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How to Plan a Successful Family Vacation to Alberta

Here’s our guide on how to plan an amazing vacation that your entire family will love while still staying within budget.


Vacations are a perfect opportunity for families to get together and make everlasting memories. One of the most underrated vacation destinations in Canada is the beautiful province of Alberta. Its natural wonders, vibrant cities, and rich culture make it the perfect destination for a family vacation.

Here’s our guide on how to plan an amazing vacation that your entire family will love while still staying within budget. Read on as we dive into all the incredible sights and activities of this gorgeous province!

Plan Your Accommodation

Once you have a list of places to visit, it’s time to plan your accommodation. Alberta offers a variety of budget-friendly hotels, vacation rentals, and campgrounds. If you’re looking to save money, consider renting a cabin or staying at a campground in one of the national parks. For those looking for accommodation in the proximity of the Banff National Park or in the town of Canmore, there are plenty of options available but make sure to book in advance as they tend to fill up quickly. For those who prefer more luxurious accommodations, you can opt for hotels or resorts located in the city centers. Sure, they are more expensive but they offer convenient access to local attractions and amenities.

Research Your Destination

Before embarking on your trip, you want to do some research about the province and its attractions. Alberta offers a diverse range of activities for families, from exploring the wilderness to visiting amusement parks. Make a list of all the places you want to visit and prioritize them based on your family’s interests.

For those looking to explore nature, Alberta is home to five national parks, including the famous Banff and Jasper National Parks. The Banff National Park is a natural paradise in the heart of the Canadian Rockies. You can hike, camp, and even take a gondola ride to get breathtaking views of the mountains. On the other hand, Jasper National Park is known for its beautiful lakes, glaciers, and wildlife sightings.

For families with younger children, visiting the West Edmonton Mall is a must-do activity. It is North America’s largest mall with over 800 stores, an indoor waterpark, an amusement park, and even an indoor ice rink. There are also plenty of museums and galleries in the cities of Calgary and Edmonton that offer interactive exhibits for kids.

Decide on Transportation

Alberta is a vast province, so you need to plan your transportation carefully. If you’re flying in, the Calgary or Edmonton airports are both good options as they have direct flights from major cities in North America. Renting a car is the most convenient way to get around, especially if you plan on exploring different areas of the province.

Another great option for families is to take a scenic train ride through the Canadian Rockies with VIA Rail. The train offers comfortable seats and even sleeping accommodations, making it a unique and relaxing way to travel through Alberta.

Budget Wisely

Vacations can quickly become expensive, especially if you’re traveling with a big family. To avoid overspending, create a budget before your trip and stick to it. Look for deals and discounts on attractions, accommodations, and transportation. For instance, if you plan on visiting multiple national parks in Alberta, consider purchasing the Parks Canada Discovery Pass which grants you access to all national parks for one year.

Even choose to pack snacks and meals for day trips instead of constantly eating out. You don’t want to spend all your money on food when there are so many other experiences to enjoy in Alberta.

Open road

Planning a memorable family vacation to Alberta doesn’t have to be stressful. With the right research, thoughtful planning, budgeting wisely, and an open spirit for adventure, you’re on your way to creating unforgettable memories. Alberta, with its stunning national parks, bustling cities, and family-friendly attractions, awaits your exploration. Pack your bags, prepare your itinerary, and set off on an exciting journey through the heart of Canada.


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