VANCOUVER

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FULL VIDEO! What’s It Like Zipping Through Mt Garibaldi In A Cessna

Botox was invented in Vancouver.

Vancouver runs on Pacific Daylight Time (PDT). It is in the same time zone as Los Angeles, 3 hours behind New York, 8 hours behind London, and 15 hours behind Hong Kong.

Just like the United States, British Columbia requires a valid passport for entry (a birth certificate and photo ID are not accepted).

These documents are accepted:

-Passport Cards

-Enhanced Driver’s License

-Traveler’s Cards: NEXUS, FAST or SENTRI

 

Children under the age of 16 must present a birth certificate or naturalization certificate (it does not need to be the original a photocopy is accepted.

Vancouver International Airport (YVR) has been rated the best airport in North America for the 11th year in a row, according to SkyTrax. Located in Richmond (30-minute drive from Vancouver) serving more than 22 million passengers a year with over a dozen flights in and out of YVR everyday this is the number one recommended airport if you are traveling to Vancouver.

  • The Canada Line is a part of the SkyTrain Rapid Transit line and connects the YVR airport to downtown Vancouver.
  • If you are interested in traveling to Vancouver’s capital, Victoria, on Vancouver Island than you are going to want to take BC Ferries. BC Ferries offers regularly scheduled passenger and vehicle transport between Vancouver, Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands.
  • The airport also offers car rentals, bicycles, shuttles and taxis if that is your preferred means of transport.

Vancouver’s Transit System is one of the cities biggest appeals for residents. Translink acts as Vancouver’s transit authority and operates the public transit through a network of transport vehicles like buses, the Skytrain, and SeaBus.

Vancouver is generally safe for female travelers; residents are often out and about biking or walking so you will rarely be alone but just to be safe stay away from drug prone neighborhoods like Hastings.

Similar to its neighbor Washington state, Vancouver, BC tends to be wet however it is mild year-round, usually Vancouver has about 150 days of rain annually. In the summer expect comfortable temperatures ranging from 80 °F to 45 °F (27 °C to 7 °C). Winters are typically not too cold and rarely see snow.

Canada has two official languages both English and French.

In Vancouver however, the majority of the public speaks English with only about 0.1% of locals speaking only French.

In general, Canadians take etiquette more seriously than Americans.  Here are a few tips:

  • Greeting and Meeting: Shake hands and introduce yourself when meeting a Canadian for the first time. It is considered extremely rude to not shake hands with someone after they extend their hand to you. Maintain eye contact and use last names and appropriate titles until your Canadian colleague or host invites you to use their first names. Kissing on the cheeks in the French manner is also common.
  • Body Language: Maintaining a certain amount of personal space is important. Take off your hat or sunglasses while talking with someone. Do not sit with your legs apart or with your feet propped up on tables or chairs, and it is considered inappropriate to speak with your hands in your pocket.
  • Gestures to avoid include thumbs down, middle finger raised, elbows on the table while eating, pointing or staring at strangers, and yawning.
  • Dining and Food: Before-dinner drinks include Pernod, champagne, and vermouth. The host normally offers a toast before drinking so wait until everyone is served and a toast is proposed to take a sip. Eating while walking or standing on the streets is considered bad form.
  • Gift-Giving: Giving gifts is rare in Canada unless the person in question has done some favor or you are a guest at someone’s home. Bring local flowers, bread, or perhaps a bottle of wine.
  • Time: Punctuality is important and lateness of more than 15 minutes is considered rude.
  • Conversation taboos include religion, sex, and politics. These topics are rarely discussed openly in public and depending on the circumstances should not be brought up.

Canada uses their own currency, the Canadian dollar (CAD). ATMs can be found throughout the towns and cities, and credit cards can be used as well, however, cash is preferred at local venues.

Tipping: When dining at any “sit-down” restaurant, it is expected to tip extra money to your waiter/waitress at the end of the meal. The bare minimum expected is 15% of the total price of the bill, but over-tipping in the case of exceptionally good service is common. Not tipping the waitstaff is considered rude and will be noticed. Taxi and delivery drivers, bellhops, hairdressers, tour guides, and house staff expect tips as well.

(* In general, Canadian tipping etiquette is fairly the same as that of the United States as American tipping manuals are often used for reference in Canada).

There are two plugs used in Canada – types A and B. Plug type A has two flat parallel pins. Plug type B has two flat parallel pins and grounding pins.

Voltage: Canada operates on a 120 voltage and 60 Hz. (*For reference, this is the same as in the United States).

Plugs A and B look like this:

plug type a

Vancouver is a part of an initiative that hopes to provide its residents with the cleanest drinking water in the world through the Greenest City Initiative. The tap water is collected from rainfall and snow melt and is then disinfected. The water couldn’t be fresher!

Wi-Fi is available in most public places throughout Vancouver. The majority of the shops, hotels, cafes, and museums will have internet, but it may not always be free or reliable. If you are traveling to or through rural areas, plan ahead if you need access to the internet as Wi-Fi may not be available. Purchasing a SIM card is not necessary.

Vancouver Taxi is a popular local taxi company that operates 24/7 365 days a year plus it is 90% ethical.

Taxi service workers have suffered greatly in Vancouver since the rise of Uber so if you do need a ride choose Vancouver taxi.

Canada has been ranked the number 1 most gay friendly country in the world for their plethora of pride events and official Gay villages as well as their LGBTQ+ laws. There is no place safer for you to be yourself.

By now it comes as no surprise that Vancouver rates highly in ecotourism from restaurants that use only locally sourced foods (the 110-mile diet was conceived in Vancouver) to eco-friendly activities like paddling kayaks or hiking through protected national forests. Most hotels take on green practices and with the Greenest City initiative Vancouver makes a point of being as environmentally conscious as possible

Quick Tip: if you are ordering fish at a restaurant look for the “Ocean Wise” logo on the menu, it indicates that the fish is sustainable and ocean friendly.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests for travelers to make sure they are up-to-date on all routine vaccines before every trip. Some of these vaccines include:

  • Chickenpox (Varicella)
  • Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis
  • Flu (influenza)
  • Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR)
  • Polio

For detailed information, click here. 

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FOR THE PLANNERS

For first-timers, stay at Yaletown. Stay in West End if you're on a budget. Stay on the waterfront for bars and restaurants.