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.