How to Pack for a Trip to Vancouver

Vancouver, British Columbia is one of the largest cities in Canada, extremely progressive, currently restructuring itself to become more environmentally sustainable. Vancouver is rife with cultural arts and entertainment, and is also known as Hollywood North, the largest center for film production in North America after Los Angeles and New York. Here are some tips to take into account when packing for a trip to Vancouver.


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    Obtain a passport. This can be done at USPS locations around the United States. For short stays, visitors do not need a visa, but travelers visiting for longer periods of time do need to obtain a travel visa. Visitors to Vancouver from Washington State may be able to have their driver's licenses enhanced for use as a passport between the U.S. and Canada.
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    Bring traveler's checks. While many places in Vancouver accept credit cards, it is recommended that visitors bring traveler's checks to exchange for Canadian dollars at banks or currency exchanges.
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    Bring clothing appropriate to the time of year during which you will visit. Summer is the recommended time of year to visit, with temperatures around 30 degrees Celsius, or 86 degrees Fahrenheit. Short sleeve shirts and shorts are recommended. In the winter, however, temperatures can drop to -10 degrees Celsius, or around 14 degrees Fahrenheit. Winters are also relatively wet, with the odd snowstorm, so in addition to heavier jackets and gloves, be sure to pack an umbrella and raincoat.
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    Bring walking shoes. Vancouver is surrounded by mountains, and while visiting one may want to hike Grouse Mountain or explore the area surrounding the city.
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    Bring formal wear. There are plenty of fine arts and upscale dining establishments to visit in Vancouver, and many require proper formal attire. A suit and tie will be necessary when visiting the Queen Elizabeth Theatre to take in an opera or ballet, while more casual wear can be worn to more experimental theater companies, such as the Fire hall Arts Centre.
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    Take tons of photos. Vancouver offers hundreds of photo opportunities, so be sure to snap tons of photos! In the case of a digital camera, bring an extra memory card or two to insure you don't run out of space. Pictures can be taken while on tours on the Big Bus, at Stanley Park, Canada Place, Science World, or while viewing the world from a great height while on the Capilano Suspension Bridge.
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    Bring an adventuresome spirit. There are plenty of activities for the outdoor man; any traveller should make time to experience them all. In Vancouver or surrounding areas one can do fishing and scuba diving, hiking and whitewater rafting, skiing, rock climbing and even play a round of golf.


  • The Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) is a major fair held in Vancouver every August for 2 weeks. It is a massive, internationally known event which features shows, food, showcases, and famous bands.
  • Go see a Vancouver Canucks hockey game at Rogers Arena, or see a Vancouver Giants hockey game at Pacific Coliseum.
  • Take advantage of Vancouver's extensive transit system, which includes the skytrain, seabus, trolley buses, west coast express, and buses.
  • Vancouver is also known nationwide as the music capital of Canada, so be sure to catch a concert at one of it's top class venues, such as the Vogue Theatre, The Queen Elizabeth Theatre, The Commodore Theatre, and Rogers Arena.
  • If you're visiting during summer, be sure to spend at least a day at one of Vancouver's famous beaches. Vancouver is known for it's beautiful sandy beaches, and being the only city in Canada to have a beach culture. Destinations include Jericho Beach, English Bay, Third Beach, and many more.
  • Vancouver hosts a major international fireworks competition every year at English Bay called the Celebration Of Light. This event is held every year in late July, early August with at least shows featuring the best fireworks displays from countries all over the world. This even draws hundreds of thousands of people to the beach each year, so you do not wanna miss this!


  • You may find difficulty finding services in English.
  • Beware of panhandlers and drug addicts.
  • Avoid the town of Surrey at all costs. It has the highest crime rate in Canada, and is infamous for it's violent gangs.

Things You'll Need

  • Valid passport (if coming from outside of Canada)
  • Canadian money
  • Shirts
  • Pants
  • Umbrella
  • Sweater/hoodie
  • Shorts
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Jacket
  • Gloves
  • Hat

Article Info

Categories: Travel Packing