Our Alberta Roadtrip

Vacationing close to home!

Wanted to get away for just a week. The option that first came to mind was a neighbouring province of Alberta. Haven’t travelled within Canada for quite some time. We travelled for 7 days from August 15th to 22nd, 2020.

Rented a car from Budget who had great rates. The weekly rental for a Dodge Charger 4 dr vehicle with GPS was around $250

We started in Edmonton for 2 nights and on the way got to see the big Egg in Vegreville which I have never seen before. Stopped a couple of time for a break. Stayed in Edmonton for 2 nights at the Hilton Garden Inn which was close to the West Edmonton Mall. Booking a hotel is not the same by any means. Some of the hotels we used only cleaned the room after a 4-day stay. Some of the hotels have no facilities as well. No restaurants, no stores and no pools. This hotel was okay but would probably choose something else the next time.

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Next on the itinerary was Jasper for one night. Spoiled ourselves a little by staying at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. This is a little way out of Jasper on their private road and was the bonus of the whole trip. Keep in mind that the higher end hotels were offering reopening specials that made them the same as booking less expensive properties. This was kind of a small unit close to the main building that was close to the lake and entered from the outside. The weather was perfect and the scenery was awesome! The COVID 19 treatment here excelled. They had a restaurant that you could choose to sit inside or outside. We chose the outside as the temperature was over 30 degrees. Right down from where you eat is the pool that was also open but we chose to pass as there was quite a line-up as they were controlling the length of time and how many people were allowed in the pool at one time. Food was exemplary here and a varied choice for everyone even those Vegans or Gluten-Free individuals.

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The next morning we were off to Banff. Very beautiful drive. Tried to visit Lake Louise but crazy busy so drove in but couldn’t get a parking spot so left. In Banff, we chose to stay at the Best Western Plus Siding 29 Lodge. Very central and great price. They offer a small breakfast room that includes breakfast with your stay. This hotel was just ½ a block off the main street and was very clean and good customer service. They had underground parking which in this busy spot was a blessing. Just walked to dinner and didn’t have to move the car.

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Next day off to Calgary. Stayed at the Fairmont Palliser Hotel right downtown. We paid $320 for one night but the second night was free. Again had the best service and access to everything downtown. Went in the Calgary Tower and nice to see how the landscape had changed the last few years. Found a discount for Calaway Park tickets including a whole pizza and drinks for noon. For both of us was a total of $79. Some of the rides etc. were closed but still a nice full day. The only thing that was not great is had to pay high parking rates as the hotel did not offer parking during this time.

The drive back was uneventful but still quite enjoyable.

We kept track of everything we purchased even our snacks as I was trying to compare to an all-inclusive holiday. It worked out approx. $1250 per person for everything. If someone didn’t like the driving part, could substitute for airfare. All in all was a great holiday and great for a break. The COVID 19 restrictions were high in most places visited. Had to wear a mask at all times. In Banff, Security Guards approached people on the street to remind them of their policy.

Don’t forget what we have at home! For a short enjoyable holiday would highly suggest Alberta.

By Sandy Karwacki-Farber, BA about Calgary

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