Vacation. noun. a period of time spent travelling or resting away from home.
In Canada, you’re a workaholic whether you like it or not. A recent study from PressProgress found that Canadians get fewer vacation days than almost any other country. In comparison to this, a 2014 report from Maclean found that less than half of Canadians take all their paid leave and 40% don’t mind working holidays. So where do we get the time to enjoy ourselves and take a well-deserved break? Taking a vacation can have a wide range of benefits – it can contribute to lower stress, less risk of heart disease, a better outlook on life and more motivation to achieve goals, according to Allina Health. It can benefit our performance in work, general productivity on a day-to-day basis and just make us feel happy. So why are we so resistant to take one?
Resulting from a recent study conducted by Loans Canada, 66% of credit-constrained Canadians do not have a monthly budget that they stick to. We understand it’s a tough time for us Canadians. Debt is rampant and we are finding it hard to simply save for a rainy-day fund or to budget. But planning a vacation doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. Saving for a vacation is important to ensure you can enjoy a stress-free time. But your vacation doesn’t need to be an airplane journey away. Why not consider a Staycation this year?
Staycation. noun. A holiday that you spend at or near your home.
The tourism industry in Canada is booming. According to Statistics Canada, from January to September 2018, tourism spending in Canada was $80.8B, an increase compared to this period a year previous. Many people travel from far, to explore our beaches, mountains, lakes and mesmerizing scenery. Canada is an amazing holiday destination. For example, in Vancouver you can go skiing or snowboarding in the morning. In the afternoon, you can take a walk on the beach and afterwards you can get lost in the city and all its culture. What other places in the world can you jam-pack so many activities into one day?
Whatever province you’re from, there are so many destinations you can visit that only involves a car or bus. No matter where you chose to go on your adventure in Canada, you can have a great vacation without breaking the bank. We’ve managed to narrow it down to six bucket-list-worthy spots across three provinces for you to consider exploring.
Let’s discover these must-see locations to consider visiting for a budget-friendly staycation in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario.
One of the most iconic places in Canada, Niagara Falls is an essential trip for any Canadian. Whether you’re going here for a weekend staycation, or travelling from the west coast and making a full vacation out of it, you will be impressed. This beautiful collection of waterfalls is one of the world’s natural wonders and something you must see. Niagara Falls is named after the town it’s located in, so when you take a trip to see this stunning site, why not explore the food, drink and vibrant downtown core. Find out more about Niagara here.
If you’re searching for a picturesque, harbour village location for your staycation, look no further than Tobermory. It’s located only four hours away from Toronto city, which makes it the perfect distance for you to drive, without having to wake up too early and still able to make the most of the day. Tobermory has amazing parks and reserves such as Bruce Peninsula National Park and Fathom Five National Marine Park.
Tobermory is submerged in forests, canyons and underwater waterfalls that date back to a time before modern man. You can check out the remains of ancient coral in this once tropical sea or watch the modern inhabitants, crawfish, bass and sculpin as they go about their daily business. Tobermory is a great place for diving with the Tobermory Hyperbaric facility being one of the few places in Canada to have a Hyperbaric dive chamber. Find out more online here.
If you’re searching for sandy beaches, seaside, surfing and sun, look no further than Tofino. Just off Vancouver Island, Tofino boasts relaxation with wild natural scenery you would barely believe it’s only located approximately 2.5 hours away from Vancouver city. It sprawls on a peninsula within Clayoquot Sound, this stunning district mesmerized with its lakes, inlets and ancient rainforest. If you’re searching for something a little more adventurous, this beachside location has year-round surfing facilities including Cox Bay, Chesterman Beach and the popular Long Beach, part of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.
Whether you decide to go with all the family or a romantic getaway with your significant other, this chill area will help you make the most of your limited time off. If you want to save even more money, why not pack a lunch and avail of the many picnic bench offerings in the area and enjoy a sunny summer day out. If you choose to stay overnight and your budget allowance for accommodation is limited, camping is always a great option. There is a wide range of campgrounds in Tofino that are family-friendly with great facilities. You can find out more on Tofino tourism online here.
A town 40 minutes’ drive north of Vancouver, Squamish is surrounded by mountains like the Stawamus Chief, a huge granite monolith. The Sea to Sky Gondola has amazing views of the nearby Shannon Falls, a towering waterfall cascading down a series of cliffs. The Britannia Mine Museum has underground train tours and the small town has plenty of bike trails for you and your family to explore to make the most of the outdoors. What makes Squamish the perfect staycation destination is that you can explore, without spending a lot of money. You can find out more about Squamish tourism online here.
There’s a reason everybody’s heard of Banff. This mountain town is oozing with historic charm, jaw-dropping natural surroundings and an amazing selection of amenities. Why not explore the restaurants and shops on Banff Avenue or go hunting for the best gravy-smothering poutine? If your budget can stretch, why not ski or snowboard in the winter. In the summer, you can go for a hike and take in the breath-taking views and fresh air. If you’re searching for a break away from busy city life, Banff is the place for you. Find out more here.
I don’t think the Rocky Mountains need much explanation. But if you’re from Alberta and haven’t paid them a visit, then now is your time. The mountain range stretches some 3,000 miles from British Columbia and Alberta in Canada through Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, and down to New Mexico in the U.S. The Rocky Mountains offers you an outdoor, wilderness orientated trip, providing you with diverse wildlife and alpine lakes. There are numerous hiking trails and of course, the famously scenic Trail Ridge Road, a 48-mile highway that reaches a high point of 12,183ft. Again, if you want adventure, the Rocky Mountains is the staycation for you. Find out more here.
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