British Columbia Adventure Vacations

british colombia tour

British Columbia adventure vacations will have you exploring alpine lakes, rugged coastline, rainforest trails, and secluded, calm water bays.

From the pine-fringed rivers of Kootenay National Park to the impossibly blue Emerald Lake in Yoho National Park, around every corner is a dramatic show of the power and diversity of mother nature. British Columbia is one of those places you need to get deep into the landscapes to experience its full charm – and there’s no better way to do that than on our British Columbia adventure vacations.

Hiking, biking, wine tasting, kayaking, and fishing amongst the beautiful peaks and valleys of British Columbia is tough to beat and easy to do on our British Columbia adventure tours. View the breathtaking landscapes, geographical diversity, abundant wildlife, and pristine mountain lakes that defy description.

Bordered by the rugged and spectacular Pacific Coast to the west and jagged, magnificent Rocky Mountains to the east, discover why this place is an ideal for British Columbia adventure vacations.

British Columbia Vacation Packages

North America

Banff & Jasper Adventure

  • Duration 6 days
  • Travel Style
  • Activity Level Level 3 
    • Activity Level 3

      Earn Your Lunch

      I stay active on vacation and love the feeling of relaxing after a busy day on the go. I season my trips with a little fresh exercise.

    Read more about the Active Range

The Rocky Mountains are yours to discover through off-the-beaten-track trails, unbeatable white water rafting and glacier hiking on our 6-day Jasper and Banff National Parks Hiking Adventure Tour.

Trip Start: Calgary, Alberta Canada Trip End: Calgary, Alberta Canada

North America

British Columbia Hut to Hut Adventure

  • Duration 6 days
  • Travel Style
  • Activity Level Level 3 
    • Activity Level 3

      Earn Your Lunch

      I stay active on vacation and love the feeling of relaxing after a busy day on the go. I season my trips with a little fresh exercise.

    Read more about the Active Range

Helicopter deep into Canada's backcountry and immerse yourself in pristine alpine wilderness on this British Columbia Hut to Hut Hiking Adventure.

Trip Start: Calgary, Alberta Canada Trip End: Calgary, Alberta Canada

North America

Vancouver Island Adventure

  • Duration 6 days
  • Travel Style
  • Activity Level Level 3 
    • Activity Level 3

      Earn Your Lunch

      I stay active on vacation and love the feeling of relaxing after a busy day on the go. I season my trips with a little fresh exercise.

    Read more about the Active Range

Discover Vancouver Island’s wild, rugged beauty and relaxed, welcoming charm on this 6-day adventure featuring Black Rock Resort.

Trip Start: Victoria, British Columbia Trip End: Victoria, British Columbia

North America

Banff & Jasper Family Vacation

  • Duration 6 days
  • Travel Style
  • Activity Level Level 3 
    • Activity Level 3

      Earn Your Lunch

      I stay active on vacation and love the feeling of relaxing after a busy day on the go. I season my trips with a little fresh exercise.

    Read more about the Active Range

Trip Start: Calgary, Alberta Canada Trip End: Calgary, Alberta Canada
BC vacations

When Is the Best Time to Visit British Columbia?

British Columbia has four distinct seasons, and as with most places, it’s typically warmer in the south and wetter along the coast. Because British Columbia is such a large province (four times the size of the U.K.), it has several different climatic zones, so much of what you will experience will depend on where you’ll be visiting. Our pick for the best time to visit British Columbia is in the early fall where you’ll enjoy cool and comfortable temperatures and foliage peaking in late September/early October.

British Columbia by the Season

Spring (March-May)

Spring in British Columbia is relatively mild. By the end of March, daily highs are usually around 50°F, and lows are generally around 40°F. Yes, it rains rather frequently, but rainfall is typically light or moderate at worst. Spring is a great time to go if you want to be the first out on the golf course!

Summer (June – August)

Summer is quite comfortable in this part of Canada. In the interior of British Columbia, average daily temperatures are in the 80°s although they can occasionally reach 90°F. On the coast, temperatures are just a few degrees cooler. It’s pretty safe to say that you can get away with wearing shorts, skirts, and sandals anywhere in British Columbia during these months. (For at least part of the day!)

Autumn (September – November)

In September, the average daily high in Vancouver is 65°F and 68°F in Whistler. Both cities have average daily lows around 50°F. Cool and comfortable is a great way to describe autumn in British Columbia. If you want to see the fall foliage at its peak, visit during late September and/or early October.

Winter (December – February)

While the Canadian Rockies are no stranger to snow, the winter temperatures are not as low as you may think – thanks to the Chinook winds that can bring in warmer air. Still, temperatures are often at or below freezing, so you’ll want to pack your winter gear. On the coast, things are more temperate, and snow on the ground is a rare sight. That said, you’ll still want to pack warm clothing because Vancouver’s average high in January is 43°F.

bc vacations 2

What to pack for your British Columbia Vacation

1. A Toque

Also known as a cap or beanie, a toque is a staple in any Canadian’s wardrobe. Locals wear them year-round – so even if you’re planning on visiting in summer, you may want to bring a lightweight knit hat. It’s a must-have accessory in British Columbia.

