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Seattle/Vancouver Trip

Greer, South...
9 posts
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Seattle/Vancouver Trip

My two daughters and I are planning a trip next month to Seattle and Vancouver. I have several thoughts in my head, but not sure which would be the best bang for the buck. The good thing is we are flexible and have 11 days for travel. We want to visit Seattle, Vancouver, Victoria, Whistler, Jasper, Banff. Yes, we want to see and do it all! The problem is I'm not sure how to arrange it. We thought about renting an RV (concerned about cost, gas, camp grounds, dumping stations, etc) once in Vancouver due to some of our trip involves travel outside the city for a few days. If we don't rent an RV I'm also confused on how to plan accomidations on a timeline at other destination points (Jasper, Banff). Another thought is to book a 3/4 day Rockies (Jasper, Banff etc) guided tour and with who on the back end of the trip. Only problem with this is we would be on their timeline and if we wanted to stay longer at a particular location we are SOL.. Lol. Also, if we wanted to do excursions, how would we add those in with a guided tour? Would love to have down time either at Lake Moraine, Lake Louise, Hot Springs, etc. I think I read about cabins close to Lake Moraine, we would love to spend a night there!!

However, on the other hand with guided tours I do like the the fact everything is planned and hotels are included. No thinking involved in the process!!

So.... With all being said I'm not sure how to plan this trip. We only have a little over a month to do so and my itenarry is getting no where! What or how is the best way to plan this trip, the cheapest, and to get the best bang for the buck?!? Please please we need help!!

PS. I have read that renting an RV may not be a cheap as it sounds!!! Suggestions?!?

13 replies to this topic
Naalehu, Hawaii
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785 posts
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1. Re: Seattle/Vancouver Trip

It’s really not all that hard to plan a trip with all the resources available on the internet. Just go to google maps and start looking at driving distances between two cities on your route. Don’t forget to add in about 20% more time for stops. Figure out how many hours you want to drive each day and then start picking places along your route. Once you decide where to stop for the day, there google “accommodations in xxxx town” and check the RA reviews. Check the cancellation policies of anyplace before you book.

You are way too late to find lodging in places like Jasper.

Maybe try posting in the BC forum for some suggestions.

Vancouver, Canada
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31,323 posts
59 reviews
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2. Re: Seattle/Vancouver Trip

Banff and Jasper have been booked solid since Christmas. You are much, much too late to plan much for those destinations. This is true for camping and for hotel accommodations.

So, if I showed up on the South Carolina forum and said "Hi! I'm coming to Charlotte but I want to toss in a trip to Philidelphia?" what would you think? The distance from Vancouver to Banff is about the same as Charlotte to Philidelphia. Maybe you are quite prepared for that, but we see so many people who don't seem to appreciate the distances, so I felt obliged to point it out.

Renting an RV is definitely NOT cheap and NOT more flexible. You camp because you want to camp.

https://www.tripadvisor.ca/ShowTopic-g154911…

You don't say how much time you have for this trip. Usual recommendation is:

2-4 days Vancouver

2-5 days crossing BC each way

5-7 days in the Canadian Rockies split between Banff and Jasper (and get Banff and Jasper booked no later than the end of January for that summer)

Add on 2-3 days in Seattle, so a return trip to Seattle needs about 14 - 16 days.

Greer, South...
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3. Re: Seattle/Vancouver Trip

Thank you so much. I will try this. Actually I was just looking and realized I may be out of luck finding accommodations this late in the game. 😢

Vancouver, Canada
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59 reviews
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4. Re: Seattle/Vancouver Trip

If you are flexible about *where* to go, there are some lovely alternatives. This is a route worth looking at:

https://goo.gl/maps/iVkJWCWGAc92

Greer, South...
9 posts
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5. Re: Seattle/Vancouver Trip

Thank you for the reply. Wow, guess I should have started this process a long time ago!! We have 11 days total for the trip. That includes travel to and from. So what would you suggest we do to see the most for the amount of time we have. We will start out in Seattle and work our way over to Vancouver. We love the outdoors and the mountains there look absolutely amazing!!! We are flexible!!

Greer, South...
9 posts
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6. Re: Seattle/Vancouver Trip

Yes, thank you so much!

Edited: 13 June 2018, 05:04
Vancouver, Canada
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7. Re: Seattle/Vancouver Trip

I see you've posted in the BC forum. Will wait and see what turns up there and then toss in my additions if there is anything to add. Sticking with the coast is a much more realistic option with only 11 days.

Greer, South...
9 posts
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8. Re: Seattle/Vancouver Trip

Vancouverite67 thank you for your help. This is so overwhelming!! I believe you may be correct!!

Tacoma, Washington
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
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9. Re: Seattle/Vancouver Trip

For 9 days not counting travel...

Day 1 seattle

Day2-3 olympic oeninsula

Day 4 ferry to victoria

Day 5 victoria

Day 6 ferry to vancouver

Day 7-8 vancouver

Day 9 back to seattle

Go carless and ferry or fly between these cities and do 3 days in each

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
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10. Re: Seattle/Vancouver Trip

Picking up here from your same BC Forum question.

I like Dan P's itinerary. You'd need a car for the Oly Peninsula part. You might be able to do a one way drop at Port Angeles without too much extra expense. Then you could take the Coho Ferry over to Victoria Harbour as a foot pax. If the one way is more expensive than you would like or not possible, return the car to Seattle, then take the Victoria Clipper to Victoria Harbour. It is a pax only catamaran.

https://www.clippervacations.com/

For transportation from Victoria to Vancouver, you can take the BC Ferries Connector in 4 hours, including on the ferry for 1.5 hours, from downtown Vic to downtown Van.

www.bcfconnector.com

Last but not least, Vancouver to Seattle has the scenic Amtrak Cascades train which takes 4-4.5 hours along the shore of Puget Sound. US Customs pre-clearance is done at the station in Vancouver so check in time is 1 hour ahead of departure time.

www.amtrak.com

.

However, if you wanted a Canadian experience, drop the Oly peninsula, spend one more night in each of Victoria and Vancouver. Victoria is good for 3 nights and Vancouver is good for 4 nights.

.

You could also do this loop in reverse. Train to Vancouver, ferry with the Connector to Victoria and Clipper to Seattle harbour. Depends on which give you more time on the ground at your destinations.

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