Cheap trip Vancouver to Nova Scotia?
December 12, 2005 12:45 AM   Subscribe

What's a cheap and reasonably quick way to get from Vancouver to Nova Scotia (and back)? Are there any?

I've been trying to figure out a way to do this without breaking the bank next year, and the absolute cheapest way I can find would cost me several times what it would cost to get from Seoul to Vancouver and back. I've been out of Canada too long... it can't cost that much to go trans-Canada, can it?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken to Travel & Transportation around Nova Scotia (18 answers total)
Looks like WestJet has flights for about $900 return. It's always expensive trans-Canada - not that many carriers, not that much traffic.
posted by fionab at 12:58 AM on December 12, 2005

Air Canada is around $800 if you pick the days properly. Are you a teacher, stav? Travel Cuts sometimes has some good fares that are applicable to Youth or Teachers.
posted by fionab at 1:09 AM on December 12, 2005

Hotwire is showing flights from Seattle to Halifax for about $440 US, which is about $508 Canadian. They show their best prices about 60 days in advance, so this is for January/February, but even if you were to go in the spring it might be a good bet. It might be cheaper to get to Seattle (the bus is cheap, or rope a friend into driving!), then do the bulk of the travelling across the US, and just the final leg into Halifax. A $500 flight for that journey seems pretty reasonable to me.
posted by fionab at 1:20 AM on December 12, 2005

There are a few flights on west jet over the next couple of days that could get you to Montreal for a couple hundred. Could rent a car and go from there.

I feel the pain though--I make the flight several times a year, and it sucks. If you're ever looking for a buddy or two for a cross continent road trip...
posted by stray at 1:31 AM on December 12, 2005

Two other ideas:
1. Watch out for the fare sales on Vancouver - Toronto, and book the Toronto-Halifax leg on CanJet. A return trip from Toronto-Halifax is $200 Canadian ($99 each way). It is possible to get $300 round-trip tickets from Vancouver - Toronto.
2. Fly Seattle - Boston on JetBlue. Get a flight from there to Halifax. JetBlue is running a fare from Seattle - Boston for $179 USD round-trip. There are a bunch of US carriers and Air Canada flying Boston - Halifax for about $300 USD. That seems high and could drop a little, but that combo is about $530 Canadian - you'd have to get to Seattle though.
posted by fionab at 1:41 AM on December 12, 2005

fionab is right on with the TravelCuts recommendation. I am flying Vancouver-Halifax (with a week-long stopover in Hamilton, even!) during peak holiday season and my flight was ~$700 taxes in through TravelCuts.

I always compare prices on the following airline websites when I am looking to travel within Canada:
and of course, Air Canada

I think Harmony only goes as far east as Ontario, but the others should all be able to get you from Vancouver to Halifax.
posted by sanitycheck at 1:46 AM on December 12, 2005

Since you didn't provide concrete dates, I did my own search yvr outbound on Jan 9, returning Jan 18. is showing a Tango fare of 549 all in. Not that bad really.
posted by smcniven at 6:07 AM on December 12, 2005

Did you check I'm finding as low as $690 (Canadian) with WestJet, with a transfer in Toronto, but it all depends on when you're flying, so enter your dates of choice! (I entered some dates that are maybe too soon, and you might find a cheaper flight)
The last few times I looked for flights expedia really gave me the cheapest options (I no longer bother to do the research elsewhere)
If there is a cheap option with a US transfer halfway, it will show you that too.
posted by easternblot at 7:23 AM on December 12, 2005

If you fly to Montreal you could take the Ocean train from there to Halifax.
posted by zadcat at 7:44 AM on December 12, 2005

If you're in Seattle anytime, give us a holler, we'll have a meetup.
posted by matildaben at 8:20 AM on December 12, 2005

FWIW, West Jet's holding a seat sale starting on the 15th of December... Should be able to find something cheap there.
posted by Old Man Wilson at 9:07 AM on December 12, 2005

I would recommend against renting a car for Montreal-Halifax, unless you like 12 hour car trips.

I'm willing to bet Seattle-Newark or Seattle-Boston (and thence to here) would be much better for you. Considering that many of their flights from Halifax to London or Paris go through Montreal or Toronto first, I don't have much faith in the capabilities of Canadian carriers to service the east coast.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 9:26 AM on December 12, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks, all. Nothing even close to as cheap as I'd hoped it might get through super-double-extra-secret knowledge. Ah well. I won't even be considering making the trip until summer 2006, so I'll keep checking this thread periodically.

I would recommend against renting a car for Montreal-Halifax, unless you like 12 hour car trips.

I love 12-hour car trips, actually, if I'm doing the driving. I didn't realize Montreal and Halifax were so (relatively speaking) close. That might be viable and fun, depending on the rules for multi-province rentals.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:08 PM on December 12, 2005

I'd suggest maybe even flying to Toronto, and then spending two (or even three) days casually getting to Nova Scotia.

My parents do this every year. For traffic reasons, leave Toronto early (like 2-4) in the morning and get into Montreal. Leave similarly early from Montreal (again, traffic reasons) and then once you get out of Quebec it's a wonderful drive.
posted by travosaurus at 1:23 AM on December 13, 2005

stav, in that case, it might be worth it. Except for the Riviere-du-Loup to Fredericton stretch it's double-highways, so the driving is easy (and you still get a fair bit of scenery along the way). If you're not travelling in winter, some of the secondary highways make for excellent trips, too. My dad and I used to drive Halifax to Toronto every year, and we could do it in under 17 hours, but not everyone's as crazy as we are (like me driving Toronto to LA in 3 days...).

If you do consider travosaurus's TO option, make sure you time your drive through Montreal right. Rush hour there can be a nightmare for the uninitiated.

Another (non-winter) option is also to fly into Boston, rent a car and take the ferry to Yarmouth.... OK, on preview maybe that's not such a good idea, since they cancelled the Scotia Prince service this year. Bizarre, I don't remember that being on the news. There is/was car ferry service from Bar Harbor/Portland into Yarmouth, but the season's closed now.

If you're looking for things to do in Halifax, let me know. It's a great place to visit.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 6:57 AM on December 13, 2005

Did you buy your ticket yet? I found out that Westjet is having a seat sale and is now even cheaper!
posted by easternblot at 9:08 PM on December 13, 2005

Response by poster: If you're looking for things to do in Halifax, let me know. It's a great place to visit.

Thanks -- I'll remember that.

Did you buy your ticket yet?

Nah. Like I said above, I won't even be considering making the trip until summer 2006.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:31 PM on December 13, 2005

Summer 2006 is fast approaching, and West Jet is having another seat sale!
posted by stray at 12:44 AM on March 15, 2006

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