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Planning a 3-week trip in Canada, suggestions and comments would be appreciated

Planning a 3-week trip in Canada, suggestions and comments would be appreciated

Apr 20th, 2007, 06:24 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 13
Planning a 3-week trip in Canada, suggestions and comments would be appreciated

Three of us have in total 26 days (29 May-23 June) for a vacation in Canada. Sparing 2-3 days for flying-in and out between our home, Thailand, and Canada, we think we will have roughly 3 weeks in Canada

We divide those days roughly into three
1-week intervals. The first 7 days will be spent in Vancouver and surrounding areas, such as Victoria and Whistler.

The next 7 days would be spent in the Rockies, and we will spend the last 7-9 days on a driving trip around Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and, if time allows, Quebec city.

At this moment, we are in need of your kind suggestions/comments:

a) Is it a good idea to drive from Vancouver to Jasper or Banff, of Lake Louise? We checked out rental car and found that a car costs approximately in total 650 CAD, exclusive of gasoline. (pick-up in Vancouver, drop in Calgary)

b) From Calgary, we'll fly east. So, should we fly to Ottawa or Montreal first, rent a car and drive to Quebec city then finally drive down to Toronto to drop off the car there, spend one or two days there before returning home from Toronto? We are a bit worried about this part of the trip because we don't speak French.

Thank you in advance
nukeng is offline  
Apr 20th, 2007, 07:30 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 903
nukeng, I hope you enjoy my country as much as I enjoyed yours. I spent a month in Thailand in 2004 mostly visiting weaving villages in the northeast and northwest but also spending time in Bangkok and Chiang Mai. It was wonderful.

Consider spending less time in the Rockies and more in Quebec and Ontario as this will give you more flexibility and allow time to visit the Niagara area and Ottawa as well as Montreal and Toronto. Would it be possible to fly to Quebec city so that you don't have to backtrack? Montreal is a great city but Quebec city is special.

Most Québécois are bilingual, especially in tourity places and restaurants, so it isn't a major problem if you don't speak French. It's polite to learn a few phrases of greeting and to start conversations with "Bonjour, parlez-vous anglaise? Je ne parle pas francaise."

Driving can be a bit tricky because all the directions on signs are in French and you may have to make a decision quickly. Memorize: nord is north, sud is south, ouest is west and est is east.
moolyn is offline  
Apr 20th, 2007, 08:14 AM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 5
Hi ya, as for driving from Vancouver to Jasper/Banff/Lake Louise is probably one of the most stunning drives EVER! Canada is such a beautiful country, make the most of it.

Check out http://www.travel--guide.org/Vancouver for more info.

Happy travels
AnjaL is offline  
Apr 20th, 2007, 12:39 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,759
The rest sounds good, but the last bit is too rushed to properly see 4 cities: narrow it down to 2...the drive times between will take most of one day EACH. I would suggest Toronto and Ottawa, with maybe a side trip from Toronto to Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Good luck!
LJ is offline  
Apr 21st, 2007, 05:51 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 13
Thank you so much Moolyn,Anjal, and LJ.
nukeng is offline  
Apr 29th, 2007, 04:37 PM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 72
Welcome to Canada. Please try to have a day in Niagara-on-the-Lake. It is a day trip from Toronto and very close to Niagara Falls. (The traffic can be heavy when travelling during the rush hour.)

Make sure to see Quebec City, even if you have to eliminate Montreal. Don't worry about not speaking French in Quebec City. There will be English speaking people in most of the tourist areas.

Toronto is also a must-see as a cosmopolitan urban centre.

You have chosen a lovely time of year for your holiday, so enjoy.
prinret is offline  
Apr 30th, 2007, 09:04 AM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 2,149
Enjoy your time here - I've just been informed that I'm about to have a Thai daughter-in-law.
SallyCanuck is offline  
May 1st, 2007, 12:35 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 104
Well I have never spent much time in eastern Canada so don't have too much to say about that. I hate to say it but the person who said that you may want to spend a little less time in the rockies & give more time to eastern Canada may be right. ALTHOUGH- you do not want to miss the rockies at all! (I live very closely to them) driving through from Vancouver to Calgary is an experience you will not want to miss. It is a regular drive for us when visiting family but is amazing & if you fly you will miss it.

Now if you drive (which you should) you will not need to spend a week in the rockies.
Spend no more than a week in Vancouver & area then drive to Calgary & definitely stop in Jasper for walking around (you don't need to stay there overnight unless you really feel an urge when you are there though it will be qwuite expensive). Spend some time in Calgary (4-5 days) & then fly to Eastern Canada for the rest of your time. I would say a week & 3-4 days in the east.

Also- it will take you one full day including a little stop in Jasper for fun, of driving from Vancouver to Calgary. Actually- you may need more as you will probably stop along the highway for pictures, animals, whatnot. Yes- there are a lot of animals on the mountains that frequently spend time on the highways. Don't feed them, don't walk up to them, just take a picture from your car as you are stopped waiting for them to do whatever it is they do, or get someone else in your car to take it & go. Just make sure that you aren't holding up traffic yourself, you don't want to cause an accident.

Seriously- if you drive you will not regret it. It is one of the major things to see in Canada & the only way to see it is to drive. If you don't rent a car, take a bus & make sure you are awake for the drive through the mountains. But don't fly- you will miss one of the major things that make Canada Canada.
chopinplayer is offline  
May 1st, 2007, 12:47 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,784
While I love Whistler, since you plan to spend time in the Rockies, Jasper, Banff, etc., I think you could drop this from your list, unless there is a specific reason to visit Whistler. You could add the time you were planning to visit there to the last third of your trip.
curiousgeo is online now  

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