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4 comments

  1. jen

    I just ran across your blog, since i’m contemplating on planning a 2-week solo road trip to newfoundland at the end of september this year….i live in vancouver and have always wanted to visit newfoundland. your blog is amazing!!!!!! How was it driving across the whole darn country around by yourself? it looks like you had an amazing time. i say i am contemplating on going, because i am very scared as a single lone female travelling alone. but seeing your blog gives me a little inspiration! what advice can you give me? i’m still very scared about driving alone on my own in a totally different province from BC!

    • marellereid

      Hi Jen, I would totally recommend driving across Canada solo to anyone! I felt safe in every province, and even slept in my car alone one night in Jasper! The only driving I found challenging and some might find stressful was the 401 in Toronto. Otherwise, the Trans-Canada (Highway 1) is mostly a two-lane meandering stretch of road that’s easy to navigate. In terms of advice, I would say plan your route and places to stay ahead of time if that makes you more comfortable, and use a GPS system (I used my iPhone). Have fun, and happy travels!

  2. M.M.Maden

    Dear Marelle,

    Your blog is simply super. I am looking to to do a road trip across Canada (our first time!) starting Toronto ON to the Pacific edge at Tofino BC. With me is my very interesting and fabulously amazing wife (also a road trip enthusiast and co-driver) . I am scheduled to commence my trip early July 2016 (yes, 2 weeks from now) and I believe I tick most of the boxes in terms of planning, budgeting, scheduling, hotel bookings, readying the car (2003 Honda Civic in very good condition) and I believe I am all set top hit the road. I have about 2 weeks on hand (09 to 25 July) and I expect to go along the TCH West from Sudbury. On my return, I expect to head north from Calgary towards Edmonton and then return to TCH heading East. I dont plan to drive at night; the plan is to start at day break say 5 am and drive until about 6 pm on some days when I have a 1000 kms to do and lesser on other days where I have about 700 kms . The average speed I have assumed for a safe yet enjoyable drive is about 85kms average keeping in mind the man/machine limitations. I require your guidance on any aspects of this road you believe I ought to know from your experiences that I may not find on websites. Also, how much of the drive is along single carriage ways vs dual carriage ways. Also how much of the drive is hill – either up or down that has the effect on the average speed. Lastly, is there anything about safety, personal or otherwise that once needs to know?

    Once again, thank you for your detailed blog; you surely have been a source of inspiration and confidence.

    • marellereid

      Sounds like a great trip you have planned! A few thoughts and some answers to your questions: you’ll be driving through Ontario and the prairies first, so mostly flat highway before you get to the foothills of the Rockies, and then a lot of curved, uphill single-lane highway. You’ll fly across Manitoba, Sask and most of Alberta (very easy driving through there on Highway 1), but you’ll want to stop a lot in the Rockies, so speed is irrelevant at that point. Make sure your brakes work for the way down the other side! The rest of the drive through BC is curved highway and lots of up and downs. Hope neither you nor your wife get car sick…

      You might want to have a GPS or use Google maps either before or during your trip to roughly gauge how many kms you’ll drive each day and where that will get you so you know where to book hotels. But that being said, you might want to make detours, and you never know what awesome things you’ll find off the main highway, so you might want to wing it a bit, at least in some areas, and not book hotels ahead. Just an idea.

      So, to answer your questions specifically… Highway 1 (the Trans-Canada) is almost all single-lane, except through more populated areas near/through larger cities. You can expect a mostly leisurely drive along single-lane or double-lane highway most of the way, but of course Winnipeg, Calgary, and Vancouver all have a lot more traffic volume, so you can expect to see the highway widen, with a lot more cars and somewhat more complicated navigating required. Other than that, it’s smooth sailing and really quite easy to navigate. The easier part is definitely before you get to the Alberta-BC border and the Rockies. The driving there and throughout BC is more technical, but, in my opinion at least, a lot more engaging because of the scenery. In regards to personal safety, I would say unless you meet a grizzly bear outside your tent, there’s nothing to worry about any more than at home while you’re in Canada. The people, the language, the currency, etc. are all the same between where you are and the West Coast. Just make sure your car is in good condition and/or get an AAA membership so you can get a tow truck out if you have a breakdown or a flat tire (unless you’re good at auto repair, in which case don’t even worry about that). Apart from that, remember this is an adventure – if you have too many details planned out you’ll miss out on the best parts, which you can’t plan for; the amazing people you’ll meet, the wildlife you’ll want to stop and marvel at, the food stops, the fun experiences and photo ops, etc.

      Also, I think it helps to remember that if you’re comfortable driving in general, then just think of it as one day at a time on your trip. Don’t think of the whole distance. If you take it one day at a time, you’ll just enjoy each day on the road and before you know it, you’ll be at the Pacific Ocean.

      Oh, and don’t forget to take loads of pics! You’ll be glad you did when you have them to look back on in years to come 🙂 Happy travels!

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