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BC/Alberta itinerary advice

1 post
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1 helpful vote
BC/Alberta itinerary advice

So after recent advice from you lovely people, we have made some adjustments to our 16 night itinerary starting late August/early September 2020. Just me and the husband (middle 50’s) our first road trip in Canada looking to see the usual touristy sights, enjoy the beautiful scenery and maybe the occasional short hike or two.

Would like to do the Icefield Parkway in both directions if possible, VI as well as Vancouver.

Would very much welcome any ideas, thoughts or opinions on the following potential itinerary:

Calgary - hire car

1, 2 & 3 Banff

4, 5 & 6 Jasper

7 Lake Louise or Banff?

8 Calgary airport drop off car

Fly to Tofino - hire car

9 ,10 & 11 Tofino

12 & 13 Campbell River

14, 15 & 16 ferry from Nanaimo to Vancouver - drop off car

17 fly from Vancouver home to UK

Welcome any feedback.

Penticton, Canada
Level Contributor
28,616 posts
27 reviews
11 helpful votes
1. Re: BC/Alberta itinerary advice


you might have a problem getting a car in Tofino and then dropping it off in Vancouver. It will be much easier to fly to Nanaimo then when finished on VI take the ferry without the car or take a short flight over to YVR

Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
39,541 posts
60 reviews
46 helpful votes
2. Re: BC/Alberta itinerary advice

Yes, I have the same comment. Fly from Calgary to Nanaimo and do the loop on the island from there. Or from Victoria. Its easier to get from Victoria to Vancouver without a car. Its doable from Nanaimo, but there is only public bus transport from Horseshoe Bay and the last time I was there, the line to take the bus was extremely long, although I'm sure that varies with how many ferries come in at once.

Port Moody, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver, British Columbia
Level Contributor
16,745 posts
152 reviews
133 helpful votes
3. Re: BC/Alberta itinerary advice

A third vote for flying into Nanaimo. I think you will find it extremely difficult to rent in Tofino and drop in Vancouver.

It appears that you are overnighting in Calgary on the 8th??? Certainly it's a great city and that's one option. The other is to fly to Victoria on the 8th and pickup a car there. Overnight in Victoria then follow your itinerary as set out with about a 5 hour drive from Victoria to Tofino. Or fly to Nanaimo on the 8th and add an extra night in Tofino or Campbell River.

Using Canadian Affair you can rent between Victoria and Vancouver with no drop fee if you are from almost anywhere except Canada. It does help us to give advice if you add your location. For example if you're from the UK do you have your eTA's ?

If you fly into Nanaimo and rent a car there, the agencies will drop you at the ferry when you return the car.

While there may be a lineup for the bus at Horseshoe Bay there are lots of buses and passengers don't get left behind. Using transit is a more economical way to get between Nanaimo and Vancouver if you have no issues handling your luggage.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
Level Contributor
78,245 posts
58 reviews
98 helpful votes
4. Re: BC/Alberta itinerary advice

Nikki ~

I think you have two accounts. I believe this is your other thread from a few days about with a dozen replies:


It would be better if you work on your trip from one account. You could find your posts and we could as well. Use the following form to contact TA Staff to have your accounts merged:


Otherwise, I agree with the suggestion to fly to Nanaimo, pick up and return a rental car in Nanaimo. Carry on. After returning the car to the Nanaimo rental lcoation, walk on the ferry between Departure Bay to Horseshoe Bay and take public transit (#257 Vancouver Express) to downtown Vancouver. Stay the night on the 16th and fly out on the 17th.

Air Canada and WestJet fly from Calgary to Nanaimo.

Edited: 1 year ago
5. Re: BC/Alberta itinerary advice

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