10 ways to travel safely and responsibly in BC this Summer

10 ways to travel safely and responsibly in BC this Summer

10 ways to travel safely and responsibly in BC this Summer

As British Columbia moves forward with its restart plan and restrictions begin to ease, travel to the province could be a little different this year. We will need to take more time with planning and be more aware of our impact on communities, especially smaller ones, during our visits. As a starting point, Destination BC has compiled 10 tips to help you plan and travel responsibly in British Columbia this summer, when you need it.

Do your research

Take more time to research and plan your trip in advance, and make sure you have a Plan B if your business is at capacity. Many businesses and services in British Columbia have adopted new protocols and changes to their schedules or policies to keep you safe. You will want to familiarize yourself with them in advance. For example, you may need to book in advance for attractions or experiences you haven’t done before, and transportation schedules, like BC Ferries, may operate at reduced capacity. Certain businesses or outdoor spaces may remain closed. Check out the HelloBC.com accommodation listings, transportation listings, and experience provider listings to begin your search, and contact the local welcome center for more information.

Be respectful

Responsible tourism means that the experience creates a positive impact for everyone involved – not just the traveler. Keep in mind that you are a guest of your fellow British Columbians when traveling and adhere to the guidelines and protocols they have in place in their community during this time.

Travel in small groups

If you normally travel with your extended family or several friends, consider traveling in a small group this summer. Traveling with fewer people makes it easier for you to practice physical distance in public and may have less of an impact on the destination.

More time, less places

Consider a slower pace of travel this summer to help reduce the spread. Instead of checking in and out of multiple destinations during a trip, choose a destination and accommodation for your entire trip, and use it as the “ starting point ” to explore all nearby destinations .

Pack the essentials

If you are heading to a more rural part of the province, stock up on essentials before you leave home (ie groceries). This helps reduce your impact on communities in BC that may face supply issues and reduce your points of contact within communities that may have limited health facilities. Better yet: create a Clean Trip kit, including hand sanitizer, soap, gloves, masks and toilet paper. Although some companies and destinations may provide them to visitors, this is not a guarantee.

Stay away, stay safe

Practice physical distancing and frequent hand washing to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Follow the recommendations of the BC Center for Disease Control to learn more about prevention activities and talk to the tourism businesses you visit about the steps they are taking to keep you and their staff safe. WorkSafeBC now requires all businesses to post their new COVID-related health and safety protocols in their workplace for staff and visitors to view.

Leaves no trace

When exploring the outdoors of British Columbia, always leave it in better shape than when you first arrived. Respect the local fauna. Minimize the impacts of campfires and consult the British Columbia Forest Fire Department for fire bans and fire safety advice. Pack what you take and dispose of waste properly. These are just a few of the key principles behind Leave No Trace, a set of seven guidelines for enjoying the outdoors responsibly while minimizing your impact on the landscape. Visit Leave No Trace and BC Wildfire to learn more.

Be AdventureSmart

Whatever outdoor activity you are planning, you need to be prepared. Remember to follow the Three T’s: Trip Planning, Training, and Taking the Essentials. AdventureSmart is a great resource for learning before you go outdoors.

Be calm, be patient, be kind

Keep in mind that activities may take longer than usual or the venue may be at full capacity when you arrive. Be calm, patient and kind, and remember that we are all in the same boat.

Support BC and have fun!

BC tourism businesses look forward to welcoming you again this summer and your support is more crucial than ever. Remember that with the border closed, our businesses are dependent on British Columbians. For now, you have the province all to yourself! Make the most. Find out what’s open in British Columbia by community to find out where you can support local businesses.

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