Travel Directions Banff
Wondering "how to" get to this World Heritage Site?
Come See the Beauty!!!

Travel Directions Banff


Travel Directions Banff

This year you’ve decided to make the Canadian Rocky Mountains, your vacation destination.

You’ve had the family meeting and have come up with a concensus or a compromise!!!

Anyway you look at it, this is where you’re traveling to this year. We look forward to seeing you in one of the most beautiful, peaceful and tranquil places in the world.

I've heard people say they thought Banff and Lake Louise were in the same place....that the Banff Springs Hotel was the same at the Chateau Lake Louise....wrong! They are entirely different areas with their own amazing views and charm.....

See you in Banff - Getting There with Planes, Trains or Automobiles. Travel Directions Banff will ensure you get there safe and sound.

Travel Directions Banff
Travel Directions Banff

Banff is about an hour and half drive from the Calgary International Airport.

So your flights are booked!!! You and your family are on your way.

Remember a window seat if possible, so you can take in those amazing Canadian Rockies.

If you can arrive during the day, you’ll to get a sneak preview of what you an expect as you head into Banff.

The winter roads are usually pretty good but you never know when we may get a huge dump of snow!! I know you avid skier’s and boarders could care less!!!!

There are a couple of options with your travel directions Banff ....you can take a Banff Shuttle. If you’re planning a ski holiday this may be the best option....no need for you to drive. There are car rentals available in Banff as well.

Or if your arriving from a long flight with some "Jet Lag"....you may want to have someone else get you to Banff, especially if you're coming from the UK....we drive on the left side of the road here!!!!

Travel Directions Banff
First Time Travel to Canada?

This Destination Guide gives you first hand, practical information on getting to this beautiful part of the country.

I've found if you've never been to Banff before, people are a little surprised with what they find....

So If you're visiting Canada for the first time or the tenth time you should know the essentials.

Note: It might not be a bad idea to print out Travel Directions Banff and take it on your trip, unless of course you plan to back pack with your computer.

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Appliances/Electrical

Canadian appliances run on 120 Volts at 60 Hertz. Our plugs and receptacles are different from those in European countries.

Ours use two prongs or preferable three pronged plugs (the third being a ground which is round and located in the middle and lower than the the other two) plugs with the two main blades in parallel.

One of the main blades may have a slightly wider blade which connects to the hot lead (but the receptacles will still accommodate the older plugs with equal size blades). You can purchase adapters from stores specializing in travel gear and accessories.

Travel Directions Banff - Banks and Trusts

Canada has a handful of large banks and smaller trusts. You can generally count on the banks to be open between 10am and 3am on the weekdays. There are variations.

Consult their web sites or contact them for particulars. Bank branches are plentiful in major urban areas but you may have trouble finding a particular institution in smaller centers.

ATMs (bank machines) are dedicated to particular banks but usually accept Cirrus, Interac and Plus transactions. The machines are available almost everywhere except in more isolated areas rural areas.

Travel Directions Banff - Holidays/Vacations

Travelers often overlook a country's holiday periods and may suffer major inconvenience for this small oversight. Canadians have a number of national holidays along with a few provincial variations. In either case you can expect businesses and government agencies to be shut down.

The following should give you a pretty good idea of what to expect. Be advised that for some holidays the actual day taken off may be moved for convenience (Canadians' not yours).

The peak season for summer vacationers in Banff is the month of July into August. The last two weeks in July is an especially busy time on the highways. All schools are let out by the end of June.

Hotel reservations during this time can be pricey...if you can go before the middle of June to the middle of October....you'll miss the high season rates....

The so called "March break" for schools in the winter months has been staggered depending on the school. The timing seems to have no rhythm nor reason. To further complicate things the schools in the U.S. also have a winter break which may or may not correspond to their Canadian counterparts.

Be aware that ski areas and other winter sport locales may be excessively crowded during the latter part of February. In Alberta there's a long weekend around February 17th called Family Day Long weekend. So the ski slopes can be very busy. Then March break happens so do plan ahead.

Looking for some solitude, think early spring and of course the fall. You should, of course, pay particular attention to the weather which is more unpredictable at these times.

