Should you stay or should you go: How do you fight the soggy times?

The rain season is officially here in Vancouver. The mornings are becoming colder and darker, and you can no longer leave anywhere without your umbrella. Those of us in the 9-5 world begin to enter the dreaded phase of going to work in the dark and coming home in the dark. So how long before it begins to take its toll on you? Is it that time of year to plan that week or two away to break it up, or invest in that Edge Card? 

Even after a record setting dry summer in Vancouver, and passing the stage of trying to embrace the rain with lazy weekends at home, the seven long months of the dark and soggy can eventually get to the best of us.  Canada’s highest average of rainfall was registered here in North Vancouver at a mark of 80.5 inches. The next out of province city was Barrie, Ontario at 31.9 inches. Although we do not get their winters (which include absurd amounts of snow – experienced first hand by yours truly, during my college days), dealing with copious amounts of rain can also prove to be difficult.  Maybe a new gym membership with the other New Years resolution folk would help, or perhaps read that book you’ve been meaning to get to? Some will take advantage of our local snowy peaks and get outdoors skiing or snowboarding; we are also just a two-hour drive from Whistler, voted the #1 ski resort in North America.

I took to Twitter to see what some of the locals have been saying so far:

@mannyvancity – Neverending rain #Vancouver

@nineoclockgun – Perfect day to have windshield wipers breakdown #Mazda #recall #rain #Vancouver stuck in white rock

@AbbyGK – I’ve never been to any city that has an umbrella vending machine at their seabus terminal… #vancouver #rain

@jennamaemiller – Left the house without an umbrella because it wasn’t raining at the time. Should have known better. #Vancouver #rain

@HootSandy – Welcome to the rainy #beach #Vancouver #rain #umbrella

With that being said, maybe just maybe a trip somewhere warm to swimsuit weather with sun and sand is just what the doctor ordered. If you have saved a few coins for these rainy days, then I say book the time off, pack your bags, and take that trip. Where to? Somewhere freaking sunny, that’s where.

On the West coast, we often look to Mexico, California, Arizona, or maybe that classic Vegas trip.

I say, what about Hawaii? Just over half a million Canadians visited the Aloha state in 2011 where we represented the third largest group of visitors to the islands behind America’s own residents and visitors from Japan.  This has become by far my personal favourite rain-escape destination.

Quick Weather Stat: 

Average rainfall and temperatures between Dec – Feb

Vancouver – 5.93 inches of rain per month and temps of 6.1 degrees.

Hawaii – 2.97 inches of rain per month and temps of 27.3 degrees.

On the island of Oahu, you have the ever-popular Honolulu, which plays host to the infamous Waikiki Beach area that has all the necessary amenities. If you need something, you’ll find it in an ABC Store, located on seemingly every street corner. The clear blue water is outstanding for swimming – something we do not have here in Vancouver. You can learn to surf, (which is a blast), dine at ocean-front restaurants, and of course do some serious shopping. My tip: rent a car and drive around Oahu to uncover all the gems the island has to offer.

Oahu Suggestions:

  • A sunrise stop in Kailua, followed by Macadamia nut pancakes nearby at Boots & Kimos.
  • Swing by and check out Turtle Bay Resort, especially if you’re a Forgetting Sarah Marshall fan
  • Check out some high-profile surfing on the North Shore
  • Sushi and Japanese cuisine at Izakaya Gaku – incredibly fresh and an authentic experience

If the city atmosphere isn’t your idea of a relaxing holiday, you can always head to the lovely island of Maui.  The laid-back towns, fresh food, and amazing snorkeling may play more to your palate. You’ll discover lots of great sights, like the Haleakala Volcano crater at sunrise, the massive waves of Jaws Cove, and of course the endless number of incredible beaches.

Maui Recommendations:

Getting there:

From YVR or Bellingham (BLI)?

Many lower mainland residents know that in most cases the 80 km drive may save them save hundreds of dollars on flights. Canadian flyers are a big reason and boost for Bellingham’s needed $17-million airport expansion. Hard to argue against the Canadian Airport Council report stating that a family of four could save $1,365 flying out of BLI instead of YVR for a Hawaiian vacation. Ken Oplinger, president of the Bellingham Chamber of Commerce was recently quoted in the Vancouver Sun stating,

There’s been this massive increase in traffic, and the vast majority of it has come from the Lower Mainland. When I meet with my colleagues up there and they talk about Abbotsford being the second airport for the Lower Mainland, I don’t even laugh. I just say they’re wrong, it’s Bellingham.

Although YVR is an award-winning airport and has yet again been named Best Airport in North America in 2012, we still head south. You make the call. Here are the current top deals to Hawaii from each of the airports for  the week of Nov. 21 – 28th, 2012, per person rates:

YVR to Honolulu round trip (WestJet) = $539.98 taxes included.

BLI to Honolulu round trip (Allegiant Air) = $306.00 taxes included.

Wherever you decide to go or however you choose to beat the rainy blues, we would love to hear about it. You know what gets my vote. Aloha.


Image by eych-you-bee-ee-ahr-tee