First time travel, Vancouver

Aug 22nd, 2004, 09:59 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 18
First time travel, Vancouver

I am traveling around the world starting in October for my 21st birthday. This is my first trip overseas and it would be great if you all could give me some ideas. Info on weather and transport would also be great. My itinery is as follows -

Oct 3 - 5 Sydney, Australia
Oct 5 - 7 Bangkok, Thailand
Oct 7 - 10 Frankfurt, Germany
Oct 10 - 14 Paris, France
Oct 14 - 17 Chambery, France
Oct 17 - 20 Washington DC, USA
Oct 20 - Nov 7 New York City, USA
Nov 7 - 14 Vancouver, Canada
Nov 14 - 21 Oahu, Hawaii, USA
Nov 21 - 22 Sydney, Australia
Nov 22 - 24 Melbourne, Australia
Nov 25 - Home to Brisbane, Australia

I have all my Accomodation worked out and paid for, I will be staying at HI hostels in most Cities or at other hostels close to the cite center.
ryan_w is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2004, 11:15 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3,501
Hello Ryan,

November usually is a rather rainy month in Vancouver. Fortunately there are quite a few indoor activities and, if you're dressed for the weather, you can enjoy walking outdoors even in the rain.

Vancouver's average daily high in November is 9 deg C, and the daily low for the month is 3 deg C. Vancouver gets an average of 181 mm of rain in November, and on average rain falls on 20 out of the 30 days of the month.

Canadian buildings are well heated, so you won't feel cold when you're indoors. Bring layers of clothing so that you can peel off layers or add them as needed at your various destinations. Pants that have zip-on / zip-off legs are useful, in that they easily can be converted to shorts for your warmer destinations. Bring an outer layer that is waterproof.

Without knowing something about your interests, it's hard to understand the rationale for the way you're planning to distribute your time. For example, you seem to want to devote what strikes me as an extraordinary amount of time to New York City. If it was my trip, I'd plan on about a week in NYC.

Again, if it was my trip, and if I could free up a week, I would spend that week in Rome.

Much as I love Vancouver, if it was November I might head to a city in the southern USA, e.g., New Orleans.

I'm puzzled why you want to include Melbourne in your round the world trip. I lived in Melbourne for 2.5 years, and loved it. But if you live in Brisbane I imagine you can expect to have other opportunities to visit Melbourne in your lifetime.

Your visiting Sydney on the way home from Hawaii makes sense, even if you have a reasonable expectation of visiting Sydney in the future. It may be cheaper to fly across the Pacific to Sydney than it would be to fly to Cairns or Brisbane.

If your itinerary already is written in stone, you'll have to make the best of it as it is. Actually, the rest of your itinerary, i.e., excluding Vancouver and Melbourne, includes wonderful destinations. (Well Vancouver and Melbourne are wonderful destinations too. It's just that I don't consider them to be quite as appropriate as your other destinations under THESE circumstances.)

The Destinations section of the Fodors website provides good tips on what to see in Vancouver at:

http://www.fodors.com/miniguides/mgr...&feature=30002

Also do a word search for Vancouver here at Fodors. There are heaps of previous discussion threads on it.

This doesn't address your specific questions about Vancouver, but may be helpful in preparing for your round the world trip.

The One Bag website has a good packing list at:

http://www.oratory.com/onebag/list.html

If you haven't already read it, John Gregory has a great website on the art of living out of a backpack at:

http://www.oratory.com/onebag/list.html

Randy Johnson's website addresses Third World travel, but has some useful information for First World destinations too:

http://www.ease.com/~randyj/travel.htm#rjtips

Rick Steves' packing and other travel tips are pretty good too:

http://www.ricksteves.com/plan/tips/home.htm

Lani Teshima's Travelite FAQ website provides good information on the pros and cons of different kinds of luggage and backpacks, what to pack, differences in the electrical supplies of different countries, etc.:

http://www.travelite.org/

Then there's that good old standby, which I'm sure you've already discovered, namely, Lonely Planet.

Hope this helps, and perhaps someone else around here will be kind enough to tell you about Vancouver.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2004, 01:24 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3,501
Ryan, here's an afterthought. While it's ideal to travel with a guidebook for each destination, it would be a bit tough (in terms of expense and weight) to travel with guidebooks for Thailand, Germany, France, USA, and Canada).

I suggest ordering information packages from the nearest consulates of those countries.

For example, the Austrian consul here in Calgary just mailed me an excellent map and information package on Vienna.

If they send you brochures that include information on areas of their countries that you won't be visiting, tear out the irrelevant information, and carry only what you need.

Insofar as Vancouver is concerned, you can request an information package from Tourism British Columbia at:

http://www.hellobc.com/bcescapes/request_start.asp

However, I don't know how long it will take to arrive, so I would back that up by requesting an information package from a Canadian consulate in Australia.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2004, 01:30 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3,501
Lonely Planet provides excellent communication services for staying in touch with the folks back home:

http://www.ekno.com/ekit/home/

Photocopy the photo page of your passport, credit cards and any other important documents you'll be taking with you. Take a set of photocopies with you, and leave another set of photocopies with a trusted person back home.

Alternatively, you can scan the relevant documents and store them in an electronic "travel vault" provided by a company such as Lonely Planet.

In the event that your passport is lost or stolen, it will be a lot easier to convince an Australian consul in a foreign country that you are who you say you are if you can download a scanned copy of your passport or get your trusted person back home to fax the photocopy to the consul.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2004, 02:46 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 2
Hi Ryan,
Thought I'd add my two cents worth, as long time Vancouver resident.
True, it does rain a fair bit here in November but if you're inclined to explore there's a lot to discover. If your accommodation isn't absolutely fixed, Why not plan just a couple or three days in Vancouver and budget for some time on the west coast of Vancouver Island. The true Pacific coast (as opposed to the more sheltered waters around Vancouver itself) can be a raw and moving, wild experience. Consider a side trip to Tofino. Small town, friendly people. Awesome scenery. And, yes, especially in storm season, when the surf is crashing on one of the continent's longest beaches. I was there for the Oyster Festival last year and enjoyed a great time. (You'd be a week or so too early.) The weather was benign and quite mild with lots of chances to explore. No guarantees though!
You'll need a day to get there from Vancouver but the trip is a true voyage with lots to look at. Hop a Blue Bus from downtown Vancouver for a 30 min trip to connect with the Horseshoe Bay ferry to Nanaim (90 minutes) then about a 3 hour bus trip to the 'real' coast. Think you might find it pretty interesting.
Depends on your interests. If you're a city kind of guy and want to stay close to Van, there's still lots of good outdoor escapes close to town.
If you have more detailed interests, let me know and I can give you more suggestions, particularly concerning Vancouver.


Check Tofino hostel info etc here:
http://www.tofinohostel.com/

Good Luck!

Hired_Belly is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2004, 02:52 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
The Vancouver airport (YVR) is pretty close to downtown, but there's no freeway/expressway linking the two. Three main ways to get to hotels downtown, which I assume you'll be staying:

-Taxi (C$23-26, according to airport website)
-Airporter Shuttle (C$12 one-way, $18 r/t)
-Public Bus #424, connected to Bus #98B (C$2)

Vancouver itself can be explored by using public transportation - buses, electric buses, Skytrain, Seabus. You can also visit Victoria by bus (the bus gets on a ferry). But beyond those places, you may want to rent a car.

Flying from YVR to HNL, you will clear US customs/immigration while still at YVR, so you'll need to get to the airport early.
rkkwan is offline  
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