Canada-wide travel is open for the summer and visitors from the East Coast or the Prairies may be thinking about coming to B.C. for a short or long stay as the weather gets hotter. If you are new to B.C. travel, here are some tips that can help you avoid social faux-pas or even disasters!
- Research any National Parks before you Visit. Are parks closed, opened? Do they require a fee to enter? Do they have current siting of dangerous wildlife? Do they have “No trespassing” areas or confusing woodland areas? No one wants to look like a newbie at the park so make sure you spend some time reading up on what to expect before your arrival. Remember: Always clean up after yourself, stick to marked trails, and stay alert.
- Use Social Distancing Rules Where Necessary. There is so much wilderness and beach land in B.C. that it isn’t hard to find some private, safe spaces in which to enjoy the great outdoors. Patios or takeout picnics are a great opportunity to enjoy the area in a safe bubble. Be sure to keep a mask or bandana in your bag, in case it’s required—this can help with forest fire smoke and dust storms, too.
- Know the Wildfires Status. B.C. summers sometimes have spots of wildfires, ranging from “you’ll barely notice” to “blocks out the sun.” Be sure to check ahead of time for any fire notices or warnings so that you aren’t caught off-guard. Often times, you won’t be affected by actual fires—but you might have to make extra preparations for someone in the family who has asthma, for example.
- Respect the Wildlife. For the most part, wild animals are going to leave you alone. But when you venture into their territory, you should know the best practices for keeping a safe distance, making “safety noise”, and how to back out of a sketchy encounter. Bears, cougars, and coyotes are each native to B.C. Never try to approach a wild animal, even if it seems tame. And keep your snacks to yourself!
- Practice Sun Safety. Even if it’s cloudy, harmful UV rays can still get through! Wear sunscreen throughout the day, apply it 30 minutes before sun exposure, and reapply it every few hours as you sweat or rub it off during regular activity.
- Practice Water Safety. B.C. is well known for beaches, be they ocean- or lake-based. But water can be dangerous for careless or inebriated visitors, particularly in the ocean. Pay attention to signs, know where the lifeguards are (if any), stay close to shore if you’re a weak swimmer, travel in a group, and keep floatation devices within arm’s reach.
- Highway Driving Caution. Whether you are cruising through the Rocky Mountains or hitting up the Coquihalla, highway driving can be worrisome. It’s up to all drivers to keep a level head and avoid tragedies for themselves and passersby. Keep to the speed limit, take blind turns slowly, pay attention to traffic warnings, and stay alert on the road!
Follow these tips and you are sure to travel safe in B.C. this summer and have a great time. Not sure where to go or where to stay? Contact us for a list of available vacation rentals today!