Monday, September 8, 2008

Canada ~ some travel tips

Tomorrow we will head south of the border – back to the US. We compiled a lit of some “tips”, should you decide to head up this way to Canada. It is by no means complete nor exhaustive, and feel free to post a comment or email us if you have some tips to share.

1) The daily entry fee for Canadian National Parks is expensive – for example, Jasper was $8.90 per person per day – ouch! They do sell a year-long family pass, for about $132 CA. Here’s a big tip – e-bay! The park passes are sold on e-bay for a fraction of their cost, and with a little patience and perseverance, you can save a few bucks. When we came to Canada two years ago, we purchased the annual park pass at the park, for $125 (2006 rate), and sold it on e-bay for $71 when we returned home. This year, we decided to buy our park pass on e-bay, and purchased it for $60.. We actually sold it again for a few bucks when we left the national parks for good! (It expired 9/30/2008, so there was little time remaining.)

2) The National and Provincial Parks provide all the firewood you want – however you need to purchase a “fire permit”. It costs anywhere from $7-10 per day. (In fact, you’re not allowed to bring barked fire wood into Canada - bark beetle issues - so this works well.) If you plan to spend a few days in one park, you can buy a fire permit per day – you do not need to buy one for your entire stay, unless you plan to have a fire everyday.

3) If you’re heading into National Parks try and stock up on as much food as possible in the surrounding towns – we were flabbergasted by the hike in grocery prices in the parks! $6 for a small bag of chips – no kidding!

4) Private campgrounds often charge for additional people over two-adults, including children. No tip here, just be aware.

5) If you’re staying near the Canadian/US border, ask locals about going over the border to get gas (and beer). We saved about $30/tank when staying in Creston, and – no kidding – about the same for a 12-pack of beer. (In Jasper, Brad found a 12-pack of, what he would call “bad beer”, for $42. He hasn’t stopped talking about it since!)

6) Speaking of gas, if you are hunting for low gas prices, we found that Save-On Foods and Extra Foods have “gas bars”, where after you fill your tank, you get 5.5% of the amount you spent on gas as a coupon to use in their stores. They seemed to have the lowest gas prices in the areas we visited, and their food stores were large, clean, stocked and reasonably priced.


AJZ said...

Hi Brad and Suzzane, I hope you enjoyed your Canadian portion of your trip!

Ok, the parks do up the prices, but I have yet to see a 12 pack of beer for $42.00, this must have been a hotel liquor store. Most 12 packs run $20- 22.00. Yeah, it's a lot more that Usa, but that's what we pay. The beer is probably tastier... hehe.

On a Brighter note, there are no Rats in Alberta!

Have fun!

Suzanne and Brad said...


The $42 beer was at Jasper NP - and Brad's still talking about it! :-)

Perhaps the boys in "Rat Patrol" get a break in the beer prices!

Take care as well!

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