U.S. & Canada Trip May-September 2021

Old Sep 17th, 2020, 07:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Travelboy007 View Post
I’m from Israel. I don’t think there should be any problem. I have spoken to people here who had been on a long trip in the states.
Please don't assume that means you can stay longer than 90 days without a problem. If you organized your itinerary so that 90 days were in the U.S. and the remainder in Canada, you'd be OK, but you really should abide by U.S. regulations... just as people visiting your country are expected to do.
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Old Sep 17th, 2020, 07:28 AM
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Travelboy007,
I have been to Glacier, Banff & Jasper a few times. Sometimes to Glacier alone as well as Banff & Jasper (Canada) and a couple of times all together.

Many (not all) people look upon going to Canada the same as going to a far away country. "You mean I have to cross a border?"

Whenever I've gone to any of the above I always arrive in Calgary. A real airport with a hotel right in front of the terminal. I've slept over in the hotel for an early morning flight.

Banff is less than an hour from Calgary and St Mary is about 3 hours south of the airport.

There's a great mall just below the airport where you can pick up supplies. Of course there are certain things you can't take across the border.

If I was planning a trip to this area (of course I'm starting a lot closer) I would spend 5 days in Glacier, one day between Glacier and Banff where I would stop in Waterton Lakes National Park just across the border in Canada to do the famous but short Bears Hump hike above the famous hotel and 5 days in banff/Jasper.

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Old Sep 17th, 2020, 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Jean View Post
Please don't assume that means you can stay longer than 90 days without a problem. If you organized your itinerary so that 90 days were in the U.S. and the remainder in Canada, you'd be OK, but you really should abide by U.S. regulations... just as people visiting your country are expected to do.
How long can I stay in the US with a nonimmigrant visa?
It all depends on the immigration officer at the border - it can range from two weeks to six months. He can also decide that you are not allowed to enter.
Everything is in accordance to his decision.
But that's a less of a concern for me. Nonetheless, thank you for bringing it up.
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Old Sep 17th, 2020, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by pasandy91 View Post
there are some guides for us travel "Roadtripping USA-The complete guide Coast to Coast" volume 1 and 2 on Amazon.......also Train travel Coast to Coast by Amtrak and a Coast to Coast at Amtrak Vacations............you can travel Canada by train too.........if not a Us citizen or do not have a Us drivers license can not purchase a car unless you have a permanant address in the US and may have trouble with an insurance policy.......
I agree. Buying a car and insuring it for a foreigner is almost impossible. Amtrak has 15, 30 and 45 day USA Rail Passes which are handy for cross country travel. I/we have been using Amtrak and sometimes ViaRail for the past 19 years. My travel style is often to take an Amtrak train to a distant destination and then rent a car to make a big loop for 4-7 days and then return home or go onward on another Amtrak train.
My most recent trip was in February from Chemult Oregon through Sacramento and Los Angeles to Tucson AZ. I rented a car in Tucson and spent several days in southern Arizona. The train going back to Los Angeles was late so we missed the connection to the northbound Coast Starlight. We got on buses from Los Angeles Union Station to Bakersfield where we got on a San Joaquin train to Martinez. We were in Martinez for several hours before the Coast Starlight arrived. Got back to Chemult on time.
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Old Sep 17th, 2020, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Myer View Post
Travelboy007,
I have been to Glacier, Banff & Jasper a few times. Sometimes to Glacier alone as well as Banff & Jasper (Canada) and a couple of times all together.

Many (not all) people look upon going to Canada the same as going to a far away country. "You mean I have to cross a border?"

Whenever I've gone to any of the above I always arrive in Calgary. A real airport with a hotel right in front of the terminal. I've slept over in the hotel for an early morning flight.

Banff is less than an hour from Calgary and St Mary is about 3 hours south of the airport.

There's a great mall just below the airport where you can pick up supplies. Of course there are certain things you can't take across the border.

