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  1. Default Los Angeles to Vancouver to Toronto

    Alright, so here's the breakdown. We have 4 great buddies right now that have been planning a road trip from Los Angeles to Canada and explore most of the parts. We are all going to be 18 by the time of the trip with the exception of one person. However, we can all drive with the exception of the 17 year old. Everyone going on this trip is American except for me because I am Canadian. We've discussed that the trip will also take 14 days and 13 nights.

    So basically, I have thought about some of the concerns and they are all here numbered:

    1) Purpose: Our goal is to visit as many places throughout North America as possible. We are all great friends and most will be for our experience. Sight-seeing is fun but the this is so that we will have a once in a life-time thing that we will never forget.

    2) I have already planned out 9 stops where we will actually see the sight.
    Start: Ontario, CA
    1. Portland, OR
    2. Vancouver, BC
    3. Calgary, AB
    4. Thunderbay, ON
    5. Ottawa, ON
    6. Washington DC
    7. Nashville, TN
    8. Albuquerque, NM
    9. Home Sweet Home!

    Of course, there will be nights where we lodge at motels on the side of the highway. I am planning to also stop by Whistler and even Winnipeg at some point of the trip. It seems quite insane but I have been through this before as a teenager with some of my older friends. Some sight-seeing spots would be great if possible. If you think that the stops should be changed so that we will have a more worthwhile trip than that would be cool too.


    This is one of the bigger issues that I have with the whole Road Trip. The trip will be approximately 8000 miles while driving my dad's 2001 Camry LE Edition which gets maybe 30 mpg making our total gas expenses $1000.

    Food costs will not be much of a problem because no one going is a picky eater. I predict cereal in the morning, skipping lunch and instead having constant snacks and finally a dinner on the grill or even out to a resteraunt. I predict around $50 a day for food and multiply that by 14 and the total is $700.

    Sight Seeing...I can't think of stuff on the top of my head but we are definately going to go to a Vancouver Canucks hockey game, Whistler Blackcomb, Hockey Hall of Fame, Toronto Raptors game etc. I figure that will total up to around $1000 for all of us.

    Lodging is another key thing that could save us plenty. We do have a lot of connections within Canada and a lot of Relatives. I think it would be cool for us to stay at some relatives' places on occasions but motel every other day which is around another $100 per day making the total $700 for lodging. That's actually everything I can think of up to this point so the grand total of this trip will be around $3400 give or take.

    We have four people with us on this trip which means that each person puts in $850. We will have 14 days to waste so that means each person can spend around $60 a day give or take. Of course, not everyday will be sight fact, we are willing to grind out whole days where we just focus on driving. We plan to stay in Canada for as long as possible so out first couple of days from Ontario to Vancouver will be driving pretty much.

    4)The Border: This is my biggest concern up to this point because I really am not sure of what the rules are up to this point. Are we allowed to bring things over from Canada to America. Novelties....Food....Clothes....stuff like that.

    Of course, this whole trip is still very rough up to this point and we still have around a year to plan. But we are definately going to see this whole trip through. Please leave advice on anything such as the budget etc. I have even thought about renting a Hybrid and then going out on our trip but I don't think that will save us anything.

    Much help is appreciated, thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Enthusiasm vs. Reality

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I hate to start things out on such a down note, but there simply is no way you'll be able to do an 8000 mile trip in 14 days and have any time left over to even take quick stops in 9 cities, much less spend enough time to go to hockey games and other sightseeing. Just the driving alone in that time would require you to be in the car for close to 10 hours a day, for every day of your trip. (and that assumes interstate speeds, which aren't always possible through much of the Trans-Canada highway)

    I'll also say that renting a hybrid or any other car isn't going to be feasable, because virtually noone will rent a car to anyone under the age of 21.

    But there is some good news. Your budget seems like you've got the fundamentals down, so even though you'll have to scale back the miles, there is a good foundation to know how much money you'll need. Your food budget is a little low for 4 people, even on a shoestring I'd probably up it to $80 per day. And crossing the border shouldn't be much of an issue for the 18 year olds, as long as you've got your passports, which will be required by next year. The 17 year old will be a little trickier, and at the very least you should have a notarized note from his parents that it is ok for him to cross the border.

    Its always great to set the bar high, but you're going to have to lower it if you want to make this trip a reality. Instead of going all the way to Toronto, you might think about just limiting yourself to Vancouver and maybe Calgary before coming back.

  3. Default

    Thanks a lot for the advice. I do understand that my hopes were a little high so we are going to lower the standards. I spent some time with them today and we discussed the cancellation of Toronto. They don't mind a lot but I was actually born in Toronto so I really wanted to make it.

    From the looks of it, I think we will be able to make it to Calgary and back which also saves us a whole lot of money on gas. Food at $80 a day is manageable too because the gas prices balance it out. Do you happen to have any advice on where to go sightseeing whether its in California, Oregon, Washington, British Colombia or Alberta? I remembered that Edmonton would be great because the biggest mall is there.

    Thank you so much for the tip. I am wondering if I can reply to traveling threads like this though I am not a mod or admin. I want to try to stay active in the forum and help others possibly...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Advice always welcome

    Of course you can respond!

    Pretty much all of the moderators here started just as you have, by asking a single question, and we encourage people to be as active as they'd like to be.

    As far as your trip goes, I was thinking you could quickly make your way up to Vancouver, then explore some of the National Parks in the Canadian Rockies on your way to Calgary. Then you could make your way back via Glacier, Yellowstone, and some of the Utah Parks.

    In all honesty, that would probably require a little overstuffing of the trip, but you could certainly pick and choose to make a very fun trip.

  5. Default

    Hi Milhouse --

    I did a trip that's about 50% similar to yours. LA area to Seattle/ Vancouver, then up to Banff and Jasper, and back south by way of Whistler.

    There's a road trip report at link It's a bit long, but you might pick up some places to visit from it.

    It was about 9 days of driving, and pretty much at least 6-7 hours a day on the road each day. We added in a few extra days of places to stop over which weren't included in that time.

  6. Default

    Thank you so much for the great report. I am getting ideas already! Olives sound great.

  7. Default Packing Clothes

    I am wondering how many days of clothing I should pack up for a 14 day road trip. What kind of clothes should I bring'll will be warm for the most part. If we need to do the's going to be a major setback to time so please make some suggestions.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Keithville, LA

    Default My Philisophy on Clothes

    I bring about 4-5 pairs of pants/shorts and then enough shirts for as many days as I will be gone plus two more. I also pack a couple of long sleeved shirts and a hoodie or two to put over my t-shirts. This is all assuming that we are talking about a trip in warm weather.

    In cold weather I'd pack enough long sleeved shirts for each day I'll be gone + 2, plus a hoodie, a raincoat or light jacket and a big coat.

    Of course there's also the route I took on a roadtrip in 2006 where I left all of my shirts, save the one I was wearing, in the dryer at my house. That was a good way to justify buying a touristy top from every place I visited that year.
    It was so bad that the people at the Ferrari booth at the US Grand Prix started to recognize me.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default At 45,000+ Views and Counting

    It is probably worth having a look at this thread. Just be sure to read it all.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Small setback

    I certainly don't think laundry should be a big setback for time. Most hotels and many campgrounds offer laundry facilities. That will let you do a few loads while you are already spending time relaxing.

    Its going to be important to bring a pretty big range of clothing, as you could see some pretty big temperatures swings between Southern California and the Canadian Rockies.

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