A short list of backpack essentials for your day trips in Vancouver! These are must not forget items whether you’re staying for a little or a long time!
1. Get a Compass card!
Purchase the cities public transit travel card from the airport or any skytrain station for a $6 deposit and load some cash on it so you don’t have to carry coins for transit AND you get a cheaper rate, score! These cards can be used on all Metro Vancouver Translink buses, all 4 skytrain lines and the SeaBus. You can top up online through the compass website or at any Skytrain station / major bus terminals and even some London Drugs locations too, see the map for info!
2. Wear comfortable shoes!
Ok so this seems obvious but… you’re definitely going to be walking around a lot whether it’s through the streets of Downtown, round the Seawall or up the Grouse Grind. Trust us on this one, don’t be going up the Grind in a pair of flip flops… pack those in your backpack for when you’re chilling later on!
3. Grab a Greater Vancouver Map!
Mobile data is expensive in Vancouver so Google Maps or Citymapper might not work out for you. That’s alright, we got your back! Swing by the hostel front desk for a map of Greater Vancouver or hit up the visitor centre for more free resources to make sure you know exactly where you’re going and how to get there. Not essential, but free are but local websites can also help with more fun things to do like a list of local craft beer breweries or finding the best places to visit.
4. Umbrella / Sunglasses
Maybe even both if you’re arriving right in the middle of the Spring/Summer switch-over. Vancouver weather is fickle so be prepared for sudden sun showers and other surprises!
Don’t be fooled by the lack of sunshine when you’re heading up to Whistler for the day – even in the winter, when those clouds clear, sunburn happens. Pack that sunscreen just in case!
6. Water Bottle
Don’t laugh, but we’ve heard some stories about visitors going on hikes armed with a smile and a frappuccino. Bring ALL the water.
7. A power-pack
Backpackers Nightmare: your phone battery dying at lunch time. How are you going to take pics of your post lunch walk around the Seawall for Instagram or what about later on when you’re at the night market and you need to Insta your crazy looking food? Going back to your hostel or hotel is super inconvenient, heading to a coffee shop puts you behind schedule… disaster. Keep the uploads going and the likes flowing.
8. A hat!
Whether it’s to shade you from the sunshine, keep your noggin warm from the cold or to stop your hair flying every which way in the wind… it’s a good idea to bring a hat of some sort. FUN FACT: if you see or hear the word ‘toque’ it is a Canadian phrase for a winter hat, like a beanie!
Got any suggestions for our must have list? Let us know!