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Travel to / from AND ski lessons

tampa, fl
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Travel to / from AND ski lessons

Going to Whister in Jan, 2013 - looking for flights - to fly direct to Vancouver its $650. TO fly to Seattle its $350, each, for family of 5 (including a 3 and 5 year old).

We have booked Pan Pacific Mountainside 1/18-1/26/13. Considering travel to/from Whistler what are the recommendations - cost saving is & speed is our goals for travel! We are open to staying the night in either Vancouver or Seattle to break the trip up for the kids. The amtrack looks confusing! Rent a car, take a bus, rent private transfer? Any experienced recommendations?

Also, in another post I see a ski lessons save 40% o lessons - but the deal is in Creekside - is that convenient for the children and us considering where our hotel is located? Or should we stick to lessons in Whistler?

Our plan is to not have a car while in whistler, I don't think we need it.

Lots of questions - please enlighten me

Vancouver
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for San Jose del Cabo
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1. Re: Travel to / from AND ski lessons

There is a free shuttle that will take you around to the Creekside. Will take about 20 - 30 minutes.

As for getting to Whistler, I found the following on the Whistler Blackcomb website. I think it outlines all the options nicely. For convenience, if you can drop off the car in Whistler without too much of a penalty, I'd probably drive.

Getting to Whistler from Seattle

Rental Car

Rent a car through Avis from the Sea-Tac Airport. Most car rentals include unlimited mileage, ski racks, and child seats are available upon request. Drive time from Seattle to Whistler is 4.5 to 5 hours. You can drive one way and drop your car in Whistler. Once in Whistler, you won’t need a car. The village is pedestrian-friendly, has great local bus service, and most hotels are located walking distance to the lifts. Avoid paying for hotel parking. Rent a car through Avis and drive back at the end of your stay.

Limousine

Make your way from Sea-Tac Airport to Whistler, BC in style with Star Limousine. Enjoy luxury travel in the comfort of a stretched limo, excursion SUV, luxury van, or luxury minibus.

Seattle to Vancouver and Whistler by Bus

Relax, enjoy the sightseeing, and let someone else do the driving. Take Quick Shuttle from Sea-Tac Airport to Vancouver International Airport or downtown Vancouver. Then connect with Pacific Coach Lines to take you from Vancouver to Whistler along the spectacular Sea-To-Sky highway. For charter bus options please contact our groups department.

Vancouver, Canada
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2. Re: Travel to / from AND ski lessons

My understanding is that transit from Whistler to Creekside is by public transit for $2.50 pp and that the free shuttle is within the Whistler neighbourhoods.

Amtrak Cascades is the train from Seattle to Vancouver. The rest of the offerings are Amtrak coaches. The Seattle departures are 7h40 am and 6h50 pm. The ride is scenic and takes 4 hours. You arrive at Pacific Central Station in Vancouver. Happily it is where the Greyhound and Pacific Coach Lines bus to Whistler departs from. You could book a through ticket on Amtrak to Whistler, which would involve arriving by train to Vancouver then a transfer within the same building for the 2.5 - 3 hour coach to Whistler. You could stay over in Vancouver quite easily and book your own Greyhound or PCL ride for a time you like. Any downtown hotel would do, you would want to take a taxi to the bus station anyway and the max taxi cost would be about $15-17 from the farthest hotel.

www.pacificcoach.com

www.greyhound.ca

The ski lessons are 40% off for a reason. They are 30 minutes away from your hotel and the "main show" that is Whistler.

The following link is set for the bus service from your hotel to Creekside. For right this minute today. The service may be different with full on ski season after Christmas. However, you can see that the bus will require some walking at the best of times. Change the icon to a car and you will see a different outcome.

http://goo.gl/maps/BmkS

IMO, you will be much better pleased with skiing near your hotel.

Vancouver
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3. Re: Travel to / from AND ski lessons

I'm pretty sure that the 'Whistler Kids' ski programs that offer lessons to the 3 to 5 year olds are based out of Blackcomb base or Creekside, not Whistler Village. So you may have to travel to one or the other in any case. It's not a problem. If you check with the folks at Whistler Resorts they should be able to confirm this for you.

http://www.whistlerblackcomb.com/index.htm

The bus loop is right beside your hotel to either location.

Edited: 23 July 2012, 05:49
Seattle, Wa
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4. Re: Travel to / from AND ski lessons

Unfortunately, you can have speed or you can have cost savings--I imagine if you found the option with both you wouldn't have posted. :)

If you arrive in Seattle realize you may have traffic (you will be arriving south of the city, and you need to go north through the entire Seattle-Everett metro area). Don't try this in rush hour. And then you will have border lines. But given that it's a $300 per ticket difference and you're buying 5 tickets, it's probably worth it. The train bus combo sounds like such a hassle, and since you'll have 5 people, that's going to add up. I'd just rent a car, even though you'll pay through the nose if you drop it off in Whistler. Definitely check the cost of just hanging on to it and dropping it back off in Seattle--it will be cheaper than doing 2 one way rentals (though you'll pay through the nose for parking at the Pan Pacific. Lots of condos have free parking, but the hotels gouge you).

if costs are important to you, I'd cancel the Pan Pacific, and look for a condo with free or inexpensive parking near your kids discount ski lessons (I don't know whether those are in Creekside or Blackcomb).

