I know I should read a lot on the matter, but the thing is I'm finishing college so I have to deal with my thesis, the bar exam, and I gotta decide how many days I need for the places I'm gonna visit (and any others I might add) before I buy the ticket (which I should do soon to get a decent price).
I'm sure I would be able to find all the info I need if I did a thorough search here, but I'm really short on time, so if any of you expert travelers could help me out, that would be great.
As English is my second language, apologies in advance for any mistakes I might write.
Here is the situation:
The exchange program will last a couple of months. During that time I'll have a chance to go to Victoria and Whistler. After the program is finished I plan on visiting places like Calgary, Canmore, Banff, and Jasper. I decided for those after a quick browsing. I think 20 days would be enough, as I don't want to overextend my stay.
Flights out of Brazil to Vancouver have to go through Toronto, and also the ones returning to Brazil. A normal ticket would be like this:
Departure flight being Sao Paulo > Toronto > Vancouver, and return flight being Vancouver > Toronto > Sao Paulo.
So I thought it would be a good idea to get a multi-city ticket:
Departure flight being Sao Paulo > Toronto > Vancouver, and return flight being Calgary > Toronto > Sao Paulo.
So, after the exchange program ends I take a flight from Vancouver to Calgary. Then, during the 20 days visit those cities in that order, and stopping at any other interesting places on the way (like Banff and Jasper National Parks, and others).
Once I'm done with Jasper, I take a Greyhound bus back to Calgary (because apparently airports are far from Jasper, and a train trip would take me to Edmonton first), so I guess greyhound would be best in that situation, and then, since the flight ticket will be multi-city, I go to Toronto, and back to Brazil.
1) Is that a good way to do this itinerary?
2) Anyone know a "good and reasonably priced" storage facility in Calgary where I can leave a suitcase? I'll be carrying a backpack like this one during the whole trip:
so It would be better and safer if I could just leave the suitcase and a few heavier electronics in one of those facilities.
I found some, however prices start at CAD$70-80. In Vancouver I found one for CAD$30. As it's gonna be only for 20 days, I don't wanna pay too much on one of these.
3) How many days would I need to enjoy each of those places? I know that's very subjective but I love outdoor attractions, nature and all that. But I would gladly see any interesting urban spots as well.
For example, from the few pictures I've seen, Lake Louise looks like the most beautiful place on Earth so I think 2-3 days there would be enough, but I might be wrong :D.
4) Those 20 days will go from mid-april to early may. Any other interesting location to visit during
that time of the year?
5) Which places do I absolutely have to use a car to go to? I ask that because car rental prices look super expensive. I'm gonna be 23 years old but even without the age fee it's too much (CAD$ 195/day for a Chevy Spark or CAD$ 212/day for a Corolla O.O, for instance). The price is pretty much the same on all major car rental companies. It won't be high season, so why the heck is it that expensive?
So from Calgary > Banff > Jasper (and any other places you guys think might be worth to go to), at what point should I rent a car (so I can stop on the side of the road and take pictures, for example), and at what point should I just take a bus, because there really isn't much worth stopping to see?
6) Please, someone tell me it's possible to rent the new Golf 7 there?? I'd love to drive that car there at some point :D.
I know this probably looks like a book, but I really appreciate anything you guys can help me with.
Thanks in advance..