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How to go to the Olympics as a family

How to go to the Olympics  as a family

Vancouver Olympics lamp. Photo by BinoCanada.

Planning a trip to the Olympics, no matter the games or the venue, is always a challenge. There are game tickets to be booked in advanced as are flight tickets and of course accommodation. The first thing to do is get acquainted with the Vancouver 2010 Olympic site. Another great site to bookmark is 2010destinationplanner.com. This site provides you with great information about accommodation, transportation etc., allowing you to plan your holiday well in advance.

For the 2010 Olympic games, traveling and staying in Vancouver cannot be easier! Before you and the family descend, there are a few things you should do and decide on in advance:

Book your games tickets

Depending on how you plan to get your tickets, you will need to go through one of the following three sites:

Book your flight tickets

While it may seem a long time away, depending on where you are traveling from, getting a flight seat on the days you require may prove challenging, not to mention expensive. Begin your flight tickets search right away. In addition to the usual tourists visiting this city, you’ll have Olympic participants, their families and thousands of visitors arriving; probably at the same time you and your family choose to. The following are some links which offer great value fares to Vancouver:

Decide on your stay location

Would you want to be closer to Whistler where part of the games will be played or in Vancouver? Your decision may be based on the games you’re coming to see (Whistler will be hosting the Bobsleigh, Skeleton, Alpine Skiing, Cross Country Skiing and Nordic Combined challenges to name a few as well as a host of Paralympics games including Biathlon and Alpine Skiing). If you do stay in Vancouver and need to get to Whistler, it’s approximately at a 130 km distance. There is an excellent transport system in place to get you there as driving during the games may not be the best option. 

Begin your accommodation search on any one of the following links:

If you want to splurge on accommodation close to Whistler, try Whistlerluxurycondos.com.

An alternative option is to think of Home Exchanges. These are opportunities which will allow you and your family to visit Vancouver and stay in someone’s home, while they in turn enjoy a vacation in your home. You agree in advance on dates and duration of the stay and this arrangement enables both parties to limit their cost of travel to airplane tickets only. In certain instances, you may also avail of the local home owner’s car.

The following are some links which are specific to home exchanges during the 2010 Olympics:

Rethink proximity

Accommodation close to the venues will be expensive, not to mention hard to find. Vancouver has an excellent public transport system with buses, trolleybuses, the sky train and the sea bus. If you are renting a car, it’s an easy city to drive around. It also encourages and welcomes cyclists and pedestrian traffic. So don’t hesitate to look for options further from the venue if you plan to rent a car or use public transport. For more on Vancouver’s transit system, visit Translink.bc.ca and  Vancouver2010.com. You can also visit 2010destinationplanner.com to get a comprehensive look at what Vancouver offers in terms of transportation.

If you do plan on renting a car, the following are sites to get you started:

How important is the out-of-games-lifestyle?

 Are you and your family city people? Do you like to visit galleries and restaurants, pubs and nightclubs (without the kids of course!) If so, then living downtown is an excellent choice for you. If you are looking for something less glitzy, then there are numerous Bed and Breakfast, ranch stays, hotels and motels which will offer you something cosier and quieter and give you a first-hand taste of BC hospitality. And for the Olympics in particular, there are a number of Vancouver families who are renting out their homes. If you prefer a home away from home stay, then this proves to be the perfect fit. For more information on how to get started, visit  2010DestinationPlanner.com or Van2010rentals.com.

Take breaks to ensure everyone enjoys their holiday

Leave time to take in the sights and make sure you do activities that everyone enjoys. Your children for example may be too young to enjoy all the Olympic Games you’ve schedule to see.  They may enjoy instead a visit to the Vancouver Aquarium, a spin around Stanley Park or a trip to the Zoo. For more information visit our pages on things to do in Vancouver.   

With careful planning, you and your family will enjoy your visit to this once in a lifetime opportunity, the Winter 2010 Olympics in Vancouver!