Real Canada

Trip Code: SSYA

Why we love it

Keep your eyes peeled for moose and woodland caribous among towering cedar trees in the fairytale forest of Mt Revelstoke National Park., The spectacular scenery of the Canadian Rockies makes for the perfect opportunity to unleash your inner Nat Geo photographer. It’s really hard to take a bad picture here., From rafting trips to glacier treks, this trip is packed full of optional outdoor activities, giving you the perfect chance to get your hands and boots dirty., Spend a few days seeing what all the fuss is about in Whistler, North America’s premier outdoor adventure hotspot (and a very quaint village to boot)., As a small group travelling in a private vehicle, we can be flexible depending on your preferences. Want to make a detour? If the group agrees, go for it!

Is this trip right for me?

Canada is a huge country and you want to see as much as possible on this tour. Be prepared for some long days of driving with your fellow travellers in a private vehicle. This is all part of the adventure though, and tight spaces can form firm friendships, but free space can be limited.

As we're travelling through the glorious mountains, weather can be unpredictable. We advise wearing layers in case conditions change during the day. At night the temperature can really drop, so make sure you have warm clothing with you. Camping can be especially cold at the start and end of the season, though if you pack right, you’ll be comfortable.

This trip is an authentic, participatory adventure. You'll be expected to help with shopping, cooking and cleaning, as well as setting up and packing down your tent.

While this trip doesn't require a high level of fitness, we recommend you are at least moderately fit in order to enjoy the included and optional activities. If you're not able to participate in all the hikes, you'll miss out on some fantastic scenery as well as the chance to see native flora and fauna.

Important information

1. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm on day 1. This trip finishes on arrival into Vancouver around 3pm on Day 12.
2. A Single Supplement to have your own room is available on this trip however excludes nights 4, 5 & 6 (Banff National Park) and nights 7 & 8 (Jasper National Park) where you will be in shared accommodation. This is due to the availability of campsites and campsite space in these locations where Canadian National Parks are very strict about the number of tents per site.
3. A sleeping bag is required for this trip.
4. Please note that the legal drinking age in the US is 21 and in some parts of Canada it's 19.

What to bring/pack

LUGGAGE RESTRICTIONS:
All luggage is carried in trailers or inside the vehicle so please don't bring more than one medium sized bag, backpack or suitcase (20kg maximum) per person, plus a sleeping bag. Your suitcase/rucksack may get some rough handling, so make sure it's a tough one. A small daypack and camera may also be carried inside the vehicle., As well as your underwear, toothbrush and other items you always need to pack for travel, below are some items that you specifically need for this trip.

ESSENTIAL
- Sleeping bag. Please bring one from home or purchase one before your trip starts - you may not have time once we're on the road. Sleeping bags can easily be bought in the US and Canada at big stores like Walmart, Kmart, Target or at sports and camping supply stores. Renting sleeping bags isn't possible on our trips. As we offer trips throughout the year and travel in diverse climate zones, we recommend you carefully consider the weather and choose an appropriate sleeping bag. Please bear in mind that nights can be very cold even in the warmer months. We can experience temperatures as low as -5C and even snow.
- Towel
- Travel pillow
- Reusable water bottle. We recommend at least a 1.5 litre capacity. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. Tap water in the US and Canada is safe to drink and there are many places to fill up along the way, so please save plastic by bringing your own water bottle.
- Sun protection - hat, sunscreen, sunglasses
- Clothing you can layer. You may encounter a wide variety of temperatures en route due to altitude and unforeseen weather conditions - so be prepared! Make sure to pack a warm fleece and a waterproof jacket. We suggest you check the expected temperatures en route and bring clothing that you can layer.
- Closed-in shoes. As this trip includes camping and/or bush walking we highly recommend that you take a pair of comfortable, closed-in walking shoes. Closed-in shoes will help to protect your feet from cuts and scratches when walking through bush/grass-lands, and will also act as a barrier protection in rare cases against bites or stings from dangerous animals in this environment.

