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Banff/Canmore - August 2019- How early to book?

Banff/Canmore - August 2019- How early to book?

Old Jan 2, 19, 9:16 pm
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Banff/Canmore - August 2019- How early to book?

Hello all,

I'm planning a trip to Calgary/Banff this August and already have my flight booked. I decided to use some of my aeroplan points since there are too many unknowns and I've never been to the Rockies and have been wanting to go for a while. I saw a flight available and went for it.
Since Canmore is relatively cheaper than Banff/Lake Louise, I've been leaning towards using some of my IHG points to bring the room rate down to a more respectable rate.
I know the summer is the busy season, but from what I've been able to see so far, things are starting to fill up.

Should I book now/soon? Or am I jumping the gun a bit and ok waiting a month or so?
I understand that no one can predict the future but hoping someone else can provide some guidance.

Thanks!
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Old Jan 3, 19, 7:44 am
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I would get it booked, otherwise you run the risk of not being able to find accommodation that suits you. For a July trip I think I booked hotels by about December the previous year.
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Old Jan 3, 19, 12:39 pm
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Book as early as possible. A few years ago I was booking in January for June travel, and things were already becoming unavailable.
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Old Jan 3, 19, 8:28 pm
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Thanks folks!
What complicates things is that a friend of mine may come along.
I suppose I can book things that are refundable in the mean time just in case and then if he comes, maybe change somethings around...

My main concern is with Canmore since it'll be on points...
I'm not as concerned with Calgary, although I am considering doing a day at Jasper, but is it worth going from Canmore to Jasper for a night?
I doubt I'll be saving much $$$

I am open to other ideas though. I had also planned on doing a day trip to Drumheller as well...
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Old Jan 3, 19, 8:40 pm
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Definitely book now since your flights are fixed. In terms of the friend, if you'll be sharing a room it doesn't matter much as many hotels charge the same price for one versus two people and others can adjust then number of guests later (I'd book a room for two with the bed type you want and then ask the hotel to change to one person later). OTOH, if you won't be sharing a room, the easiest thing would just be to book a second refundable room now and cancel later if necessary since it would be a hassle to be forced to stay in different hotels.
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Old Jan 3, 19, 11:52 pm
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Drumheller is the other side of Calgary from Banff, and warrants at least a full day there (my first and only visit there was when the mueum was in its infancy in late 1970).

Icefield Parkway between Banff and Jasper you want to do in both directions ideally, so need a night in Jasper. Road is likely to be slow and busy to make it a same-day trip.
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Old Jan 4, 19, 8:03 am
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Originally Posted by iceblueshoes View Post
Thanks folks!
What complicates things is that a friend of mine may come along.
I suppose I can book things that are refundable in the mean time just in case and then if he comes, maybe change somethings around...

My main concern is with Canmore since it'll be on points...
I'm not as concerned with Calgary, although I am considering doing a day at Jasper, but is it worth going from Canmore to Jasper for a night?
I doubt I'll be saving much $$$

I am open to other ideas though. I had also planned on doing a day trip to Drumheller as well...
I definitely recommend doing the drive up to Jasper, stopping at Athabasca on the way. Spend the night in Jasper, maybe go to the hot springs if you have time, then drive back down the Icefields the next day.
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Old Jan 4, 19, 11:31 am
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Definitely book now since your flights are fixed. In terms of the friend, if you'll be sharing a room it doesn't matter much as many hotels charge the same price for one versus two people and others can adjust then number of guests later (I'd book a room for two with the bed type you want and then ask the hotel to change to one person later). OTOH, if you won't be sharing a room, the easiest thing would just be to book a second refundable room now and cancel later if necessary since it would be a hassle to be forced to stay in different hotels.
Well I'm assuming it would be him and his wife...
if that's the case then we'd upgrade to a suite (still ends up being cheaper in the long run)...
Originally Posted by YVR Cockroach View Post
Drumheller is the other side of Calgary from Banff, and warrants at least a full day there (my first and only visit there was when the mueum was in its infancy in late 1970).

Icefield Parkway between Banff and Jasper you want to do in both directions ideally, so need a night in Jasper. Road is likely to be slow and busy to make it a same-day trip.
A co-worker of mine also recommended Drumheller so I'll def be going there.
Originally Posted by emma69 View Post
I definitely recommend doing the drive up to Jasper, stopping at Athabasca on the way. Spend the night in Jasper, maybe go to the hot springs if you have time, then drive back down the Icefields the next day.
I'll have to look into Jasper.
What's weird is that changing the date (removing a day) means the points nights don't work but adding the extra night (original plan), it still does .Weird!

I might have to call in and ask them to do the booking over the phone...
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Old Jan 7, 19, 7:31 am
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Book now.
Don't go to Jasper as a day trip, or even for just one night. You'll spend most of your time in the car, and even though there are some worthy roadside stops, the real beauty is found when slowing down and exploring. Best advice if limited in time is to pick one area and see it well. The mountains (or the badlands) have been around for millennia and they'll wait for your next visit.
Better yet, go in October. Decent weather and the parks empty out.
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Old Jan 10, 19, 5:09 pm
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After October 15 weather is dicey in the mountains so I would not push out later than that. Calgary is often under snow by the end of month.
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Old Jan 10, 19, 9:31 pm
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We stayed in Canmore July 2018. We booked January 2018 and many things were already starting to book up.
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Old Jan 13, 19, 11:52 am
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-scratch that. not sure how but i found awards nights, so they've been booked.
Had to book 1 night at regular rate, but alas given the time of year, it's not too bad even though I had to cut off a night but I think I can make it work.

Not sure what's going on with my friend, but better to book it and have it done.

Thanks to everyone for your suggestions here.

I am open to a perhaps an extra day trip near Banff/Canmore though that doesn't cost an arm and a leg!

Last edited by iceblueshoes; Jan 13, 19 at 2:58 pm Reason: Found a solution
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