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  1. Default Week long trip before Ottawa

    Hi guys, I have been planning a trip out to Ottawa to visit one of my friends. I had originally intended to fly direct to Ottawa arriving on the 15th of September, however I am now thinking it could be the perfect opportunity to see a little bit of the states before I meet him. I was thinking about flying to an American Airport (still undecided as to where) on the 8th of September and then spending the following week travelling up to Ottawa. Just wondering if anyone had any advice about potential routes/interesting places to visit on my way up? For example i was thinking maybe arriving in Chicago and then heading through Detroit and Toronto or potentially approaching from the east and arriving in Philadelphia and travelling through Buffalo and Toronto to arrive there. I'm coming from Scotland and it is my first time ever out of Europe so I am incredibly excited, any advice would be very much appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Make It Easy on Yourself

    Ceud měle fŕilte! Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Sounds like the perfect excuse for a RoadTrip to me. Actually, any excuse for a RoadTrip sounds perfect to me. But by flying in/out of the United States, I think you'll find slightly lower airfares and car rental rates than by going into Canada directly. For that same reason, you should carefully compare the combined costs of airfare and car rental when you decide which city to use as your gateway. I strongly suspect that you'll find that Chicago and Detroit will be more expensive than the east coast ports of entry, and besides the drives between almost any east coast city (Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Washington) will tend to be more interesting, varied, and scenic than either of the Midwest cities. Boston, New York and Philadelphia are all roughly equidistant from Ottawa with Washington being slightly farther, but not by enough to tip the scales. All are closer than Chicago. All of the east coast cities would allow you to include some ocean beaches as well as some mountains that will remind you of the Highlands (but a good bit more forested), and all will allow a good mix of vibrant city life along with decidedly more relaxed countryside living. So, at this point, what I'd suggest you do is look long and hard at those four possible east coast entry points. Check the prices and see if there's one that appeals to you more than the others as a place you'd like to visit. Once you pick an entry point, we can help you make the most of your drive to Ottawa and back.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Please note that you should fly in and out of the same American city - it will be less expensive, and it will also eliminate a "one way" dropoff fee for the rental car. A car rented in the US cannot be dropped off in Canada, and you do have to make sure you are allowed to take the car into Canada and back.

    I would guess that the lowest airfares would probably be in and out of New York, but car rental may be higher if you rent from an airport location.

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

    Default one way

    GLC raised a concern I had about what appears to be a one way trip. There are few companies that allow you to rent in the US and drop in Canada, and those that do charge a significant fee.

    Another option you might consider is flying into Canada, perhaps Toronto or Montreal, and then drive to the US from there, before heading back to Ottawa.

    If you want to start in the US, you might consider flying into Detroit and then take a cab/bus across the border, and rent a car in Windsor. Although, actually I just looked and found that Alamo appears to charge the same rate for a one way rental from Detroit to Ottawa as it does from Windsor, so you might want to look into that.

  5. Default

    Thank you very much for the advice guys! My intention was to journey between the different cities by bus or by train so car rental wont be a problem. Definitely think I'm leaning more towards the east coast now, would really like to start in Philadelphia and arrive in Ottawa a week later. Any ideas/advice on a route to follow and the best sights take in on the way there? Just any advice in general will be very much appreciated though!

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