advice on alcan trip
I need some information. I need to reach a job in Homer Alaska ASAP. I have limited funds, a reliable but old Grand Caravan, car insurance and children (2) plus cats (2). If we make few leisure stops, sleep in campgrounds or van, eat food purchased at grocery stores, how long will it take, how much money do we need, and what are the gas prices in BC and Yukon right now? Is it true that the Canadian customs requires a certain amount of money per person per day while in Canada and if so, how much? I have been unemployed for months and months and this is the first hopeful thing I have found. Please help
A good reliable source of gasoline prices in USA & Canada can be found at http://www.gaspricewatch.com/
Where are you starting from?
I am starting from Denver
I have made this drive several times in different seasons. I would estimate, from Denver, six days. I think that is a conservative estimate.
Also, I am a respectable looking woman who drives a respectable looking vehicle and they have never asked me about money. I believe the money question only comes up if you say that you plan to stay in Canada for some time and/or have no concrete-sounding travel plans.
Good luck! You can email me directly if you'd like any more help.
Crossing the Border
Hi Traveling Mom,
Taken right from this website:
Dogs and cats from the U.S. that are at least three months old need signed and dated certificates from a veterinarian verifying that they have been vaccinated against rabies within the last three years. The certificate must clearly identify the animal. If your dogs or cats are less than three months old, you do not need a certificate of rabies vaccination signed by a veterinarian to enter Canada. However, the animals must be in good health when they arrive.
Bringing children into Canada
If you are travelling with children, you should carry identification for each child. Divorced parents who share custody of their children should carry copies of the legal custody documents. Adults who are not parents or guardians should have written permission from the parents or guardians to supervise the children. When travelling with a group of vehicles, parents or guardians should travel in the same vehicle as the children when arriving at the border.
Customs officers are looking for missing children and may ask questions about the children who are travelling with you."
Also do not try to bring guns or pepper spray into Canada. If you want pepper spray you can purchase it in Canada but say it's for dogs or bears....not people. For some reason it makes a difference to them even thought the pepper spray for dog is the same one we use in the US on people. Go figure!
It's 3,500 miles from Denver to Homer, Alaska. I would figure 6 or 7 days traveling time.
I plugged the two cities into my Micrsoft Streets and Maps and if you travel about 10 hours a day you can make it in 6 days.
As for gas it's sold in liters in Canada. One good thing is our American Dollar buys more in Canada so that helps with the higher cost of gas and food. When you cross the border either have a credit card to buy gas or exchange currency. You get a better rate at the border or at banks than you get along the road.
Have a safe trip.
Can you tell us more about your experiences? I'm hoping to make the drive from California to Alaska one of these days, probabaly in the fall sometime. I've done some research about traveling on the Alcan highway, but I'd like to hear more about it. What kind of car do you take on a trip like this. Would an SUV be a real big advantage? Any special preparations beyond the usual long road trip essentials? Thanks
Spring is a better bet
The western coast of the US in Fall is great, maybe even the best time. However, the Alcan in the Fall can get problematic. Winter has the potential of arriving in October, so you have to be prepared for stormy conditions.
Any car, as long as it is good condition, is OK for the Alcan Hwy. There is an excellent site taken by a couple of speed demons that you might find useful at http://www.weathergraphics.com/tim/arctic/
I don't know where you can buy pepper spray in Canada. It is a restricted weapon and can be used only by the police.
I don't why you would want pepper spray anyways.
Remember, The Alaska Highway is still a wilderness road. Things aren't as convenient as in the States or southern Canada.
You should have a good supply of money, either cash or credit card when planning a journey through another country. I don't know if the immigration authorities have a set amount, but they do not have to let you into Canada if they have doubts about your ability to transit to Alaska.
You cannot run low on funds and just apply for a job somewhere here.
I missed the reference
I missed the reference to the pepper spray. You are correct, unless someone is looking for excitement, the last things you want a Canadian border official to find in your vehicle are a) guns any kind, b)pepper spray or c)drugs.
Common sense is always the best weapon anyway.