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  1. Default Vancouver, BC to the states...

    Hi there!!
    So me and my boyfriend are in Vancouver, British Columbia and are from the UK, we're heading home soon but want to do an epic road trip.
    It's going to begin in April this year, planning to head down the west coast.
    Any help would be very much appreciated as I've never planned anything like this before

    We want to rent a car somewhere but don't know where will be best

    We was thinking Oregon, Washington, California and Nevada.
    We want to include Las Vegas in this road trip but we also want to fly to New York. Does anyone know which airport will be cheapest to fly from.

    Also anything we should see along the way or too add to the trip?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Two RoadTrips in One

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    OK, I will say that your proposed RoadTrip to the Pacific Northwest and then over to Las Vegas combines two of the most popular RoadTrips in the US. So have a read through those previous discussions to see what others have recommended as worthwhile on those drives.

    It will be very costly, if not impossible, to rent a car in Canada and drop it off deep in the US, so your best bet would be to take public transportation, bus or train or ferry, from Vancouver to Seattle and rent the car there. There will still probably be a substantial one-way drop off fee, but it should be at least somewhat lower than what it would be from across the border.

    As for where you'll find the cheapest flight to New York, you'll just have to shop. Candidates include San Francisco, Los Angeles and Las Vegas as well as Phoenix. There are several websites that will search through all the various airlines for you, given departure and destination airports, such as Kayak, Expedia, Orbitz, Matrix and others. But be aware that none of them will include two airlines, Southwest and Spirit, that do not share their pricing information with outside websites.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Welcome to RTA!

    I don't know which airport will be cheapest to fly from, you will have to check the major booking sites for comparisons.

    As far as renting a car, you will also have to research that online. However, be advised that renting a car in one city and dropping it off at another will entail a one way drop off fee. You will also have a surcharge for additional drivers and for any drivers under 25. Don't even think of renting it in Canada and returning it in the US, that will be very expensive if even possible.

    I would check on airfares and rentals in Seattle, at least it's easy to get there from Vancouver on public transportation that's not expensive.

  4. Default

    Thank you both for replying.

    I've been researching a lot today.
    Now I've decided to go Vancouver island first then to Seattle by ferry as then i get to see the island here also then picking a car up somewhere along the way.
    It's so hard to plan, I keep wanting to add extra places to the list as there is so much I want to see haha.
    I will look through some old posts now and see if there's anything there to guide me.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.


    Keep it simple to start with by marking the places you really want to visit and then when you start to join the dots a route will appear and then you can look at all those options in between. The Road trip field reports forum is a good place to search as you can pick and choose ideas from other peoples trips. Our latest trip titled 'Wonders of the West' included parts of each US State you mentioned so that might give up some ideas.

    The important fact that you did not mention is how much time you have to accomplish your goals. You could consider renting a car in Seattle and doing a loop trip back there, that way you could enjoy coastal sights heading south [to put the ocean on your side of the road] and then come back through the inland sights, the same sort of thing as we done only starting in LA.

    Once you have made a small start and given us more details we can then make meaningful suggestions and help put you adventure together.

  6. #6


    A few quick comments:

    The train from Vancouver, B.C. to Seattle is a pleasant ride. Seats on the right side southbound have the best views. From the Seattle train station you can transfer to Seattle's light rail a few blocks away for your ride to the airport. From there, it is a short walk to the airport to hop the rental car shuttle (all the airport car rentals are located in a common terminal). Likewise, you can find where the Vancouver-Seattle ferry docks in Seattle and the nearest link terminal to catch the local transit to the airport.

    Airports: The two major Calif. cities each have several airports to choose from. San Francisco (SFO, Oakland and San Jose) and Los Angeles (LAX, John Wayne/Orange County (SNA) and Ontario). SFO and LAX are large international airports; LAX is quite congested internally and externally). Oakland, San Jose and John Wayne are smaller, less congested airports and easier to navigate. Las Vegas is my least favorite of the bunch, but may be the most convenient to your trip.

    All those departure cities will fly somewhere in the NYC area, but prices can range widely by point-to-point and date. Use NYC to cover all the New York City airports in your searches. The major airports are John F. Kennedy (JFK), Newark (EWR) and Laguardia. Another airport is located in western Long Island, Islip, and you can reach the city on commuter rail.

    Southwest Airlines flies 737 jets, allows two free checked bags each person, and you can make flight itinerary changes without penalty (you just pay the difference in ticket price for the new itinerary, and or SWA pays you if it is a lower price).

    Seattle is a great city, as is Portland. The Washington coast makes for an interesting drive along the Juan de Fuca Stait to the NW corner of the state. Port Townsend in located at the tip of the Stait and Puget Sound, another worthy visit. Olympic National Park is also worthy of a visit. Heading south you have several options on US 101--can't go wrong either way.

    From I-5, Longview, Washington, you can head west on U.S. 30, following the Columbia River to Astoria. Several diversions in Astoria. US-101 south along the coast is a scenic route. You can stay on it into Calif. before branching off onto Rt. 1, coastal highway, all the way to San Francisco. And then ride Rt 1/US 101 (Pacific Coast Hwy) all the way to Los Angeles.

    Have fun!

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