Self Drive

Canadian Rockies Sample Itineraries
3 Night Banff Itinerary
3 Night Banff + Lake Louise Itinerary
5 Night Banff + Lake Louise + Jasper Itinerary
7 Night Banff + Lake Louise + Jasper Itinerary
9 Night Banff + Lake Louise + Jasper Itinerary

Most travellers are now choosing to explore the Canadian Rockies own their own. Planning a drive trip in and around Banff, Alberta or from Vancouver, British Columbia, provides the independence and freedom to explore at your own pace, spending more time in the areas you prefer and enjoying the activities you love.

Our customized Self Drive Packages include accommodation, car rental, and add on options for activities and meals.

These Canadian Rockies trips allow you to enjoy quality travel time, without the trouble of arranging all the travel details yourself. However flexibility is key – stay in boutique mountain lodges or at the most luxurious resort properties with all the amenities expected at a world class five start resort, or combine to “splurge” for a night or two.

Our clients benefit from the years of experience and local knowledge as we combine the best accommodation, sights and activities, but still allow plenty of free time for self discovery and relaxation during their Banff National Park travel adventure.

Your self drive Canada vacation package is supported with GyPSy Guide, a personal GPS commentary tour, covering 5000 points of interest, throughout Alberta and the Canadian Rockies, through to Vancouver, British Columbia and beyond. You won’t miss a thing with GyPSy as it automatically plays commentary about the beautiful surrounding scenery, interesting local area recommendations for “must sees” and “must-dos”, stories of past explorers, advice on where to spot wildlife, driving directions and some just plain quirky stories of Canada. With an audio guided GPS tour, car touring vacations will never be the same.

Things to consider when planning your self drive vacation to the Canadian Rockies:

ARRIVING/DEPARTING

Are you flying in and out of the same airport? You can also choose to “open jaw” which means to fly into one airport (eg. Calgary) and out of another (eg. Vancouver or Edmonton). Be aware, there can be additional surcharges if you pick up a car rental in one city (eg. Vancouver) and drop in another (eg. Calgary) (usually $100-$400, depending upon the distance).

DRIVING IN CANADA

Some of our overseas visitors are nervous about driving in the mountains, especially when it’s on the other side of the road! While the Trans Canada Highway has high volumes of commercial traffic, it’s slowly being developed into a divided two lane highway in all mountain areas.

The National Parks have an enforced lower speed of 90kms. It is in place to save wildlife, but as these passes are generally used by other visitors, most drivers enjoy the relaxed scenic pace.

HOW LONG SHOULD I SPEND IN EACH AREA?

Read our reviews on each destination, and then decide, do you want a more relaxing holiday, staying in one location and day tripping, or would you like to experience all the mountain towns?

The Banff townsite is the hub of the Canadian Rockies and is a great base to settle yourself in for a week, or more, as it provides a wide choice of accommodation styles, great amenities and nightlife and many of the most spectacular sightseeing and activities are close by.

Lake Louise is ideal for those who want a getaway experience, with only the mountains to distract you, and Jasper, is a perfect mix inbetween.Jasper requires a min 2 night stay, one full day to enjoy the scenic Icefield Parkway drive and one extra full day to enjoy the sites, which are located further out of the town.

Canmore offers an artistic mountain town with many large condo style apartments and Golden offers very economical accommodation 1hr outside the National Parks.

A popular itinerary for a longer stay is a circle route (ie the 5 night Banff Itinerary “Taste of the Rockies Tour”) starting in Banff, then up to Jasper and finishing in Lake Louise, which is located closer to Calgary, if you have an early flight.

We have a collection of the most popular Banff itineraries for you (you can print out as a brochure) to assist planning your self drive vacation. These suggestions cover all the major tourist attractions and can be added to or changed to suit your time, interests and budget.

PRICES

Our high season is mid June to mid Sept. Budget hotels start at around $140, mid range is $250 and luxury properties start at $400, per room and go well up from there. Consider mixing the hotels to the locations and experience available. Stay mid range in Banff, where the accommodation standards are high, go for a woodsy experience in Jasper, where there are many cabins, spoil yourself in a secluded luxury lodge right on a lake in the Lake Louise/Yoho areas.

SHOULD I MAKE RESERVATIONS AHEAD OF TIME?

Reservations are required for the peak summer months of June/July/August/September. Perhaps there will still be availability if you were to drive into town, but the best value and most popular properties are always booked out. It’s not a fun way to spend your vacation, wasting precious time looking for a place you really don’t like and feel is overpriced.

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