Banff Weather

The weather throughout the Canadian Rockies and around Banff is extremely variable, due to our high altitude and the rugged mountain terrain.

Banff weather through spring and fall is usually moderate but can and does change rapidly. There are of course a lot of factors which effect the weather not the least of which is elevation. Mountainous areas of the country can experience snow at any time of year, so be prepared.

The Rockies have warm summers but winter conditions can set in at any time at the high elevations. Of course the winters are typical of mountainous areas at this latitude and you can expect lots of snow. British Columbia's interior can be really extreme with a moderate degree of desertification.

Travel Directions Banff - Credit Cards and Bank Cards

Most Canadian businesses accept major credit cards with the use of Master Card, Visa, American Express being the most popular. ATMs (bank machines) usually accept Cirrus, Interac and Plus transactions and the machines are available most everywhere except in the more rural areas of the country.

Travel Directions Banff - Currency

Canada's currency is the Canadian dollar, which is broken down into one hundred cents. Our bills are in denominations of $5, $10, $20, $50, $100 etc.

The coinage consists of pennies (one cent), nickels (five cents), dimes (ten cents), quarters (twenty five cents), dollars (dollar coin, often referred to as a loonie), and two dollar coin (or twoonie).

It's highly advisable to exchange some currency before you enter the country. Never be caught without at least a small reserve of Canadian dollars or travellers' cheques.

Travel Directions Banff - Customs

If you're visiting from another country you'll need a valid passport. You may need to produce other information and documents. The best approach you might take is to contact the Canadian embassy in your own country or Canadian customs and immigration in Canada.

You are restricted to 40oz of liqour or 24 12oz bottles of beer when entering the country. There is also a restriction in respect to tobacco (contact Canadian Customs). You must be 18 yrs or older to qualify for any of these exemptions.

Travel Directions Banff - Emergency

In many urban centers you can get emergency assistance by dialing 911. Failing this call the operator by dialing 0. Air Search and Rescue 1 800 267-7270


More and more the prospect exists that the costs of a search and rescue operation may, at least partially, be borne by the distressed party. Exercise caution when venturing into the wilderness, be prepared and don't overstep your level of experience or judgement. On the other hand don't delay a rescue because of a fear of incurring cost. There is no limit to the value of human life.

Language

Canada has two official languages and federal agencies will be happy to serve you in either. While the majority of Canadians are English speaking, the province of Quebec is predominantly French as are parts of New Brunswick, Ontario and Manitoba.

Medical

Canada has an excellent medical system with all of the newest tools, techniques and procedures. Visitors to Canada must have their own health insurance, which you should ensure covers you outside your country. You can also look into the purchase of travel insurance from your travel agent.

Pets

Domestic pets entering Canada with their owners must be accompanied by vaccination certificates from a licensed veterinarian. Check with customs and immigration for the exact details.

Taxes

Canada has a goods and services tax (GST) of 5% along with a provincial tax which varies by province. Alberta is the glaring exception with no provincial sales tax at all. Visitors can apply for a rebate (within 60 days) on the GST tax for most articles purchased within Canada. Forms are available at your port of entry or from Revenue Canada.




Travel Directions Banff - Tipping/Gratuities

There are no hard and fast rules regarding this. Generally tipping is expected in restaurants, bars and hotels. Taxi drivers and airport shuttle drivers may not help you with your backpack if you forget them.

In Banff, people in these service industries look for between 10 to 15% of the bill (before taxes) if they have provided good service.

Of course all of this is at your discretion but if you don't tip, don't be surprised if you have a hard time getting another pint.

Travel Directions Banff - Transportation

Calgary International Airport services all major airlines. The rail system isn't nearly as extensive as it once was. Traveling to Banff by Rail is an adventure in itself - check it out!!!!

Canadians drive on the right hand side of the road, which is the same as in the US but the opposite of Britain.

Travel Directions Banff


The Travel Directions Banff will get your vacation off to good start.

No surprises!

Know exactly where you're going before you leave home.


Looking for tips when traveling with kids? Check this out!

Remember....a Great Canada Vacation starts with Great Vacation Planning!!!!

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