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21 days in British Columbia with a baby

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21 days in British Columbia with a baby

Hello

We are hoping to come to British Columbia, flying into Vancouver, around end of August. We would like to stay a month with a 3 week tour and then maybe a week on an island around Vancouver. I have read advice and am going to get the Lonely Planet but I have 2 main questions

1. A realistic route visiting the coast and the rockies

2. is it really cheaper to hire a car and stay in B and B's/motels rather than hire a campervan.

Many thanks

Vancouver, Canada
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1. Re: 21 days in British Columbia with a baby

Welcome to the forum, clara.coxon

#2 first. Is it really cheaper? You have mentioned a campervan. Do you mean an RV type or the Volkswagon type camper? Sometimes different countries use different terminology I think once you have costed out the two travel styles, you will find that to be the case. Here is a very good article from the Canadian Rockies Forum about that topic:

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g659487-c104900/Canad…

And before you book any campervan, do a search in the Vancouver Island Forum for "Westfalia rentals."

A realistic route from Vancouver to the Rockies can take several forms. It is about 900 km to Banff or Jasper and about 10-11 hours driving, stops extra. We can actually fit 2 UKs into the bottom half of our province. With your 3 weeks, you could easily fit that in, with a very suitable schedule to suit a baby: ~1 overnight on the way there and back with ~8 nights there. Extra nights could be fitted in quite nicely to the Okanagan Valley (they have their own forum), the West Kootenays, and the Nelson BC area.

Here is an article from the British Columbia Forum about possible routes to take to the Rockies:

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g154922-c120076/Briti…

Each and every forum has its own set of Top Questions to the Upper Right and "Things to Do" in the left sidebar.

You might also be interested in reading previous visitors' Trip Reports. The ones for BC are situated in first position on the BC Forum main page, followed by those on the Canadian Rockies Forum:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g154922-i80-k42028…

tripadvisor.ca/Travel-g659487-c123791/Canadi…

I think it would be fair to say that the route that you decide on will come down to where the majority of the attractions and activities will fall. So doing some research along those lines will help with that.

Our online tourism website is: www.hellobc.com

Frommers has an online BC resource as well: frommers.com/destinations/britishcolumbia/

Another great planning tool is Google Maps. the "get directions" feature is invaluable as it shows driving routes, distances and times, for the most part fairly intelligently: maps.google.ca

Edited: 09 April 2012, 05:12
Vancouver, Canada
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2. Re: 21 days in British Columbia with a baby

Hmm, can't edit twice.

<<where the majority of the attractions and activities will fall>>

where the majority of the a and a that appeal to you the most, will fall.

Jasper, Canada
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3. Re: 21 days in British Columbia with a baby

Judging from the RV rentals I see on the roads and in the campgrounds here in Jasper National Park, I think it is difficult to find campervan rentals, compared to the bigger motorhomes. But I did notice a few more of them around last summer, so hopefully they are catching on a bit more.

Other than rentals from the big RV rental companies, one "budget" campervan rental option is "Wicked Campers" - if you do a forum search, you should be able to pull up information about them. I have seen some of their units here ... they do look "home-made" (and older) and the "custom" paint jobs would appeal, I think, to a younger demographic.

I haven't looked at any RV company rental sites in awhile, but as I recall, they are usually at least $100 per day and then you have to pay campground fees and the added fuel (compared to a rental car). Those costs alone are close to what a hotel stay would be (and there are other options available for less expensive accommodations). Buying groceries and making your own meals will save you money over eating in restaurants, but that is also an option if you stay in fixed-roof self-catering accommodation. I think the main consideration in deciding between a hotel & car vacation vs. an RV (campervan or motorhome) rental would be the type of experience you want.

Many years ago, we did a private RV rental (through friends of friends... it was much cheaper than a commercial rental), a 20 foot Class C motorhome type (which is what the vast majority of rentals I see are), and we rented out of season (in April) - so the RV rental was quite economical. We drove from the Rockies out to the coast and around, and then back home for a 2-week holiday. We were a family of four then, with young children and a large dog (my avatar photo). We had done a similar trip a couple of years previous (without the dog) by car, staying in motels and occasional nights tent camping, so I had a good handle on the costs to compare. We thought that the RV vacation would be quite a bit cheaper, but it did not turn out that way... they were about the same.

One thing I would be wary of, in renting an RV, is being "upgraded". Several people have posted in these forums about requesting a 20-footer, and then the rental company "upgrading" them upon pick-up to a 27 or 30-foot unit (because they had run out of the smaller ones). Aside from the added fuel cost, this would be of concern to me because there are a few roads in the Canadian Rockies national parks that are either difficult for larger vehicles, or where these vehicles are not permitted to go. Also, when we had the 20-foot unit, we were quite uncomfortable driving it in cities and towns, and tight spots like parking lots etc. Actually, that rental *was* really useful to us, because it cured us of the idea of buying an RV, once retired, and touring that way; we are still considering the campervan option though.

4. Re: 21 days in British Columbia with a baby

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5. Re: 21 days in British Columbia with a baby

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