Your bags are packed. The car is loaded. And the kids are already arguing in the back seat over who gets the iPad first.

The summer road trip has returned!

Visiting BC by road trip

As Canada opens up to select forms of tourism this summer, you, like many families, may be looking for a getaway. One that takes you out of the big cities and suburbs, and to one of the beautiful smaller communities that dot British Columbia.

While all of us are no doubt ready for a holiday away from home, it’s vital that we take extra steps this year to ensure our trips to smaller BC communities remain safe…both for us, and for those who call these communities home.

Before you hit the road, be sure to review this list of my top 10 do’s and don’ts when visiting BC and its smaller communities this summer:

Don’t Go If You’re Sick

Girl kayaking while visiting BC

As with all activities this summer, if you or someone in your group isn’t feeling well, don’t go. While no one likes to cancel a trip they’ve been looking forward to, it’s not worth the risk of spreading COVID-19 or any other illness to the individuals you’ll encounter while on holiday.

If you don’t feel well ahead of your trip, take advantage of the liberal cancellation and rescheduling policies being offered by most businesses in the tourism industry, and find another time to go.

Bring the Proper Equipment

View from hotel while visiting BC

No trip this summer is complete without a stash of personal protection equipment to keep your family and those around you safe. This means plenty of hand sanitizer to go around, as well as extra masks for all those in your party.

Not only should everyone in your group have a mask and sanitizer bottle on them at all times, but be sure to stuff a few extra in your glove box just in case any get lost during your adventures.

Book Activities in Advance

Canoes and kayaks for rent

British Columbia’s smaller communities have many wonderful attractions to explore. But their smaller size means reduced capacity…especially when trying to ensure proper social distancing.

Do yourself (and the attraction) a favour by booking activities in advance. This ensures the facility is prepared for your visit, and that your family doesn’t walk away disappointed when you learn an attraction you were dying to visit is booked up for the day.

Bring Your Food

Raspberries and blueberries

While most small towns you’ll visit will of course have some sort of grocery store available, chances are it’s not equipped to safely handle a huge surge in tourist shoppers in addition to the locals they serve. It’s best to plan ahead and bring your own groceries from your home before you hit the road, so as not to clog up the local grocer upon arrival. Grab a couple of coolers and ice packs, and you’ll be able to safely travel with your food for many hours.

Make Restaurant Reservations in Advance

Patio with a beach view from visiting BC

Like small town attractions, small town restaurants are often the type of place where you’d traditionally find patrons seated shoulder-to-shoulder. But this summer, most establishments have been forced to remove a large portion of their tables to ensure proper distancing. Which means fewer seats for tourists.

Weeks before your trip, I’d recommend making reservations for every night you’d like to eat out while away. You can of course always call back and cancel/edit these reservations, but by having them set in advance, you can rest easy knowing that your nightly meals won’t include waiting for hours on end trying to find an open table!

Keep Yourself (and First Responders) Safe

Park trail

One of the most enjoyed parts of many smaller BC communities is the amazing scenery. This makes for great hiking, swimming, boating, and more. But for those who are not careful, these activities increase chances that you’ll require the assistance of first responders during your trip.

Now more than ever, it’s important to practice extreme caution when enjoying BC’s outdoor wonders. Every call first responders receive means exposure to new individuals, and an increased risk of contracting and spreading the virus. So, do yourself, your family, and these small towns a favour and be extra careful when you head out onto the trail while visiting BC!

Social Distance

Social distance while visiting BC

While your trip to a small BC community this summer might be in an effort to forget the global pandemic, that doesn’t mean that the pandemic doesn’t still pose a risk. Social distancing is one of the most effective tools we have to prevent further spread of the virus, and should continue to be followed, even on your holiday. Remind your family (especially the eager kiddos) that they should maintain at least 2 metres between themselves and others at all times.

Observe All Local Guidelines and Recommendations

Family walking in the forest while visiting BC

The best type of travel is the travel where you immerse yourself into the local community customs and traditions. This year, that includes immersing yourself into all local rules and guidelines that community leaders have set to keep themselves (and tourists like you) safe.

Ahead of your visit, be sure to consult local websites and social media pages to determine the rules the community has set, and share these with your family so that everyone knows what is and is not ok while on your trip. While there, adhere to posted guidelines and instructions from local leaders. Remember these are not in place to limit your fun – they’re in place to ensure you enjoy their community safely!

Respect the Locals

View of dock while visiting BC

While the smaller communities around British Columbia may feel like a tourist paradise, remind yourself that there are individuals who live and work in these locations as well. And while these kind folks are more than likely very happy to be welcoming tourists back into the fold, it’s important to treat them and their way of life with respect. Just like you, they are trying their best to keep themselves, their family, the friends, and their community safe. So listen to leaders, follow guidelines, and most of all, be respectful to those that call the community home.

Be Patient

View from patio in Harrison while visiting BC

Arguably the most important tip on the list, while visiting smaller BC communities this summer it’s important you remember to stay patient! We are all experiencing this unprecedented event for the very first time, and as we open back up there will be some hiccups. You might have to wait longer than usual. Things might not run as smoothly as you’d like. There will probably be minor inconveniences along the way.

Just remember that travelling right now is a privilege. Use any unexpected delays as a chance to spend some more quality time with your family (out of the house, for once!).

With this list of 10 tips, you’ll ensure that you create a trip that’s incredibly fun, frustration free, and most importantly, safe for all. So, get planning, take the extra precautions and steps necessary, and get ready to enjoy some of the amazing small communities that make British Columbia so special.

Interested in visiting BC? Check out the blogs below for some ideas to get you started!

Langley Farms to Farm Hop This Weekend

Why A Soulbbatical is Exactly What You Need This Summer

Top 10 Camping Tips for 2020

Our Stance On COVID 19 and Summer 2020

Is this a sponsored post?: No, we just wanted to share our top 10 do’s and don’ts for visiting BC this summer!