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After staying at home for a year and a half, I wanted my first vacation to be extraordinary. Rather than heading to a tropical resort or charming European city, I explored a part of Canada I've never seen before: Vancouver Island.
Some believe road trips are synonymous with summer but I'd argue that they're just as magical in the fall. It's great to drive through all the gorgeous fall foliage, and you don't have to deal with heaps of tourists at most attractions.
Driving from Ontario to BC is no easy feat, so my partner and I flew to Vancouver, took a ferry to the Island and from there we rented a camper van on Outdoorsy. It's a company that lets you rent RVs anywhere in North America. It's like Airbnb but for vehicles!
We found our temporary home on wheels for $135 a night. Neither of us has ever slept in a camper van before so we had no idea how cold it would get at night. We packed a ton of warm clothes thinking we'd be freezing but we were super cozy the entire time. The bed takes up almost the entire length of the van but luckily it converts to a couch so you have extra space to move around when you're not sleeping.
Vancouver Island is HUGE and a week isn't enough time to marvel at all its beauty. Fortunately, we were able to explore several places including Tofino, Ucluelet, Victoria and Sooke where we kayaked and swam with sea lions, NBD. Another unforgettable place was Coombs where we saw goats chilling on the roof of Old Country Market.
Every night after our little excursions, we'd simply park and set up camp at a provincial park. FYI: we did not make any reservations ahead of time. The beauty of travelling in the fall versus summer means most parks aren't fully booked. We winged 100% of our trip and never had any setbacks.
On our very first night with the camper van, we stayed at Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park in Parkville which had gorgeous views of the water and plenty of adorable black rabbits hopping around. It was like being in a Disney movie.
Bella Pacifica Campground in Tofino was by far the most scenic spot because we had a stunning view of the ocean.
Touring Vancouver Island was an experience of a lifetime and I'm so glad we were able to do it in a safe and comfortable camper van. Booking it on Outdoorsy was quick and easy. Just like other rental sites, you can filter your search depending on your needs. I just wanted something cheap with a nice bed.
When you find what you like, you can message the owner if have any questions about the vehicle or pickup times. Heads up: Each rental does require a security deposit of up to $1,000 but you get it back after the vehicle has been returned.
There are thousands of vehicles to choose from all over Canada. Some are cute and compact for two people, others are huge RVS fit for large groups of friends (or a family). Many are decked out to the nines and very "Insta-worthy" if that's what you're into. But for me, adventure > aesthetics. Always.
Details: Ready to go on your next adventure? Outdoorsy lets you rent a camper van, RV, and other vehicles across North America. You can enter the dates you're travelling and the destination to get a list of available (and extremely affordable) vehicles to rent for that time frame.