If I was planning a trip to this area (of course I'm starting a lot closer) I would spend 5 days in Glacier, one day between Glacier and Banff where I would stop in Waterton Lakes National Park just across the border in Canada to do the famous but short Bears Hump hike above the famous hotel and 5 days in banff/Jasper.
Thanks a lot. So if I arrive from, let's say, Yellostone - would you recommend driving Yellostone--Glacier--stop at Waterton Lakes NP--Banff? I assume I will face problems "crossing the border" () with a rented car (wouldn't I?). Initially I thought doing: Yellostone--Seattle--Vancouver--Banff.
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Old Sep 17th, 2020, 07:00 PM
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If you feel that you "must see" the Canadian Rockies your best bet may be to take one of the Amtrak buses or train from Seattle to Vancouver BC. Spend at least a day in Vancouver before taking the ViaRail Canadian to Jasper. There are several car rental places within walking distance of the Jasper train station. Also inside the station is a desk for the Brewster bus line which has several stops including Banff between Jasper and Calgary.
IMO the Canadian Rockies are no more scenic than Glacier NP. The ViaRaIl Canadian only runs 2 or 3 days a week out of Vancouver (and Toronto).
The Amtrak Empire Builder is a daily train that leaves Seattle and Portland in the afternoon. The two sections of the train join after midnight in Spokane and arrives in Whitefish MT in the morning. Rental cars are available in Whitefish. The Empire Builder continues east all the way to Chicago.
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Old Sep 17th, 2020, 07:42 PM
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If you will have already spent 90 days or more in the U.S. when you cross into Canada, you might not be allowed re-entry to the U.S. So, if you hope to overstay in the U.S., you should plan to fly home from Canada.
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Old Sep 17th, 2020, 09:23 PM
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OK -- (perhaps an unnecessary) reality check here. You mention 4 to 5 months (assuming you ca work that out visa-wise. AFAIK Israelis can qualify for up to 180 days in the US but that is not a guarantee, merely the max allowed. Whether the multi-entry/Canada bits complicate things I don't know) . . . Do you actually have access to US$25,000 to $30,000+? Using 4.5 months / 135 days and just $200 per day adds up to $27,000. Now, $200 per day may sound extravagant but definitely isn't. It is bare bones when you factor in car rentals, extra insurance, other ground transport, flights, hotels, tips, entry fees (which really add up when you include National and State parks, city museums, tourist attractions, etc), meals, drinks, misc. (With big city stays, domestic flights/car rentals and such some days will cost $400-ish and some 'rural' days may fit in under $150)

Is it REALLY necessary to do a 4 - 5 month trip over two countries coast-to-coast? Just sayin' you might want to scale back a bit.
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Old Sep 18th, 2020, 06:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Travelboy007 View Post
Thanks, I am taking a look at it. Would it be better than driving myself? I mean, I don’t know if I want a tour on a bus with a bunch of other people. Driving myself with a friend has something intimate about it. Please correct me if I’m wrong - is the tour an enjoyable experience?
We did the bus in segments and spent a couple days in whichever area we wanted to stay longer. On some segments there were only four other people on the bus. The good thing is, as you drive along the guide is telling you all about the area and how the glaciers were formed, etc. When you are the driver it's difficult to appreciate all the beauty of the Canadian Rockies.
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Old Sep 18th, 2020, 07:13 AM
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I was born in Canada but I carry a U.S. passport.

Crossing the border from Glacier to Waterton Lakes (and on to Banff & Jasper is a piece of cake. I once had two cars in front of us. The rest of the time it was clear. And this was in early August.

I don't remember when you wrote you were going. But if we're anywhere near the pandemic you won't be able to cross into Canada. Their numbers are so low compared to ours so they won't let you in.

I'm not saying you should add all kinds of places. I'm just stressing that there are so many places that are worth seeing.

The only reason I mentioned Waterton Lakes is that it's almost directly in your path from Glacier to Banff & Jasper. Stop in the hotel for a coffee, do the short but steep and strenuous Bears Hump hike, get back in the car and continue. You don't have to go to Calgary on the way from Glacier to Banff. You can cut to the west before actually going into Calgary.

The Banff/Jasper area has more roadside scenery than any other park. There are a lot of hike but you can still see a lot just by making stops along the highway. For instance, there's a beautiful waterfall (Tangle Falls - see it in the afternoon so the sun is behind you) directly on the highway. Park on one side and carefully cross the road. No man made viewing spots to block your view.




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Old Sep 19th, 2020, 09:58 AM
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Have you priced out the “cheap flights” or Amtrak yet? Because once you start adding in transportation, your numbers will skyrocket.

