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Cheap way for Victorians to get to Bellingham

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Victoria BC
posts: 18
reviews: 7
Cheap way for Victorians to get to Bellingham

Has anyone figured out if it makes sense for Victorians to take advantage of cheap flights out of Bellingham? For example, flight from Bellingham to Maui are about $700 less than YVR to Maui. But how to get to Bellingham in a way. That is worth it? Via Sidney-anacortes ferry and then bus/train to Bellingham? Or thru Van? Might make sense if no hotels required on either end of the journey? Hoping someone has already figured this out I.e. if its worthwhile. Thanks TA community!!

Vancouver-by-the-Sea
Destination Expert
for British Columbia
posts: 5,412
1. Re: Cheap way for Victorians to get to Bellingham

There was a post about this a few months back by a veteran Victoria poster who basically said it can't be done/too much trouble for the amount of money.

I'll see if I can remember details later.

Victoria B.C.
posts: 71
reviews: 25
2. Re: Cheap way for Victorians to get to Bellingham

You could take the Sidney/Anacortes ferry and then the Airporter Shuttle from Anacortes to Bellingham.

www.airporter.com/shuttle/

Victoria, BC Canada
Destination Expert
for Victoria
posts: 1,063
reviews: 12
3. Re: Cheap way for Victorians to get to Bellingham

If you are comparing YVR to Bellingham, just drive. There is cheap parking at the airport and depending on flight times you may only need one night in a hotel. It would certainly not cost $700 to get to and from Bellingham.

If you are comparing YYJ (Victoria) to Bellingham, then you have to factor in the ferry costs etc.

Ucluelet
posts: 159
4. Re: Cheap way for Victorians to get to Bellingham

Some hotels may have free parking if you stay there? I don't know for sure if that is available, but we do that when flying out of YVR. So you could drive to Bellingham and perhaps park for free with the price of a hotel stay for 1 night...I would be interested in the results you find; please keep the forum up to date.

seattle
Destination Expert
for Seattle
posts: 14,505
reviews: 83
5. Re: Cheap way for Victorians to get to Bellingham

the PCL bus to YVR then take the Quick shuttle which stops at Bellingham. Also the new Boltbus.com that operates from Pacific station stops in Bellingham but you still have to take a cab to airport so the PCL-quickshuttle is the easiest without driving.

Victoria BC
posts: 18
reviews: 7
6. Re: Cheap way for Victorians to get to Bellingham

Thanks everyone for the tips. Looks like it could definitely be worth it, particularly for flights leaving BLI later in the afternoon and arriving back again in the day time. Here is what I found, based on everyone's suggestions and a bit more digging (this is based on two people leaving from and returning to downtown Victoria). If we want to fly out of YVR, the simplest way seems to be to catch the PCL bus from downtown Victoria to YVR. Buses leave every 2 hours between 5:45 a.m. and 5:45 p.m. and get you to YVR anytime between 9:25 a.m. and 9:25 p.m. for a fare of $39.95 each. You can do it more cheaply on the public transit system, but that can be a pain with luggage and the arrival times and connections aren't so definite. (A lot more expensive, if you take your car on the ferry and park it at the airport while you're away.) The PCL bus is pretty slick, when we've used it before. But what I really wanted to do was find out if it was worth it and doable to get to BLI to take advantage of some of the great deals there. From what I can see, the best bet would be to take the PCL bus as above to YVR, then catch the Quick Shuttle that davidgmg mentioned, as it runs directly from YVR to BLI. It leaves 5 times a day and takes 1.75 hrs. If you book ahead, a round trip costs only $39 each, meaning that, for two people, it starts to look attractive to fly out of BLI once the difference in airfare is more than about $100 (depending on how much you care about the extra 2 hour bus trip on either end). To avoid having to get a hotel on either end of your trip, this would work best for flights that leave BLI after about 2 p.m, as the earliest you could get to BLI from Victoria is 11:45 a.m (assuming no hitches at the border, and arriving in good time at the airport). On the return flight, you would ideally want to arrive back in BLI in time to catch the Quick Shuttle that leaves at 5:25 pm and gets to YVR at 7:10. Then you could catch the last PCL bus back to downtown Victoria at 7:40 p.m. This could be a bit snug for time and doesnt allow for delays of various sorts, but even if you wanted to be extra safe or if something went awry and you had to get a hotel unexpectedly at some point, it could still definitely be worth it, given some of the fare differentials I've seen (e.g. Alaska Air flights from BLI to Maui are currently about $600 less than Westjet for two people) PS - I also checked out the BoltBus, but it looks like you have to catch it in downtown Vancouver and it doesn't take you all the way to BLI, so you'd have to take a cab as well in Belingham..from what I've read it would cost about $20 each eay for bus plus cab, and much less convenient (for those of us travelling from Victoria, anyway) so it seems the Quick Shuttle is the way to go. Thanks to everyone for the ideas and tips...I hope others can benefit from this info too!

Victoria BC
posts: 18
reviews: 7
7. Re: Cheap way for Victorians to get to Bellingham

PPS. Thanks also to Cooper's hawk for the suggestion about the Sidney-Anacortes ferry. I have taken this ferry in the past, but it's not running in the winter and is down to one departure a day in the summer fom Sidney. Looks like travel from Anacortes to BLI is fairly cumbersome and time-consuming too, although it could work given the right flight times in the summer.

Victoria, Canada
posts: 3,242
reviews: 2
8. Re: Cheap way for Victorians to get to Bellingham

We fly out of Bellingham all the time. Parking is quite secure and very reasonable. You can more than justify the $$ you spend on the ferry and gas, considering how expensive it is to fly out of either YYJ or YVR. It's a fairly straight forward 20 minute drive from the border.

We take the BC ferry across., and then head to Peach Arch. Easy Peasy.

We saved nearly $1500 in airfare with our family of four last year, flying out of Bellingham. With the two of us, we usually save around $500, even with the ferry cost. The seat sales are CRAZY out of Bellingham.

Victoria BC
posts: 18
reviews: 7
9. Re: Cheap way for Victorians to get to Bellingham

Thanks. Good to know. I was mainly looking a cheap flights for two, but I'm sure more options open up with larger fares and bigger groups. Do you park right at the airport in BLI ?

Victoria, Canada
posts: 3,242
reviews: 2
10. Re: Cheap way for Victorians to get to Bellingham

We do, yes. It was like $9 per day.