Top Tips For Visiting Friends And Family in Washington State
Start planning to visit friends and family in the U.S.! With the recent announcement that the U.S. land border will open again to fully vaccinated Canadian travelers as of November 8, 2021, now is a fine time to book your U.S. getaway. Just cross the border in Blaine and head south on I-5 with Washington State’s capital city of Olympia as your ultimate destination.
Capitol Lake, Washington State Legislative Building
Olympia is ideally situated within a couple hours of many of Washington State’s most popular destinations (and the likelihood of encountering a snowy roadway is low!) Plan to unpack once and head out to any number of activities in Olympia, in nearby communities, natural areas and National Parks, all easily accessible from I-5. This community takes COVID-19 precautions seriously, so rest assured your health (and ours) is our top priority.
1. Book your lodgings ASAP. While we all love to find an opportunity to be impulsive, gambling on having a room or rooms available for your group is probably not your best bet. You’ll not only save your sanity, but by booking early you’ll also save your hard-earned money. Book as early as you can and book direct with the property you’re planning to stay at.
2. Make sure to bring your proof of vaccination and have a designated safe place for it throughout your trip. Few things are worse than spending hours waiting to cross the border, but getting to the border and realizing that you’ve either forgot or lost your proof of vaccination would float right to the top of that list. Knowing exactly where your important paperwork is, is essential, so add this step to your planning process. Check once, and then check again.
3. Plan your activities in advance with time to spare. Again, while it’s fun to make decisions on the fly, if you’re traveling to be with friends and family, juggling a multitude of schedules, dietary needs and personal preferences is a LOT. Make as many plans for your trip in advance as you can and allow yourself to kick back and soak up the visit while on the road.
Browsers Bookstore, Downtown Olympia
4. Use your lodgings in Olympia as your basecamp, and plan excursions for each day of your trips. Spend your time in the U.S. for enjoying your time visiting your friends and family or having fun, not packing and unpacking each day. Olympia and its neighboring communities and natural areas will give you access to a multitude of options within a couple of hours. Make sure to add the following to your itinerary:
- Shopping, dining, and cultural attractions in Olympia, Lacey and Tumwater
- Fun in the fresh air in local parks and trails in the Capitol State Forest
- Small Town excursion via the Bountiful Byway
- National Park Excursions: Olympic National Park and Mount Rainier National Park
- Beach Day at Westport
- Seattle city break on your way home
Brewery Park at Tumwater Falls
5. Understand Canada’s requirements to gain re-entry to the country. All travelers entering Canada must follow entry requirements to keep everyone safe. This includes Canadian citizens. Your vaccination status may exempt you from quarantine and some testing requirements. You can check COVID-19 travel information to find out which rules apply to you.
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