Before you arrive in Sointula for your bucket list vacation in British Columbia, there are a few things you’ll need to do. After choosing from the best Malcolm Island hotels, you’ll also need to book your fishing excursions, plan where you’d like to eat, make a packing list, and more.

Booking an all-inclusive stay at our island’s beautiful luxury fishing lodge, Sointula Lodge, can eliminate a number of these hassles. From your day-to-day itinerary to meals, fishing gear, and lodging, the staff at Sointula Lodge take care of everything for you, so that you can focus on relaxing and enjoying yourself from the moment that you arrive.

But whether you opt for a fishing lodge or other Malcolm Island hotels, you’ll still need to do a little prep ahead of your trip. Taking care of a few important things ahead of your trip can help to ensure that your visit goes even more smoothly. If you’re planning a visit to Sointula BC in 2022, keep reading to learn 8 things to do before your arrival.

1. Check Your Passport

It’s most travelers’ worst nightmare; you’re getting ready to head to the airport for your long-awaited vacation. You reach into your dresser, safe, or other trusted location and pull out your passport. But as you flip through it, you realize with a shock that it’s expired. Suddenly, that vacation you’ve been dreaming of and planning for so long goes out the window.

One of the first things you should do after booking a visit to Sointula, or perhaps even before you begin planning a vacation, is to check your passport. If it’s going to expire within a few months of your trip, it’s a good idea to go ahead and get it renewed. Some countries require that international visitors have at least 6 months before their passport expires in order to enter that country.

Don’t wait until the last minute to apply for a passport or a renewal. As of October 2022, wait times for U.S. passports are now 6 to 9 weeks. While in some cases you can pay to expedite your passport, this isn’t a guarantee, and can still take between 3 and 5 weeks to process.

Visitors to Malcolm Island from the U.S. will need a valid U.S. passport, passport card, or NEXUS card. Which option you choose will vary depending on how you’ll be arriving in Canada. For instance, if you’re planning to fly to British Columbia, you’ll need a regular passport rather than a passport card.

2. Plan Your Travel To and From the Lodge

Getting to our Malcolm Island hotels is half the fun—but only if you plan ahead and aren’t left scrambling to book a flight or make travel arrangements right before your visit!

Guests have several options for traveling to and from Sointula. Traveling by seaplane is a popular choice among visitors looking for a unique experience, but you can also catch a BC Ferry from Vancouver Island if you prefer.

However you plan to travel, be sure to make your arrangements far in advance of your trip. Besides ensuring your seat on a plane or boat, this will also affect your packing. Traveling by seaplane means a restricted baggage allowance, and if you’re driving to and from Vancouver Island, you’ll need to bring a cooler or two to transport your fresh caught fish back home.

3. Make a Packing List

If you’ll be staying at an all-inclusive resort like Sointula Lodge or booking an excursion with a local company, most of the fishing gear you’ll need will be provided. This includes all fishing equipment, rain gear, float coats, and more. But there are plenty of other items you’ll want to pack, whether you’re staying in Malcolm Island hotels, vacation rentals, or elsewhere.

For instance, choosing the right clothing to pack can help you stay comfortable through changing conditions throughout the day. You’ll want to have your camera on hand to capture every incredible moment of your visit. And a great book might be just the thing to help you unwind after a great day on the water or exploring the island.

Creating a packing list before you pull out your suitcases is a great way to make the packing process easier, and help you make sure that nothing is forgotten at home during your trip.

4. Plan Ahead to Get Your Fish Home

Planning to do some fishing during your visit to Sointula BC? You’ll need to plan ahead to get your fish home!

If you’re booking a visit to Sointula Lodge, your guides will pack your frozen fish into wax boxes to keep it fresh for your journey home. These wax boxes are sufficient to get your fish safely home if you’ll be taking a seaplane to Vancouver, and then flying home from there. But if you’re planning a road trip to and from Malcolm Island, you’ll need to bring a cooler to keep your catches cold on your ride home.

5. Get Your Kids Excited

A visit to Malcolm Island makes for a bucket-list family adventure. But if you want to make the experience even more special, why not start getting your little ones excited for your upcoming trip a few weeks or even months ahead of time?

Teaching your kids about the wildlife they’ll see or the fish they might catch is a great way to combine a little education into your adventure. This will also help to make the experience that much more special, as they’ll recognize the fish and animals they see during their trip.

6. Brush Up on Your Fishing Terms

If it’s been a while since you’ve cast a line, you might opt to brush up on your fishing terminology ahead of your trip, if you plan to fish while visiting Malcolm Island.

Of course, this certainly isn’t a requirement. After all, you’ll have experienced guides there every step of the way to lend a hand or offer advice to help you reel in your own record catch!

7. Purchase an Extra Memory Card—or Two!

You’ll find that there’s no shortage of Kodak moments to capture during your visit to Sointula BC. While we recommend taking in the moment as much as possible, it doesn’t hurt to snap a few photos as well that you can look back on or share with friends back home. Be sure to grab an extra memory card or two so you’ll have plenty of room to capture every perfect moment.

Book Your 2023 Adventure Today!

The most important item on your pre-arrival checklist? Booking your stay at your choice of Malcolm Island hotels!

While our 2022 season in Sointula is coming to a close, now is a great time to start planning your 2023 adventure! Check out our planning resources to get started today!