Drive or Fly to Calgary?

So it’s my brother’s wedding in two weeks.  Ruth and I will be going and we’re debating whether to rent a car and drive it or to fly.  If we drive we need to rent because I only have summer tires on my car, and this time of year the highway could be bare or it could be a snowball; if last night’s snow here is any indication the latter looks more and more probable.   It will cost less to fly; we can go on my points and pay 100 and some bux for the airport taxes only.  Not sure the exact amount for two people…for just me it was 84, for two of us it could be 168, then I guess.  Then there’s the money for either parking or cab to airport, depending on which we do.  Parking would be 50 bux, cab would be a bit more.  We will get there much quicker and my parents will pick us up at the airport  and we can spend Friday with my parents.  So 218.

If we drive, a car rental will be about 150 bux.  Two tanks of gas would be another 80 (I think two would do it on a midsize, but it might be 3) .  Lunch on the road will be another 15-40 depending on how well we eat.  Each way, so the total could be as high as 350.  Don’t forget 10 dollars each way for the toll highway.  Plus, it takes anywhere from 9-12 hours vancouver to red deer, depending on the roads.  I once left at 8 AM and got to my parents for dinner, but that was summer time.  I can usually average about 140 from Hope to Kamloops, and average about 125-130 the whole way, which brings the time down to under 9 hours with a stop for lunch.   That’s assuming the Coquihalla is clear, and I have a speeder in front of me to act as radar bait 😉  .  If it’s snowy add anywhere from 1 to 5 hours on it, or even an overnight if a storm hits.  That would be bad cuz we’d miss the wedding saturday at 1:30 (well, depending on where we have to stop).

The thing is, even though there’s more cost, time and  risk associated with driving, Ruth has never been through the mountains, and that drive is so spectacular for a first time viewer.  I’d like to give her the opportunity to see it.  Of course, if we choose to fly this time around we can always do the drive in the summer sometime, when I can take my car and save the rental fee as well.  Plus maybe we can do the banff/jasper parkway in the summer, which is even more phenomenal than the rest of the trip (possibly my all time favorite piece of road that i’ve been on).  We could even make a trip of it instead of a marathon driving session, which could be good too.

Anyways, I gotta suss it out soon, as time is getting short.  Heh.   Damn gotta buy a wedding gift too!  I hope Ruth isn’t stressed about meeting the family, but she’ll do fine…


3 comments so far

  1. Duane on

    Seriously, it’s too risky to drive this time of year. If you want to take her to the rockies, wait until the summer when you can drive the icefields highway and see some real amazing scenary.

    A carful of my friends tried to drive from Chilliwack to Calgary a few years ago. A semi slipped out of his lane on a snowy curve and totalled their vehicle. Every single one of them died in the accident. So, it’s really not worth the risk.

  2. Rosie on

    Ooooh, meeting the fam.

    I think you should fly this time and save some bucks. And then drive there in the summer! It is gorgeous during the summer, too!

  3. twitchy67 on

    Yeah the icefields hiway is what i meant by the Banff/Jasper parkway. The actual name is the Banff Jasper Icefields Parkway, I thinks.

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