Know Before You Go:

Find current travel restrictions, entry requirements, and other key resources and information. Learn more


Need to Know

Key travel information to plan your BC vacation

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Emergency Information

In emergency situations, contact the local police, ambulance service, fire department, and other emergency services by dialling 911, a free call from any telephone. The news media and many tourism businesses cooperate with the RCMP to communicate urgent messages to visitors. If you see or hear your name, phone the number given.

Visitors from outside the province should clarify coverage provided by their personal insurance carriers and may wish to obtain additional health insurance before coming to BC.


Emergency Info BC

  • Information about emergencies in BC, including evacuation orders and alerts.
  • Twitter@EmergencyInfoBC  #BCFlood #BCWildFire


The BC Wildfire Service


BC Parks

  • Information about provincial campgrounds and park closures.

Recreation Sites and Trails


BC Air Quality Health Index

  • Smoke conditions across the province can change hourly. Check the Air Quality Health Index for real-time updates from across BC.


Environment Canada

  • Resource for the latest weather information, statements, and air quality advisories.
  • Twitter: @environmentca


River Forecast Centre

BSAFE™ Before You Go

What is BSAFE™?

BSAFE is a new online health and safety training program for businesses designed to ensure foundational health and safety knowledge in BC’s tourism and hospitality businesses to keep everyone safe as we move through the COVID-19 pandemic.

BSAFE™ stands for BC Safety Assured For Everyone. Our tagline, “Your Trust, Our Priority”, is our pledge and our promise. Businesses who have 75% of their workforce successfully complete the training course, will be recognized with a “BSAFE™ Trained” certificate.

Look for and ask about The BSAFE program when you travel!

Passport & Customs Info

Canada Border Services Agency has current information for visitors to British Columbia about required travel documents, restricted goods, travelling with children and pets, and other resources.

For information about entering or re-entering the United States, visit the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.


Credit cards (mainly Visa and MasterCard) are accepted by most businesses, but it’s a good idea to carry some Canadian cash. ATMs, located in banks and retail areas, dispense Canadian currency. A bank or currency exchange outlet can change your funds to Canadian dollars. Banks are generally open Monday to Friday, with some open on weekends.

A federal goods and services tax (GST) of 5% and a provincial sales tax (PST) of 7% are applicable to most purchased goods and services.

A tip of 15-20% at bars and restaurants is customary. Tips are also given to tour guides, taxi drivers, and for spa treatments and haircuts. Porters at airports, railway stations, and hotels generally expect $1-2 per item of luggage.

Currency Converter

Driving in BC

If you are going to drive in BC, here are some rules and regulations you should know:

  • If you’re driving in BC and are involved in a crash, the insurance coverage on your own vehicle (or rental) will be required to pay for any vehicle damage, even if the crash wasn’t your fault. Learn more at
  • There are strict car/booster-seat regulations for children up to nine years old or 145 centimetres (57 inches) tall.
  • Visitors to BC can drive with a valid licence from another country for a maximum of six months.
  • It is against the law to drive while using a handheld cell phone or other electronic device. *Note that mobile phone reception in BC is strong in urban areas, but spotty in remote areas.
  • Highways outside of Metro Vancouver and Southeast Vancouver Island require winter tires from October 1 to March 31.
  • There is a network of more than 500 electric charging stations in BC.
  • Consult Drive BC for up-to-date information about road conditions closures.

Consult the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure’s list of frequently asked questions for other driving regulations.


BC strives to be an inclusive destination for people of all abilities. Learn more on our Accessibility page.

Be CoastSmart When Travelling in BC

CoastSmart logo

Planning to explore BC’s beaches and coastal trails along the Pacific Rim? Ensure your next adventure is accident free with these tips for staying safe near and in our beautiful waters.

Learn more about these tips and the three T’s of coastal adventure at

Near the Water

  • Take time and observe the conditions closely before you step out onto the shoreline
  • Keep an eye on the incoming waves and stay alert
  • Check the daily tidal information
  • Stay in arm’s reach of your children when near the water
  • Stay off drift logs if the tide or swell is high

In the Water

  • The Pacific Ocean is cold! Stay warmer with a wetsuit
  • Learn surf etiquette and how to navigate the surf zone
  • Stay in shallow water, unless you are trained and suited
  • Be alert to the effects of cold water
  • Know how to avoid a rip current, and how to escape one if caught


Canada uses the metric system. The following conversions may be useful:

More Conversions

Public Holidays 2021

Banks, government offices, and some stores will be closed on statutory holidays, or on the following Monday if the holiday falls on a weekend:

  • New Year’s Day – January 1
  • Family Day – February 15
  • Good Friday – April 2
  • Easter Monday – April 5
  • Victoria Day – May 24
  • Canada Day – July 1
  • BC Day – August 2
  • Labour Day – September 6
  • Thanksgiving Day – October 11
  • Remembrance Day – November 11
  • Christmas Day – December 25
  • Boxing Day – December 26

Start Planning Your BC Experience

Getting Here & Around

Visitors to British Columbia can arrive by air, road, rail, or ferry.

Visit Today

Five-star hotels, quaint B&Bs, rustic campgrounds, and everything in between.

Rest Your Head

Know what to expect in communities across the province.

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