2. Moisture-wicking Layers

Regardless of when you travel in British Columbia, you should always have a warm layer, and remember – when it comes to layers; it’s about quality, not quantity. The best fabrics for layering aren’t cotton, but because of their properties, they’re worth every extra penny. Choose a fabric like merino wool which is soft, breathable and dries quickly.

3. Hiking Socks

Believe it or not, if you’re going to be hiking in British Columbia, you should wear hiking-specific socks. Regular tube socks are okay, but for the best hiking experience, you’re better off with socks that are designed for the activity. Hiking socks are usually labeled lightweight, mid-weight or heavyweight, and you should choose the thickness that’s right for you based on how much cushioning you like and how your foot fits in your boot. As with layers, it’s best to avoid cotton!

british colombia tour

Travel tips for visiting British Columbia

There’s a lot to know about this beautiful province, so we won’t bore you with every minor detail, but here are a few tidbits of information that you may find helpful for your trip.

1. First Nations

British Columbia is home to many ethnicities including 198 First Nations. First Nations refers to the indigenous people of Canada. Few people know that British Columbia has the most diverse Aboriginal population in all of Canada!

2. Sea-to-Sky Highway

If you’re driving the Sea-to-Sky Highway solo, you should plan on stopping at kiosks 1-5 on your way north and kiosks 6-7 on your way south. The vistas that range from the ocean (near Vancouver) to the mountains (near Whistler) don’t disappoint!

3. Skip the Taxi: Take the SkyTrain

A taxi ride from the airport into downtown Vancouver could add up quickly, but the same trip on the SkyTrain will cost you far less. And if you need to get somewhere during rush hour, taking the SkyTrain means you won’t be stuck sitting in traffic!

Active Adventure Assurance

Secure Your Spot Now, Pay the Rest Later

As members of the Active Adventures family, Austin Adventures offers booking assurance that allows you to secure your spot with a deposit now and pay the rest later. Plus, if your plans change or you can’t travel, you can transfer your booking or request a refund on any additional funds paid (less deposit) up to 90 days from your original trip start date.  

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FAQs About British Columbia

Do you recommend buying travel insurance?

As an Austin Adventures traveler, it’s highly recommended you take out travel insurance to cover the likes of travel delays, missed connections, medical expenses or injury, or lost baggage for your travel with us. Please head to our Travel Protection page for more in-depth information and our recommended insurance provider.

What's included on your North America trips?

Accommodation

We've spent years finding places to stay that are quaint, perfectly-located, and comfortable when we take you to the most amazing parts of North America. We offer a wide variety of accommodations on our trips ranging from locally run inns and first-class hotels to resorts, dude ranches and historic national park cabins. Accommodations are selected for their location, unique charm and history, and offer a true feel for the region. We strongly believe in the value of a good night's sleep and our accommodation reflects this. We also like to have somewhere comfortable to relax after the day's activities.

Transport

We're really focused on ensuring that we spend as little time as possible sitting in vehicles, and that we optimise your vacation for adventuring in the great outdoors. Our average driving time is just over two hours a day, and we make plenty of stops for bathroom breaks and sightseeing along the way. We use modern, comfortable 15-passenger vans for all of our transfers and a second van is added to most departures to provide more flexibility and more room to spread out while seeing the sights! Make no mistake - our trips are not typical bus tour vacation packages! Picture more of a road trip with family complete with good music, tasty snacks, and plenty of guide-supplied fun facts along the way to keep you entertained!

Meals

Just about all your meals are included when you travel with Austin Adventures in North America. We provide a wide variety of cuisine - breakfasts are typically eaten at your hotel on your own time in the morning before meeting up with the group. Lunches feature everything from elaborate picnics to roadside cafes to sandwiches trailside. Dinners are usually eaten at our hotel's dining room or a local restaurant with plenty of options to choose from. We easily cater to vegetarians, picky kids, and people with particular dietary needs. All our guides have food safety certificates and are well-practiced in the art of food prep and serving while on-the-move. You'll find the meals are a real highlight of your trip!

All Guiding Services

Each trip features two or three incredible guides and our average guest to guide ratio is 6:1. Our guests are often drawn to North America by the beautiful scenic landscapes, promise of wilderness and clean air - and there's no doubt you'll find all that, though what you may not be expecting is to forge real, genuine friendships with your fellow tripmates, including our wonderful guides. They're hands-down the BEST guides you'll ever come across.

Activities

Any activity described in our itinerary, such as hiking, rafting, horseback riding, kayaking and biking, are included in your trip cost. Our itineraries are pretty jam-packed to maximize our time spent exploring in these amazing places, and your guides will make it clear if there are additional activities available (at your expense).

How many people are there on each of our North America trips?

We get a real variety of people on our trips and they all seem to have one thing in common – a love of the outdoors! Our trips can accommodate up to 22 guests, depending on each departure. Our adult-only departures require a minimum age of 16 years and generally feature a mix of singles, couples and friends, and our family departures require a minimum age of 6 years to join (7 years on our Alaska Family Adventure) and are a great way to meet other like-minded families who like to get outside.
Please note child rates apply to children 12 years and under.

