From August to October, we are sharing first-hand stories from Meaghen Stock – a Mobilizer alumni.
This is her fourth story, sharing her travel tips of how to get around in the Canadian Rockies. Her first three stories were on money saving tips while on the road, her personal journey through the Mobilize program and grocery shopping tips for a tight budget.
Written by guest blogger Meaghen Stock:
My guide to getting around the Canadian Rockies
Travelling in the Canadian Rockies is an experience you should try and take advantage of while working with Mobilize. They have so many job placements located in the Rockies that while you are there, you should try and see whatever you can. With Mobilize you may get the opportunity to work in beautiful places such as Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper, Radium or Invermere. Here are my top 8 tips for getting around the Canadian Rockies while not taking too much of a hit in your wallet.
1. Car pool whenever you can
If you have a pod mate with a car, consider yourself lucky. This is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to see as much as you can. If your other pod mates and yourself are willing to pitch in gas money and treat the person driving, then you are likely to all have lots of fun and see more things than if you didn’t have a vehicle.
2. Use Greyhound
Although the Greyhound is far from comfortable, this is a cheap way to try and get around to different towns, or to just get out of the Rockies as well. For example, if you’re taking a day trip to Calgary, the Greyhound would definitely be your best form of transportation without a car.
3. Use Brewster
Brewster is another bus system operated to help you get around the Rockies. Brewster runs through popular places such as Lake Louise, Banff, Jasper and Calgary. This is a great way to get to and from the Calgary airport, or to go explore Banff. Although Brewster is a little more expensive than Greyhound it may almost be equal in price and more convenient if you are able to get a staff discount.
4. Bring food with you on bus/car
Bringing food with you on the trip can help save some money so you don’t have to buy all of your meals. Tiny snacks such as granola bars or dried fruit are small and easy to bring.
5. The closer you are to a big city, the better the deals you find
Since the Canadian Rockies are a tourist attraction, it can be hard to find many good deals. The best tip I’ve learned so far is that the closer you are to the city, the better the deals you find. For example, Lake Louise is very expensive and you won’t find many good deals. Next to Lake Louise is Banff. While Banff is a little cheaper than Lake Louise, it is still expensive. Then there is Canmore, which is cheaper than Banff, but still doesn’t have great prices. Calgary would be the cheapest and the best place to find deals.
6. Visit Banff Ave
While visiting Banff, the main street in Banff or what someone might call the “downtown” area is the best spot to visit. This is the one stop place for your grocery shopping, main restaurants, as well as many souvenir stores. Each souvenir store is independently run so make sure to check prices at each one to help you find the best deals. This street is where you will find all of the main clubs, as well if you want to go have a fun night out with friends. If you’re interested in hitting up the clubs in Banff, Sunday nights at the Dancing Sasquatch are locals nights and have some discount drinks. HooDoo is another great place to visit on Sunday nights with some deals on drinks.
If you are unable to make it to Calgary, Canmore is the next cheapest place to get food from Lake Louise and it is also where the closest dollar store is located. Canmore is a great place to stock up on everyday items when you get the chance to visit.
8. Where to stay on overnight trips
When travelling throughout the Canadian Rockies, and looking to spend the night, the cheapest accommodations are hostels. This is also a great way to meet new people and make connections while in the area. Wicked Hostels in Calgary is known for their younger crowd. If hostels aren’t your thing, in Banff the King Edward Hotel also has some pretty cheap rooms depending on the time of year you are visiting. It is a little more expensive in the summer versus winter as summer is tourist season.
These tips have helped me plan trips to visit many beautiful places in the Rockies. I have been able to save some money and take different forms of transportation. Hopefully these tips for getting around the Canadian Rockies will help you too!