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Old 10-30-2012, 07:40 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
15,107 posts, read 13,794,611 times
Reputation: 6475

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Personal circumstances have dictated a reason for me to potentially travel to Canada in the coming months. I've never left the US and I've never traveled alone, so I'm pretty ignorant about the entire process. I intend on going to the county clerk's office to apply for passport book this week. I'm under the impression that it would take about a month to complete the process. Is that accurate? The most ideal time to travel would be in January 2013. First of all, is it too late to even consider taking the trip? Would I be able to order a flight ticket only 4-6 weeks in advance?

If I were to take the trip, I would fly to Vancouver. I haven't done much indepth research in ticket prices, but I'm guessing a round-trip ticket from the NY metropolitan area to Vancouver would be roughly $500-700 (such quotes would mean layovers, which I would be willing to put up with). Those are the current quotes I'm seeing based on very brief research. How likely are they to change in the coming weeks and closer to the flight date? What about bag fees and the fare to be shuttled from my home to the airport? Any estimates regarding the overall cost of such a trip (passport, round-trip ticket, bag fees, and shuttle)? I'm guessing at least $1000. Lodging and food costs would be minimal since I would be staying with a friend.

Is pulling this off realistic or am I just dreaming? Thanks for any advice.
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Old 10-30-2012, 08:01 PM
 
Location: MMU->ABE->ATL->ASH
9,126 posts, read 17,137,876 times
Reputation: 9980
Processing Times 4-6 weeks for passport + 2 week transit time Unless you pay the extra to have it rushed.

You can buy the tickets , whenever, and put in passport info later when you get your passport if you fly to canada, IF your go by ground/water (see below) you will still need your passport.

(I'd aim for late January) Southwest fare can be cancel fee free and used for different date/flight if your passport does not come in. (You get credit towards the cost of the future flight cost).

Bags are about $30/for 1st bag x 2 each way. Passport = ~$150 Shuttle , depends on how far you are from airport.

Canada is generally more expensive to fly into due to international fee's I did see SW apx 500/rt to SEA, Jetblue apx 400/rt then you can get up to vancouver (found this old new paper story) Travel | The many ways to travel between Seattle, Victoria and Vancouver, B.C. | Seattle Times Newspaper

SW & Jet blue include 2/1 free bags. (the jetblue (JFK) is nonstop).
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Old 10-30-2012, 08:07 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,558 posts, read 39,944,045 times
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You can get an 'express' passport in a couple weeks. (If you have your docs in order). You can buy an international ticket without first having your passport.

If a NY resident you can get an 'enhanced' Drivers license that will work for Canada
NYS DMV - Enhanced Driver License FAQs

There are services that you can pay extra to expedite your passport
Visa Passport Pro: Expedited Passports and Rush Visas


4 weeks is plenty of time to get a good priced ticket (Usually 14 days will do) Fare-watcher, or cheaptickets Can find you low fares for a specific routing and send you notification.

Least expensive might be Delta (SLC or SEA) and Air Canada or Alaska Air combo, or there are probably plenty of directs to canada then west to Vancouver.

You can usually get to SEA or PDX for $200 RT (on special) or $350 regular price, then take a commuter flight to BC. Lots of options, lots of time (just get with the program soon). Consider late January and stick around for Chinese New Year in Vancouver BC.
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Old 10-30-2012, 08:59 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
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Thanks for the advice flyonpa and StealthRabbit. It seems like I'm really cutting it close here, because I would have to fly home by January 20th at the latest. Didn't realize how long the passport process would take. Might be worth expediting it. On the one hand, flying to Seattle then finding a way to get up to Vancouver does sound a bit cheaper. But OTOH, it seems like it would be a stressful process for a first time traveler. I think I would rather just fly into Vancouver, even if it means paying an extra couple hundred bucks. Right now I'm calculating the highest ticket price of roughly $700 into the overall cost.

