mikaella go

Entrepreneur Mikaella Go shares packing tips and a few of her favorite Vancouver spots. (Photo: Courtesy of AWAY)


Preparing for Travel’s Twists and Turns: What to Pack for Your Vancouver Vacation

Footwear brand Vessi‘s co-founder Mikaella Go’s packing philosophy is about anticipating the twists and turns of travel, like unpredictable weather and spontaneous detours. We asked Vancouver-based Go about her favorite spots in this seaport city and how to pack smart for a trip to Canada’s “Wet Coast.”

“Vancouver is such a great place to live. It’s so clean. The air is so fresh. The food is great, and it’s so multicultural. In the past year, I’ve gone to way more places within British Columbia than I ever have in my entire life,” says Go. “I mean, you’ve got the mountains right there. You’ve got the water right here, too. What more could you ask for?”

Go was born in the Philippines and moved to Vancouver with her family when she was 13. Ever since then, she’s called the city home.

“Vancouver is the perfect place, and I’m always so happy to come back. Sometimes I’ll travel elsewhere and think, ‘Maybe I could live here,’ but right when the plane lands [in Vancouver] and I walk out the airport doors, it’s always like, ‘Oh, my god, I’m home,’” she says.

Having rediscovered the magic of her hometown this past year, Go shares her favorite spots, local brands and what you should pack on your next trip to Vancouver.

Whatever the Weather

away luggage packing
Vessi shoes are a must-pack for any type of travel. (Photo: Courtesy of AWAY)

Go won’t travel anywhere without her patented Vessis, which are 100 percent waterproof, sand-proof, snow-proof, slush-proof and windproof. Go says the inspiration came “not only from the rainy weather that we always get here in Vancouver, but the fact that we love to travel.”

Aside from her weatherproof kicks, Go always packs a scarf or shawl in case of changing temperatures, plus her favorite Skinfix moisturizer to combat dry skin.

Lately, Go has been rocking Gentle Monster sunglasses and her favorite Vitae yoga pants, tucked away in her catchall Away Latitude Tote for easy access.

The Great Outdoors

vancouver seawall aerial view
Vancouver’s Seawall offers majestic water views. (Photo: Getty Images)

Over the last year, Go has spent a lot of time revisiting Vancouver’s best spots, taking time to admire her home city in a new way. First, she recommends biking the Seawall. You can rent a bike almost anywhere in Vancouver; Go recommends Spokes Bike Rental and Seawall Adventure Centre.

Then, end your day on the coast by watching the sunset with a bite at Cactus Club Cafe: “It has the best view in the English Bay.”

If hiking is more your speed, head up Grouse Grind — which Go fondly calls the “unlimited StairMaster” — a short but intense hike up the face of Vancouver’s Grouse Mountain.

dock on lake in whistler canada
A trip to Whistler takes you into stunning natural beauty. (Photo: Getty Images)

For a day trip out of Vancouver, drive to Whistler. Any time of year there’s no shortage of outdoor activities, from snowboarding in the winter to scenic hikes and swimming in the many lakes in the summertime.

“I love bringing my Londre swimsuits. Their one-piece swimsuit is absolutely gorgeous, and it makes your body look so nice. Plus, their stuff is all made locally in Vancouver from recycled materials.”

Go’s secret to defying boredom while roughing it in the great outdoors? Board games. Plus, her favorite Manta Mask makes it easy to get a good night’s sleep anywhere.

Finally, dehydrated food is a must. It’s not just for astronauts — this entrepreneur swears by it.

Can’t Leave Home Without It

away luggage packing
A few of Mikaella Go’s favorite things. (Photo: Courtesy of AWAY)

“One thing that I will be very upset about if I forget is my face wash,” says Go. “I use a medical grade cleanser — the ZO Gentle Cleanser. I can’t sleep if my face feels dirty.”

“Also: Packing Cubes. They’re a total lifesaver. Especially when your clothes get dirty. Put all the dirty stuff into one packing cube where it doesn’t touch the rest of your items.”

What to Bring Home With You

While in Vancouver head over to any number of wineries in greater British Columbia; Go loves Poplar Grove. For a unique treat to bring home, pick up some local ice wine, which pairs well with dessert.

For animal lovers, head over to Kensington Prairie Farm, an alpaca farm that makes for a perfect day trip. (Here’s a great chance to grab a unique, furry souvenir.) The farm offers alpaca walks, feeding experiences and farm tours.

Read Mikaella Go’s Vancouver travel guide on Here Magazine.