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Help with travel plans with kids - Canadian Rockies

Help with travel plans with kids - Canadian Rockies

Old May 1, 20, 7:27 pm
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Help with travel plans with kids - Canadian Rockies

First, if I am in the wrong forum, please direct me to the correct one.

We (wife, two kids ages 7 and 4, and I) have a trip planned for Lake Louise, Jasper, and Banff this coming July. We are not sure yet if we will go or not but have the hotels reservations made already pre-coronavirus times. My question is whether to spend an extra night in Calgary on the way in and out.

PHL to YYC arriving at 4:00pm for a 7 hour flight. I will need to leave home at 8am. Do I drive directly to Lake Louise, which is 2 hours away or spend a night at the airport hotel in Calgary?

Cost is not a big deal since I will be using hotel points and flight cost are the same. Also, I might cut one night off of the stay in Lake Louise if I spend a night in Calgary. Currently, I plan to spend 4 nights in Lake Louise, 3 in Jasper, 2 in Banff, and maybe 2 in Calgary on the way back. What are your thoughts of a night before Lake Louise and the trip overall?
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Old May 2, 20, 1:01 am
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I would probably opt for a night in or near YYC on arrival. 4pm local is 6pm PHL time, your kids will start getting a bit tired, it will take some time to get your rental car etc. so it would be quite late for them by the time you get to Lake Louise.

Why not arrive in YYC, get a car, stop at a grocery store to get some supplies, then go to a casual restaurant in the Calgary suburbs before hitting the sack in one of the inexpensive airport hotels? The next morning, thanks to the time change, your family will be up bright and early and you can still be in the National Park early for a full day there.
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Old May 2, 20, 1:26 am
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Hopefully the border will be open by then with no quarantine necessary and full tourism infrastructure available, otherwise it won’t be much of a holiday. In all honesty I don’t think this is going to happen so I would at least explore cancellation options and speak with my travel insurance provider.
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Old May 2, 20, 9:17 am
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Drive - you ll have plenty of time to stop by Costco or some grocery stores to get stuff on the way and/or have a quick dinner. It doesn't get dark until much later and you have a scenic sunset ride. There is absolutely no reason to waste time at airport hotel.
Also skip Calgary and spend 4 nights in banff.
In general minimize hotel hopping with kids.

Fingers crossed for borders reopening - I ll probably head in the same direction if Canada opens but Europe doesnt...

Last edited by azepine00; May 2, 20 at 9:28 am
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Old May 2, 20, 10:39 am
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Years ago we took an almost identical trip with our children when they were near that age. We stayed the first couple of days at the Johnston Canyon Lodge in a cabin. It is on the way to Banff. Kids really enjoyed staying in a cabin and hiking to the falls etc. At that age they didn't need too much entertainment.
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Old May 2, 20, 11:02 am
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Originally Posted by LondonElite View Post
Hopefully the border will be open by then with no quarantine necessary and full tourism infrastructure available, otherwise it wonít be much of a holiday. In all honesty I donít think this is going to happen so I would at least explore cancellation options and speak with my travel insurance provider.
We have a July trip to British Columbia and have received notice from a lodge that they are unsure if the US/Canada border will be open by then. I hope we know more in a month.
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Old May 2, 20, 12:17 pm
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Originally Posted by SanDiego1K View Post
We have a July trip to British Columbia and have received notice from a lodge that they are unsure if the US/Canada border will be open by then. I hope we know more in a month.
I would think you are probably going to be OK for Canada for July. I certainly hope so. Of course the airlines must also resume their USA - Canada flights.
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Old May 2, 20, 2:02 pm
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Originally Posted by SanDiego1K View Post
We have a July trip to British Columbia and have received notice from a lodge that they are unsure if the US/Canada border will be open by then. I hope we know more in a month.
I am planning to fly to Vancouver on 6/26 and then drive to Whistler on 6/27 and spend 17 days there.

I talked to the rental company in Whistler and they believe that the border will open in June. This is obviously just their speculation as to what will happen but thought I'd share.
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Old May 2, 20, 2:20 pm
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Originally Posted by SanDiego1K View Post
We have a July trip to British Columbia and have received notice from a lodge that they are unsure if the US/Canada border will be open by then. I hope we know more in a month.
It is the great unknown. I need to check up on my place in Florida but canít go. Very annoying! Stay safe!
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Old May 2, 20, 3:50 pm
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agreed

While I agree with Azepine80's suggestion, I am chuckling @ the details. The facts are all public health authorities are urging travelers to go straight to the place the are staying + not stop for groceries! Moreover, if I was staying @ a 4-star + property in Lake Louise, I am not sure Costco would be my first stop?

The facts are Calgary is not a very exciting place in July - it rains a lot, and all of its summer events have been cancelled due to the pandemic e.g. Calgary Stampede, Folk Festival. Also, you will have plenty of time on yoiur return to see the city.

Bottom line - While I agree its best to go straight to Lake Louise, I think other reasons are paramount.

ps While visiting Lake Louise, I suggest hiking the Lake Agnes Trail to the tea house.
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Old May 3, 20, 4:06 pm
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Seems destination BC is less optimistic than I would have thought re: US border, sad for tourism industry in Canada.

https://www.timescolonist.com/news/l...ope-1.24128594
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Old May 3, 20, 5:23 pm
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Originally Posted by tdiddy23 View Post
Seems destination BC is less optimistic than I would have thought re: US border, sad for tourism industry in Canada.

https://www.timescolonist.com/news/l...ope-1.24128594
Ouch. Thank you for that depressing dose of realism.
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Old May 7, 20, 2:42 pm
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Originally Posted by Antonio8069 View Post
While I agree with Azepine80's suggestion, I am chuckling @ the details. The facts are all public health authorities are urging travelers to go straight to the place the are staying + not stop for groceries! Moreover, if I was staying @ a 4-star + property in Lake Louise, I am not sure Costco would be my first stop?
...
4-5* or not, all that driving around with kids for a week will need a case of water, all sorts of snacks, sunblock, drinks, books, perhaps some random seasonal items or clothes maybe discounted gift cards to local attractions/restaurants...
at least that's my experience of near 10 yrs of travel with kids but ymmv
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Old May 8, 20, 7:20 am
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Originally Posted by azepine00 View Post
4-5* or not, all that driving around with kids for a week will need a case of water, all sorts of snacks, sunblock, drinks, books, perhaps some random seasonal items or clothes maybe discounted gift cards to local attractions/restaurants...
at least that's my experience of near 10 yrs of travel with kids but ymmv
Even without kids you need stuff - I drove Calgary - Vancouver the long way around with my parents, stayed in nice hotels, ate at good restaurants, but went to several grocery stores en route - soft drinks, picnic lunches, gin and tonics for the porch/balcony pre dinner, etc. I recommend that OP pack a small, collapsible cooler, useful for keeping drinks and lunch cold in the car, and an ice mat (all our hotel rooms either had freezers, or the hotel was happy to freeze the ice mat overnight for us).
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