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Driving from Kelowna to Vancouver (airport)

Toronto, Canada
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Driving from Kelowna to Vancouver (airport)

We are driving from Kelowna to Vancouver Airport on Oct 27 to catch a 4:00pm flight to Toronto. Was wondering how long it would take and do we have to worry about road conditions. We will need to be at the airport about 1 1/2 hours before the flight. Any info would be helpful.

Penticton, Canada
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1. Re: Driving from Kelowna to Vancouver (airport)

Hi

if you are driving only and no sight seeing - with a stop at the Merritt Tourist Centre for nature break and then in Chilliwack Vedder Street exit for a gas fillup since they have way cheaper gas then Vancouver; it should take at least 5 hrs if you follow traffic which is about 10k over posted limit and no misfortunes. So to reduce stress I would plan for 6 hours + your 1.5 hrs before flight.

http://goo.gl/maps/xREqj the latter is a route which avoids the Port Mann Bridge; which is a bottleneck with construction etc.. if you have a car rental there is a gas station just before you get to the rental return sign. It takes 5 min with pin/chip card to fill up.

We drive to Vancouver the night before and stay at a hotel near the airport just to reduce the stress factor. and if you can afford it the hotel at the airport is really nice and easy.

Toronto, Canada
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2. Re: Driving from Kelowna to Vancouver (airport)

Do you have suggestion for motels near Vancouver Airport?

Thanks

Vancouver, Canada
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3. Re: Driving from Kelowna to Vancouver (airport)

Yes, allow at least 5 hours from Kelowna. (We allow 6 hours because we eat along the way.) Although you sometimes see 4 hours given as an approximate time for driving from Vancouver to Kelowna, the airport is at the far western edge of the Metro Vancouver area. It's actually in the City of Richmond just south of Vancouver City proper. That adds driving time to the 4 hour estimate.

As an alternate route to that provided in the first post (I think) -

Drive south on Highway 97 from Kelowna to the cutoff for 97 C (the "Connector"), just before Peachland.

Take 97C over to Highway 5 (the "Coquihalla") and then head south to Hope.

At Hope, take Highway 1 west to Highway 10 at Langley and then take Highway 10 over to Highway 99.

Take Highway 99 north through the Massey Tunnel, which will still be OK at the time you will be travelling and follow the signs for the airport as you get closer to Vancouver.

For a number of years, we used to take "back roads" through the Fraser Valley - a more pleasant drive. However, the former "back roads" have become truck routes and much slower. Lately we have found that Highway 10, despite traffic and stop lights, is faster.

I would leave about 8:00 AM, or earlier if you want to eat along the way. (Presumably, you have a rental car that you will need to turn in and that will take time.) However, ideally, as suggested, you would come down the night before, stay at an airport hotel and avoid any worries about being late for your plane.

Do watch the weather forecasts while you are in Kelowna. Our weather is becoming increasingly unpredictable and, even as early as October 27th, there may be frost or snow at higher elevations and perhaps fog.

Vancouver, Canada
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4. Re: Driving from Kelowna to Vancouver (airport)

Here is a thread that recently dealt with the question of accommodation near YVR -

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g154943-i81-k55625…

The website in the second post will give you an idea of the airport accommodation and a general sense of rates.

Rockies BC
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5. Re: Driving from Kelowna to Vancouver (airport)

I would agree with itchy about the weather but would say that you can't be confident of guaranteed no-snow/frost on the Coq at any time at all, except for maybe 4 weeks in July/Aug. There can easily be snow/frost in early Sept, let alone late Oct.

BC
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6. Re: Driving from Kelowna to Vancouver (airport)

July 22nd(last night) there was snow on the connector from Kelowna to Merrit

so you never know, doubtful but... as far as hotels there are many in the Richmond area close to the airport with shuttle service. When travelling to VYR we always go through Langley on the # 10 less trafic and stress.

Toronto, Canada
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7. Re: Driving from Kelowna to Vancouver (airport)

We have definitely decided t stay overnight in Vancouver before returning to Toronto. Thanks everyone!

Canada
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8. Re: Driving from Kelowna to Vancouver (airport)

BC has a great site for travel information; highways, ferry, border delays, etc, including incidents and road closures. You can access the info online, by phone (1-800) or .....

You can now sign up for email alerts regarding conditions/incidents on the highways, routes and roads that you indicate you would like to be updated on. This is quite a handy feature if you have a smartphone.

drivebc.ca

The information is usually reasonably current. (The exception was last Novembers Coquihalla conditions and crash-em-up derby, but that is a whole other story.)

With all of our frequent road trips from Alberta to the West Coast, I would err on the side of caution regarding timing; I would likely plan to be closer to YVR the day before. What is a gorgeous, sunny Okanagan day can be a whole different scenario on a highway at a higher elevation!!

Kelowna, BC
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9. Re: Driving from Kelowna to Vancouver (airport)

\we have frequently stayed at the Ramada Inn and the Quality Inn both in Richmond, prior to or returning from a flight. Both are clean, offer a good breakfast, are in a good neighbourhood and offer free shuttles to the airport. They are across the street from each other and across the street from an Irish pub (the Foggy Dew) that offers a good meal for reasonable prices.

BC
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10. Re: Driving from Kelowna to Vancouver (airport)

It is a good idea to travel the day before, if your plans permit this. You just never know with the weather. I had one of my very worst drives to Vancouver at the end of June one time. No, it wasn't snow, but it was heavy rain and fog on the highway.

When I need to book a hotel near Vancouver airport (often have to stay overnight for connecting flights.....) I use one of the top secret picks from travelocity or hotwire or something similar. You will save a bit of money this way. They are all within shuttle distance, an extra five or ten minutes away doesn't really matter.

Otherwise, the Holiday Inn on Cambie has been one that I liked, for several reasons, one of which is their secure parking area. (that was not when I was on connecting planes, obviously). But for an overnight in Richmond, almost anything will do you.