While in Banff, I made one of the worst budget travel decisions:
I rented a car.
Why? For three main reasons:
One of my dorm mates did it and sounded convincing about it being worthwhile investment (you get the liberty of going where you want without the constraints of a guided tour itinerary or the limits of public transit)
I procrastinated on booking a hostel in Edmonton, so HI was completely full by the time I made an effort (my “I’ll-figure-it-out-later” approach led me to plan a one-night stay in Edmonton, and I was going to get there via Greyhound. But that all failed when I waited too long to contact HI Hostel)
Given my last minute planning, driving the car to Edmonton was the option that, aside from finances, would cause the least hassle (I even considered booking a hotel, taking public transit/a taxi to the airport, etc. and found that any savings were minimal)
Driving around was refreshing, and I got to visit Morraine Lake (which was suggested by Ben), Lake Louise, and (my favorite lake of all) Lake Agnes!
At the end of the day, I felt a bug coming. I’m pretty sure it was because of the weather changes that occurred while I hiked up Lake Agnes: first it was cold, then it rained, then it got warmed, then rain started sprinkling lightly, and then it got cold. So at one point I was sweating and almost took off my jacket because it got warm. And when it got cold because of the altitude change, I was still sweating.
Still, the drive and every step of the hike were absolutely worth the crappy feeling I had at the end of the day.
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