t bring a little jug of Vermont maple syrup as a grin-in-hand hostess gift to a transplanted Vermonter. The customs people were not at all amused by the joke and delayed me for an hour while they searched my bags to see what other subversive substances I was sneaking in.

    • Marie Claude Arnott says

      Have you tried to reverse the joke and bring a “subversive substance” back to Vermont? LOL.

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