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10 budget days in Vancouver/BC with no car!

10 budget days in Vancouver/BC with no car!

Jun 3rd, 2002, 09:23 AM
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10 budget days in Vancouver/BC with no car!

Hello! My fiance and I have just decided to use our 10 day vacation in mid July to go to Vancouver instead of staying local, after hearing how absolutely beautiful it is! We have never been to Canada before, and are both on budgets as recent grads with big student loans. To limit cost we would like to avoid renting a car if possible or at least only rent a couple of days. We plan to fly into Vancouver and find budget places to stay, and would like to camp nearby if possible, and go to Victoria as well. We welcome any advice on camping and activities on a budget with no car! Thank you for any insights! -julie
Jun 3rd, 2002, 12:21 PM
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I think - but I'm not positive - that you'll have problems with camping without a car. If for no other reason than that the campgrounds are far from the city centres.

So avoiding that part of the equation I think you'll find Vancouver and Victoria easy to handle on a tight budget. In Vancouver you should easily be able to get by with room, meals and sightseeing for less than $50US each per day. Less than that if you really want to scrimp. by using Priceline or one of the other agents you should be able to find a reasonable hotel with kitchen facilities downtown for under $50 Canadian or $35US. By getting kitchen facilities you need only eat at restaurants when you want. And the Vancouver Restaurants - especially the Asian ones - are real bargains. $25 Can. for 2 will get you a fine meal with wine or beer at a good Ethnic restaurant.

Most of Vancuver's best attrations are visual and sensual and cost little more than the transport to them. For the first day there is a tourist bus that loks like a trolley that makes a large circuit of many of the major tourist attractions and you can get on and off wherever you want. then you can do a lot on your own.

To get to Victoria take the Pacific Coach Lines bus that takes you from Downtown Vancouver to Downtown Victoria including the Ferry trip which is worth the price alone. Victoria is more expensive than Vancouver especially if you stay in the central area. If you stay in the outskirts you may want to rent a car for that time but you might check to see if it's cost effective since 90% of what there is to see and do in victoria is within walking distance of the Inner Harbour, (Downtown), area.

Hope this has been of some help.
Jun 3rd, 2002, 12:46 PM
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Check out Canadian rail system, you may take a train to a camping site. I saw a rail on the way to Wistler - our tour bus stopped on the way. I think there is a local train running from Vancouver to Whistler in summer.
Jun 3rd, 2002, 12:55 PM
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First of all its BC Rail that goes to Whistler and second I don't believe it's cheaper than the bus although it may be more interesting. And I still think to camp out you need a car or else a good thumb.
Jun 3rd, 2002, 01:58 PM
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Rail is WAY more expensive! Rent a car and forget public transit. It's so useless here! You'll spend your vacation waiting for buses. You need a car to get to campgrounds and I don't think there's one near the city.

Downtown hotels are astronomical! Try the motels along Kingsway. You must walk around the seawall in Stanley Park. Pick up takeout lunch on Robson Street from any sushi place or Hon's Chinese on your way to the park. Walk through Chinatown, wander Robson Street and ogle the designer stores. Cross the bridges to the ocean beaches and hang out for the day. Hike through Pacific Spirit Park near UBC, visit UBC's botanical gardens.

There's lots to do that doesn't cost and admissions to museums are usually less than $10 CDN. And there's loads of cheap and tasty restaurants here. Pick up the free newspaper, The Georgia Straight for all the restaurants etc.

Enjoy your visit!
Jun 3rd, 2002, 08:55 PM
Carl Z
Posts: n/a
Long before I owned a vehicle I was travelling and camping in BC-it wasn't convenient but I did it anyway and wasn't too proud to hitchike-quite common in rural BC and quite safe too.

I still pick up hitchikers today.

Anyway start by buying the excellent reference featured at http://www.whisky-jack.com/ all kinds of info.

Off the top of my head I can recommend taking the bus http://www.prwebs.com/town/bus.htm to Madeira Park on the Sunshine Coast and camping at one of the tiny well-kept spaces at Lowes Resort http://www.lowesresort.bc.ca/.

Then rent a boat/kayak/canoe and go for a paddle it's gorgeous!

There are also other places to camp on the SS Coast including a Provincial Park that I drove by the other day but forget the name of (!).

The Gulf Island offer opportunities for non-car camping as well-hitching is a way of life there and Saltspring is now rumoured to have a Bus!!!

http://www.saltspring.com/lakesidegardens/ is a place I've camped at in the past-wellrun/quiet and clean.

The Lonely Planet Thorn Tree will have more info for budget travellers-do a search of the Board before posting though-I've seen this type of question there many times in the past.
Jun 4th, 2002, 06:00 AM
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Great to hear that you're going to go out and enjoy yourselves on a budget!

I take it you're coming from the States, so you will enjoy a great currency exchange (approx. $1.50 for every US $1!). This really makes travelling affordable!

I think you can transit everywhere if you want, it will just take a bit of patience and some planning. There's a Of course, it won't be as convenient as having your own car, but it will be a lot cheaper.

Transit goes to pretty well all of the tourist stops (Stanley Park, QE Park, Capilano Suspension Bridge (go to the Lynn Valley one with no admission charge instead!), Robson, etc.)

If you're going to be zooming around a lot on specific days, you can buy an unlimited use daypass. Check out bctransit.com for complete fare and schedule info.

As for budget places to stay, try the hostels. There's one in Jericho that is in a beautiful location by the beach, but I believe the busses do not run that frequently to it. Or try one of the hostels in the West End area--close to the action.

Stroll English Bay, check out Granville Island by Aquabus. You can easily take the bus or seabus to North Vancouver for some great hikes and scenery.

As for camping, I don't know very many places near the city that you could access. However, if you'd like to camp, you can go to Manning Park: a great provincial campsite that has lots of activities. There's a bus that goes directly there.

Have a greaat time in Vancouver, there's a lot to do on a shoestring!
Jun 4th, 2002, 08:35 AM
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thank you so much for your suggestions! It looks like we will be able to make most of Vancouver work without a car, but once we get to Vancouver island for a few days of camping, it seems we will need to rent a car to get where we want to go. We are so excited, can't wait! thanks!

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