Planning Your Trip to Vancouver
Are you trying to plan a family vacation or weekend getaway this summer and have Vancouver on your short list? Stop right there and go ahead and book your airfare. We’ve got you covered with the little details so you can easily sort out the rest!
Unless you are driving from close by, you’ll most likely fly into Vancouver International Airport (YVR). Located about 25 minutes from downtown, YVR is a great airport and consistently ranks as one of the top international airports. Air Canada is a great option for an airline to book flights, as it is the largest airline in Canada and offers many nonstop flights from a variety of cities.
Getting Around Town
Thankfully, many of the main attractions in Vancouver are easily accessible. Vancouver is a very walkable city, and many of the attractions here can be reached by walking from the front steps of Sunset Inn. Don’t feel like walking? Many attractions, shopping, and other outdoor activities can be accessed by a short drive, a ferry ride, or via local transit.
Our recommendation for the easiest, hassle-free way to navigate the city? Use a ride-share service such as Uber or Lyft. Taxis can also be found easily and used if want to go old school.
And if you’re feeling a bit adventurous? Try renting a bike through a bike share program as an inexpensive and fun way to explore the city. There are plenty of biking paths (you’ve got to check out the Stanley Park Seawall), greenways, and designated bike lanes, as Vancouver is a pretty bike-friendly city with over 450 kilometers (279 meters) of bike routes. Bicycle rental shops can be found near Stanley Park or through various other bicycle rental shops around the city.
If you do chose to rent a car during your stay, rest assured that you have gated parking for one car available to you at Sunset Inn. Options include both below ground gated parking, above gated parking, or alley parking. For more information on parking near Sunset Inn, check out the FAQ page here. When using a car to travel around town, it may be worth pre-downloading the EasyPark Parking App for locating parking lots throughout the city.
Currency, Taxes, and Tipping
The Canadian Dollar (CAD) is the currency throughout all of Canada. We recommend exchanging for this currency at a bank or credit union prior to your trip. Some businesses accept the US Dollar or other types of foreign currencies, but the exchange rate may differ from the daily rate posted by financial institutions.
Similar to the US, 100 Canadian cents make up the Canadian Dollar. Notes are in $5, $10, $20, $50, $100 and $1,000 denominations.
And as for taxes, most purchases here will have a 7% Provincial Sales Tax along with a 5% federal Goods and Services Tax. Some purchases have different tax rates, such as accommodation taxes, which have an 8% Provisional Sales Tax with a 3% hotel tax. Some purchases may be tax exempt. Check out the Province of British Columbia’s website for more info.
When dining out at restaurants, visitors should expect to tip for good service at a rate of 15-20%. If dining with a large group, oftentimes your bill will add gratuity of around 18%. Plan to tip around 15% for other services such as spa treatments, nail services, and taxis.
Vancouver has a very enjoyable, mild climate throughout the year. Winters can consist of lots of rain, but it rarely snows. Expect temperatures up to 23 degrees Celsuis (74 degrees Farenheit) in the summer and temperatures of around 6 degrees Celsius (41 degrees Farenheit) in the winter. The average temperature in June is 21 degrees Celsuis (69 degrees Farenheit). Perfect! When traveling to Vancouver, it’s best to pack a lot of smart casual layers.
Other Travel Tips & Tricks
- Vancouver is in the Pacific Time Zone and observes Daylight Savings Time.
- 2022 Holidays for the remainder of this year include BC Day on August 1, Labour Day on September 5, Thanksgiving Day on October 10, Remembrance Day on November 11, and Christmas Day on December 25.
- Many public locations (~550) in Vancouver have free WiFi through the @VanWiFi public network. Sunset Inn also has complimentary wired and wireless in each suite as well as the hotel’s lobby
For other frequently asked questions, make sure you check out our FAQ page!
We hope the planning of your trip goes smoothly and we get to see you in person soon!