We're planning a cross-Canada train trip (between Vancouver and Toronto) this fall. In addition to some questions about logistics, we would love some general advice to help make it the "trip of a lifetime" we're hoping for.
question was the catalyst for planning the trip. I assume, from the answers, that going west to east on the Canadian
is better than the reverse. Verification of this, as well as advice for sleeper train n00bs, would be much appreciated.
And now the logistical questions:
If we fly out to the Pacific northwest (in the US) and rent a car to tour that area, how on earth do we get across the border to Vancouver? Rental cars we can drop off in BC are prohibitively expensive, and taking a bus from Seattle to Vancouver isn't especially appealing. Are there other alternatives I'm missing?
When would be the best time for us to make the trip? We're very flexible and can make the trip anytime from July to November. If there are weather, fall color, or wildlife considerations that would bear on when we schedule the trip, it would be helpful to know them.
How far in advance should we book (and pay for) our train tickets? Do they sell out fast? Are there coupons or discounts we can use?
Will there be an opportunity to see some of the sights in Jasper and other places where the train stops for a while?
How likely are delays? Should we be concerned that the train may be far enough behind schedule that we'll pass by the must-see things during the night?
Are there things (beyond personal items, cameras, and the like) that we should definitely bring with us or definitely leave behind?
(In case it matters, we are US citizens and my husband qualifies as a "senior".)