Big White BC Lodging and Vacation Planning Checklist - Local Tips | British Columbia Maps
Score Big White BC Lodging Savings & Easy Big White Vacation Planning Advice! Use our Big White BC owner-direct lodging & consumer-direct ski vacation planning directory to quickly & easily organize your British Columbia Canada ski vacation. Save money & get more Big White BC value & hospitality. Choose from 135+ top-located, unique & personal Big White family ski homes & book Big White lodging with one of our friendly owners!
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Book direct with Big White BC owners on our wholesale, Big White lodging & vacation planning site to avoid middle agent fees. Search our large selection of private Big White BC homes and condos using our fun & easy Big White lodging search tools!
Big White British Columbia - Easy & Quick Vacation Planning Checklist
Planning your own Big White BC vacation & Big White lodging is fun, easy and fast! If you have a computer with an Internet connection, creating your own personal Big White ski vacation can be done in minutes! Follow the steps below to start planning your dream trip to Big White ski resort.
Step#1 - Search, View & Book Big White Lodging
Book top-located Big White mountain lodging direct with homeowners & save money by avoiding middle agent fees. Quick search 135+ Big White lodging options & view the exact BC rental home you will stay in before you book online, including detailed photos, descriptions, Big White maps, owner bios & more.
Enjoy the personal hospitality & benefits of renting a BC family ski home. Owners are locally knowledgeable, dedicated Big White BC customer service representative with no other guests during your dates except you!
Find a rental using the search bar at the top of this page.
Step #2 - Book Flights to Big White British Columbia - Advice & Quick Tips
Kelowna International Airport takes many local and international flights. Most Canadian and many US cities now connect to Kelowna.
Big White BC is just a short and easy 45 minute drive from the airport.
When booking flights, it's worth it to shop around.
Most sites allow you to select your seats and to check-in online, before you go to the airport! Wear good clean socks & get a pedicure - you have to take off your shoes in airport security!
Here is a quick tip list to help you plan your vacation:
- Web Sites - Check out Kayak.com, Farechase.com, Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, Priceline and Cheap Tickets. These sites have great prices & help you quickly compare fares!
- Book Direct with Airlines - Lately, we have found that they have some of the best deals. Just go to their web sites & do some searches. In addition to your favourite airlines, be sure to also visit Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, West Jet and Tango. They have great fares!
- Use your Airmiles! - Don't forget to use your points, if you can :)
- Travel Agents - Check-in with your local travel agent for fares.
Step #3 - Book Big White BC Ground Transportation
We highly recommend that you rent a car from Kelowna International Airport, mostly because of the convenience, savings and selection that comes with buying your groceries & beverages in Kelowna, on your way up to Big White!
Here are some recommended BC companies that are situated in the airport, close to the baggage pick-up counter.
Again, shop around for the best price. Be sure to check online, as well as on the phone. Sometimes you can get a better price one way or the other (internet and phone prices are sometimes not consistent).
BC Car Rentals at Kelowna Airport
Budget - Phone: 250-491-7368
Hertz Car Rentals - Phone: 250-807-7834
Enterprise Rent-A-Car - Phone: 250-491-9611
National Car & Truck Rentals - 250-765-2800
Big White Limo & Van Charters
Chartering a private limo or small bus (for large groups) is affordable and offers you the benefit of being able to pre-arrange a grocery shop! Check out these great companies below:
Okanagan Limo Charters - Phone: 250-717-5466
Canawest Limo-Coach Service Ltd.- Canawest offers a 20 passenger Executive Entertainer Day Coach for your group & is suitable for multiple families traveling together or many people in a large group. It is an incredible experience with large washroom, vanity, galley, reclining executive chairs, a lounge, dinettes, sofas and an entertainment area. You can charter this luxury fun bus to pick you up from the airport, wait while you get groceries & drop you off at your door at Big White BC!
Big White BC Airport Shuttle
Big White Airport Shuttle - Scheduled hourly departures from the airport and Big White BC. The first and last airport departures are 8:00 am and 11:00 pm. The first and last Big White Airport departures from Big White are 3:30 am and 5:00 pm.
