I have recently moved from Halifax to Vancouver. I had a few options to go there:
I simply chose the second option for some obvious reasons: First, I had a car. Selling and buying another one there was expensive. Sending my car by a truck was also expensive, equal to my road trip cost. To me, seeing almost all the cities in Canada was a goal regardless of my relocation. So, if even it was more expensive, I was going to choose the road trip! A quick calculation: Fuel + Hotels = Car Shipping Cost. Show me a single person who would choose the flight over an exciting Canada-wide road trip.
I just sold all my furniture, packed my expensive items on the back of my mini-van (Chevy Orlando). We have been two drivers: My brother and I. We hit the road, and in this post, I am going to provide only some important info on the trip.
The best route
We wanted to stay in Canada borders. So, we chose Trans-Canada. Trans-Canada is mostly a great route, however in some parts it’s poor (the term “poor” refers to developed countries standards, not that “poor”). I assume, it’s faster to go through US border and using their highways in some parts of the route. However, you no longer have drove Canada-wide in accurate definition.
Warning 1: There are two major routes from Montreal to Thunder bay (and obviously vice-versa). Google Maps is not suggesting the better route at the time of writing this post. Choose the Montreal-Ottawa-Sudbery-Thunderbay one. It’s a better road (based on my friends comment), more cities in the route, and it’s more beautiful.
Warning 2: The worst road quality was in Manitoba. Not sure what’s wrong with their provincial budget spent on the roads.
The rest of route is straight forward.
The most beautiful parts
In my personal preference, the following sections of road were the most beautiful. If you see the following roads, the rest can be ignored if you don’t have time:
1. Sault Ste. Marie to Nipigon
2. Calgary to Vancouver
Please consider the fact that Nova Scotia was my home for two years. I am used to it’s nature and I have not considered it as special in my personal point of view. Highlighted in the image below:
Cost and Time
Our car was seriously heavy. We had many belonging in the car. So, the fuel efficiency was not great:
Total fuel: 500 litres / Fuel cost goes cheaper in eastern Canada, and more expensive in the west. Average in the central. However, there is no surprise in the fuel cost in different provinces.
Daily drive: Depends on the part of route. The fastest part is Halifax-Montreal. A good highway. 1400km in a single day. The rest of route: 1000km/day.
Hotels: Depends on the season and personal preferences. Our criteria: 6.5+ Booking.com Rating, Two separate beds. We spent 90$/night on average on accommodation.
Duration: It took 6 days. We could make it in 5, however not suggested for safety concerns. We followed the speed limits all the time, had quick rests on refuel, quick lunch time everyday. We spent more time in hotel when we were tired.
To conclude, it worth the time. You would end up seeing all the Canadian cities and wonderful sceneries. We are good in road trips, however for us the first 3 days were a bit though. However, after day three, you get used to the car seats and driving! When we arrived on day 6, we two were talking now we are capable of continuing for another week or even going back the same road! Feel free to contact me if you have any questions on this. I am available over my email. O Canada!