There’s a reason Travel + Leisure ranked Victoria Canada’s # 3 city (1): People from all over the world hope to one day arrive in this beautiful capital city of British Columbia. But what about those who already live here? When you live in a place that so many people want to see, it almost seems like a shame to pack your bags for a new place. It’s time to play tourist in your own city. Here are some reasons to book accommodation in Victoria, BC and tips on how to do it in a wallet-friendly way.
Reasons to plan a stay
1. Home away from home
How often can you feel at home in one place and have someone else wash your dishes, clean the toilet, and make your bed? Be surrounded by your favorite sights and sounds with a touch of luxury. It can be as simple as staying in an Airbnb loft that you could never pay for long-term rent, or as luxurious as splurging a few nights at a resort and spa.
2. Remember how to enjoy your city
When you’re busy and stressed out with work, life, and responsibilities, it can be easy to forget the reasons you fell in love with where you live in the first place. Staying in Victoria during the holidays gives you the opportunity to fall in love all over again. Enjoy the glow of the harbor at night without feeling guilty about the paperwork sitting on your office desk. Relax; you’re on vacation.
3. Access your Victory Checklist
If you’re like most people, you’ll have a list of things to do in Victoria that you’ve never had time to see. Unlike visiting another place, living somewhere gives you the opportunity to assume that you will be able to see that exhibit, visit that gallery, or try that restaurant at another time. Planning a vacation at home gives you the perfect opportunity to get out there and put a few check marks on that sloppy list.
4. You will not get lost
You can spend a lot of time while traveling (especially for those who have steering problems) just trying to get your bearings. You will wander the streets, you will not have time for activities due to getting lost, and sometimes you may end up in the wrong part of town. However, if you are playing tourist in your own city, you probably already have a good idea of how to get to your destination. Plus, you already know some cool secret spots.
5. Playing tourist is fun
Taking your camera and preparing yourself with a map or guide to things to do in Victoria can be a surprising amount of fun. Especially in summer, you will mingle with the thousands of tourists that flood the streets. Once you get into the tourist mentality, the amount of things to do is incredible. Especially things you would never consider doing as a resident – a scenic seaplane tour or whale watching, for example.
Tips for planning your stay
1. Reserve accommodation out of season
Accommodation in Victoria can be a hot commodity. The fact that it is a premier destination on Vancouver Island is reflected in the prices, especially for the luxury resorts or hotels that are located along the Inner Harbor. However, booking out of season can cut the cost by up to half.
2. Look for last minute deals
If your schedule is flexible and it doesn’t really matter when you steal those days off, then booking something last minute could be a rewarding option. Often times tours and accommodations will seek to fill seats and rooms, especially if they had a late cancellation.
3. Look for local deals
Places that see a large influx of tourists, like Victoria, will find businesses that are also hoping to serve their local audience. Look for places that offer rates and discounts to locals. Another option is to check the daily Groupon or Island deals.
4. Think about what you would suggest to someone who comes to Victoria
Is it hard for you to think about what you would do on your vacation? Try to think of what you would suggest to a friend who is coming to visit you. Chances are, hundreds of things come to mind, many of which you’ve probably never done. Curiosity is key.
5. Treat it like a vacation
Sometimes it can be difficult not to think about work when you are surrounded by things that remind you of your daily routine. However, being on vacation means getting away from all that. Try to go into vacation mode, even if you are still in your city. Find new places, try new things, push your limits, and sign up for tours and activities that really interest you. Once you “get back” from vacation, your knowledge and appreciation for Victoria will likely have increased.
A stay can be as luxurious or as inexpensive as any other type of trip. Even more so if you choose to stay in your own home and simply explore as an avid tourist. You can take the money you save on accommodation and splurge on a meal at a restaurant you’ve always wanted to eat at, or a spa treatment at a resort. The opportunities are endless. With such a beautiful and tourist-friendly city at your feet, why would you go anywhere else?