Step # 4 - Book Big White BC Snow School
Our BC ski resort experience has revealed that guests who take lessons generally have extraordinary ski vacation experiences, compared with those who do not. Taking lessons is worth it. We recommend that you take lessons at least 2/3 of the time that you are at Big White, or at any ski resort. Get lift line priority, quickly gain confidence, get to know the mountain really well, and ski/ride with people of your own ability.
Booking Information: Call 250-765-3101 x 238
Step #5 - Book Big White Childcare
Big White BC has an excellent childcare program! Book early to avoid disappointment!
Booking Information: Call 250-765-3101 x 238
Step # 6 - Buy Big White Ski Vacation Travel Insurance
We highly recommend ski travel insurance, because life happens, and it can happen to you at any time! Make sure that you are covered for lost luggage, as well as flights, lodging and medical. Here are some recommendations:
- Check your credit card accessory services options - sometimes travel insurance is included, or can be purchased at rock bottom rates!
- Check your life insurance policies - you may already be covered for medical and may not have to buy those components.
- Check www.insuremytrip.com - compare options and buy online.
- Leaving it to the last minute - you can buy it at most airports!
Big White BC Lift Tickets
Books of five lift tickets can be purchased at a slightly discounted rate at various Kelowna sport shops including:
- Fresh Air Experience
- Island Snow
- Sport Mart
- Sports Rent
- Stay Tuned Sports
Cheaper mid-week lift tickets (black out dates apply) can also be purchased from Coopers Foods on Highway 33 on your right, shortly after exiting Highway 97.
Please keep in mind that these discounted tickets are non-refundable. We recommend buying fewer tickets than you think you'll need as there is a pretty good chance that you are overestimating the number of days that you will ski/ride. This way, you can take an unexpected day off due to weather or fatigue, without a penalty.
If you book Big White lodging through Central Reservations, you also get a 10% discount, however, your ticket savings will pale in comparison to your lodging savings when you book owner-direct Big White lodging.
If you are coming to Big White BC for more than 16 days, then you should buy a season's pass!
Big White BC Ski Tips
Take the Free Big White BC Guided Mountain Tours - You will get to know Big White Mountain really fast and learn all the local secrets! Tours depart daily opposite the Village Centre Mall at 9am and 1pm daily. Look for the snow hosts in the bright yellow jackets - you can't miss them!
Take Big White Skiing/Riding Lessons - Quickly improve your ability and confidence to ski/ride more diverse terrain, get more skiing/riding time with lift line priority and ski/ride with people of your own ability. It is fun and there is nothing like the joy of personal sport improvement!
Keep your Feet Warm - Make sure that your liners are always dry. Rip them out of the shell and dry them by the fire in the evenings if you have to. Ensure that your socks are dry at all times, and get proper thermal socks.
Keep your Hands Warm - Get Gortex gloves with warm liners. Pre-treat your gloves with Nik-Wax for extra water-proofing.
Big White Grocery Strategies - Ignore this Advice at your Peril!
We highly recommend that you pick up the bulk of your groceries & beverages in Kelowna on your way to Big White. There is a convenience store in Big White, however, selection is limited and you are paying a premium!
Here are some conveniently located Kelowna BC grocery stores, just a few minutes from your driving route between the Kelowna Airport and Big White BC.
Safeway - Open 7am until Midnight, 7 days/Week.
- From the Airport, drive 2 lights past the Highway 33 turnoff. Safeway is on your left.
- From Vancouver & Washington, Safeway is on your right hand side of the road on Highway 97, 2 lights before the Highway 33 turnoff.
IGA - Open 8am until 9pm, 7 Days/Week
Another option is IGA on highway 33 just 5 minutes after the highway 97 turnoff on your left. There is also a liquor and drug store in the same mall.
Costco - Open Until 8:30pm Weekdays | 6pm Saturdays | 5pm Sundays
Costco is a great place for meat, cheese, pre-prepared foods and just about anything you are going to need!
- You need a Costco membership card.
- It is located on the corner of Hwy 97 and 33.
