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Old 04-02-2013, 12:41 PM   #1
disneydentist
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Driving Vancouver to Sea-Tac??

Let's assume we keep our luggage and get off the ship as quickly as possible.

What time can we expect to be off the ship?

Assuming we can get a rental car at the port, how long to drive to Seattle Including Customs?

FYI, we're shooting to make a 2:30 flight our of Sea-Tac.

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Old 04-02-2013, 01:13 PM   #2
lorimay
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Hi.

If you are thinking about driving, call Alamo as they only have a few "one-way" cars available from Vancouver to Seattle.

They will put a hold on the car for you with a name and phone number.
They are charging us $100 a day.
Enterprise quoted $250 a day.

I have no idea how long the trip will be, I have seen other posts where people are saying there is a lot of traffic plus customs to get thru.

So you may want to schedule a later flight.
We are going to spend the night in Seattle then fly home the next day.
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Old 04-02-2013, 01:42 PM   #3
jrabbit
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in 2011 we parked our car at the Vancouver airport and used the "Sky Train" between there and downtown (one block from the cruise terminal). We were one of the first groups to disembark the ship (based on our luggage tags). About 30 minutes from downtown out to the airport, then we drove to the border crossing. Looking at my pictures, we crossed the border around noon. We were in line OVER two hours - it was a mess!!

So I'm not sure you could make it to Sea-Tac for a 2:30 flight.
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Old 04-02-2013, 02:25 PM   #4
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I think that is really risky to book at 2:30 PM flight out of SeaTac on the day you disembark in Vancouver and try to drive to SeaTac from Vancouver. I live in Seattle, and have been to Vancouver many times. If all is perfect (ship docks on time, you are in the first group off the ship, you find your luggage right away, you fly through customs at port, you have no problems getting to the rental car place, and renting your car (no lines at all in the rental car agency), no traffic in Vancouver, no lines at customs at the border, no traffic in Seattle, returning your rental car at SeaTac with no problems (also, don't forget you'll have to stop at a gas station near SeaTac to fill up your gas tank), no lines to check luggage, no lines at airport security, sure.... you might make it, but you will still be cutting it close given they close the gate to the plane 20 minutes before the plane takes off, so you'd HAVE to be at your gate by 2:05PM. But, chances of ALL of those things happening are slim to not at all.

If there is NO traffic between the port in Vancouver and SeaTac and no lines at the border, it would probably be 3 hours 45 minutes of just driving time to get from the Vancouver Port to SeaTac. But, it is so rare there are no lines at the border coming into the US. It is not uncommon to have to wait in line in your car for up to 1 hour sometimes 2 hours. I think the least amount of time I've ever had to wait was 20 minutes. There is always some kind of wait... Honestly, I would plan it taking you from getting off the ship to your gate at SeaTac at *minimum* 5 1/2 - 6 hours (just assume there will be long lines at the border, and traffic in Vancouver and Seattle, and lines at security at SeaTac)

Also, traffic in Seattle (going through Seattle) can get pretty bad sometimes (and there is always construction going on it seems like, so if they have a lane closed on I-5 heading down to SeaTac, that is going to create tons of congestion).

And, given this will be "cruise season" and "travel season" you'll be at SeaTac, the security lines can be long!! And, then, depending on which airline you are riding, if you have to leave out of the S gates of SeaTac, you have to catch the train in the terminal, which also adds more time.

If I were you, I'd try to find a flight out at earliest 6 PM that day, OR if you could find reasonable one-way tickets from Vancouver to SeaTac on Horizon Air (Alaska Airlines) or one of those small "commuter flights" flying out of Vancouver at like 11 AM, that would save you a lot of time and you for sure could make your 2:30 PM flight if you flew from Vancouver to SeaTac.

Good luck!

ps. if you do drive, watch out for police speed traps near/around Mt. Vernon and also Everett. There are always cops hiding out there pulling people over for speeding (those are the two places where the speed goes from 70 to 60 MPH).
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Old 04-02-2013, 06:10 PM   #5
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I feel ill just *thinking* about attempting such a flight.

It's really easy to think of it just being a highway between the two, but it's very much not. Getting from the Port area of Vancouver down to the highway is a relatively long slog through the business district and then residential areas (highish speed limit, but still, residential with stop lights and pedestrians).

Since you will be getting off as early as possible, you'll either hit commuting traffic, "yay it's a Saturday morning touristy" traffic, or Sunday morning churchy traffic.