Edited: 23 July 2012, 17:28
5. Re: Travel to / from AND ski lessons

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Vancouver, Canada
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6. Re: Travel to / from AND ski lessons

Personally, get a rental minivan (with snow tires) and drive up from Seattle...drive time to Whistler around 5-6 hours depending on US/Can border...as far as lessons, Whistler not flexible...(e.g full day for kids only option) unless you wan to do 1/2 day private which is crazy $$$. You need to ask yourself if your kids can do full pull in a kids camp?

Creekside is a good location, and you can always take Whistler transit to the village for free

Seattle, Wa
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7. Re: Travel to / from AND ski lessons

There is no such thing as a rental with snow tires in Seattle.

tampa, fl
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8. Re: Travel to / from AND ski lessons

Mufimixandmatch - have you tried this? This is a similar idea to what I was thinking considering the 8 hour plane flight from Florida. I was just concerned about the departure time for the train coinciding with our flight times from Florida not to mention the return. Is it possible to go to Whistler this way, then return to Seattle via private bus/coach?

Whistler rep- I have booked through Whistler.com and they told me they were waiting for 2013 pricing to be released to help us get here - is this available yet? where can I get more info on taking the shuttle (Quick Shuttle + Pacific Coach Lines)? My party will be 5, but I have another 5 (maybe 6) traveling with us too - so a rather big group! (10-11 people with 5 under 11).

This is very confusing PLUS I have been to Whistler before!

I have not checked but is it really a much greater cost to drop off car in Whistler?

I don't mind extending a few days to get there but the way home, I want to be painless!!!!

Thanks in advance for your advice - I will be there for you when you come to FLORIDA~!!!!

Vancouver, Canada
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for Vancouver
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9. Re: Travel to / from AND ski lessons

<<Mufimixandmatch - have you tried this?>>

Do you mean taking Amtrak Cascades from Seattle to Vancouver and on to Whistler? No I haven't because I live in Vancouver.

In your OP you mention that you are open to staying overnight in either Seattle or Vancouver. With an 8 hour flight from Florida, I would strongly suggest you consider doing that in Seattle. Then catching the early morning train from the downtown Seattle station. The Cascades will take ~4 hours to Vancouver's Pacific Central Station, the connecting Greyhound bus will take 2.5 hours. That journey will almost equal your flight time from Florida.

So let's say your train does get into Vancouver on time. 11h05 am, with a bit more time for Canadian Customs. There is a Greyhound leaving Pacific Central Station at 12h30, 3h00 and 5h00. Greyhound is walk up for tix. It's a cheap way to get to Whistler, so it will be used by uni students and people with the day off and will therefore busy. I'm not 100% sure, but I believe they don't sell out, but bring in a second bus if there are overflow pax.

There is another way of getting to Whistler from Seattle. You could take Quick Shuttle from SEA airport to Vancouver airport in about 4 hours. From YVR you could take Pacific Coach Lines "Skylynx" coach to Whistler in 3 hours. I actually like this option better, even though you are looking at 2 busses. PCL runs a much better quality bus service than Greyhound.

http://www.quickcoach.com/

pacificcoach.com/Bus-Coach-Travel/YVR-Whistl…

I think it's going to be a trade off. You could rent cars and drive up from Seattle in the weather (whatever it might be) in January. Could be cool and wet, could be some snow, but probably not a lot, if any. Or you could sit back and leave the driving to a professional driver. I even think it would be a good idea to contact whatever company you choose to travel with to see about a group discount.

On your way back to Seattle, I would take whichever set of transportation methods would work best. For Amtrak, you must get to the Station 1 hour ahead for US Customs pre-clearance. You will have to sit down and compare schedules. Even so you will likely need to spend a night in Seattle before your flight out. As far as the cost of a one way rental, it would be really painful to drop a rental car in another country. Do a dry run for renting a car return and compare that to renting it one way. Not even sure a quote would come up. You might have to discuss that by phoning the rental company.

Whistler, Canada
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10. Re: Travel to / from AND ski lessons

Hi poolpt

We have pricing for transport, lessons and all products for winter 2013.

If you don't decide to go with the rental car option, I would suggest looking at booking a private minibus from Seatac to Whistler if you are going to be a group of 10-11. This will work out more cost effective than 11 tickets for Quick Shuttle and Pacific Coach Lines, plus it will be much faster.

You could also do Amtrak + private minibus to Whistler.

Please direct inbox me for more information on these ideas!

Marie