It’s going to take time for the airlines to recover from this. Even if we get back to the “good old days” though, you may be surprised by the cost of flights. To fly just across my state, it’s $100+, at best. Whereas cheap flights really do exist in other parts of the world. And Amtrak one way is usually the price of a round trip ticket airfare.

and then there is lodging. If you plan to relay on hostels, or motels, you may be in for a shock. In many major cities, a simple bunk bed can be $60+ a night. In cities that do not have hostels, and there’s a lot of those, hotels may be triple the prices you might be seeing IF tourism recovers. And that’s a big if. All of that is to say that I think Janis’ estimated budget is on the very low side.

I don’t have a crystal ball, of course, but while I don’t see Canada as a foreign land, it might as well be for the foreseeable future. Except worse, because I could visit a foreign land if it wasn’t 2020.
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Old Sep 19th, 2020, 12:11 PM
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Normally time and money are limiting factors for advice but you seem to be wide open in these areas so there are many satisfactory solutions available.

Although the Canadian Rockies are beautiful there are a couple things to be aware of. This is an internationally famous destination and it can seem like everyone from Seoul to Singapore is on the trails there with you. Also this far north the snowless season is very short, 6-8 weeks, so a lot of people visiting in relatively few days. I was once in an unbelievable traffic jam on the access road to Moraine Lake. In my opinion there is little to see in Banff NP south of Moraine Lake (especially skip the town of Banff).

Conversely the very pretty San Juan Mountains in Colorado have snow-free trails for more like 12-14 weeks and they are very lightly visited. This is the kind of destination easily picked up driving coast to coast.
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Old Sep 19th, 2020, 01:15 PM
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"All of that is to say that I think Janis’ estimated budget is on the very low side. "

I agree -- I said it was bare bones. Doable but probably with some couch surfing and a lot of ramen dinners
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Old Sep 19th, 2020, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by janisj View Post
OK -- (perhaps an unnecessary) reality check here. You mention 4 to 5 months (assuming you ca work that out visa-wise. AFAIK Israelis can qualify for up to 180 days in the US but that is not a guarantee, merely the max allowed. Whether the multi-entry/Canada bits complicate things I don't know) . . . Do you actually have access to US$25,000 to $30,000+? Using 4.5 months / 135 days and just $200 per day adds up to $27,000. Now, $200 per day may sound extravagant but definitely isn't. It is bare bones when you factor in car rentals, extra insurance, other ground transport, flights, hotels, tips, entry fees (which really add up when you include National and State parks, city museums, tourist attractions, etc), meals, drinks, misc. (With big city stays, domestic flights/car rentals and such some days will cost $400-ish and some 'rural' days may fit in under $150)

Is it REALLY necessary to do a 4 - 5 month trip over two countries coast-to-coast? Just sayin' you might want to scale back a bit.
Well, since you asked - my budget is just about 27,000$. At the moment I'm in the first stage of planning my route, so that I am not yet handling with rentals, flights etc. I hope it will work out: cheap flights, cheap hotels/airbnb, not splurging on food and drinks, and as for the parks I understood that there is an annual pass to all NPs for about 80$ (correct me if I am wrong though).
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Old Sep 19th, 2020, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by schmerl View Post
We did the bus in segments and spent a couple days in whichever area we wanted to stay longer. On some segments there were only four other people on the bus. The good thing is, as you drive along the guide is telling you all about the area and how the glaciers were formed, etc. When you are the driver it's difficult to appreciate all the beauty of the Canadian Rockies.
Thanks man. Great advice!
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Old Sep 19th, 2020, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Myer View Post
I was born in Canada but I carry a U.S. passport.

Crossing the border from Glacier to Waterton Lakes (and on to Banff & Jasper is a piece of cake. I once had two cars in front of us. The rest of the time it was clear. And this was in early August.

I don't remember when you wrote you were going. But if we're anywhere near the pandemic you won't be able to cross into Canada. Their numbers are so low compared to ours so they won't let you in.

I'm not saying you should add all kinds of places. I'm just stressing that there are so many places that are worth seeing.

The only reason I mentioned Waterton Lakes is that it's almost directly in your path from Glacier to Banff & Jasper. Stop in the hotel for a coffee, do the short but steep and strenuous Bears Hump hike, get back in the car and continue. You don't have to go to Calgary on the way from Glacier to Banff. You can cut to the west before actually going into Calgary.

The Banff/Jasper area has more roadside scenery than any other park. There are a lot of hike but you can still see a lot just by making stops along the highway. For instance, there's a beautiful waterfall (Tangle Falls - see it in the afternoon so the sun is behind you) directly on the highway. Park on one side and carefully cross the road. No man made viewing spots to block your view.
That's awesome man thank you!
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Old Sep 19th, 2020, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by marvelousmouse View Post
Have you priced out the “cheap flights” or Amtrak yet? Because once you start adding in transportation, your numbers will skyrocket.