If you pick up groceries at IGA, there is a liquor store in the same mall, making IGA a convenient 1-stop shop for all supplies!
Big White Groceries - Pre-Ordering Online
If you organize for delivery ahead of time, please DO NOT give the door code to the delivery people. This compromises your safety and security while in the property. You are also responsible for all missing items in the property at the time of departure. Giving out the door code to strangers puts you and your personal property at risk.
Deliveries are best made shortly after your arrival at the vacation property.
VFS will take your online grocery order and deliver to Big White Ski Resort.
Phone : 1-778-363-1870
Email : email@example.com
IGA Grocery Delivery
IGA delivers groceries every day of the week to Big White. You must order by noon the day prior to when you want the delivery (eg. order by noon on Thursday for Friday delivery). Groceries are delivered to the resort around 10am - Noon. Delivery charges are $10 for all orders, with a minimum order of $100.
Smart Start Meals
Order nutritious, delicious, ready-to-cook meals to be delivered to your door. Make use of the kitchen/dining space in your property without worrying about spending hours pondering meal preparation on your vacation. Guests who sign up for our Big White Newsletter get a discount with Smart Start Meals.
Recommended Big White BC Activities
Big White BC In-Resort Activities
Big White British Columbia is North America's #1 rated family ski resort. Not only is the skiing/riding amazing, but the apres ski, or non-skiing activities are sensational! Here is a quick list of what is available:
- Free Welcome & Family Carnival Nights - Great fun for the whole family on Saturdays and Thursday nights. Enjoy fireworks, large outdoor bonfires, torch-light parade, free family games & kids activities, hot chocolate and more! Times: 6-8 pm in the Village.
- Free Crafts for Kids - Arts and crafts fun at the Kids Centre, every Monday from 4 - 5pm.
- Hot Chocolate around the Bonfire - Cozy up around the fire and enjoy free hot chocolate at the Happy Valley Day Lodge, daily from 5 - 6:30pm.
- Mega Snow Coaster - North America's biggest tubing park! Open 4 - 9 pm weekdays and 2 - 9pm weekends at the Happy Valley Gondola base.
- Outdoor Skating Rink - North America's largest and highest outdoor skating rink! Open daily from 9 am-10 pm at the Happy Valley Gondola Base. Skate rentals available! Skating parties are also held on Tuesdays from 6 - 8pm. Kids' supervision and skate rentals are provided for $10.
- Snowmobile Tours - Take 1, 2, or 4 hour tours. Ride single or double. Even the kids can join in on this activity and rent a Mini Z miniature snowmobile. Tours include safety gear & hot chocolate!
- Fireworks - World famous fireworks displays are held every Thursday and Saturday at 8pm. Watch from wherever you are on the mountain.
- Cross Country Skiing at Big White BC - The official Big White trails start the Happy Valley Gondola Base. There are 25 km of groomed trails. Rentals are also available from the rental shop in the Village.
- Cross Country Skiing in the McCulloch Lake Area - Recommended!One of the most incredible trail systems is located in the Mculloch Lake Area, about a 25 minute drive from Big White Ski Resort. With over 125km of groomed trails in pristine wilderness, these are some of the best trails in the area. Proceed back down Big White road to Route 33. Turn left. The trail head begins about 5 mins down the highway. Turn right on McCulloch Lake Road. The trails are about 10 seconds before you reach McCulloch Lake Resort. There is a warming cabin at the entrance.
- Dogsledding - Mush your way through Big White's beautiful back country!
- Sleighriding - Book for 1 - 1.5 hours for up to 16 people.
- Skiing/Riding Day at SilverStar - Take the Inter-Mountain Day Trip Shuttle to SilverStar for a full day of skiing/riding. It is well worth it. SilverStar is a great resort and a fantastic way to get more Okanagan powder! Call 250-491-6111 to book.
- Day at the Spa!
- Beyond Wrapture (located at Chateau Big White) 250-878-7938
- Day Escape Body Care (lower level of Village Centre Mall) 250-491-4167
- Snowshoe Tours - Take a 1.5 - 2 hour guided tour, departing 9:30am, 1:30pm or 4:30pm. Tours include your gear, a guide and refreshments!