Do you charge a forced single supplement if I'm a solo traveller?

We regularly accommodate single guests on our group trips and there’s no forced single supplement if you don’t mind sharing a room (you might even get a room to yourself sometimes). If you prefer not to share a room at all, you can upgrade to a single room.
PLEASE NOTE: If you book within 90 days and you’re a Forced single, you’ll be required to pay for your own room.

If I book a trip with my children, will I be sharing a room with them?

Active Adventures & Austin Adventures family vacations are naturally about spending time with family and as such, most families opt to share rooms on our trips. At time of booking, families consisting of four guests with children aged 17 and under will be automatically assigned one shared room. However, the following alternative rooming allocations are available:

  • Families consisting of four guests with all children aged 13 and above are welcome to opt for additional rooms as per advertised double occupancy adult rates.
  • Families consisting of four guests with at least one child aged 12 and under are automatically assigned a shared room. However, families can opt to pay the adult rates for all guests in their family to have an additional room.
  • The same principles apply for families consisting of more than four guests.

Rooming preferences are subject to availability and must be communicated in writing at time of booking. Automatic assignments as per this policy will be applied in the absence of any specification provided by guests. Any request for additional rooms during trips will be at the guests’ own expense and subject to rates made available by the accommodation provider at the time. All minors (guests aged 17 and under) must be accompanied by at least one adult.

What if I need a special diet?

We’re accustomed to catering to the following special diets:

  • vegan (no meat or animal products)
  • vegetarian (no meat products)
  • pescatarian (vegetarian, and eat fish)
  • no red meat (eat chicken & fish)
  • no pork (eat chicken & fish)
  • gluten intolerant (no wheat, rye, barley or oats)
  • lactose intolerant (no dairy products)
  • picky kids (send us a list of what your child will eat and we'll make sure to have it!)
You will get the opportunity to specify your particular requirements when you fill in your travel wallet. If you have any other dietary requirements please let us know well in advance, via email or the online travel wallet.

 

How much luggage can I bring on the North America trips?

You'll need one piece of luggage, plus a daypack. Your main piece of luggage can be a soft sided duffel or a suitcase with wheels, and you'll need a good quality 18-24 liter daypack to carry with you throughout the days on the trails.

As far as extra luggage goes, if there's not too much (such as one small extra bag per person) then it shouldn't be a problem to fit it in our luggage trailer during the trip. If you've got more than that, then all major airports have luggage facilities available on a weekly basis, or if you are staying at a pre-trip hotel they may be able to store it for you until you return too.

How much spending money should I bring and where do I get cash?

You'll be able to find a reliable ATM once you arrive to start your trip, within the township or at the airport you land in, as national park ATM locations are sparse at best. Aside from tips for your guides, you could bring $200 and go home with change though some people like to bring some cash to cover a round of drinks, a few souvenirs, and dinner on "night on your own", although you could just as easily use a credit card for these purchases too.

What are your recommended guide gratuity guidelines?

You will have 2-3 guides on your Austin Adventure (depending on group size) and we recommend $15-25 per day, per guest, per guide. Typically, gratuities are offered by check or cash in local currency on the final morning of the trip and can either be given to each guide individually or to one guide to be equally distributed. Most of our guides these days also accept gratuities via Venmo (please note this app does not work in Canada). All dining, housekeeping and activity tips are included in your trip price.

Is there a number to call in an emergency? How can my family, friends or colleagues contact me

Please contact our office using the details below. If the office is unattended (outside of business hours), dial the extension for the emergency line. If no one immediately responds, please leave a message so we can pick it up and return your call as soon as we can.
Free phone 1 800 661 9073
Email: service@austinadventures.com

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British Columbia Adventure Stories

Why Travel With US

benefit group size

Just-right group sizes allow you to get off the beaten path

With an average of 12 guests per departure and an industry-leading 6:1 guest-to-guide ratio, you’ll enjoy a highly personalized experience with the perspective of an insider.

benefit guides

Award-winning guides lead the way

It’s so much easier to relax and enjoy your adventure when you have fun, caring guides who know the land, are experts in motivation, sweat all the details and whip up incredible meals, too!

benefit inclusive

You’ll never need to sweat the details

When we say all inclusive, we mean it! Meals and snacks, activities, lodging, transportation, guiding services and more. Every detail is handled; all you need to do is show up!

benefit safety

Enjoy freedom to push your boundaries – safely

Every aspect of your trip is thoroughly considered for your safety, from highly vetted vendors and well-maintained equipment to extensively trained guides and our seasoned operations team at headquarters.

benefit family

Decades of expertise mean you’ll experience only the best

Family travel and North American National Parks are our specialty. We’ve perfected our itineraries and sustained relationships for decades, ensuring you'll experience your destination to the fullest.

benefit wow

"Wow Moments” take your trip from enjoyable to extraordinary

For us, the extra mile is never extra, it’s part of the way! Count on special touches throughout your trip that will amplify your experience. If we’ve done our job, they’ll have you saying “wow!”