Im looking to travel around Vancouver, banff, Calgary, Jasper, Lake Louise etc. The trip will last about 1 month, does anyone now any info on the buses or trains to these places or what the drive is like e.g is it difficult, i have never drive in america or canada before.
I've used buses to do that trip and driven.
If you're doing it at this time of year be really really careful. We had to turn back to Vancouver because of snow so good snow tires are essential. The other alternative is checking out http://vancouver.craigslist.ca/ to find ride shares which are a great way to meet people and get places cheaply. Renting a car if there's more than one of you is probably cheaper and easier than the bus.
Even later in the year there are road closures and so on. A month is a great length of time to do that trip I would think. We crammed it into two weeks and that was fine but an extra few days would have been handy.
I'd suggest take the bus. It can get quite cold and the roads can be hazardous when driving in the mountainous areas. My friends were driving from Vancouver to Winnipeg and was forced to turn back by the officer due to major low visibility, ice, wind and snow resulting in dangerous driving conditions. It's not unusual for officers to close roads to due to weather and road conditions
Train fares are quite expensive, just as much as airfare. So you might as well fly between Calgary and Vancouver to save you time and effort
- When do you plan on travelling in Alberta/ B.C.
The best place to travel by train is from Alberta to BC and vice versa as the scenery is amazing. However this is not the most economical. And I do not recommend train travel other than through the rockies. Take the greyhound bus, or rent a car. Driving is extremely easy as all roads are wide,flat and straight. Through the Canadian Rockies, all roads are built in the lower valleys. Very easy. I recommend starting in Calgary, Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper, then take the train into BC from Jasper. There will be lovely towns between Jasper and Vancouver that are worth visiting. You can also do this in the reverse order by starting in Vancouver.
I lived in Jasper for 1 year, and also in Edmonton for a few years. Even when it snows you can drive. It's rare that roads are closed. Maybe in Vancouver they close roads as it rarely snows there and the city does not have a fleet of snow removal vehicles. But it snows in most of Canada and people do not stop driving because of it. Most people have winter tires on their cars where it snows.
The train ride between Jasper and Vancouver is rated as one of the top five to do in the world. And if you're a student you can get a discount with VIA Rail, as long as you have an ISIC card.
[ Edit: Edited on Dec 17, 2007, at 11:27 AM by outdooren ]
thanks for the info, im doing this trip next summer, I travelled last year in america mostly by flying it worked out cheap enough, but flying from vancouver to toronto is very expensive thats why i thought about driving or train.
I don't recommend taking the train throughout Canada, it's expensive and inefficient. If you want to get from Vancouver to Toronto, take a plane. If you want to see the countryside, renting a car is a good alternative, but not necessarily cheaper once you calculate the distance in gas + accom. and rental car fees. Greyhound is super cheap, like 150$ one-way from Vancouver-Toronto, but looooong!
[ Edit: Edited on Feb 11, 2008, at 8:25 PM by outdooren ]