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11

The Pacific route is a beautiful route! Expensive, but beautiful none the less. From the West Coast of the U.S., you can take Amtrak's Cascades train (tel. 800/USA RAIL; www.amtrak.com) to Bellingham, Washington; the dock for the Alaska ferry is quite close to the railroad station. From the east, it makes more sense to use Canada's ...


11

You basically have three options: Amtrak. Take the Cascades train from Vancouver to Seattle in about four hours. The big benefit here is that the train isn't nearly as affected by car traffic at the border, which can be very lengthy especially going into the US. This is because you actually clear US immigration at the train station in Vancouver before ...


10

I went to university in Burnaby. It's not hard to get to, but it's also not central and you miss out on a lot of the benefits of staying in central Vancouver. Plus the skytrain doesn't run much later than midnight so if you want to experience the Vancouver night life you're going to be spending a lot on taxis. Even though my commute to school was over ...


10

Number 1 is your best bet and about the only sure thing. There is pretty much zero chance for number 2, as employees working when you bed down will not be on duty 8+ hours later when you need to wake up. Even if you fall asleep by the gate with your flight number on a sign, there is no guarantee that flight will depart from the originally assigned gate as ...


9

Yes, you can leave the airport. Green card holders don't need a visa to visit Canada. You will need to go through Canadian immigration after arrival to Vancouver, no matter whether you decide to leave the airport or not. You should arrive at the airport in advance since you will need to clear the US immigration in Vancouver before the departure. Update: If ...


8

Whistler is probably your best bet for skiing. You can get to it by bus from Vancouver. As you say, it depends year to year whether they have snow that early or not. It will be the best skiing around if it does have snow.


8

Here's a quote from my Vancouver informer, with a little copying and pasting from their websites: You can go to Cypress http://cypressmountain.com/ by bus: By Public Transit - Take Skytrain or Bus to Waterfront Station, connecting via Seabus to the Cypress Mountain Shuttle Bus at Lonsdale Quay in North Vancouver. If you only have a few hours, go ...


7

Why not buy a Amsterdam to Toronto, returning from Vancouver ticket? (Often called an Open-Jaw ticket) The price would be similar to an Amsterdam to Vancouver return, but you'd fly into Toronto and back from Vancouver, booking your own train tickets for the Toronto to Vancouver leg. For the train from Toronto to Vancouver, it's "The Canadian", and you ...


7

There's a fairly new YHA/HI on Granville which is one of the main drags right downtown. I haven't stayed there but years ago I made both the previous downtown YHA/HI (less central than the new one) and the Jericho Beach hostels home for longer than you're talking about. I was there in 1991 and 1995/1996 and a few times for shorter visits. At the time all ...


7

I havent' done it myself, but a friend of mine that I know used to do long haul in that stretch of the country, so I'll relay his findings Chicago has to be a stop on your journey, especially if youre' a sports fan. Being the only four sports town on your route outside of Detroit, there's guarenteed to be a game playing whenever you decide to drive through. ...


7

While the cheapest option for locals is the monthly pass, that's not really an option here. Note that normally, bus/Skytrain tickets are $2.50, unless you're travelling more than one zone, in which case it jumps to $3.75. Assuming you're flying into YVR, there's the Skytrain into the city. It's worth noting that straight away, you'll be hit with a $5 ...


7

The best option to get cheap flights once a year over the course of five years is--perhaps surprisingly--simple: Buy the cheapest tickets you can find at the time, with plenty of advance notice (about two months). You might be able to do slightly better if you chase after rewards programs and frequent flier miles and all that, but one pair of return ...


7

In addition to Michael's answer: it's (in theory) also possible to hitch-hike. You could hitch to the border, walk across (or journey with the kind soul who picked you up), and continue on. If you're worried about walking across the border - I've done it myself in the past and while you may get some additional questions, it's entirely possible - there's ...


7

Well, as you can tell if you're in Vancouver, the North Shore didn't really get winter this year. The BCMC Trail is just east of the Grouse Grind and starts from the same parking lot - it's also a way better hiking trail. The Grind is basically a staircase in the forest and it's name is well-earned. If you don't feel like hiking the trail both ways you can ...


6

It seems Greyhound is operating a bus between Vancouver and Whistler, for 30 dollars max one way. The web fare is $20 and if you book at least 3 weeks in advance, it can be as low as $15 .


