Let’s face it; I haven’t mastered the art of packing… yet! I tend to bring way too many clothing options, not enough socks, and my whole bathroom kit. Therefore, I know the struggles that can come along when you try to figure out what to bring for your trip.

BUT, I’m also well aware of what you absolutely need when visiting the Outaouais region.

So take a moment to relax, calm yourself, and learn a few tips with this Packing 101 blog post.

Itsy, Bitsy, Tiny, Weeny, Polka Dot Bikini

First, there’s no need to bring a bikini that’s as tiny as the song describes, even if you’re “missing” space in your suitcase – that’s not a valuable excuse. Come beat the summer heat in Outaouais at one of the region’s many public beaches, where you and your family and friends can enjoy a ton of activities and build lasting vacation memories! Put on your swimsuit, cool off with a dip in the water to finally get out with sand between your toes and a smile on your face.

As my colleague Anne-Marie would say: “There are 20,000 lakes in the region, so there’s no excuse to sit by the pool of Uncle Bobby”.

If the lake water is a bit too cold for your taste, you can always opt for some relaxation in an outdoor spa. Personally, I love the Panorama pool (an infinity pool) at Nordik Spa-Nature, where you can lean over the edge and admire the stunning view of the hills and chat with your girlfriends in perfectly tempered water.

Credit : Nordik Spa-Nature

A good pair of sneakers

You enjoy hiking? You will be more than happy to come to the Outaouais region! With the legendary Gatineau Park, Plaisance National Park, two wildlife reserves, and hundreds of kilometres of recreational pathways in the heart of town, a single hiking expedition won’t be nearly enough. No need to draw a picture to convince you that a pair of good sneakers is a must.

Credit : Bianca Paquette

You also plan to defy the heights in our areal parks or at our climbing centre? Another reason to have those shoes in your luggage!

A camera

Don’t be ashamed to take pictures at every stop. Even locals tend to act as tourists by taking photos of the breathtaking views… photos worthy of a postcard… even if taken with a cell phone. Doesn’t that say a lot about the beautiful scenery? Arm yourself with your camera or cell phone (if that’s the case, don’t forget your charger) and capture key moments of your stay.

Credit: NCC_CCN

Among the best photogenic spots : the Canadian Museum of History (with views on the Parliament Hill), the Pink Lake and its turquoise water, the Marchand covered bridge, the Coulonge Waterfalls and Parc Oméga (since you’ll likely take a selfie with an elk).

pont marchand
Credit: Dax Guinta

Psssst… if you're sharing those awesome photos on social media, don’t forget to include #outaouaisfun!

Red lipstick and high heels

This is for you ladies. If you want to go out dancing in a chic and trendy place, one place comes to mind immediately: ALEA. Having a lipstick and a pair of high heels in hand is more than practical in this case!

Your golf set

Affectionately known as “the Myrtle Beach of the north,” the Outaouais region is a favourite with golfers—and no wonder, with more than 100 golf courses, private and public, from novice to expert, within a 100‑km radius of Gatineau and Ottawa!  So do like Tiger Woods in the final round: put on your red golf shirt and play like a pro on one of our outstanding courses. And if needed, don’t forget to shout “fffffffffoooooooooooooore”.

Cars are fine but bikes are better

With more than 800 km of bike trails, from urban bike lanes to paths winding through untouched parkland, the Outaouais region is a prime destination for cyclists from near and far. Planning a bike trip to Outaouais? Check out our suggested itineraries for a two-, three- or four-day getaway, and download a copy of our 2015 Cycling Capital trail map. As for bike-friendly accommodation, the Outaouais region has 14 establishments with the Bienvenue cyclistes!™ certification. The only thing missing is your bike!

Credit: NCC_CCN

If your bike doesn’t fit in your suitcase (hihi!), you always have the possibility of renting one upon your arrival in the region.

OK, I think I should stop here because the list can easily become very exhaustive, and it all depends on the kind of trip you have planned. For example, you need sunglasses to avoid being blinded by the sun while sipping on a drink on a patio, sun cream to costume your little ones in ghosts and avoid sunburns, your camping equipment if you'll spend the night in the outdoors, your eyeglasses to read all the tiny descriptions in museums, etc, etc, etc.

What you’ll bring back home

Before going back home, don’ forget to leave you room in your suitcase to bring some #outaouaisfun souvenirs, like the homemade fudge from La Confiserie Wakefield, a cocoa beer from Les Brasseurs de Montebello, a bottle of Domaine Mont- Vézeau’s fortified raspberry wine, small fruits picked in an orchard to enjoy on your way back, or a hand-made jewel.

On this note, have a wonderful stay!

To learn more about the Outaouais region, visit our website. And follow us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram … remember our hashtag, #outaouaisfun.



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