To pre-book any of these activities please email the Big White Activities Desk or phone (250) 491-6111.
Wine tours are an excellent idea for your day off! You can buy some incredible wines that are not available in the regular wine stores. Our favourite is Burrowing Owl!
Big White BC Packing & Clothing Tips
Exploding Bottles -We're Serious!
Big White is at a much higher elevation than most BC ski resorts and the pressure change is going to wreak havoc in your suitcase!
Whether you are flying or driving to Big White BC, that last 45 minutes from Kelowna to Big White will cause your plastic bottles to explode & liquids/creams to leak out of their containers! Wrap and seal all bottles filled with liquids or creams in plastic ziploc bags!
Stuff People Usually Forget
Here are some great suggestions of things to remember, that we find many people tend to forget:
- Big White BC check-in information - Remember that there is no front desk service, as you are renting owner direct Big White rentals. The owner will send you complete check-in & emergency contact information by e-mail upon final payment. If you do not receive this information immediately, please contact the owner to get it. If you cannot contact the owner, please contact us for assistance.
- Never leave home without check-in information & keep it in your carry on luggage! - Always remember to pack the check-in & arrival instructions with your carry-on bags, so that you are not locked out in the event that your luggage is lost!
- Knapsack - this really comes in handy for any vacation and is highly recommended for extra gloves, socks & snacks.
- Warm boots with huge treads - It snows like crazy in Big White BC! It can also be cold, so keep your feet warm with proper footwear for apres activities and walking!
- Favourite DVD’s, CD’s and videos.
- Slippers/sandals for hot tub
- Bathing suit for hot tub
- Goggles & sunglasses
- High quality lip balm - Apply it several times daily to avoid chapped lips. Big White is extremely dry.
- High quality moisturizer - Big White is very dry.
- Helmets for kids - Big White runs out of them!
- Pre-paid phone cards if you do not have a phone calling card
- Warm mitts/gloves
- Very warm boots
- Lots of outdoor clothing that can be layered
- Powder leashes - There is lots of powder and losing your skis would be a big drag!
- Favourite recipes (including beverages).
Big White Clothing Tips
Big White BC is located in the Monashee Mountain Range, in the dry BC Okanagan interior. Here are some tips:
- Dress in Layers - bring layers of fleece & cold weather gear
- Bring Gortex - you need waterproof gear.
- Kids Hands & Feet - Bring warm outer gloves and inner liners. Bring multiple gloves and liners and keep them dry.
- Treat your Gortex prior to Arrival - Follow the manufacturer's instructions for re-conditioning your Gortex gear!. We also recommend Nik Wax for Gortex gear and especially for gloves.
- Kids Boots - Keep them dry at all times or your kids will have non-stop cold feet. Rip the liners out and put them by the fireplace at night to ensure that they are totally dry in the morning.
- Kids Socks - Pack multiple socks into their daypacks. Dry feet=warm feet!
- Check out the Weather Links Below!
Big White & British Columbia Weather & Snow Info & Updates
Average Temperatures: 15-30 degrees F or -15 to 0 degrees C
Big White & British Columbia Road Reports & Driving Tips
It is a 45 minute drive from the Kelowna Airport to Big White BC. Here are some valuable tips:
- Animal Hazards - Be wary of deer, moose and other wildlife, including cattle - especially on Big White Road. Whether you hit a deer, a moose or a cow, you and your car can get demolished at even slow speeds.
- Gas Up-in Kelowna. There is no gas station for 75 km after you leave Kelowna, including in Big White. Running out of gas is a reality if you do not leave Kelowna with a full tank! Leave Kelowna with a full tank!
- Wiper Fluid - Make sure that you are totally topped up, with a spare jug in the trunk! Weather changes rapidly on the high mountain roads and it can get messy!
- Bathroom Breaks - Before you leave the airport, or in Kelowna.
- Arrive & Drive in Daylight Hours - The highway is complex and weather changes quickly.
- Don't Tailgate Logging Trucks - Take this advice seriously, or kiss an old growth log coming through your windshield.
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