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Travel From Seattle to Vancouver--Quick Shuttle?

Travel From Seattle to Vancouver--Quick Shuttle?

Apr 28th, 2010, 03:49 AM
  #1  
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Travel From Seattle to Vancouver--Quick Shuttle?

Delta just changed our flight so that we are getting into Seattle 4 hours earlier. At first I was pleased, because we are heading immediately to Vancouver Island, and the earlier arrival gives us more time. However, now I find that the rental car that we booked months ago cannot be reserved earlier. Other rentals either do not allow a one-way rental or are very expensive. Now I am considering taking the quick shuttle to Vancouver airport, picking up a rental car there and heading to Vancouver Island. The shuttle schedule says it takes a little over 4 hours. Can it be a lot longer because of border traffic, or is the schedule fairly accurate? We are traveling on Friday, July 2. Do we have any other alternatives that you know of?
Digbydog is offline  
Apr 28th, 2010, 05:38 AM
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Can't help you will shuttle info, but I'm not sure you really need to change your existing car rental reservation. Most car rental companies will still give you a car if you show up a few hours before the reservation time as long as they have one. They'll charge you from the actual pickup time, but they should do it under the terms of your existing reservation. I've done this many times where I was able to get on an earlier flight (going standby) and then shown up at the rental counter hours before originally expected.

Of course there's also the chance that although you're scheduled to arrive 4 hours earlier, your flight could always be delayed. Look at it this way, the absolute worst thing that can happen keeping your current reservation is you arrive at the car rental counter early and they tell you to wait for a few hours. The odds of this happening are very low, but even if it did you're no worse off than you were before Delta changed their schedule. If taking the shuttle and renting in Vancouver provides an overall savings then maybe that makes sense, but personally I'd keep the current reservation and just risk it.
usroadman is offline  
Apr 28th, 2010, 08:38 AM
  #3  
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Thanks for the tip. The rental agency did say we could get the car earlier if one was available. I'm just worried about availability July 4th weekend.
Digbydog is offline  
Apr 28th, 2010, 09:02 AM
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I'm confused - why would the rental car agency be MORE likely to have a car LATER than you asked for>? I would think the earlier the better. Tha's how i've always experienced it esp on busy weekends.
mztery is offline  
Apr 28th, 2010, 09:30 AM
  #5  
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You may be right, but my husband said that on a few occasions, his rental car has not been ready when he has arrived on time to pick it up.
Digbydog is offline  
May 3rd, 2010, 06:17 AM
  #6  
 
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Oftentimes the availability of cars depends on those being returned that day for people to catch early flights.

How are you planning to get to Vancouver Island? Are you driving into Canada to catch a ferry there? We're going to Seattle as part of a road-trip in September and I'm planning to catch a ferry out of Port Angeles WA. Research says that crossing the border by car can take awhile, inaddition to the driving time to get to the border. We're just going over to Victoria for the day, so we plan on spending 2 nights in Port Angeles. That way we can catch the earliest ferry going and the latest ferry coming back. I don't think we're going to take our vehicle, we're just rely on local buses to get us around. Not sure that's the best plan though and will probably ask that very question in a separate thread.
DoubleDAZ is offline  
May 3rd, 2010, 06:35 AM
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Quick Shuttle runs so many buses that I'd trust their timing. July 2 will be a holiday weekend in both countries, so I'd expect long waits for the ferries, especially the Tsawwassen boat (from the lower mainland over to the island.) If you plan to go from YVR airport back (south) to Tsawwassen, I'd probably book a crossing time (be conservative) using the reservations tab at www.bcferries.com. I'd allow four hours for the Quick Shuttle, then 30-45 min. at the airport, then at least an hour to get back down to the Tsawwassen dock, so i.e. around 6 hours after leaving Sea-Tac. Thus you're looking at 8 hrs. give or take to actually landing on the island.

Frankly, though, I wonder how valuable your time is to you, and if your schedule could accommodate a much easier approach. Go to www.clippervacations.com and look at the Seattle - Victoria schedules. In July they have 3 daily boats, leaving at 7:30 AM, 8:30 AM and 3:15 PM, requiring around 3 hours from the Seattle Waterfront to the Inner Harbour in Victoria. You could easily go from the Seattle airport to the central waterfront, drop your bags, and even if you had to wait a few hours for the afternoon boat, it would be way, way easier on the system, and might in fact save money when you add the ferry fare, bus fare, and the partial day's car rental cost. Then rent a car when you arrive in Victoria (or, if you're spending the night there, save a day's car rental and get it the next morning.) There are numerous car rental agencies in downtown Victoria.

Or if you really want to speed things up (at more cost, but with a fabulous experience thrown in) go to www.kenmoreair.com and see about a float plane from Lake Union in Seattle to Victoria. I believe Kenmore Air provides a shuttle from Sea-Tac to Lake Union, and the one-hour flight is incredibly scenic. It would be a great start to a vacation. Note Kenmore has some baggage weight/size restrictions you'd need to observe, so worth a phone call possibly.
Gardyloo is offline  
May 4th, 2010, 05:40 AM
  #8  
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Double Daz and Gardyloo,

Thanks so much for your lengthy responses. We are heading up to Pacific Rim Nat'l Park and had planned to take the Tsawwassen ferry. So the fastest route is just to head straight to Tswwassen from SEA-TAC.

Although it sounds like a lot of fun, the Victoria Clipper increases the cost a lot. In addition to the tickets, renting a car in Victoria is more expensive, even taking into account picking it up on the 3rd.

I was able to book a full size car at SEA-TAC for $100 more than our original reservation. I had thought that I would cancel it if our minivan is not ready, but I am supposed to cancel it 48 hours ahead or face a potential fine. Not sure whether they really impose a fine given that they do not have my credit card number, but even so I'm not sure whether it's fair to reserve a car that we may cancel at the last minute.

The air shuttle sounds nice, but is out of our budget, traveling with 2 children.

I am starting to lean towards just hoping the minivan is ready 4 hours early.
Digbydog is offline  
May 4th, 2010, 06:29 AM
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OK, fair enough. Have you done a time/cost comparison using the Bainbridge and Coho (PA > Victoria) ferries? I'd just be concerned about border queues at Blaine and lineups for the Tsawwassen boat.
Gardyloo is offline  
May 4th, 2010, 12:21 PM
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These ferries only hold "so many " cars. We have had to wait for a second ferry on an odd day in august. can't imagine july 4th weekend.
lincasanova is offline  
May 4th, 2010, 01:49 PM
  #11  
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Gardyloo--thanks so much for your fantastic suggestion! I thought Port Angeles was further from Seattle, but your idea will work wonderfully. I have been worrying about the border crossing. We had originally planned to cross very early Saturday morning, but with the flight change will be crossing on Friday afternoon with all the other holiday-goers. The Coho ferry will take care of that. Lincasanova--I plan to make a reservation given the busy weekend.

I still have my dilemma though of whether to hope we get our minivan early or just take the bird in the hand (the more expensive full size car) or keep both reservations and cancel the full size if the minivan is ready.
Digbydog is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2010, 03:50 PM
  #12  
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Gardyloo--Your suggestion of Port Angeles worked out so well! We had traffic on I-5 leaving SEA-TAC, but once we got onto the Olympic Peninsula, it was a breeze. When we returned to the US, we had a two hour wait at the border. I don't even want to think what it would have been to cross into Canada on the afternoon of Friday, July 2. Thanks so much for taking the time to reply to my post!!
Digbydog is offline  
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