Travel Blog

13 May

Long May You Run: Thoughts on the Whistler Long Weekend


Posted by: Feet Banks

The best thing about long weekends is they give you more time and freedom. The best freedom is the freedom to do nothing.

Officially this upcoming long weekend (May 16-18, 2015) is a celebration of Queen Victoria’s birthday but for most Canadians it is better known as the unofficial start of summer. And in Whistler that means the second annual Whistler GO Fest, and an extra day off work to get out and immerse yourself in the lush awesomness of not-winter in Canada.

For many of us, long weekends are the foundations upon which great summer memories are built. That extra 24 hours of freedom —one whole day!— can be a real difference maker.

Of course the only thing better than an extra day of free time is two days, or more. Last summer The Insider served up a semi-groundbreaking, paradigm-shifting action plan on how to use your standard 2-weeks vacation time to turn every summer weekend into a long weekend. This year we’ll use some creative time management to focus on turning the standard long weekends into longer ones. Either way, the goal is the same: more leisure for your pleasure.

The May long weekend is awesome because you can snowboard, bike park and golf on the same weekend. 

Here’s the deal: some long weekends float from year to year, this year Victoria Day holiday occurs on the third Monday of May, this year it’s the 18th, next year it will be something different. Labour Day (September) and BC Day (August) operate the same way so it is pretty easy to extend these weekends — you simply add some holiday time before or after the weekend proper. The classic technique is to take 4 days off after the long weeked to bridge it over to the next one. That’s 9 days off for the price of 4 and you get the added satisfaction of watching everyone go back to work while you head out for a fancy dinner knowing your days of freedom are only just beginning. 

Canada Day, however, is locked in – it’s always July 1. And in 2015 July 1 is a Wednesday. So the Canada Day long weekend is not actually long at all, unless you make it so. Taking July 2-3 off will give you 5 consecutive days of summer celebrations with minimal holiday expenditure that includes the 4th of July celebrations as well. (Figure out a way to throw some sick days in there and you are a better weekend warrior than me.)

There is no correct way to celebrate Canada Day, but having the rest of the week off is a good start.

Now what to do with all that free long weekend time is entirely up to you, but here are couple hints. The important thing to remember is that although time is money, free time is invaluable. Happy summer.

Of course free time is not the only thing that matters this summer, money also plays a role. The good news is that if you book your extended long weekend before June 30, 2015 you can save up to 40%. Visitors from outside BC should also take note, these weekends are popular for BC locals so it’s extra important to book early to ensure you get the dates you want. Get all the details at

What would you rather: Tuesday morning water cooler chatter or Tuesday morning cool water adventure? 

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