FWIW, I live roughly 55-75 miles from the three major airports in NYC/NJ.
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Old 10-30-2012, 09:01 PM
 
14,260 posts, read 23,987,654 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
You can usually get to SEA or PDX for $200 RT (on special) or $350 regular price, then take a commuter flight to BC. Lots of options, lots of time (just get with the program soon). Consider late January and stick around for Chinese New Year in Vancouver BC.
Personally, I agree with Stealth BUT I would do it a bit differently.

He is absolutely correct that flying into Seattle will generally save quite a bit of money. The biggest problem that I have had with SEATAC is that the car rentals have been very expensive.

I would fly into Seattle. Take a train and spend a day or two in downtown Seattle. Rent a car at one of the two agencies in the downtown area (Hertz or Alamo) and drive to Vancouver. Return the car to SEATAC. Believe it or not, over the years, renting at the local locations has saved a lot of money.
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Old 10-30-2012, 09:10 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
15,107 posts, read 13,794,611 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlawrence01 View Post
Personally, I agree with Stealth BUT I would do it a bit differently.

He is absolutely correct that flying into Seattle will generally save quite a bit of money. The biggest problem that I have had with SEATAC is that the car rentals have been very expensive.

I would fly into Seattle. Take a train and spend a day or two in downtown Seattle. Rent a car at one of the two agencies in the downtown area (Hertz or Alamo) and drive to Vancouver. Return the car to SEATAC. Believe it or not, over the years, renting at the local locations has saved a lot of money.
Thanks for the advice, but I don't think renting a car would be plausible, especially since I'm under the age of 25.
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Old 10-31-2012, 12:48 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,558 posts, read 39,944,045 times
Reputation: 23693
Yes, my thoughts were to fly to SEA and on a seperate RT ticket fly to Vanc BC. I had the feeling you were not interested in driving / or train (tho there is plenty of benefits of all options. Just figure out which one best suits you and time frame you have available.

I have become quite used to booking ECONO RT within the context of another RT. Did the whole East coast month of Oct (leaf peeping) by adding short 'leg's (Flights) to cheap destinations. within a very cheap RT to BWI.

Next week I do similar in China by crossing the border (10 minutes) into Macau and flying to Bangkok. It saved me about $400 ($200 vs $600). That matters to ME (tho PT employer is paying THIS time)

Get those passport pics TOMORROW, and get on with the show (and consider getting a, Enhanced Driver's License) They take about a month. And you need to agree to wearing RFID...
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Old 10-31-2012, 01:17 AM
 
Location: San Antonio/Houston/Tricity
37,989 posts, read 55,756,232 times
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Express passport takes less than a week, usually 3-4 days. You pay extra for that.
Those are you fees, please add $60 for Express issue and ~$12.50 for a registered postage ( for your passport)
http://travel.state.gov/passport/fees/fees_837.html

All first time applicants must apply in person at a Passport Agency, Acceptance Facility, U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
The round trip fare is around $500 from NY to Vancouver. I don't know your exact dates but here is an example:



You need to do your passport first. Here is all info you need: http://travel.state.gov/passport/passport_1738.html
http://travel.state.gov/passport/get...first_830.html
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Too late to plan an international trip? (NJ/NY to Vancouver)-flights-new-york-vancouver-google-search.png  
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Last edited by elnina; 10-31-2012 at 01:33 AM..
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Old 10-31-2012, 01:23 AM
 
Location: San Antonio/Houston/Tricity
37,989 posts, read 55,756,232 times
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This is even a better connection with less wait for connecting flight:

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Old 10-31-2012, 01:40 AM
 
Location: New Jersey
15,107 posts, read 13,794,611 times
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Thanks Elnina. I'll continue searching for flights. Where did you find those prices? Right now I'm thinking flying in on January 13th and flying back on the 20th would be the best bet. Only date that really matters is the 20th though. Can't travel afterwards and would like to spend a week there.
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