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Car rental and tis on driving YVR to Banff area

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Sydney, Australia
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Car rental and tis on driving YVR to Banff area

Looking for the lowest price and reputable for car hire?

I will arrive Vancouver Airport Sat midday 8th March, the flight prices are high to Kelowna, I thought I would hire a car -

I would drive to Kelowna (pick up my daughter who is working in Big White and she has Sun to Thurs off work) continue travelling to Banff and Lake Louise and return to Kelowna 4-5 days.

I think this should be sufficient time to visit this area?

Can anyone offer tips on what to see where to stay or can I just arrive in Banff an find accommodation I have been checking Expedia

Thank you and I am looking forward to travelling from Australia

calgary
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1. Re: Car rental and tis on driving YVR to Banff area

4 - 5 days to drive from Kelowna to Banff/Lake Louise, do some sightseeing and drive back to Kelowna? Most folks would spend at least 10 days and include a trip up to Jasper.

Vancouver, Canada
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2. Re: Car rental and tis on driving YVR to Banff area

Its quite doable and a good choice for the time you have. Yes, I would agree that its short and ideally you would do more, but we have to work with what we have.

However, I have to ask how much winter driving experience do you have? We've had an odd winter and some late snow after very cold temps has created prime avalanche conditions. The Canadian Avalanche Center is advising extreme caution. Yes, you will be on the highways, not back country skiing, but it does significantly increase the risk of highway closures due to avalanche through that section, which is very prone to it.

I'd suggest you check on the Banff forum about accommodation in winter. I would expect its not as busy as summer, but its still a world class ski resort destination and I'm sure it will have prices and vacancy rates to match.

Vancouver, Canada
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3. Re: Car rental and tis on driving YVR to Banff area

Just looking at it again, and Kelowna to Banff is a 6 hour drive under ideal conditions. That's actually quite ambitious in winter when you have to drive more slowly and its just more difficult driving, so you need to stop and rest more frequently. You may have to break it up with a night in Revelstoke in each direction.

SE Ontario
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4. Re: Car rental and tis on driving YVR to Banff area

Not sure about other provinces, but next week is Ontario schools March break ... many families head west for ski vacations over that time, so accommodations could be affected.

Vancouver, Canada
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5. Re: Car rental and tis on driving YVR to Banff area

Try going to You Tube and looking up "Winter driving Roger's Pass" I found this one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPkBjzGx-Ck

Vancouver, Canada
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6. Re: Car rental and tis on driving YVR to Banff area

It is a dodgy time to be driving the interior roads for Canadians, most would not do it in March for pleasure. People who drive in snow a fair bit would travel across the province if they had a compelling reason to.

Car rental companies are competitive. It would be a matter of shopping for what you consider a contract that works for you. Hertz, Avis, National, Enterprise. Budget has had some reputation issues lately. Rental cars do not come with snow tires. They do not permit the use of chains.

Given that this is for this coming Saturday, I assume, your straightforward itinerary and the short time you have, I would suggest you rent a car to Kelowna. Sunset about 6h15 or so. DST begins over Saturday night, so you will then have an extra hour of daylight from Sunday.

Then I suggest you take Greyhound.ca to Banff. There are 3 departure times on the 9th and the journey is 8-9 hours. Visit the town and area, use their ROAM bus to get around, use one of the shuttles to get to and from LL, then take Greyhound back to Kelowna. Drive back to Vancouver. The only place really on the Coquihalla Hwy 5 to Kelowna that is a particular hazard, and on the western slope, is the Coq summit which is a snow trap.

A couple of weeks ago, the highway was closed for many hours near Golden on Hwy 1 (near LL) for snow down. Sometimes, it's just the hazard of an avalanche that closes the road until they can blast the risky slabs down. Another highway location was closed for several hours for the same problem. It is avalanche season.

I don't mean to offer only a negative slant on your plans. I think if you left the driving to the professionals, you could have a fantastic time in Banff and LL

Vancouver, Canada
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7. Re: Car rental and tis on driving YVR to Banff area

Sorry, can't seem to get it all together in one post today...

Here's the link to Drive BC, which posts weather conditions and has several highway cams, so you can check conditions.

http://www.drivebc.ca

British Columbia...
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8. Re: Car rental and tis on driving YVR to Banff area

I agree the roads can close at a moments notice and you are stuck on one side and need to be on the other. We get lots of foreign workers at my job and they just don't get it when we tell them to be careful driving those roads in the winter. I drive them all the time in the summer but just flew to Kelowna in stead of flying and it was a good choice as the triad was closed for over 24 hrs on the day I was going.

I would spend my 5 days exploring the beautiful Okanagan rather than worry about getting to Banff as we are getting heavy snowfall this week.

British Columbia...
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9. Re: Car rental and tis on driving YVR to Banff area

I just looked on Drive BC and Highway1 is closed right now as well as Highway3 in both directions due to avalanche so not good right now.

calgary
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10. Re: Car rental and tis on driving YVR to Banff area

Yikes - I didn't even see that it was this weekend the original poster was referring to. Agree with others, either take the Greyhound or just stay in the Okanagan area; lots of lovely wineries to explore there!