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How to Travel Safely and Responsibly in BC

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Nelson | Kari Medig

We all have a role to play in ensuring safe and responsible travel in British Columbia. Even if you’re vaccinated, there are protocols and expectations to be considered to keep you and our communities safe. Follow these nine tips to ensure your visit has a positive impact.

1. Plan ahead

Take extra time to research and plan your trip, and be sure to check @DriveBC on Twitter for the latest conditions, road closures and detours. Make reservations whenever possible. Many businesses and services across BC have adjusted their schedules and policies to ensure your safety. Some may still be operating at a reduced capacity, with limited hours, or require advanced bookings.

Tip: See accommodationtransportation, and experience provider listings to start your research, visit IndigenousBC.com for information on Indigenous travel experiences, or contact the local Visitor Centre for more information.

2. Be respectful

Respect the people, businesses, and communities you visit. Please also respect any travel orders in place to keep us all safe. Responsible tourism means that the experience creates a positive impact for everyone involved–both residents and visitors alike. You may see protocols and policies within communities to ensure your safety; please respect the guidelines they’ve put in place. Contact the local business(es) you plan on visiting to make sure you understand the latest guidelines.

Tip: Visit ExploreBC.com/TravelUpdates for more “Know Before You Go” information, or contact the local Visitor Centre for more information.

3. Support local businesses

BC’s tourism businesses are eager to welcome you and many communities rely on your support. During your travels, dine at the local restaurants, book an activity or a tour, and find a unique accommodation. BC’s tourism industry is made up of small and medium-sized businesses who will surely provide a memorable experience.

Tip: Speak with local Visitor Centre staff to learn more about how to support local businesses.

4. Be AdventureSmart

Many visitors are looking to explore our province outdoors, such as snowshoeing, back country touring, winter hiking and more. No matter what outdoor activity you are planning, do your research in advance and be prepared. Learn the three Ts—trip planning, training, and taking the essentials—and apply them to all your outdoor adventures.

Tip: AdventureSmart.ca will be your best friend when it comes to outdoor safety for all seasons in BC.

5. Practice Leave No Trace

When exploring BC’s outdoors, always leave it in a better state than when you arrived. Respect local wildlife. Pack out what you pack in and dispose of waste properly. These are just some of key principles of Leave No Trace, a set of seven guidelines for enjoying the outdoors responsibly while minimizing your impact on the landscape.

Tip: Visit LeaveNoTrace.ca to learn more about responsible outdoor recreation.

6. Respect Wildlife

BC has an abundance of wildlife that can be very exciting to see. If you encounter wildlife during your
adventures, please remember to keep your distance and recognize that you are a visitor to their home. Observe them quietly, refrain from feeding them, and keep your dog on a leash to avoid stressful encounters.

Tip: Visit LeaveNoTrace.ca and WildsafeBC.com for more tips on how you can respect wildlife in BC.

7. Practice Winter Safety

British Columbia is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts through every season. While you’re out on the mountain or exploring the outdoors, remember to wear or carry suitable clothing, know your limits, and always carry the required safety equipment.

Tip: Visit AdventureSmart.ca to learn how to stay safe outdoors.

8. Shift Into Winter

BC’s mountainous terrain means weather conditions can change rapidly within relatively short distances, and snowfall can happen any month in the higher-elevation mountain passes. Get yourself and your vehicle ready for winter conditions, and always check the current weather conditions and weather alerts along your planned journey before heading out.

Tip: visit ShiftIntoWinter.ca for advice.

 

9. Be Kind, Be Calm…Be Patient

Winter conditions can cause delays and disruption. Take your time, take care of each other, and practice patience. Have a back-up plan researched and ready. Be calm, patient, and kind, and remember, we’re still in this together.

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