It’s going to take time for the airlines to recover from this. Even if we get back to the “good old days” though, you may be surprised by the cost of flights. To fly just across my state, it’s $100+, at best. Whereas cheap flights really do exist in other parts of the world. And Amtrak one way is usually the price of a round trip ticket airfare.

and then there is lodging. If you plan to relay on hostels, or motels, you may be in for a shock. In many major cities, a simple bunk bed can be $60+ a night. In cities that do not have hostels, and there’s a lot of those, hotels may be triple the prices you might be seeing IF tourism recovers. And that’s a big if. All of that is to say that I think Janis’ estimated budget is on the very low side.

I don’t have a crystal ball, of course, but while I don’t see Canada as a foreign land, it might as well be for the foreseeable future. Except worse, because I could visit a foreign land if it wasn’t 2020.
It will be easier for me to take the transportation into consideration once I have finished planning my route. I am expecting a big rise in numbers once that happens. I will try and do my best to make it to fit in my budget.
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Old Sep 19th, 2020, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by tom_mn View Post
Normally time and money are limiting factors for advice but you seem to be wide open in these areas so there are many satisfactory solutions available.

Although the Canadian Rockies are beautiful there are a couple things to be aware of. This is an internationally famous destination and it can seem like everyone from Seoul to Singapore is on the trails there with you. Also this far north the snowless season is very short, 6-8 weeks, so a lot of people visiting in relatively few days. I was once in an unbelievable traffic jam on the access road to Moraine Lake. In my opinion there is little to see in Banff NP south of Moraine Lake (especially skip the town of Banff).

Conversely the very pretty San Juan Mountains in Colorado have snow-free trails for more like 12-14 weeks and they are very lightly visited. This is the kind of destination easily picked up driving coast to coast.
Thanks man! Will definitely try to add these to my trip!
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Old Sep 19th, 2020, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Travelboy007 View Post
Well, since you asked - my budget is just about 27,000$. At the moment I'm in the first stage of planning my route, so that I am not yet handling with rentals, flights etc. I hope it will work out: cheap flights, cheap hotels/airbnb, not splurging on food and drinks, and as for the parks I understood that there is an annual pass to all NPs for about 80$ (correct me if I am wrong though).

Yes -- there is a National Park pass -- getting that certainly helps stretch your budget a little. But that is a drop in the bucket. US$27,000 is very low to cover 4.5 months travel. Assuming your Transatlantic airfare isn't included in the $27,000, as I mentioned -- that is $200 per day for 135 days. (If the international airfare has to come out of the $27,000 - you'll have even less per day). Some things to consider: A simple low end motel in any popular/scenic area near a National Park will run from around $100 to $200 a day. A big city hostel - maybe $50-$70. Rental cars from $25 to over $100 per day depending on location / special discount codes you might find. B&B is not as typical at low cost properties as you might be used to in Europe, so you need to budget for 2 or 3 full meals a day. Regional and X-country flights will run from around $60 to several hundred $$. As you can see, $200 average per day will not go very far.

As I suggested -- perhaps cut the length / scope of your trip. Same budget - 2 months = $450 per day . . .
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Old Sep 19th, 2020, 02:38 PM
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My post keep getting hung up in the spam filter so will try again. May end up with three identical posts

Yes -- there is a National Park pass -- getting that certainly helps stretch your budget a little. But that is a drop in the bucket. US$27,000 is very low to cover 4.5 months travel. Assuming your Transatlantic airfare isn't included in the $27,000, as I mentioned -- that is $200 per day for 135 days. (If the international airfare has to come out of the $27,000 - you'll have even less per day). Some things to consider: A simple low end motel in any popular/scenic area near a National Park will run from around $100 to $200 a day. A big city hostel - maybe $50-$70. Rental cars from $25 to over $100 per day depending on location / special discount codes you might find. B&B is not as typical at low cost properties as you might be used to in Europe, so you need to budget for 2 or 3 full meals a day. Regional and X-country flights will run from around $60 to several hundred $$. As you can see, $200 average per day will not go very far.

As I suggested -- perhaps cut the length / scope of your trip. Same budget over 2 months will net you $450 per day . . .
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