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Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper: 3 hotels? Also ... Rental Car Question

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Hi --

Thanks to those who've answered my other questions.

I'm wondering if I need to book 2 nights each in Banff, Lake Louise, and Jasper. Is two nights in each place ideal? Would it be inconvenient to stay in one place for Banff & Lake Louise for 4 nights--then move on to Jasper?

FYI, I'm thinking of booking through Priceline. I'm not fussy about hotels and they all seem to be in the same areas.

Also, wondering ... if the scenery is very similar, might it be less hectic to eliminate Jasper and spend 3 nights each in Banff and Lake Louise? Or is Jasper a "must-see?"

We love scenery, natural beauty, and easy to moderate hikes. DON'T love driving and packing and unpacking ;-).

Next issue:

Any tips for rental cars? They seem horribly expensive: $759 for an economy car from Hotwire for 9 days plus extra hours. (I'm assuming I'll pick up and return at the Calgary airport.)

Ironically, a minivan is actually cheaper! But I don't like to drive a big car--and the extra gas would probably eat up any savings.

Any help will be much appreciated.

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