We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Reservations necessary?

Austin, Indiana
Level Contributor
57 posts
4 reviews
Save Topic
Reservations necessary?

We are driving to Alaska this summer and want to see the sights in Banff and Jasper. We will be traveling through around July 20-25. We are hoping to go day-by-day without having a strictly planned itinerary. Would it be possible to travel through without reservations in advance? Thought we might just call ahead the day before so that we could remain flexible without time constraints.

London, Canada
Level Contributor
3,759 posts
69 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Reservations necessary?

We made the mistake of not making reservations in Jasper once----will never do that again.

Banff is just as busy in the summer and you will definitely need to book accommodations if you want to stay near the townsite. It's possible there might be availability in Canmore or Kananaskis on the fly, but even that is doubtful. You don't want to end up miles out of your way or in someplace a bit dodgy.

Banff, Canada
Destination Expert
for Banff, Banff National Park
Level Contributor
6,258 posts
92 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Reservations necessary?

If it's just the two of you (you don't have to worry about keeping children comfortable), and if you have a good list of potential accommodations to work from, and if you are not particularly fixed on exactly what type of accommodations amenities you want, and if you are willing to accept that you might make five or six phone calls before finding a place, then I think you can probably go without reservations and be flexible. If you were travelling over a long holiday weekend, I would be more concerned.

Jasper, Canada
Destination Expert
for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
Level Contributor
18,828 posts
109 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Reservations necessary?

What Banff has written is also mainly true for Jasper too, however Tobie's experience illustrates the problem of when it is not. ;-) Jasper is an hour's drive from the next nearest town in any direction (and it's more than an hour to anywhere for two of the three routes from Jasper). During peak season, there is not necessarily a rhyme or reason for which days wind up being booked solid.... someone posted here in the TA forums a year or two ago about arriving in Jasper on a rainy Wednesday in mid-September and not being able to find any accommodation. However, the number of nights in a season when Jasper *completely* sells out are probably less than a handful (or maybe two) - but would definitely include long weekends (which doesn't apply to your dates). Conversely, there are also nights with lots and lots of availability - however, you are coming at the busiest time of the tourist season, so I would not bet on that.

The other thing to consider is that for both Banff and Jasper, the most popular/best value accommodations are always the first to fill up. What is always last to fill in Jasper are the more expensive hotels, the more expensive hotel rooms, and the private home accommodations that have rooms with shared bathroom. So if you have budget constraints or require particular amenities in your accommodation, I would book ahead.

Online vacancy reports for Jasper are at www.jaspercanadianrockies.com/u/vacancy.phtml (hotels) and http://www.stayinjasper.com/avcal/report.asp (private home accommodations - PHAs). There are always more PHAs available than what show on that report, because not all hosts use the online report. There is also a "low tech" daily PHA vacancy list posted at the Visitor Information Centre (a paper one, hosts come down and add their name to the list), and there are courtesy phones available so that you can call around to book.

So, you could do what you suggested for your stay in Jasper - monitor the situation online and book a day or two ahead if it looks like things are filling up. If you decide to totally wing it, I'd suggest arriving in Jasper as early as possible during the afternoon - the InfoCentre is small and gets very busy and crowded later in the day (> 4 pm), especially the area around the brochure racks and courtesy phones.

4. Re: Reservations necessary?

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This post was determined to be inappropriate by the TripAdvisor community and has been removed.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

Our staff may also remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason. Thanks for being a part of the TripAdvisor travel community!

Removed on: 03 May 2010, 19:05
Calgary, Canada
Destination Expert
for Calgary
Level Contributor
25,703 posts
86 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Reservations necessary?

BFH, your participation is welcome, but I think you need to review the guidelines for business representatives posting on the forums. You can see the forum guidelines here: tripadvisor.com/help/what_are_the_guidelines…

There is also a link to the guidelines in the "Before you post" box which appears just above where your type your message.

Edited: 03 May 2010, 19:03
Banff, Canada
Destination Expert
for Banff, Lake Louise
Level Contributor
2,967 posts
Save Reply
6. Re: Reservations necessary?

In Banff, if you are not travelling on a weekend or a long weekend, you can keep your schedule flexible and book when you arrive. You can actually search all properties in Banff, browse and check pricing and availability at:

www.banfflakelouise.com

You can also find some value by staying at a Bed and Breakfast in Banff - drop by the information centre at 224 Banff Avenue or phone the day before at:

403-762-8421

While I would always recommend a reservation in summer, know it is usually possible to find a room in the town of Banff. The same can not be said for Jasper - as a smaller town it is frequently full. Make a reservation, because you WANT to stay in Jasper not Hinton - 1 hour away.

banfflakelouise

Austin, Indiana
Level Contributor
57 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Reservations necessary?

Thanks everyone for the suggestions. After all the advice, I am prone to going ahead and making reservations. I have the websites you put in your posts written in my travel info. and those should prove to be very helpful. Can't wait for the trip to begin!! Thanks again! This site is always so helpful during the planning stages.

Banff, Canada
Destination Expert
for Banff, Banff National Park
Level Contributor
6,258 posts
92 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Reservations necessary?

Best wishes for an enjoyable and memorable trip! We hope you will come back and tell us how it went by writing a brief post-trip report -- it's always so helpful to find out how things worked out for TA members.

Austin, Indiana
Level Contributor
57 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Reservations necessary?

Thanks for everything. I have got reservations at Baker Creek Chalets and Patricia Lake Bungalows. As I said before, this is a great resource for advice. I'm keeping the websites handy in case we decide to stay more than 4 nights. You experts are the "best." Thanks again and I will definitely be posting a trip report. Looking forward to seeing your beautiful country.

10. Re: Reservations necessary?

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 07 November 2010, 03:16