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Advice: Cross country trip from Vancouver to Quebec City

Advice: Cross country trip from Vancouver to Quebec City

Old Feb 24th, 2016, 09:31 AM
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Advice: Cross country trip from Vancouver to Quebec City

Hello,

I currently live in Seattle, WA (Canadian citizen living in the U.S) and I've always fantasized about taking a road trip across Canada. My original plan was to take my own car and Drive up to Vancouver and start my drive there. But the thought of having to drive all the way back seems daunting (Unless I take an alternate way back i.3 driving through the northern states.)

I wanted to get some more information on what would be the best way to do this on a budget. I plan on going in the late summer of this year, my Car is compact SUV (2005 Hyundai Santa Fe) in which I was planning on sleeping in my car on most parts of the trip. I also want to check out the sites both urban and nature scenes.

Also, should I take my car, or should I just rent a car and take a plane back?

Any advice and tips would be great. I'm from Canada, but only lived in once Province (B.C), and I would love to see more of my country.
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Old Feb 24th, 2016, 11:03 AM
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Have you thought of taking the train instead?
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Old Feb 24th, 2016, 11:44 AM
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While you are going back to eastern Canada, why not go all the way to Nova Scotia? They now have a bridge to PEI.
For a solo trip I also like trains.
The Amtrak Empire Builder starts every afternoon from Seattle King St. station. Take it to Chicago and then fly to Quebec or Montreal and rent a car for a loop in eastern Canada.
Take Via Rail back to Toronto and then if you have enough money left, take the Via Rail Canadian west with stops in Winnipeg and Jasper of 2-3 days. The Canadian only leaves Toronto 3 days per week about 10 PM.
There are a couple of Amtrak buses and trains per day between Vancouver and Seattle.
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Old Feb 24th, 2016, 12:11 PM
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@thursdaysd I had thought about the train, and @tomfuller 's suggestion sounds very appealing. Although I don't have a Passport, but I can drive (or bus it) to Vancouver and catch a flight to Eastern Canada. It sounds expensive, but it's also the most stress free solution. Thanks. I'm still open to suggestions/sites to see with this plan.
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Old Feb 24th, 2016, 12:22 PM
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What do you mean you don't have a "Passport"? do you mean a US or Canadian passport? You won't cross the border without one. Or you may leave the US, but you won't get back in.
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Old Feb 24th, 2016, 12:58 PM
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@thursdaysd I'm a Green Card holder in the U.S (Canadian). I can drive over the border, but cannot fly or take a boat to and from Canada.
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Old Feb 24th, 2016, 01:36 PM
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If you take an Amtrak train or bus into Canada, you have to provide your passport number and country.
I don't know about the other bus companies that cross into Canada.
If either of your parents is/was a US citizen when you were born you could be a dual citizen eligible to get either or maybe both passports.
Where is your drivers license from? You should have an insurance binder to drive in Canada in case you have an accident in Canada.
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Old Feb 24th, 2016, 02:53 PM
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I used to be a green card holder (now I'm a dual national), and I always re-entered the US with a passport as well as a green card. Maybe it's different for Canadian citizens crossing the Canadian border?

I did notice, on the train from Montreal to New York in 2012, that the immigration officials were really rude and abrupt to most of the people in my compartment. Not sure whether they were polite to me because of my US passport or my white hair...
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Old Feb 24th, 2016, 05:04 PM
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As a Green Card holder you will need either your country's passport, or (and I am not sure if they still issue those) a travel passport.
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Old Feb 24th, 2016, 05:13 PM
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As a Green Card holder strictly speaking you are also supposed to get permission to leave the country from the IRS. Not that I was ever asked to show that I had done so.

See: https://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Inte...ling-Permit%29
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Old Feb 24th, 2016, 06:36 PM
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Hey,
Have driven from Winnipeg to Vancouver several times on a motorcycle while a student so i get the road trip/budget thing. Having done in both in Canada and using US roadways i can offer a few tips. I would do Canada roadways going one way and US the other. Each country is very different. to get a real feel for the drive, stick to smaller towns where possible and stay off of the super highways.
Small car could be a bit of an issue in the mountains just make sure it is road worthy before setting out. Train is pricey as are flights
There are lots of free or super cheap camping spots so pack your gear in your car. sleeping in a tent will feel so much better than cramped into a car.
Fall is a great time of year to do this
Spent 2 weeks last year doing a road trip of NewFoundland and it was amazing!
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Old Feb 27th, 2016, 10:54 AM
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Thank you all for the suggestions. While taking the train would be relaxing, I think it would be more memorable (and adventurous) to take my car and drive from Seattle up to Abbotsford, BC and start my my route there. Then when I get to St.John, Drive south and travel across the northern states on my way back (Always wanted to see Mount Rushmore).

I suspect it would take a couple of weeks or more to do this. How are gas prices currently in Canada? I'm going to try and be as frugal as possible (Sleeping in my car/ Camping, occasionally staying at a hotel), how much would one have to save for an endeavor like this? Are there rest stops along the highway where one could get a shower in Canada? I know the U.S have truck stops that have similar facilities.
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Old Feb 29th, 2016, 10:45 AM
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I can't speak for the US, but sleeping in your car is not a realistic option in Canada. You can stop for a few hours at a roadside pull off or truck stop, but if you stay overnight, you'll more than likely get a visit from the police. Truck stops will certainly have showers/facilities, but so will many campgrounds. The latter will likely be more enjoyable.

Camping is only permitted in campgrounds (private or parks) - allow $25-50 per night for camping fees, plus more for daily parks fees when you are in national parks. There is some free camping on crown land, but you need to ensure that you are on crown land (not parks, reserve or private land) and much of the access requires a vehicle that can go off road.

You can certainly sleep in your car at a campground, though it can be just as nice to set up a tent to have more space/air. (Much of Canada is bear/cougar country, so sleeping with windows cracked is not a good idea -- with any food, liquids or scented items in your car, you need to have the windows/doors firmly shut).

Out west (i.e. AB and BC), I would strongly suggest booking campgrounds ahead of time in August - at least when you are going to be in the national parks. It's very busy, and you could end up spending a lot of time finding an open spot - at least on weekends.

Also, unless you intend on driving to townsites for food (and it can be a long drive), I would be sure to have a camping stove. Fires can only be built in fireboxes or pits when provided and given how dry the winter has been, all signs point to a dry summer with fire bans.

As far as time - Two weeks would be enough time to drive there and back with no time to explore. You're looking at six long days each way (~54 hrs of wheels on road time). It would be a pure road trip. I'd allow at least three weeks to actually enjoy/explore.
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