Travel Vancouver Island
Vancouver Island in Western Canada has become increasingly popular as a local getaway in recent years. It’s known as the retirement hotspot for Canadians, but thanks to a University and summer cottagers, it also has a young edge in many spots. Here you’ll find beautiful beaches, hiking trails, many lakes, rivers, mountains, and scenic farmland. Vancouver Island is a beautiful place to escape in the summer. Use the tips in this guide to find your way there.
Hostel prices – There are only a few hostels on the island, so expect a dorm bed to start at 25 CAD and private around 50 CAD. Prices are more expensive during the summer high season, so book in advance.
Budget hotel prices – Some budget hotels that rates as low as 60 CAD, although they aren’t going to be fancy, or in the central part of the island. For a more legit location, expect to pay about 110 CAD and up for singles and doubles. Family-run bed and breakfasts are very common on Vancouver Island, and really contribute to the intimate, cozy feel of island life.
Average cost of food – Since it’s an island, a lot of food is imported from the mainland and groceries tend to be expensive. Expect a day of groceries to cost about 20 CAD. Most restaurants will cost around 20-26 CAD per meal, so if you’re looking to stick to a budget, street fare will be your best bet.
Transportation costs – Transportation around the island is very easy. All the towns are walkable and you can take buses for 2-4 CAD anywhere you need to go. If you are going into the mountains or spending a few days here, it might be best to rent a car or bike.
Money Saving Tips
Gas up on the mainland – If you’re coming from Vancouver by car, make sure you gas up before boarding the ferry. Gas prices are always higher on the island, as are most grocery prices.
Take the ferry as a walk-on passenger – Ferry prices for vehicles are astronomical, depending on the vehicle length and number of occupants. If you’re just making a short trip, and staying in one destination on the island (like Victoria or Nanaimo), then consider ditching the vehicle and traveling as a walk-on passenger. Walk-on fares are only 20 CAD, and traveling this way also saves you up to an hour waiting in line for the ferry.
Explore the island by bike – British Columbia was made for mountain biking, and Vancouver Island is no exception. There are tons of bike paths, both inside the cities and in the provincial park areas. Pack a picnic lunch, lots of water, and make a day of it.
Top Things to See and Do on Vancouver Island
Visit the “goats on the roof” experience – For a fun experience, visit this small market in Coombs that has actual goats living on the roof. It’s definitely unique and different. Don’t feel too bad for them as the roof has plenty of grass and room for them to roam around.
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