Your options for travel to Vancouver Island are pretty much limited to air or sea. Fortunately though, you won't have to grow wings or walk on water to get here now that modern modes of transportation have reached our little hidden paradise.
Yes, it's true! Vancouver Island proudly boasts ferry service and a variety of air travel options.
Either will ensure your feet stay dry and that you're not too exhausted to enjoy your visit once you get here.
Of course, you're more than welcome to bring your car, bike or RV along as well.
After all, most of us islanders have at least one of these modern amenities ourselves and we had to get them over here too, right?
It's just that you'll need to put your chosen mode of transportation onto either a plane or a boat in order to get it here.
Now if you want to bring your horse and buggy, or your private passenger train, that might require some special planning.
But assuming that most people reading this page are looking for more conventional options, let's get you pointed in the right direction.
There are a number of different ferry systems providing service to the island. Which one you use will depend on where you're coming from and which part of the island you're traveling to, as well as how you plan to get there once you're here. (Am I still making sense?)
Some are passenger only ferries, while others accept vehicles, bikes and walk on passengers. The photo below shows one of our older BC Ferries (the newer ones have much prettier paint jobs and fancy names), all of which take vehicle traffic.
Because there are a number of options for ferry travel, I've taken the liberty of putting all the ferry information on a separate page, which you can find here.
I've included information about the different routes, making reservations, which ferries take vehicles, and even how to deal with seasickness (hint: the routes with potentially rough crossings sell really, really cheap anti-nausea pills...probably 'cause they don't want to be cleaning up a lot of you-know-what).
The other main way to travel to Vancouver Island is by air. Fortunately, there are a number of carriers to choose from, serving the south, central and north island, as well as the west coast.
You can be totally boring and predictable and take a commercial flight (West Jet, Air Canada and others provide regular service), or you can show off your wealth and status by chartering a private plane.
Heck, you can even arrive by helicopter if you suffer from a particularly bad inferiority complex and need to boost your status (at least in your own eyes).
To help you decide, you'll find plenty of information here about flights to Vancouver Island.
You can also travel to Vancouver Island by bus, via one of our vehicle ferries. Unfortunately, we haven't yet found a way to put buses on the airplanes, but if this ever does become an option I'll definitely let you know!
Taking the bus on the ferry is a great option if you don't want to take your vehicle, but you're bringing luggage. Your bags can be stowed on the bus during the ferry ride, and once you arrive at the terminal it's easy to take a taxi to your final destination.
Every city or town has at least one local taxi company, and not surprisingly, the drivers all know where the bus and ferry terminals are.
Funny how tourists and taxis just seem to go together. I guess that's why you'll usually find a cab or two waiting at the bus depots to whisk you off to your hotel or other destination.
No matter how you choose to travel to Vancouver Island, keep in mind that when you're on vacation, getting there is half the fun. Or at least it should be.
So take the seasickness pills if you think you'll need 'em, don't exceed the baggage limit on the flight, be nice to your taxi driver, and all will be well.
Enjoy your trip!