Okay, let’s be honest: Banff is expensive, Banff is very expensive. That’s why it’s a good idea to search for good deals so your spending in the park won’t go through the roof. But where and how to find them? In this post, I’ll tell you all about it.
The good news: there are always tons of good deals to be found for Banff. Hotel deals, restaurant deals, vacation deals, weekend deals, tour deals, last-minute deals, etc. Sure, even if you manage to use a good number of deals for your stay in Banff, the park will not become cheap. But saving literally hundreds of dollars is possible if you’re keen on the kind of discounts I described below.
Another benefit of scoring a deal is that it might allow you to stay at a hotel or eat at a restaurant that you usually wouldn’t be able to afford. Or maybe they typically charge prices you simply don’t want to pay and you’re actually okay with the deal’s price.
If you’re traveling to Banff, three major modes of transport will help you reach your destination: by plane, train and car. Because getting to your destination can be a significant part of your traveling expenses, this is an excellent place to start cutting costs.
There are many, many ways to buy your plane ticket(s). First and foremost, there are physical and online travel agencies. Of course you can also book tickets online yourself. You can do so at dozens of intermediates and at airlines’ websites. Check them regularly because you never know what airline will come up with the next deal for a cheap flight to Calgary or Vancouver.
There are several sites where you can find good deals, like Kayak and Skyscanner. I’ve listed them below. I’d recommend you use Skyscanner as it shows you the real deal. In contrast to many other plane ticket aggregate sites, the prices Skyscanner offers you include all kinds of taxes airlines might charge you. So no unwanted surprises when you go to the check-out to purchase your tickets. Anyway, here are some good options:
NOTE: When trying to find tickets, watch out for package deals, including hotel accommodation. The websites mentioned above regularly have these kinds of deals on offer. Worth watching out for. Even if they only have a deal for 2, 3 or 4 nights and you aim to stay in the park for two weeks, it could still save you quite a bit of money.
If you want to travel to Banff by train, you can do so from Vancouver. Rail-tour company Rocky Mountaineer has a direct connection called the First Passage to the West route. It gets you to your destination via a stop in Kamloops in British Columbia and stops in Lake Louise and the town of Banff inside the park.
Rocky Mountaineer – which is about (very) luxurious train travel – has deals regularly, sometimes saving you up to as much as CAD 1000 per couple if you book in advance. Check back regularly to find out about the latest deals.
A (rental) car is more or less essential during your stay in the park. If you’re renting for a longer time, it can add up quite a bit. There are many rental companies in Calgary and Vancouver (in case you fly in, but also inside the park). It’s wise to go after coupon codes to benefit from discounts. Most companies use them.
Where to find them, you ask? Open your web browser and simply search for the name of the car rental company plus “coupon code”. There are also several coupon code aggregate websites that list coupon codes for rental cars. However, many of the codes you’ll find on them appear to be outdated.
One site that seems to always have actual and actually working coupon codes is Going Awesome Places.
Please bear in mind that the car rental company’s location also makes a price difference. Renting at airports is, in general, more expensive than in cities.
This is an interesting option for those who only want to visit the park for two or three days. Used mainly by Canadians during one of the many long weekends the country has.
The thing about these deals is that they’re only valid for a set date, so there is no flexibility here. But if you’re planning on going on one of the advertised weekends, or you can fix your schedule around it, take benefit from it. It could save you hundreds of dollars.
Companies that regularly offer these kinds of deals are Expedia and Travelocity.
Regarding hotels, getting a good Banff deal shouldn’t be all too difficult. You can find deals from different companies all your round. Getting a good hotel deal can be a big money saver because hotels can easily cost you more than CAD 300 per night in the middle of summer.
There is massive competition in this area, which is obviously good for you. An online search for “last minute hotel deals Banff” probably won’t cut it. Just become a member of a hotel booking site like Booking.com or Hotel.com. You can often get personal discounts through these sites. So sign up and save.
If you want to know more about hotels in Banff I recommend you read the The Ultimate Overview of Hotels in Banff
Monthly Hotel Deals
To keep their beds occupied in the less touristic months, hotels in Banff tend to come up with all kinds of monthly deals. So if you visit the park in the months of October, November, April and May, there’s a big chance you can find an excellent monthly hotel deal. During the other 8 months, you might also be able to find an attractive month-specific deal.
Banff Hotel Packages
Hotel packages, the holy grail of Banff vacation deals? Maybe, yes. At the very least, these deals can save you a lot of money. So they are definitely worth checking out. The typical hotel package consists of fixed dates ranging from one night to a full week and sometimes longer. These types of deals can easily save you CAD 100 or more. Here are a few sites that regularly run promotions.
If you spend a week or more in the park, you’re likely to eat out at least two times a day, if not three. Lemme tell ya: that adds up quickly. So finding a good restaurant deal in either Banff or Lake Louise could save you a buck or two.
Restaurants in the park regularly offer all kinds of lunch or dinner deals. Pick out a good one and you might be having lunch at the luxurious Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, dinner at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise and many other exciting places with extraordinary views. The apparent website to look for good restaurant deals is Groupon.com. Another good one is The Dining Guide. See below for the links.
If you want to know more about restaurants in Banff I highly recommend you read The Ultimate Overview of Restaurants in Banff
Getting a good tour deal can also be an excellent money saver. Tours can be pretty expensive, so looking into getting a good deal for a tour might be well worth your while. There are many, many, many tours in Banff, so there’s always the possibility to find a tour you like with a good deal. One of the more significant tour sites is Discover Banff Tours. Other sites worth checking out for deals are Groupon and Travel Alberta.
These sites often work with coupon codes to get a deal. You can find them on their websites. It usually requires you to book in advance.
Note: Where Magazine Canadian Rockies edition sometimes also offers discount coupons. The magazine can be found around town, but getting your hands on one might prove to be a bit tricky.
Yet another kind of deal that could save you a lot of money. Banff is expensive, skiing is expensive, need I say more? Ski deals aplenty in Banff. They can be about several deals. Lift ticket deals, equipment deals, package deals of the above, including your overnight stay, etc. However, there’s a caveat: Package deals often require you to book well in advance and are usually only valid for set dates or a set number of days.
The good news: many parties are offering some kind of deal, from regular to luxurious (think Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel ski deals). Even individual hotels have their own deals. It requires a bit of time to get the best deal for your needs, but it can be well worth your effort. Here are several good websites to check for a sweet deal.
Banff Lift Ticket Deals
A lift ticket deal is a way for a ski resort to keep you on their slopes for a week or so instead of checking out the other resorts in Banff (the park has three). It could save you a good amount of money because, as every skiing enthusiast knows, these darn lift tickets can be pricey.
It is particularly interesting for Canadians who live in the area (including Calgary) and want to come over for one or two days and bring their own equipment.
Banff Gondola Ticket Deals
One of the cool and easy things to do in the town of Banff is taking the Banff Gondola to the top of Sulphur Mountain. There you’ll be treated to amazing views over the town and the Bow Valley, amongst others. But if you take this gondola as a family of four, for instance, you need to pony up well over 100 bucks. So trying to score a deal on the gondola can absolutely be worth it.
Banff Jasper Collection regularly has some kind of Banff Gondola promotion running. Check the website for the possibilities.
Planning a honeymoon? Then I recommend reading the post about planning an extraordinary honeymoon in Banff.