In Vancouver and the rest of British Columbia, attire tends to be casual but neat. T-shirts, polo shirts, and slacks are fine at tourist attractions and all but the most upscale restaurants. Waterproof, breathable fabrics are recommended for those planning outdoor excursions. Weather in British Columbia is changeable and varied; you can expect cool evenings and some chance of rain even in summer, so don't forget your umbrella. If you plan on camping or hiking in the deep woods in summer, particularly in northern British Columbia, definitely take insect repellent. In wilderness areas it's also a good idea to carry bear spray and/or wear bells to warn bears of your presence. Both are available in camping and hardware stores in BC.
Shipping Luggage Ahead
Shipping your luggage in advance via an air-freight service is a great way to cut down on backaches, hassles, and stress—especially if your packing list includes strollers, car seats, and so on. There are some things to be aware of, though.
First, research carry-on restrictions; if you absolutely need something that isn't practical to ship and isn't allowed in carry-ons, this strategy isn't for you. Second, plan to send your bags several days in advance to U.S. destinations and as much as two weeks in advance to some international destinations. Third, plan to spend some money: it will cost at least US$100 to send a small piece of luggage, a golf bag, or a pair of skis to a domestic destination, much more to places overseas.
Some people use FedEx to ship their bags, but this can cost even more than air-freight services. All these services insure your bag (they can range from US$100 to US$1,500 depending on shipper, so it is recommended that you verify that amount); you can, however, purchase additional insurance for about US$1 per US$100 of value.
Luggage Concierge. 800/288–9818; www.luggageconcierge.com.
Luggage Forward. 866/416–7447; 617/482–1100; www.luggageforward.com.
Luggage Free. 800/361–6871; 212/453–1579 ; www.luggagefree.com.
Sports Express. Sports Express specializes in shipping golf clubs and other sports equipment. 800/357–4174; 617/482–1100; www.sportsexpress.com.