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Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
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  #1  
Old 5 Mar 2006
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Planning accommodations in advance?

I'm planning a trip across Canada this summer. First leg is Toronto to the east coast and back (including Labrador). Second leg is Toronto to BC/Yukon. This is my first 'big trip'.

I have selected overnight stops along the way in areas that provide camping/ B&B's, motels, etc.

Realizing that delays happen, how does one make arrangements for accommodations? I'm assuming that you just 'find' somewhere to stay, as making any kind of reservations can get messed up if you aren't sure when you will arrive.


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Old 5 Mar 2006
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Although I have been to Canada a couple of times, I can't claim to know much about accomodation availabilty in that country. However, my general experience from all the places I have been to, unless some major event is present (like a huge conference or sport event), accomodation has allways been available to me. Even during peak seasons or during special events, if there are more than a few hundred beds for rent, somenone allways fail to show up for their booking, you only have to find out where. You might have to search a while, and you might not get accomodation at the quality level or price range you are looking for.Worst case you have to put in a couple of hours of extra travel to get to another place where accomodation is available.

Even when warned strongly against it, I have taken my chances. I have experienced having to sleep on the floor for a night as I came to a small ski resort place during the easter high season. Another time, on a small Island off the coast of Lombok in Indonesia, my wife and I had to sleep in a 1 dollar a night flee infested bungalow with a squatting toilet and something that resembled a roof and gave exellent view of the stars. I've also had to spend a night in a 4 star hotel when I aimed at a two star. In Thailand I had to live in an inexpensive but gorgeous bungalow right on the beach as it was the only thing they had available (the more expensive hotels were located further in on the island). Well, in all of the instances above I was warned against going without booking faaar in advance as I was guaranteed to be without roof over my head. In all cases I found a place to sleep, and the next day I was allways able to find pretty much what I was looking for (except for the bungalow on the beach which I chose to keep as it was a real treat). If you bring a tent, then you would need some really bad luck in order to have to sleep with no roof under your head.

Unless I plan to stay put in one place for more than a few days, I never book ahead as I enjoy the flexibility it gives me. I do however, if travelling far far away, like Thailand, book a hotel the first night. Then I can spend the following day to get adjusted and find out if I want to stay, find another place to live, or hit the road for a different place all together. Standing at the airport in a strange and unfamiliar country after 15-20 hours of travel, with all your posessions and eye boogers, and having to search for a place to crash for the night, simply sucks.

If you don't mind going either up or down budget for one or two nights from what you planned, then I'd expect that you would not experience any problems getting accomodation. I do however think you would be wise to checking out general availability of accommodation for the period and places you plan to go. Bring a phone and some listings and you can allways call and book from the road. If you anticipate that there might be some trouble in some area, you might want to try to book a few of days in advance (you might have to try a few consecuitive days). Worst case, you may have to wait a while or go somewhere else... I must admit however, searching for a place to crash after hours and hours on the road is not much fun. Call ahead if you are certain you will spend the night in some specific town. If you are very picky about accomodation (room with a view on street such and such, or the cheapest of the cheap, then allways book ahead).

Hopefully someone else here may be able to answer the general availabilty of accomodation on your route for the period you plan to be there. Regardless, placing some calls to a few tourist information centres along your route and a couple of hotels may give you an indication.

[This message has been edited by Wheelie (edited 04 March 2006).]
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Old 5 Mar 2006
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Why reserve if you are taking the tent? Be independant, go or stay where you feel like. It's a lot easier.
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Old 5 Mar 2006
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For our last trip to BC, YT, Alaska I went online and checked each town we would go through and made a list with telephone numbers.
You can find more places online that you can find in the Milepost.
My list is online, it's a year and a half old.

http://www.geocities.com/widebmw@sbc...BCYTHotel.html

It's best to do this in the winter when you can't ride

John


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Old 5 Mar 2006
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Thanks guys.

Wheelie - that's more or less what I expected. I've made a list of towns/area we plan to stop for the night and recorded addresses/tel numbers. We are travelling with a laptop and cell phone, and of course, camping gear. I'll make reservations ahead for the places close to the ferries we are taking in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.

John...thanks for the list. Very useful.
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Old 5 Mar 2006
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Not all that much I can add to the above with a couple of exceptions.

1 - In Alberta through the oil belt a great many of the hotels/motels are booked up by companys far in advance. they do not give up the rooms if their people don't show as they are afraid they may not get them back. As was mentioned not all that bad if you have your camping gear.

2 - National parks out this way tend to get booked solid for long weekends and holidays. This includes hotels/motels/hostels/b&b as well as campgrounds.

3 - I see 2 sources you haven't mentioned in your list. Those being B&B accomadation which can be a great deal and are ussualy listed on line and also the HU communities you plan to pass through may be up for a or have a yard for camping and a shower.

Anyway it sounds like you have a great trip planned.

Rick
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  #7  
Old 5 Mar 2006
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B&B's are definately in the plan.
I have used www.bbcanda.com in the past and it's proven to be very helpful and current.

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  #8  
Old 21 Mar 2006
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Interesting thread , but Wheelie, if you are looking for "the cheapest of the cheap" then I guarantee you will not find them by booking ahead. I cannot visualise the lowest budget mom-and-pop motel being party to such a money drain. Go. Find a room or camp wherever the possibility arises.
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