6

Best solution: Greyhound Bus for $40 return. I've spent about 2 hours researching this and bus is definitely your cheapest option. Rail, Plane and Car rental are going to be more expensive. Looks tough to get any kind of public transport outside of the ski season. Most buses don't seem to be running. EDIT: In my original answer I didn't have Greyhound ...


6

The BC Ferries website FAQ suggests that there aren't any scheduled ones running at the moment: Q: Do you have a ferry that travels between Seattle and Vancouver? A: BC Ferries does not provide service between Seattle and Vancouver, and we are unaware of any companies that do at this time. I think the issue is that it wouldn't be popular enough ...


6

Cypress Mountain has announced that it is opening November 14, 2012, though it is only at higher elevations with artificial snow, and not suitable for beginners. (In 2011, opening day was November 9.) Grouse Mountain, reachable by TransLink bus 232 or 236, opens November 13, 2012. Whistler, reachable by private coach, opens [November 17, 2012].


6

I did also stay in the YHA/HI on Granville, but would rather suggest the YHA in Davie Village, still pretty central but very quiet and much cleaner. Granville is one of those old 1920's hotels and get all the party noise during weekends, the furniture in the lobby is very worn out and the rooms and lobby feel very small and narrow, hallways are also very ...


6

90W? Ug - that's multiple days of straight-line, boring driving. Interstates were built with getting from here to there in the shortest possible time, so they're built in the most boring parts of the country. My advice - I'd recommend going from TO up to the Bruce Peninsula, take the Chi-CheeMaun ferry go north around Lake Superior get down to Fargo ...


6

Two things that Europeans often don't get about Canada: It's big. Really big. Toronto to Vancouver is 2000 miles by air, 2500 miles driving (you can't go straight, there are Great Lakes and mountain ranges and such in the way) Our trains, by European standards, are few and far between. Little villages in Europe have three trains a day between them, but ...


6

For me, having a kitchen is one of the defining qualities of a hostel. I'm sure there's some that don't have a kitchen but the vast majority do and should. If you want to meet people I would definitely suggest hostelling. Read online reviews though to find a hostel which suits your style. Some are heavy on partying and others are more family oriented for ...


6

I spent two of the last three nights in airports where I was horribly exhausted and jetlagged, and both times needed to be up at 5.30am for the next flight or to meet a friend. I found a bench, had my big pack beside me, and my daypack sitting on top of it. I then wrap my arms inside the day pack, and fall asleep that way. It's a lot easier than it sounds. ...


6

Airline loyalty systems are multifaceted in their benefits, and which program to choose varies a great deal depending on what kinds of rewards you prefer, which airline you take, which fares you purchase, and which routes you fly. However, frequent flyer programs are designed to get you to spend more money with a particular airline by providing extra ...


6

I am not a lawyer or an immigration expert, but if your mother was, in essence, visiting the US once on the way out and then not visiting it on the way back, it is irrelevant whether her Visa Waiver would have expired (ESTA is not a visa - it is merely a certification that allows her to board a plane - the Visa Waiver is what permits her to enter the US, and ...


5

London to Bangkok is apparently 5,930 miles / 9,544 km. London to Vancouver is 4,726 miles / 7,606 km, and Vancouver to Bangkok is 7,346 miles / 11,823 km. So, by going via Canada you're adding an extra 6142 miles, i.e you're basically doubling your flight distance! As a general rule, you can add a stopover into a journey without much affecting the cost at ...


5

Sure! Vancouver is famous for its seawall - the path running the whole way around, especially the downtown region. So in addition to Waterfront, you can go closer to Stanley Park and hit Coal Harbour. There are quite a few restaurants and bars down there, although sometimes quite pricey. The path continues all the way around Stanley Park, and back on the ...


5

Granville Island is the first place that comes to mind. It's not far from downtown (just across the Granville St. Bridge) and is right down on the water with lots of restaurants.


5

Long story short, yes, you can get cheaper. The price is compounded by several issues: you're booking with not that much notice, in summer (peak season) you're booking close to the Olympics, where 500,000 people are suddenly arriving and departing London, many of whom will also travel around Europe or North America afterwards, depending on where they're ...


5

Most likely your Greyhound bus will only make a single stop in Vancouver itself, although it may make stops in nearby suburbs like Coquitlam. The stop in Vancouver will be on Station Street, directly in front of the station that the Amtrak services leave from. If you have some time between the two trips you could stroll down and enjoy the views over False ...



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