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Background

Some of my friends had moved to Vancouver a year ago and I had always said we would go out and visit. I had already been to this part of Canada before, but my travelling companion had not. As we decided what to do and where to go, a plan started to form. We would visit Vancouver for a couple of days, then head over to Vancouver Island for the rest of the first week. Then we would catch a cheap flight over to Calgary, where we would meet up with another friend and then aim to drive back to Vancouver through the Rockies during the second week.

Planning - Flights

I had built up enough miles in the British Airways Executive Club (BA's frequent flyer programme) to get First class flights with BA to Vancouver. This was very exciting as looking at prices it seemed that the only sensible paid option would be one of the charter airlines, along with their horrible seat pitch in economy. Therefore there was very little thought required!! Best of all, I had just obtained a 2-for-1 voucher from American Express, which is part of their deal with BA for using the BA Amex card. So I used this for my friend and we booked two FIRST returns to Vancouver absolutely free (well airport taxes notwithstanding!). Not bad, eh?

Planning - Accommodation

Obviously we planned to stay with our friends in Vancouver, but we made the decision early on to book other places as we went along. This was mainly due to being out of season, so we were confident of getting some good bargains if we just turned up on the day. This proved to be the case and we stayed in some very comfortable budget locations in all the places we visited.