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  1. Default tips for a road trip from Vancouver, bc to Stockton, ca

    Hi, my husband and I are planning to do a road trip this december from Vancouver to Stockton and back, expending no more than 2 days traveling coming and 2 days going. We don't have a car so we're planing to rent one, we would like to expend one night each way in some town that we don't know yet. Any advice about good, clean, nice, cheap hotel on the way? about weather? snow? any way of saving some money on the trip? Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Pretty fast pace for winter travel conditions

    Quote Originally Posted by mery View Post
    Hi, my husband and I are planning to do a road trip this december from Vancouver to Stockton
    As you probably know, it is over 1500 kms by the shortest route between these two places. If the weather cooperates, you can drive this distance in two full days, but if you hit rain and/or snow, it's extremely likely that you won't be able to drive those 1500 Kms in two days. Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum! The other thing you ought to consider is renting a car in Washington instead of in BC because of the challenges of driving a BC car that far south into the United States. Generally the rules of rentals limit excursions into either country to less than 500 kms.
    Any advice about good, clean, nice, cheap hotel on the way?
    Since you will be traveling along I-5 (it's the most direct and fastest route) be sure to stop at the Welcome to Oregon visitor centers (located just south of the border with Washington) -- these places have discount coupons for motels in the area. And the same with your return trip.


  3. Default Thanks!

    That's a good idea renting a car in Seattle, instead of bc!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    SF Bay Area

    Default halfway = Eugene?

    College town; should be lots of lodging options... just make sure you don't try to get lodging around December 3rd, when The Ducks (Oregon) will be playing The Beavers (Oregon State) in a football game affectionately known as "The Civil War"; Eugene will be sold out.

    As to weather; the dicey bit will be the Siskiyous, on the Oregon/California border. Can get closed in major snowstorms and/or may have chain requirements. Your rental will not come with chains.

    Keep an eye on the Oregon DOT website ( for conditions as you head out.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Lodging/rental suggestions

    I agree that weather will determine whether or not you'll be able to do this in 2 days. The Siskiyou Pass area will be the clincher.

    No need to go all the way to Seattle to rent a car. You should be able to find a rental in Bellingham. A quick search shows that they have Hertz, Budget, and Enterprise car rental locations there. Bellingham should be much more convenient for you to get to. There is also an Enterprise car rental agency in Lynden, WA, if that is even better for you to get to.

    Of course, you'll want to set up your rental prior to your trip either online or by calling the locations in Bellingham or Lynden.

    I really wouldn't worry about lodging. You are traveling along a major interstate and I doubt there's a stretch longer than 20 miles or so without hotels right off the highway.

    Your half-way point will be around Roseburg, OR. There's roughly about a dozen chain motels in the Roseburg area per GoogleMaps, and I'm sure there's more choices not listed. Unless you're traveling on a holiday, I wouldn't worry about reservations and just plan on stopping when you're getting weary anywhere along I-5. I would suggest that you try to stop within about 50 miles, either way, from Roseburg in order to break up your trip a bit more equally.

    Hope the weather cooperates!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    There is a shuttle bus service across the border - check the rates in Bellingham versus Seattle. The bus goes to both.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
    SF Bay Area

    Default OK, I know this is the ROAD trip forum....

    But have you considered Amtrak?

    You can catch an Amtrak bus in Vancouver to Seattle at 5:30am, get on the Coast Starlight, and arrive in Sacramento 24 hours or so after you left Vancouver.

    Assuming you're meeting someone in Stockton, they could drive the 50 miles to pick you up, or you could rent a car in Sacto.

    For two people, I'm guessing the Amtrak fares, including a 2 person sleeper compartment, will come to a bit more than the cost of a car and motel, but you may want to consider this anyway. It is probably a cheaper option if you're willing to forego the sleeper compartment and try sleeping in the train seats.

    It gets you there in one long day, and weather should be less of a concern.

    Just an option you may want to look at.
    Last edited by CalOldBlue; 07-07-2009 at 04:30 PM. Reason: Dan Quayle spelling moment....

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Excellent advice and it's gorgeous

    I've taken the Coast Starlight (or whatever it's called now) 5-6 times over the years (although I was usually starting in LA) but it's very nice and I'd recommend the roomette -- It's very, very cozy for two people, but it works and like Don mentioned, weather is less of a concern.


  9. Default It's been really helpfull!


    You're all right, the weather seems to be the one with the last word, I had checked the amtrak webpage and it's way too expensive, at least double than the car+hotel+food+gas, but it seems like a really good experience since we are from south america, we do not have trains there, in my country at least and we also do not have to be worried about snowstorms.

    How soon can I check the weather to see if we can go all the way safely? I know it can change but here it's quite accourate the "weather people".
    It's there any other thing that you can give us advice?

    Besides the snow, we're pretty used to do road trips in our country, dealing with any other sort of things as drunk drivers, bad conditions on the roads, no weather advice, traffic jams that lasts 5+ hours, etc, etc, etc... we just do not have the experience doing it here.

  10. Default by the way...

    We're planning to travel on dec 23 and back to dec 30.

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