Then you're on the highway until you hit the border. Sometimes it's a long wait, sometimes it's short, but it's always a wait.

There's a nice stretch of highway that gets up to 70mph, and that's fun, but soon enough you're approaching North Seattle and it all gets slower again. First you get through the northern parts of Seattle then you're in downtown traffic and confusion, and then you're making your way to the airport. Return the rental car at the new rental car area, wait for a bus, get on the bus, get to the airport, get off at one of the two bus stops there, find your checkin area. HOPE there's no line to check in.



Please oh please do not do this to yourself. It absolutely RUINS a vacation to have to rush like that. And it is NOT fun to miss a flight or almost miss a flight. Having done that (almost missed, but it was only "almost" because the flight was delayed...by all rights we should have missed it) at the end of an otherwise nice Disneyland vacation I know what I am talking about here.

Please make that flight for the following day, and just budget the time and dollars for a hotel either in Vancouver or in Seattle or near the airport.

Because it COULD work out, but it's not going to be even one little bit of fun.
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Old 04-02-2013, 06:17 PM   #6
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Someone suggested flying Allegiant out of Bellingham the other day, and if your airport has Allegiant it could be a decent idea. Of course I know nothing about their schedules. But Bellingham is very very close to the border so it would be a lot easier to make an earlier flight from there.


And the previous poster made a good point with the gas. Unless you want to pay the rental car big bucks for gas, you've got to stop at a gas station in the very congested and confusing airport area.


And all of this is even assuming you CAN find a rental car to take one-way across the border. It seems that the numbers of cars for that route is limited, and they are often very expensive.
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Old 04-02-2013, 06:32 PM   #7
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Driving to Seattle will take roughly 2-3 hours at best, all depending on the border. If it's during the week it shouldn't be too bad, however weekends you can definitely expect to see anything from 30-90 minute wait. Canadians get stuff much cheaper and recently have been allowed to bring back much more in a shorter period of time, so there's no shortage of people crossing every weekend.

As Bumbershoot said, do not attempt this if you're pressed for time. It will not be fun, especially on a weekend. I would definitely consider looking at the Amtrak (possibly just as expensive as a one way rental car) or even just flying out of Vancouver. The rental car plus gas and time just might not be worth it.
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Old 04-02-2013, 06:39 PM   #8
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Unfortunately, the train leaves too early and too late for this flight time. They could take the Amtrak bus, but if you're taking a bus might as well look at Quick Coach or Bolt Bus. And with the bus you get to get off the bus and walk through Customs at the border...
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Old 04-02-2013, 06:57 PM   #9
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I live in White Rock which is on the Blaine border crossing. I would be very leary of making it unless you are leaving early am. The border crossing into the US has been very heavy the past few weeks. One, due to Spring break and vacations and two, due to some government position cutbacks in the US that has cut the about of border guards. I know it won't be spring break. I always assume a minimum hour, if its less, get a coffee at Blaine harbor when you cross Once you cross to Seatac with NO traffic is about 90 minutes. With traffic is anyones guess. We are taking a 5pm flight out of Seatac to Orlando at the end of May on a Tuesday. We will leave home at 8-9am to ensure a crossing and then getting through Seattle. Remember the airport is on the opposite side of Seattle to Vancouver. You must go through or around to get there. Both are busy options. I don't know if that helps at all........

Edited to add: This past weekend line ups going South at the border were 4 hours long!!
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Old 04-02-2013, 07:00 PM   #10
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I'd say you'd need a minimum of seven hours to feel comfortable. I'd fly into Vancouver if you can, Bellingham second choice and if you do seat ax book a night in Seattle.
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Old 04-02-2013, 07:44 PM   #11
disneydentist
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Thanks everyone.

I'm convinced. We'll fly out of Vancouver. They have a 12:00 flight that looks doable.
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Off-site: 1974, 1986, 1989, 1992, 2005 (Band trip).
Polynesian: 1993, 1994, 1996, 1999, 2003.
POR: 2002 (x2); POFQ: 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014.
Wilderness Lodge: 2000, 2001 (Flag Family 12/3).
All-Star Music: 2009 (Band trip).
Disneyland: 1980, 2007, 2009, 2011.
Disney Magic: New England and Canada 2012. Disney Wonder: Alaska 2013.

WDW Honorary Citizens:11/23/1996.

WWTBAM? Play It! Hot Seat 12/3/02. Got the 1,000,000 point question wrong.
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