Are you looking for tips for traveling on a budget? Have you considered the great city of Vancouver? Vancouver is a wonderful place to visit, with options for even the lowest of budgets to have a great time.
A city that is temperate all year round, with tons of options for any price range, Vancouver is the perfect choice for the best low-cost vacation.
Let’s go through how to travel cheap in Vancouver while having a great time.
Make a Plan in Advance
First, you’ll need to prepare for your visit in advance. Air travel can be pricey, so if you’re looking to fly in you should keep an eye out for deals so you can get a great, cheap flight.
Ideally, you should start looking at flights at least six months in advance. However, sometimes cheap flights can arise last minute, so it’s important to always be flexible in your travel itinerary. And, be willing to take an inconvenient layover for the maximum deals out there.
If you plan to drive to Vancouver, your costs will be a lot lower. You’ll mostly be responsible for gas and toll fees. However, if you’re traveling from out of the country of Canada, make sure that you have considered all visa requirements that may be applicable to you or your party.
While Vancouver does offer great transit options, it is much easier to get around if you have a vehicle. Even if you fly to Vancouver, you may want to consider renting a car, depending on what your travel needs are. However, you’ll also need to budget for gas costs, maintenance, and any emergency costs that come with using and maintaining a vehicle in a major city.
Plan Low-Cost Activities for the Whole Family
You don’t need a ton of spending money to enjoy Vancouver. There are tons of great low-cost activities to enjoy!
The great outdoors are one of the major pulls for visitors to Vancouver. Free, public beaches abound throughout the city. Let’s go through a few of your beach options:
- Wreck Beach (For the nudists out there)
- Kits Beach
- Second Beach
- English Bay
- Jericho Beach
- Trafalgar Street Beach
- English Bay Beach
- Hadden Park Beach
- Sunset Beach
- Tower Beach
- Spanish Banks
There are other options in Vancouver when it comes to the great outdoors, too. Heading up to the mountains or Whistler to ski may be a little rich for your blood, but those aren’t the only options out there for you. Stanley Park, for example, is a wonderful place to explore that offers easy access to many local beaches. It’s also close to the downtown area.
You can also try out the Lynn Valley or Capilano Suspension Bridges if you’re interested in seeing the views from very high up. Or, if you’re very big into working out, time your trip to coincide with the Grouse Grind so you’ll be able to see the sites while you get your workout on (for a very low price)
There are even more amazing outdoor sights to explore in Vancouver. The Seawall, located in the midst of Downtown Vancouver, is the perfect place to take in the sights and sounds of the city — free of charge, of course. And, if you’re a big biker, you can run your bike along the Seawall and around the city so you can see more for even less of a service charge.
Explore The Right Neighborhoods
Vancouver is home to beautiful and unique neighborhoods across the Metro area. Vancouver’s Chinatown is one of the most historic districts in North America.
If you’re looking to see more nature while you explore, head to Steveston, in Richmond, which offers beautiful harbor views along with amazing cuisines like fish and chips, sushi, Greek food, and so many other options. Don’t forget to check out the Richmond staple, the Buck and Ear!
And, if you’re a fantasy television fan, ABC’s Once Upon a Time was primarily shot in Steveston!
If you’re LGBTQ+ or LGBTQ+ friendly, you have to make sure to check out Davie Village for the best queer scene that British Columbia has to offer. The village offers tons of clubs, bars, and restaurants so you can be sure to truly enjoy the best queer scene in the province.
The Best Museums in Vancouver (on the Cheap)
If you save enough, you should be able to check out some of Vancouver’s wonderful museum options. The Vancouver Aquarium, for example, has taken amazing steps towards conservation in the last few years.
UBC’s Museum of Anthropology is one of the first of its kind in North America, and allows you to learn more about the First Peoples of Canada. The Vancouver Maritime Museum is often underlooked but offers one of the best looks at Maritime exploration in the West, including an entire ship (the St. Roch). It’s also a great museum for kids to explore.
And of course, who could forget the H.R. Macmillian Space Center, right around the corner from the City of Vancouver Archives. The Space Center is home to the wonderful Planetarium. Plus, during the summer, it’s located right near the famed Bard on the Beach festival in Kitsilano, for a double dose of culture that your friends and family will love.
And, if you have kids roaming about, the Vancouver International Children’s Festival happens around the same time of the year as Bard on the Beach.
Plus, the Vancouver Art Museum often offers internationally renowned traveling exhibits along with more avant-guarde offerings available. It’s located in the old court house buildings, so festivals and art installations are also often available (free of charge) out side of the Art Museum itself.
The Best Options in Downtown Vancouver
If you’re more interested in the Downtown lifestyle, check out Gastown and Yaletown. Both of these districts have tons of wonderful nightlife and cuisine offerings, and allow for you to take in the sights and sounds free of charge.
Gastown offers lower cost brunch options that you’ll love to explore, like Catch 122, Tuc Craft Kitchen, Water St Cafe, The Flying Pig, and so many other locations. And Yaletown offers great drink deals like at Yaletown Brewery, where you’ll be able to lounge on the patio and enjoy the sights while you sip your exciting craft brews!
Plus, these neighborhoods are conveniently close to other prominent neighborhoods like Coal Harbor, South Granville, Robson Street, South Main, Punjabi Market, and so many others.
And, if you’re looking for cheap sights and eats, Granville Island is the place for you. Without a car, it can be a little bit of a schlep to get over there, but once you make it this artist haven is a wonderful place to explore.
You can check out cheap matinees at the Ruby Slippers Production Company, Arts Club Theater Company, Axis Theater Company, the Waterfront Theater, and Performance Works. Everyone who visits Granville Island has to head to Granville Island Public Market, filled with all of the best food and shopping offerings in the city (with low prices!).
And, if you have kids in tow, you have to check out the Kids Market. They have shops, games, and events that your kids will go absolutely crazy for. You can even get them a snack and get their hair cut while you’re at the Kids Market!
Of course, Granville Island offers tons of artist galleries and markets for you to explore. It’s a beautiful (and low cost) way to spend a day — or even several!
Pick The Right Accommodations
Finding appropriate accommodations is really important when finding an appropriately priced trip to Vancouver. If you’re extremely short on cash, you can look into local hostels or Airbnb accommodations. Otherwise, hotels like the Sunset Inn offer great accommodations with low prices, and often have wonderful deals to save you more money.
You can also look for deals that bundle your airfare with your accommodations if you plan to travel via airplane rather than driving.
Travel Cheap In Vancouver? It’s Easier Than You Think
As you can see, if you put your mind to it to travel cheap in Vancouver. Just make sure that you make a solid plan in advance, and set a solid budget so that you understand what you need to spend (And not spend!)
Are you looking for cheap accommodations for your stay in Vancouver? Make sure that you contact the Sunset Inn for the best available deals in the Metro Vancouver area.