I would like to pay for my parents to go on holiday to Canada for 14 days with an all-inclusive tour but all I've found are really overly expensive holidays for them (we're based in the UK). I'm typically a backpacker so I'm not really clued up on all-inclusive holidays or good agencies to look at but want to get them a decent holiday without leaving myself broke.
If anyone knows much about good travel agencies to Canada or you have any advice on Canada and worthwhile places for them to go I'd really appreciate to hear about it. I don't know much about Canada but would like them to see Niagara Falls and the Rocky Mountains at least.
All feedback is really, really appreciated.
Depending on your budget there is a tourist train service running from Calgary, Alberta (~1 driving hour east of Banff, Alberta - in the Rocky Mountains). This train runs west through the Rockies and goes to Vancouver, British Columbia with a stop over in Kamloops, British Columbia). The return trip to Calgary covers the same route.
While in Vancouver there are numerous options for getting to Victoria, British Columbia on Vancouver Island.
What time of year were you thinking of for their travel?
Hi - thanks for your reply
It would have to be late August - early September. Would that be the Rocky Mountaineer train? I've heard very good things about that but it sounds rather expensive.
With only 2 weeks I would reconsider trying to fit in Niagara Falls and the Rockies - they're 3,800+ km apart. (It's a normal mistake - especially with people from the UK or Europe - to initially underestimate the sheer size of Canada.) Of course your parents could fly between those two places, but then your budget goes out the window...
In my opinion the first thing to research is where your parents can easily fly direct, then start from there. I would assume Calgary or Vancouver would fit the bill and either city would make an excellent start/finish point for a circular 2 week trip through Alberta/British Columbia to see prairie/desert/mountains and everything in between.
In any case, something to think about...
PS The Rocky Mountaineer is fabulous, but crazy expensive...
I know that they're very far apart but thought as they're flying that far it may well make sense if they did both - but I think that you're right. I think I may have to sacrifice Niagara for the Rocky Mountains (as that's what they'd most like to see).
Is there some kind of alternative to the Rocky Mountaineer train - something that would let them see the Rockies but without the huge price-tag?
Are they comfortable self driving? A rental car is by FAR the best way to explore British Columbia and Alberta, but if that's not an option then there are tour buses available...
As in the other parts Canada is a huge country. The Niagara Falls are in Ontario which is the central Eastern part of the country and the Rocky Mountains are in Western Canada. The Rocky Mountains are much more spectacular than the Niagara Falls so it is worth it for them to go there and see more of Western Canada. They can go to Banff and Jasper and drive along the highway which is spectacular in itself. The Rockies are one of my most favourite places that I have seen.
I researched this last year, and concluded the best option I could find was fly into Calgary with air transat and self drive to Banff and jasper. Didn't find a tour of it, though.
Possible to make it open jaw with a trip to Vancouver or Toronto for niagara, the internal flights were coming out at £130 so not really a budget buster. Couldn't find anything worth going to Vancouver for, though!
Banff/Jasper is a tiny little section of the available geography for a two week trip. Either Calgary or Vancouver would work as a great starting point for a two week loop through Western Canada.
Flying from Calgary or Vancouver all the way back to Toronto then making the 250 km round trip to Niagara Falls is certainly doable, but I still think it takes too big of a bite both in terms of time/logistics and money.
The parents would drive right by Takakkaw Falls in British Columbia... it's 1,260' high with 830' of pure free-fall compared to Niagara's paltry 165'... and waaaay less tourists. (And yes, I'm kidding about downplaying Niagara's splendour - it does hold the title of #1 water-flow of any waterfall on the planet - but the point is there's cool stuff in the Rockies too.)
Thanks so much guys - this is so helpful!
I think you've all convinced me that Niagara will send my costs sky-rocketting and take up time. Considering I want this to be a memorable trip but also equally relaxing for them I think that the eastern Rockies side sounds like enough.
I like the idea of them driving but also want them to relax and for my dad to take a break (as he tends to drive a lot at home). Would they spend a lot of time driving if they followed 'Traveller's post suggestion or would they be able to undertake easy day trips and maybe stop off at a nice hotel en route? The last thing I want is for the two of them to be worrying about getting to the next town (and worrying is something they do a lot of!).
On a personal note though - I think I might consider my next trip to be in Canada