For this trip, we booked our Airbnb several months in advance, bought our ferry tickets online and flew into Vancouver from out of province. We rented a car, prepped all road trip requirements the night before, including snacks, food and diaper bag.
Purchase your ferry tickets online a few days prior if you are planning to visit Tofino on a weekend. Snacks were the most important thing on our drive from Vancouver to Tofino. The next most important thing to have packed is rain gear. It will rain at some point during your stay in Tofino.
Take the 8:30 a.m. ferry and be sure to arrive at the ferry terminal around 7:45 a.m. This way you can have breakfast on the ferry, lunch in Coombs and stop for a snack on the way, arriving in Tofino in time for dinner.
You will experience Tofino rain during your visit but if you go during the summer months, there is a much better chance of having mostly nice weather. We visited in early June and experienced both rain and shine. The best time to visit is in July and August.
Other than transportation, food and accommodation, we didn’t spend much. We ate in more than we ate out. We used the remainder of our budget on souvenirs. The nugget-friendly activities, such as the art center, the aquarium and visiting the national park, are not expensive. Activities like surfing, fishing, mountain biking and harbour flight tours are very pricey and are not for kids under 6.
This mini-adventure from Vancouver is a great guideline for what to do on your way to the beautiful district of Tofino with kids. Starting on the ferry, enjoy breakfast and some on-deck lounging. Then, set off on a three-hour drive (with stops along the way). The first stop is in Coombs at the Goats on the Roof/Coombs Indoor Marketplace. Here, grab lunch, neat little toys and souvenirs, and catch a glimpse of the famous Goats on the Roof. From here, head onto the Pacific Rim Highway to begin the journey to Tofino. Stop at Wally Creek to stretch your legs and have a quick snack. Then, get back onto the highway and head to Tofino. Before going into town to settle in, visit the Combers Beach Trail and get your first look at the Pacific Rim.