RECOMMENDED
- Power adaptor
- Insect repellent
- Spare camera battery. You should have access to electricity to charge your battery most nights, but as some of the places we stay are a little isolated, it is always a good idea to carry a spare.
- Swimwear
- Head torch
- A simple plastic bag/waterproof toiletry bag (that can hang on a nail on the back of a door) will be useful to keep your clothes dry inside basic camp shower structures.
- Personal medical kit. Your guide will carry a large kit but we recommend you carry items such as mild pain killers, electrolytes, anti-diarrhoeal, antibacterial gel, wet wipes, bandaids/plasters etc.

OPTIONAL:
- Sleep sheet. If you are travelling during the hot season you may wish to also pack a sleep sheet so you will be comfortable no matter what the weather.
- Thermarest. While we provide a basic camping mattress for each client, some travellers find they like the extra comfort of a double layer.
- Ear plugs to guard against a snoring tent-mate
- A good book, a journal or an Ipod for the long drives.

Physical rating

 
2

Many of the North American national parks that we visit have hiking opportunities where walks up to 4 hours can be an option for you. There are often easier options too.

Joining your group

Inn At The Quay, 900 Quayside Dr, New Westminster, BC V3M 6G1, Canada, Vancouver, CANADA

Built on pillars elevated over the Fraser River in New Westminster, our starting point hotel has all guestroom balconies situated over the water. All rooms have a mini fridge, Starbucks Coffee & Mighty Leaf Tea and free Wi-Fi. There is an onsite seafood restaurant with many other restaurants a short walk away.

Joining instructions

Taxis are available at taxi stands located on Level 2 of the Domestic and International Arrivals Area at YVR. Travel time to the hotel is about 40 minutes, depending on the time of day, and will cost around $55. Public transportation is available, but schedules will vary, so it is reccomended to check the SkyTrain and bus schedule closer to your departure. www.translink.ca/Schedules-and-Maps/SkyTrain/SkyTrain-Schedules

Finishing your trip

Inn At The Quay, 900 Quayside Dr, New Westminster, BC V3M 6G1, Canada, Vancouver, CANADA

Travel time to the airport is about 40 minutes, depending on the time of day, and will cost around $55 by taxi. Public transportation is available, but schedules will vary, so it is reccomended to check the SkyTrain and bus schedule closer to your departure. www.translink.ca/Schedules-and-Maps/SkyTrain/SkyTrain-Schedules

Meals & dietary information

Breakfasts included: 

Lunches included: 

Dinners included: 

While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. On our camping trips we often cook the region's specialities so you don't miss out. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.

CAMPING
On our camping trips in North America, we operate an optional kitty, where travellers are encouraged to contribute to a central fund which is used to buy groceries which then supply meals to the entire group. More details of the estimated costs and exclusions can be found in the Money Matters section.

Buying and cooking the food, washing up, etc are shared amongst everyone on the trip. Teams of two people will carry out the camp duties on a rotating basis. On camping nights, we usually cook our evening meals together on our own stove, or barbecue food over the camp fire. We usually prepare salads, grill meats and cook pasta, rice and vegetables. For breakfast we usually buy milk, coffee, tea, cereals, bread, jam, butter etc.

Travellers with dietary requirements may prefer to opt out of the kitty, purchasing and preparing food that is suitable to their individual needs.

Climate & seasonal information

In case of emergency

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.

You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. Please do be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is completed, so informing us while still travelling will give us the opportunity to resolve the issue in real-time.

For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local office on the number below.

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please contact our operations base on 1-800-786-8735 (toll free in the USA and Canada) or +1 707 523 1800 (office hours).

You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.

POLICE AND AMBULANCE
In case of an emergency, local authorities can be contacted by calling 911 – this is the toll free phone number for the police, fire department and the ambulance in the USA and Canada. In case of doubt, call the operator on 0.

