What better place for a “staycation”?

It’s called “Beautiful B.C.” for a reason. It could easily take a lifetime or two to explore the treasures within this province and no doubt many locals rarely bother to set foot beyond its borders. There’s so much to see and experience. What’s not to love?

Kamloops itself is growing into a worthy destination in its own right and even more variety and wonder is typically but a short drive away with Sun Peaks, the Shuswap and other great places nearby. Invest a couple of hours in a road trip and there is even more to enjoy in any direction. B.C. is the ideal place for a staycation no matter the season.

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Tourism Kamloops’ current Luv n the Loops campaign is helping locals re-discover all the great things about our own backyard.

Since March they have been inviting people to sign up for free tours that surprise the participants with three local activities and some amazing refreshments from local eateries and watering holes. All they ask in return is that these newly minted “ambassadors” spread the good word about our happenin’ hometown to family, friends and strangers alike.

So far they have taken their charges for a hike in Lac du Bois with Tailgate Tours; fly fishing lessons with Interior Fly Fishing; a back alley art tour downtown; a scavenger hunt around the Tournament Capital Centre; wine tasting at Harper’s Trail; a visit to Secwepemc Museum & Heritage Park; canoeing on the South Thompson with Moccasin Trails; a trip to B.C. Wildlife Park; a visit to Kamloops Heritage Railway’s backshop—home of the 2141 Steam Engine and many more to come.

To sign up for a future Luv n the Loops tour, visit Tourism Kamloops’ website at www.tourismkamloops.com.

With such a remarkable backdrop to work with, building a staycation in this area is relatively easy. Regardless of one’s budget, there are ways to have fun and explore.

Staycations might not seem as glamorous as traveling abroad or as relaxing as spending a week in an oceanfront resort or condominium, but there are ways to make staycations more fun and seem like a true departure from everyday life. Here are some tips for changing things up:

• Experiment with new cuisine. One of the joys of travel is the opportunity to dine out and experience cuisine native to certain locales. The internet (or the local library) is home to a wealth of recipes from countries far and wide. One can choose recipes and prepare meals from a different country each night or explore different restaurants in your own or nearby communities, many of which represent cuisine from other places.

• Head out to nearby campsites or resorts or just invite the family over and tell stories around a backyard firepit, make s’mores and enjoy those balmy summer nights under the stars.

• Take in local culture. Families can explore the local cultural opportunities which is something we tend to take for granted. Exploring local history and artistic opportunities in the same way you would when traveling can provide a sense of excitement similar to that experienced during more traditional vacations. Visit a local zoo, take in a performance at a local theater company or take a guided historical tour of an area of your hometown or a nearby city.

• Indulge in an extraordinary activity. While people typically choose staycations to save money, forgetting the budget to enjoy one extraordinary activity can make a staycation more fun and memorable. Spend one day during the staycation doing something the family would not ordinarily do, be it going horseback riding, taking a helicopter tour, skydiving or perhaps a mine tour. Such a break from the norm, even if it’s quite brief, can make staycations feel more like vacations.

Staycations have become an economic necessity for many people and there are many ways to make such times as enjoyable and unique as more traditional vacations. It has the added bonus of helping one appreciate their own hometown or region with fresh eyes.

© Kamloops This Week



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