When you already live in a top destination, it can be hard to justify leaving for your holidays. At the same time, it can be difficult to be motivated to do all those tourist things you secretly enjoy about being somewhere new. That’s where the staycation comes in. Not only can you take advantage of limited time off, but you also get to see your home in a new light. It’s always good to be reminded why you love living where you do. Spending your days off on Vancouver Island is never a waste – there’s so much to do! So what makes for the best Vancouver Island staycation?
1) Fully Commit to your Staycation
Turn off your phone. If that’s too big of a step, at least just commit yourself fully to being in vacation-mode. No work emails, phone calls, chores or unfinished to-dos. You wouldn’t do those things on a normal vacation, so why would you on a staycation? It’s too easy to spend days off binging Netflix or catching up on other things.
2) Take a mini-Road Trip
It’s no secret that some of the most beautiful places on Vancouver Island are a drive-able distance from nearly anywhere else on the Island. Make a list of places you’ve always meant to visit, get out a map (or at least Google) and plot your path. There are plenty of lakes, parks, hikes and beaches along most routes, so you can take your time and experience Vancouver Island again like it’s the first time. There are also some great campgrounds to rest your head at along the way.
For Road Trips out of Victoria, check out this post!
3) Hike a Mountain
Strathcona Park, Mount Arrowsmith, Forbidden Plateau, Triple Peak… The mountains on Vancouver Island are limitless. You could probably spend a lifetime hiking here. Pick out a hike you’ve always meant to do, but haven’t had the time and bag that peak. If you need help to pick your peak check out this page.
4) Check out the Top 10 Things to do in your Town
It can be tough to play tourist in your own town. You know way too many people in town who could catch you at a classic tourist attraction. That being said, most people never see the things their cities are most famous for. Whether it’s the Salish Sea Discovery Centre in Sidney, snorkeling with salmon in Campbell River, checking out Eagle Aerie Gallery in Tofino, or doing the Nanaimo Bar Trail; if it’s something people travel from all corners of the Earth go to see/do, it might just be worth playing the tacky-tourist card to check out. Plus, you might come to appreciate your home in a new light. It can be pretty awesome sometimes.
Find your region here and get started!
5) Do a Wine Tour of the Cowichan Valley
Paying for a wine tour might seem expensive considering you live in the place, but when are you ever going to let someone else do the driving and leave the wine in the hands of professionals (picking out the bottle with the coolest label does not make you a sommelier, sorry)? Not very often. At least if you’ve done it once, you can suggest it to your visiting friends with an air of knowledge. You’d probably spend more going away on vacation anyways.
6) Go Whale Watching
For any visitors to the coast, whale watching is likely a top activity on their must-do list. Have you ever been? There’s something special about having the ability to see such incredible creatures in your own backyard – imagine never taking advantage of it! Plus, feeling the ocean breeze in your hair and taking to the seas makes for a fantastic adventure, especially on a staycation.
7) Go Fishing
The fisherman life can be a fun one, especially when your freezer is stocked up with fresh fish! For some, fishing is a daily thing. For those of us without boats or equipment, it’s a bit tougher. Booking a charter to experience a classic coastal pastime not only lets you delve into a crucial part of Vancouver Island’s culture and lifestyle, but you get some edible souvenirs. Then when you have visitors you can cook them a real-deal Vancouver Island salmon dinner, which you caught yourself because that’s just what we do here on the Island.
8) Do a Walking Tour
Chances are you know your town inside out. You can probably name streets based of landmarks or vice versa, but how well do you know their history? What about which buildings are haunted? As tacky as it may seem to tag along with a pack of tourists on a tour, you can learn some fascinating stuff about where you live. Maybe there’s more to it than even you could imagine.
9) Book a Spa Day
Vancouver Island is the perfect place for a spa day. A soundtrack of natural waves, the intimacy of a quiet rainforest, the feeling of escaping your real life and trading it in for paradise… it beckons you to relaxation. Treat yourself and take back the beauty of living on Vancouver Island. Living in paradise has its own cause of strain and stresses, so letting them melt away during your staycation let’s you get back to truly enjoying where you live.
10) Stay Somewhere New
It doesn’t really feel like a vacation if you still come back to your own bed at the end of the day. Your piles of unsorted mail are still on the counter, that basket of laundry still needs to be folded and your favourite spot on the couch is calling your name. Why not dip your toes into the vacation rental world and test out life in that dream loft you’ve always wanted? Or, be treated like the 5-star guest you are by staying at that beautiful hotel you’ve eyeballed from the street when you walk to work each morning? Even just removing yourself from the daily rhythm of your home can make you feel like you’re a world away. Plus, it’s fun not to do your own laundry and fold your own towels.
11) Do it All!
Instead of bothering with the planning and booking of your own staycation, let someone else take care of it. How? Book a tour package for yourself and a few friends with Discover Vancouver Island Tours. When your days off finally arrive, you’ll have a full itinerary planned by a local who is just as excited to have you re-experience your town as you are. Do all the best activities, stay in the perfect hotel and delve into a life you never knew existed on Vancouver Island.