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Estimated drive time - Vancouver to Seattle?

Bethesda, Maryland
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6 posts
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Estimated drive time - Vancouver to Seattle?

I'll be driving from downtown Vancouver to SeaTac airport on a Sunday morning (8/14) to catch an 11:15AM flight. How much time should I allow in order to get to the airport by about 9AM so I can drop off my rental car and make the flight with some time to spare? Should I worry about the border crossing at that time of day?

North Vancouver...
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1. Re: Estimated drive time - Vancouver to Seattle?

The drive itself takes about 3 hours. With today's heightened security requirements you can never be sure of the wait at the border, and it probably wouldn't be too bad on a Sunday morning, but give yourself at least half an hour extra, perhaps even an hour. This would have you leaving Vancouver around 5:00 a.m. to arrive at Sea-Tac by 9:00.

Another idea is to drive to Seattle the previous evening, drop off your vehicle at that time and stay in one of the many hotels or motels that surround Sea-Tac. They all have free shuttles to and from the airport. That way you could sleep a little longer on the Sunday morning before catching your flight, and you might even save the cost of an additional day on your car rental.

Guelph, Canada
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2. Re: Estimated drive time - Vancouver to Seattle?

I agree with the previous. That's a long drive although first thing in the morning is the best. It's a good 3 hours to SeaTac and with dropping off a rental car etc. you may want to consider going the night before. Otherwise you need an hour before the flight to be checked in and allow time at the car rental. I would leave Vancouver by 6 a.m. Good luck.

Redmond, WA
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3. Re: Estimated drive time - Vancouver to Seattle?

We went FROM Seattle to Vancouver a few months back. It is 3 hours without the border crossing. Leaving at 6AM may help in the crossing, but I would plan on avoiding the I-5 crossing and head a mile or so east to the truck crossing. I believe this road is marked "15". We got over at the truck crossing in 20 minutes versus over 2 hours on I-5. And yes, passenger cars are allowed at the truck crossing. Just after entering the US you will merge back on I-5 and it should be smooth sailing the rest of the way. Seattle doesn't wake up until after noon on Sundays.

Vancouver BC
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4. Re: Estimated drive time - Vancouver to Seattle?

The problem with using the Truck Crossing (aka Pacific Hwy, the 176st crossing) is that it doesn't open until 7 or 8am on weekends. I'm pretty sure that the only two crossings open 24 hours are Peace Arch, and Abbotsford (Sumas)

Bethesda, Maryland
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6 posts
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5. Re: Estimated drive time - Vancouver to Seattle?

Thanks for all the advice. We decided to do the drive the night before and stay at the airport, as one poster suggested. That will be much less stressful, and won't require a pre-dawn start on Sunday. But, we lose the night in Vancouver :^(

So, any suggestions for things to do in Vancouver after we check out of our hotel on Staurday morning? We do have a car, so we can go virtually anywhere. How about someplace "on the way" to Seattle that's worth a stopover?

vancouver
4 posts
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6. Re: Estimated drive time - Vancouver to Seattle?

Hey Guys...following up with this previous post, I too am driving from Vancouver to Seattle airport, but it will be on a Wednesday. My flight is at 11:00, they said to be there by 10am latest and I need to park at the park and fly first. I am assuming the border should not be too bad but what about traffic closer to seattle, morning should be a disaster. What time do you guys think I should leave Vancouver? Please help, I just moved here, so lost. Also what is this truck crossing that you were talking about? Thanks for the help

vancouver
4 posts
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7. Re: Estimated drive time - Vancouver to Seattle?

Hey Guys...following up with this previous post, I too am driving from Vancouver to Seattle airport, but it will be on a Wednesday. My flight is at 11:00, they said to be there by 10am latest and I need to park at the park and fly first. I am assuming the border should not be too bad but what about traffic closer to seattle, morning should be a disaster. What time do you guys think I should leave Vancouver? Please help, I just moved here, so lost. Also what is this truck crossing that you were talking about? Thanks for the help

vancouver
4 posts
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8. Re: Estimated drive time - Vancouver to Seattle?

I too am driving from Vancouver to Seattle airport, but it will be on a Wednesday. My flight is at 11:00, they said to be there by 10am latest and I need to park at the park and fly first. I am assuming the border should not be too bad but what about traffic closer to seattle, morning should be a disaster. What time do you guys think I should leave Vancouver? Please help, I just moved here, so lost. Also what is this truck crossing that you were talking about? Thanks for the help

seattle
Destination Expert
for Seattle
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19,168 posts
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9. Re: Estimated drive time - Vancouver to Seattle?

it would be best to start a new post rather than ressurect somehting from 2005. You need way more than one hr at Seatac. If its not even one hr most airlines won't even let you check your bags so you need two hrs to be safe.

wgr
Vancouver, BC
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1,241 posts
109 reviews
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10. Re: Estimated drive time - Vancouver to Seattle?

I agree with the last post. For example, the Truck crossing (Pacific Crossing is open 24 hours per day. There is a post from 2005 suggesting that it is not (In fact, it was open 24 hours per day, 7 days per week even then).

And as one poster has noted, to get to Sea_Tac you have to go through Seattle on the I-5 and travel through Seattle on the I-5 is always unpredictable.