BOOKING ENQUIRIES / ISSUES
For general enquiries or questions about your booking, please contact your agent or adventure specialist, or visit us at:
http://www.intrepidtravel.com/au/contact-us

CRISES AND EMERGENCIES
In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency please contact our local ground representative on the number below (remember to drop the +xx country code if you are calling from within the country):

Intrepid’s Local Operator: +1 902 903 2038

Accommodations

NORTH AMERICA CAMPING
The campsites that we use are selected for either their scenic beauty, their convenient location to places of interest and/or the facilities available. We aim to offer you a selection of different types of campsites.

If you've never camped before - no problem! We provide a complete set of camping and cooking equipment. This includes roomy easy-to-pitch tents, which are shared by only two people and are equipped with thin foam rubber mattresses and vinyl floors. Your leader will show you how to pitch a tent on the first day. On many trips we also spend a few nights in reasonably priced hotels/motels/hostels (as per the itinerary).

Remember that sleeping bags are not provided. Check out the Packing section for more information.

You'll find the necessary facilities - toilets and in most cases showers, washing machines and dryers - at many of our campsites. The showers at some campsites only have cold water available and some may require a payment (usually no more than US$1-$3 for a quick shower). This is payable locally and is a contribution towards the cost of a limited water supply. Some campsites won't have any facilities, but this will rarely be for more than one night at a time. This is true of many campsites within Yosemite National Park, so if your trip is visiting this park, please prepare to go without a shower on this night, although it can often be arranged to stop and utilise facilities on our way out of the park.

In all campsites there are strict quiet hours when no loud noise is allowed. This means that all music, singing and group gatherings must stop. We request that all our travellers respect these campsite rules.

For trips where there are lodges/cabins used, couples travelling together may be separated as our rooming arrangements are based on single gender.

Our high-quality camping equipment (including tents) can be affected by bad weather conditions. This can result in some wet and cold conditions inside the tent. Your spirit of adventure and flexibility will help make your adventure trip an exciting and unforgettable experience. On nights where the group is camping, and weather conditions are extreme (such as snow or heavy rain), there may be an opportunity for the group (if everyone agrees) to stay at an alternative location such as a nearby hostel or hotel. When this is the case the upgrade is at your own expense.

CAMPING OUTSIDE THE SUMMER MONTHS:
Our trips extend beyond the traditional vacation months (June - September). This is because over the years we've recognised there's a demand from our travellers for trips outside this period. Many enjoy the experience of North America in the snow, or in the crisp and clear atmosphere of spring. We've operated successful trips throughout the year however some consideration must be taken when choosing a trip that travels in the colder months such as:
- Have you got a suitable sleeping bag?
- Do you have suitable warm clothing - fleece, waterproofs, thermals?
- Are your walking and hiking boots waterproof and warm?

You may also like to think about bringing your own camping mat for this period as the double layer provides extra warmth.

In some locations it may be possible to upgrade from camping to cabins if it is cold. You will need to pay for, and arrange this locally and it is of course subject to availability. In some locations it may only be possible to upgrade if the whole group is willing to.

If you come prepared and are willing to experience North America at this very special time of year, then you will be set for a great time.

Transportation

NORTH AMERICA VEHICLES
Our large fleet of vans are fully equipped with dual air-conditioning system, V8 engines and any camping or cooking equipment needed for your trip. Most have cloth-upholstered seats and carpeted interior with radio/tape or CD players. Your luggage is transported in a trailer which is towed behind the van.

The vans are regularly serviced in our own maintenance facility and continuously checked and serviced by a well-established network of maintenance and service facilities throughout the continent. However, unforeseen maintenance problems can still occur while on the road and we appreciate the patience of our travellers as we make necessary repairs as quickly as possible.

While your group will have a van for all included activities on the trip, the services of the van and the driver may not be available for your use during free time, or after you have arrived for the day. If you need a special trip into town you may need to arrange transport or a taxi.


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