Canada is a magical land! It’s less populated and majestic in size and beauty. When I was younger, I took a job sight unseen to teach in West Vancouver and loved my year in Canada. While it was unsustainable financially (I had to pay taxes in U.S. AND Canada and the cost of living plus student loans…) I learned to ski and learned that as a single person, it’s perfectly okay to enjoy your surroundings and get out and about and see the amazing beauty around you.
When we were planning our trip route in our RV tour of the U.S., I could NOT leave Canada out. I wanted to share this awesomeness with my husband and children. I hope that when we finish this trip, we’ll be able to work it out to visit Hungary and Romania as Tom is originally from Transylvania, his nationality being Romanian and his language and culture being Hungarian. I hope he will want to share this amazing land with us too! We chose to stay on the peninsula in Washington State so we could easily access Canada via a ferry from Port Angeles.
So, Tom planned some PTO days and we did it as cheap as we could. Finding hotels in our budget was proving difficult so we decided that we would give Airbnb a shot since so many people have fully enclosed basement suites in that part of the world. We were not disappointed in the least and were so grateful for the hosts in both Victoria and Vancouver.
So, here’s the budget breakdown in U.S. dollars of what our trip cost us:
Ferry from Port Angeles to Victoria – $93.50 (with car)
Breakfast on the Ferry- $20
Airbnb in Victoria- $189 for 2 nights (including taxes and fees)
Victoria Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour- $75 for 2 adults and 2 kids
Beaver Tails – $15 for 2 tails and bottled waters
Lunch at Spaghetti Factory - $50
4 Tickets to Butchart Gardens - $56
Tea for 4 at Butchart Gardens - $100 (including taxes and tip)
Ferry to West Vancouver- $85.30
Lunch on the Ferry - $35
Airbnb in West Vancouver- $236
Capilano Suspension Bridge for 4 –$53.10 (30% discount for purchasing after5)
Dinner at Capilano Suspension Bridge $45
Grouse Mountain for 4 – $100.17 for Alpine Experience Package
Lunch at Grouse Mountain - $38.00
McDonalds Dinner- $25
Grocery Store- $75
Tim Horton’s Donuts and Coffee $20
Gas to drive back to Seattle $30
Trip to Stanley Park – FREE
Water and Snacks at Stanley Park - $12
Please note that we had our breakfasts at the Airbnbs which was awesome! The first place in Victoria supplied us with bread, milk, cereal, coffee and the second supplied us with homemade bread, coffee and sodas. We bought a few staples here and there but that saved us a ton of money and time while we were enjoying the activities. We also have a cousin in Victoria who had us over for dinner one evening, took us out for swimming and treats afterwards; which was her treat! (Thanks cousin Laurie)!
So, we were able to have the experience of a lifetime together as a family complete with several excursions for under $1500. That’s 5 days and 4 nights for 4 people- 2 adults and 2 kids. This was definitely worth it in our books and we loved every second. In Victoria, the bus tour gave us a glimpse of the amazing beauty of this island city and seat of government for the province of British Columbia. Butchart Gardens is unlike anything we've ever seen and the camera lens could not keep up with the beauty seen here! High tea was a great experience at the gardens and we were able to teach the kids about etiquette and manners while having fun!
Capilano Suspension Bridge has hiking, a treetop adventure and so much more! Grouse Mountain has the skyride, a lumberjack show, a bird show, ranger tours, ziplining, grizzly bears and in the winter, skiing. Stanley Park is larger than Central Park in New York and has so much fun- we walked for a bit and played in the tide pools on third beach, but we could have stayed all day!
Other ways we saved money include booking our tickets to the Butchart Gardens and the tea at the gardens through the Blackball Ferry line. They had discount tickets that could be purchased online at the time of ferry booking or directly on the ferry. This was so helpful! Then, the 30% savings after 5 p.m. at Capilano Suspension Bridge. Considering the adult tickets were $42.95 (Canadian), that was super helpful.
Check out our videos on our YouTube channel to see the airbnb reviews and the fun experiences we shared!
If you have more time, some other things to see in Vancouver include:
Whistler (north of Vancouver about an hour and a half)
PNE (Pacific Northwest Exhibition)
West Vancouver’s Ambleside Park
There is so much to see and do in Vancouver. We couldn’t cover even half of it in the few days we had to visit. I hope you have the chance to visit this beautiful city and find the warm hospitality and amazing views calling you back time and time again!