Travelling by Coach from Vancouver to Calgary and Return

by Alison Price

I recently made the trip from my new hometown of Vancouver, British Columbia to Calgary, Alberta to speak at the Canadian Astrology Conference.

This is some 971km. There are options to get there. Of course, you can fly, rent a car and drive yourself or take the coach.

I chose the latter option. It was the cheapest choice at just CDN$154 return.

I went on Greyhound and there may be others who offer this service but I don’t know about them.

Thursday

As the bus was leaving at 6:30 am from Pacific Central Station in Vancouver I actually left my home at 5 am and got a taxi the station.

You have to check in at the station and get your tag for the hold bag,

You may take one bag and put it in the hold under the coach. And take one small cabin bag into the bus with you. There are overhead shelves for this.

As we boarded the coach is was crisp to say the least as I shivered on the 6C platform.

I had a seat by myself as the coach was half full and the seat next to me was empty. This was nice as I could plonk my carry-on bag right next to me.

At the first stop the cops boarded and checked everyone’s ID and tickets which seemed odd but there you are.

Onwards eastwards we stopped every now and then to pick up more passengers. Then a ten-minute halt where you can get off and dash to the loo.

On again. Finally, at around midway we stopped for 25 minutes in Kelowna. Everyone had to get off as they refueled the coach. I walked over to Starbucks for a grande latte and a croissant. Quite a rush really as heck I didn’t want to miss the bus.

Back on and more stops here and there at places I’ve never even heard of like Salmon Arm and Golden. Did salmons have arms? Is it a fishing joke about having a salmon arm to catch fish like a green thumb to grow a garden? And what about Golden? Was gold found there? I am sorry to say I had no clue.

We arrived in Calgary town centre at11:50 pm.. Yes, it took that long.
I hailed a taxi to the hotel and settled into my room by 00:30am. Phew!

That was Thursday.

Friday

On Friday I gave my presentation and there is more on that here.

Saturday

Saturday good times to be had but had to leave the proceedings early at 9:30pm as quite tired and I had an early start in the morning.

Sunday

My alarm went off at 5:00 am. Up and showered, packed and checked out of the hotel.

Hopped into another cab back to the bus station. The coach pulled out at 7:30 am sharp and we were on our way back home.

This time no wifi on the bus and no electric sockets to charge your phone. Good thing I had juiced it up before I left the hotel.

It was a long journey back home as we arrived at the Vancouver bus station at 9:30 pm. I was met by hubby and we went the final stretch together in yet another taxi.

In my front door at 10:15 pm having been travelling for almost sixteen hours.

Tired but all good. Safe and sound.

What to Take on the Bus

Knowing what to pack for an astrology conference can be a challenge if you don’t do it often.

In the cabin you can take one small bag like a backpack or handbag. Here are some ideas on what to have in it.

* Water to drink.
* Food – More on this later.
* Pen and notebook.
* Computer laptop.
* iPad.
* Reading glasses.
* Cash.
* Ticket to ride.
* Mints.
* Lip balm.
* Pashmina (women) scarf (men) fold as a neck pillow to sleep on.
* Ear buds, phone and charger.

What to Put into Your Hold Bag

In a medium bag like a suitcase that goes in the cabin of an aeroplane. If your bag is bigger than that you are hauling too much junk.

* Clothes, shoes, cosmetics and toiletries.
* Alcohol.
* Other stuff that can be slung around.

Don’t use your best luggage for a coach trip. On a bus your bag will slide around in the hold and there are bigger bags and heavy boxes shifting about down there.

Don’t put anything in the hold that you may ever need again as your bag may get removed at a bus stop that you don’t get off at never to be seen again. These things happen.

What to Wear on a Coach Trip for 18 Hours

  • Flat shoes, trainers or other comfortable shoes.
  • Socks.
  • Black leggings or jeans.
  • Camisoles, t-shirts
  • Light jacket with top pockets.
  • Pashmina or scarf
  • Light makeup

Food and Drink on the Coach

Pre-make your snacks at home before you leave for an 18-hour coach ride.

In sealed plastic bags put enough food for a four-hour time slot. So label each snack bag with the time you may eat the contents like for instance; 10 am, 2 pm and 6 pm. This is so you don’t eat the lot in the first hour.

Eating on a bus is usually done because of boredom.it is mindless snacking.

If you take your own food you won’t be tempted to but burgers and fries at every stop creating a logjam in your digestive system and a hole in your pocket.

The shuddering motion on a bus tends towards creating the situation of constipation.

Eat snacks like:

  • Cheese cubes or wedges.
  • Chicken strips – precooked and lightly seasoned.
  • Crackers.
  • Sandwiches – cheese on bread and butter pre-cut into fingers or soldiers as this is easier to eat on the move than a massive chunk of bread.
  • Grapes – The perfect fruit and no must core or peel to dispose of like with apples or oranges.
  • Bottled water – one bottle to sip when your mouth is dry. Don’t chug or you’ll be dashing to the loo every stop.

What not to eat or drink on a coach

Avoid snacks like:

  • Smelly food.
  • Garlic anything.
  • Eggs.
  • Fish.
  • Open coffee or other drink.

Alcohol is not allowed inside the bus.

No smoking on the bus.

Washroom

The coach has a dinky toilet and basin at the back.

I believe the washroom is not really used by most people for that purpose which it is intended. Typically passengers prefer to wait until they stop at a scheduled break and then use the lavatory in the building.

I believe the back of the coach washroom is for those unfortunate souls who get travel sick. The tiny cubicle is almost like a Roman vomitarium. Let’s hear it for Caesar.

The journey over the Canadian Rockies is uphill then down dale and the roads are windy and switchback like. The bus heaves and rolls. Yes, folks throw up. Thus the washroom

What to do on a long bus ride

  • Read a book
  • Crochet or knit
  • Write your journal
  • Take photos
  • Chat lightly with the person next to you or across the aisle
  • Listen to your audiobooks.

What not to do on a long bus ride

  • Bug the guy in front of you by kicking the seat, twanging the footrest or heaving on his chair back as you try to stand up. All of this is spectacularly annoTalk loudly either to others on your phone.
  • Laugh loudly. 
  • Swear not in Canada, please.

Have a prosperous day,

Alison