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Need a bit of help transport-wise: 2-week trip to Vancouver Island

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Hello!

My husband and I will be visiting Vancouver Island for the first time this August, and I'm a bit overwhelmed with all the options, particularly for transportation at this early point of our preparations.

From our research, we know we want to stay at/near Tofino for 4-5 days, a few days near Qualicum Bay, maybe 3-4 days on an island like Salt Spring Island, enjoy national parks in between, fit in a few hikes, visit wineries, and generally relax, ending with a few nights in Vancouver.

We are arriving in Vancouver late at night, so we were thinking of staying at an airport hotel for the 1st night, and then off to Vancouver Island where we want to rent a car.

What is our best option?

Should we take the bus that runs from the airport to Victoria via ferry, stay 2 nights in Victoria and then rent a car and explore, perhaps leaving the car in Nanaimo before taking the ferry back? This option is a lot more expensive though because of the different pick-up/return locations.

Or take the ferry to and from Nanaimo, and rent and return the car there?

Or another option I'm not thinking of?

Any tips are welcome!

Merci!

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