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Here are the top 10 Vancouver travel stories of 2023

While it doesn't have palm trees, the aquamarine waters of this island are perfect for a summer splash...and it is in B.C.
From a breathtaking B.C. beach that looks like Hawaii to a nursing mother who was nearly kicked off her flight, here are V.I.A.'s top travel stories.

If you had a flight cancelled this year, you are far from alone.

While travel disruptions subsided toward the end of 2023, many people faced long waits in the first half of the year.

But just as many local travellers visited jaw-dropping places in B.C. and across the globe without issue, including Lindeman Lake and Barbados.

From a breathtaking B.C. beach that looks like Hawaii to a nursing mother who was nearly kicked off her flight, here are V.I.A.'s top travel stories of 2023.

This jaw-dropping spot is known as the 'Little Hawaii' of B.C. These pictures show why

While it doesn't have palm trees, the aquamarine waters are perfect for a summer splash.

The charming island is famous for its paradisiacal coastline, which offers a long stretch of soft, white sand beach that meets shallow, positively jewel-toned waters. It is also considered to be one of the warmest saltwater swimming areas in the province, according to the B.C. government.

Photo via Hornby Island/Facebook

'Threatened the victim': Passenger refuses to get out of nursing mother's seat on Vancouver flight

In the video, a flight attendant can be heard telling the woman who is seated in the window seat that she isn't in the right spot. The flight attendant offers her the window seat in the same row but on the other side of the plane. 

The three seats of the row in which the passenger was incorrectly seated were assigned to a Black woman travelling with her infant child and her mother-in-law.

When the mother asks the flight attendant, "Do you see the problem?" the flight attendant tells her twice: "You need to calm down." However, the mother did not raise her voice during the interaction. Airline staff also threatened to kick the family off the plane. 

A passenger refused to leave a seat on a Vancouver flight from YVR airport with Flair Airlines to Calgary Photo via @adeolaalle/Instagram

Photos: This stunning lake near Vancouver has bright turquoise waters like the Caribbean

A stunning body of water located just outside of Metro Vancouver offers some of the clearest, aquamarine waters in B.C. 


Is it safe to visit Mexico? What Canadians need to know about the travel advisory update

Canadians dreaming of visiting the sun-soaked beaches of Cancun or Acapulco may want to have a look at the updated Mexico travel advisory before they book a ticket. 

As the second-largest tourist destination for Canadians after the United States, Mexico sees upwards of three million visitors from the Great White North annually. However, some areas have seen increasing rates of violence and crime over the past few years in popular vacation spots. 

Sunset on a Cancun resort with blue water. Photo via Jonathan Ross/iStock/Getty Images Plus

'It’s horrendous': Vancouver traveller says airline offered no 'reasonable alternatives' following bird strike

A Vancouver student told V.I.A. that her travel plans were ruined after her flight to Montreal was cancelled the night before she was scheduled to leave. 

"The night before I was due to fly out, I received an email at around 9 p.m. saying that my flight was cancelled because of 'an animal attack (ex. bird attack) that caused damage to the outside airplane controls and that I would be re-booked on a different flight or I could request a refund," she said.

The only flight option Flair provided her with was a flight that departed from YVR on March 20, which was the day she was originally scheduled to come home after the student conference. 

Photo courtesy Emily Lints

Everything Vancouver travellers need to know about this 'less-touristy' tropical paradise

It might be the birthplace of rum, but it isn't the dark liquor that makes this island magical (although the rum is top-notch).

Barbados overwhelms the senses from all angles. While it is a fairly small country -- you can drive across the island in under an hour --- the landscape varies drastically, offering the mighty swells of the Atlantic on one side and the calming Caribbean on the other. 

Aside from its rich culture, nonstop parties, hearty cuisine, and warm locals, Barbados wows visitors with its natural beauty. While the island sees more tourists over the winter months, the shores are practically vacant during the summer -- and that's not because they are less enjoyable. The odd storm rolls in every now and again during the late spring and into the start of fall, but the wet spells don't tend to last long. So, while you may want to hide out for a moment, you can get back to the beach fairly soon and you won't be fighting a crowd. In general, the island destination sees significantly fewer tourists than other Caribbean hot spots, such as Jamaica.

Barbados Beach with Palm Trees. Photo via Deejpilot/iStock/Getty Images Plus

What happens when a plane gets struck by lightning near YVR airport?

While it may sound unnerving (or downright terrifying), planes are struck with lightning annually, although the chances of you having a first-row seat to the electric display are rare.

Airplane in the sky with thunder and lightning,The plane flies in terrible thunderstorm,Concept of climate weather. Photo via rawintanpin/iStock/Getty Images Plus

A lavish cruise from Vancouver to Sydney, Australia at a steal

While this ship has sailed (quite literally), sailings just like it happen each year out of Vancouver.

The epic world cruise made stops in California, Hawaii, Tahiti, New Zealand, and more along the way. Check out this incredible itinerary and the jaw-dropping price tag attached to it (hint: you won't believe the dollar per day amount).

Photo via Princess Cruises / Facebook

Photos: This stunning B.C. resort was just named the 'best hotel of the year'

A breathtaking B.C. resort with a host of signature spa services was named the "Hotel of the Year" for 2023.

Offering a quintessential luxury Pacific Northwest experience, the resort's spa incorporates natural, therapeutic ingredients from the ocean. For example, guests can pamper themselves with the "pacific mermaid" treatment, where they are wrapped in a "cocoon of rich marine ingredients" that exfoliate, firm, and restore their skin, leaving them nourished from "head to fin."

Photo courtesy The Kingfisher Oceanside Resort & Spa

'Unbelievable': Vancouver man tells travel horror story from YVR in video

Josh Rimer told V.I.A. that he understood the extra costs and disadvantages of booking with an ultra-low-cost carrier -- such as paying for carry-on luggage or having less comfortable seating -- but he didn't anticipate how difficult it could be to re-book a flight if one got cancelled.

Photo via @JoshRimer/Twitter