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A budget car rental company for Canadian Rockies tour

toronto
posts: 121
reviews: 3
A budget car rental company for Canadian Rockies tour

This September my girlfriend and I are looking to do a tour of Canadian Rockies. We arrive at Vancouver airport, drive to Whistler. In Whislter we stay with a relative overnight.

From Whistler, we drive to Kamloops and stay overnight.

Next day from Kamloops we drive to banff and stay overnight.

Next day from Banff we drive to Yoho and stay overnight around Lake Emerald.

Next day from lake Emerald we drive to Jasper via the icefields stopping along the way. And we also do a walk on Athabasca Glacier. Stay overnight in Jasper.

Next day we drive back to Calgary airport from Jasper and board plane home from Calgary.

The details of the trip I will work out based on numerous valuable suggestions on the forum.

For now, my question is: Is it possible to rent a car at vancouver airport and do all our driving and drop it after 8 days to calgary airport? Which car company can I go with? Somebody that gives budget options are very welcome :)

Thank you

Victor

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
posts: 34,195
reviews: 54
1. Re: A budget car rental company for Canadian Rockies tour

Hi Victor ~

Yes it is possible to rent from YVR and drop at YYC. I'm afraid it's just a matter of doing the donkey work of comparison shopping. They're all pretty competitive. There has been a public exposure in the media about problems with Budget, so you may want to be cautious there. You will find all the major players. Check where their counter is at the airport, some are in the terminal, some require going off site to pick up. Depending on when you are travelling, you may find a one way drop fee that can be substantial.

You will find all the major players and the following YVR website tells you which one are on site or not.

yvr.ca/en/…car-rentals.aspx

As for Hertz, I have gone through CAA for a rental booking, albeit for Europe, and found I got a discount, or maybe it was an automatic upgrade, can't remember. I found that way of renting quite satisfying actually so check into that for within Canada.

Vancouver, Canada
posts: 15,007
reviews: 46
2. Re: A budget car rental company for Canadian Rockies tour

Generally, a one-way trip is going to be more expensive than looping back to your starting point. Are you tied to this itinerary? What about starting and finishing in Calgary and doing a loop through the National Parks and perhaps into some of Eastern BC?

Overall, I have to say that your itinerary struck me as one that needed a bit of work to polish it up and get a really good schedule for yourselves. A few observations:

-- overall, you don't really have time to do the west coast. 8 days would be a good amount of time to see Banff and Jasper and perhaps some of the surrounding area from Calgary.

-- if you stick with the one way trip, skip Whistler. Again, you just don't have time.

-- you need a minimum of two nights in Jasper and in Banff to make going there worth your while. Three in each would be better. General advice is to dedicate a minimum of 5 days to Jasper and Banff.

-- If you are coming from Vancouver, push right through to Revelstoke for your first night. This will give you more time to stop and enjoy the scenery and attractions as you drive towards Yoho (2nd night) then up to Jasper, and finish in Banff. Your order of stops is all mixed up and doesn't make sense to me.

toronto
posts: 121
reviews: 3
3. Re: A budget car rental company for Canadian Rockies tour

Thank you very much Vancouvertie and MuftiMixnMatch.

I will follow your suggestions. We cannot skip whistler man....our relative stays there and they will be unahppy if we do not visit them. We will see what we can do.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
posts: 34,195
reviews: 54
4. Re: A budget car rental company for Canadian Rockies tour

I understand the order of your stops but I only count 5 nights. Where are the other 3?

But V67 is right, your trip is like a first year survey course - Visiting BC 101, a touch of a variety of places and it may be exactly the way you want it. However, your question was about rental cars.

Oh, I wouldn't stay in Kamloops, I'd move down the road to Salmon Arm.

Edited: 5:09 pm, January 15, 2013
Jasper, Canada
Destination Expert
for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
posts: 12,334
reviews: 86
5. Re: A budget car rental company for Canadian Rockies tour

People have mentioned here in the forums about renting from a UK travel agency called "Canadian Affair", which does not seem to charge a one-way (drop) fee on car rentals. Normally I would recommend booking directly and not through a middle man, but they probably do so much business with certain car rental firms that they get special deals.

Just a couple of comments about your itinerary ...

There are limited accommodations (and dining options) in Yoho National Park, and Emerald Lake. Emerald Lake Lodge is a rather luxurious lodge right on the shore of the lake. The very small village of Field has several guest houses, but these usually have two or three night minimums - they are in high demand since lodging is so scarce there. There are another couple of cabin properties in the park; their names elude me at the moment... one is Cathedral Mountain Lodge, I believe.

Personally, I tend to avoid unnecessary hotel transfers, especially on short trips, since they gobble up time and energy. I would suggest you stay in Banff and visit Yoho from there. It is an hour's drive, but it is very scenic and you can vary the route by driving the Bow Valley Parkway at least once. We normally choose to drive this slower road when we visit Banff National Park, unless we are just on our way through and in a hurry, since it is more relaxing and there are better chances of spotting wildlife. Another option would be to base yourself in the Lake Louise area - either in the village itself, at the lake, or at one of the outlying accommodations on the Bow Valley Parkway - for both nights in Banff NP.

Vancouver, Canada
posts: 15,007
reviews: 46
6. Re: A budget car rental company for Canadian Rockies tour

Ah, yes, that changes things.

As Mufti points out, you haven't asked for itinerary help, and perhaps you don't want any. But you need some....

Ok, so keep Whistler, but then push through a 12 hour driving day and go directly to the Rockies. Or just fly there. Seriously, spend a couple of days around Vancouver, then hop a flight to Calgary and just see the Rockies from there. You'll save a lot on your car rental doing it that way.

Or give up on the Rockies and see some of the amazing coastal scenery around here instead.

7. Re: A budget car rental company for Canadian Rockies tour

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