We are under a year to go now. It is far more exciting as there are actually “real” things to do. It is fun to see hotel and flight dates begin to be available for booking. Just to recap, we plan to take off on our round the world trip in July 2022. The first three months will be spent driving across Canada. With that in mind, I am super excited that we took our first steps towards getting organized for that part of the trip. This past weekend we bought ourselves a Parks Canada Pass.
We drove to our closest MEC store and bought a Parks Canada Discovery Pass. It cost us $139.40 for the “family” version. The pass essentially gives us access to the national park system and free access to the national sites here in Canada.
Why did I buy it a full nine months before our departure? The reason was twofold. First a Parks Canada pass is valid for 12 months from the date of purchase. On top of that, it is valid for the full month in which you bought it. So by buying it Sept 01, 2021 our pass is valid until Sept 30, 2022. So we have maximized the window of usage. The second reason is we will be leaving Canada in Oct 2022 so there was no need for it being valid for any period beyond that date. One final piece on this, it looks like the Parks Canada system looks at their fees every couple years and adjusts based on the consumer price index. Jan 1, 2022 is the next date for their targeted adjustment.
What exactly do we get out of that pass? It gives us “free” access to a bunch of national sites we plan to see on the way. For the most part, the national sites are not overly expensive but a couple of bucks saved can be spent elsewhere. For example, Riel House in Winnipeg has a charge of $3.90 per adult. That is one of the many sites we will be checking out.
The big win is that the pass gives us access to the national parks (i.e. Banff, Jasper, Kluane). Since we plan to spend a decent amount of time in them, those costs would have added up. Banff alone is $20 per day for a family. This pass essentially covers the daily charge. That being said, it does not cover any actual campsite charge but we are still further ahead with this purchase.
Now for the fun part. We have already put the pass to use. This past weekend we took the kids to a site close to home. We drove to Hamilton and got to see the HMCS Haida Warship. Yep, the park pass is always paying off.
Ciao for Now