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Traveling to Europe from Seattle via Canada!

Hi all,

I'm a US permanent resident living in Seattle. I'm planning to travel to Europe for a couple weeks in June, and found some cheaper tickets flying in/out of Vancouver compared to Seattle. I was planning to drive to Vancouver and take the flight from there. Do you know if that's okay? I don't see the reason why not, but I'm also unsure what the rules are on this. Please let me know if you guys have any thoughts on this.


Posted by
441 posts

I have done it before, though it was quite awhile ago. As long as you can get into Canada, it's not a problem. We looked at doing the same thing this summer, but in the end the extra expenses (parking a car, potentially staying the night before) didn't make it worth it.

Posted by
21 posts

Its the time value of money..... Always is!
I live in Seattle, but am originally from England. I too, looked at all the variables and came to the conclusion from listening to the experience of out of Seattle.
You basically lose a day each way and with the hassles of crossing our border (no fun lately), the savings are not worth it! Unless of course, its thousands of $$$.

Posted by
360 posts

As long as you legally can leave the US and enter Canada, it works quite well. We're from Portland and we've done it twice and are doing it again this year. The savings is worthwhile, we're retired and we have a friend that we can leave a car with. But, if you have the time, and the savings is substantial, why not. Do time your border crossing - midweek, non-holiday and early in the day is best.

Posted by
1 posts

We did this last June (2016) and flew business class out of Vancouver for not much more than coach out of Seattle. We got a parkf/fly coupon on-line and six and a half weeks parking cost only 140 dollars. We are flying out of Vancouver again this April for the same reasons. We fly Lufthansa which is one of the few airlines that still allows pets to fly on the plane with passengers, albeit in cargo. We have traveled numerous times with our dogs in cargo and I believe they are more comfortable down there in their crates than jammed under a seat in the cabin. We also got a nexus pass to make border crossing more efficient. Hope this helps. Donna

Posted by
23355 posts

You used the phrase, US permanent resident. Does that mean green card? What is your original country?

Posted by
2631 posts

Without discussing any immigration issues in light of the current uncertainty, have you looked at Condor airlines to Europe? They fly nonstops from Seatac to Frankfurt and now are starting to go nonstop to Munich too. Their prices are usually quite good.

Posted by
36 posts

Hi all,

Thank you all for your responses. Regarding to your question/curiosity; I'm a Vietnamese citizen, and I have a green card to legally live/work in the US. I have thought about the current situation, I'm hoping Vietnamese won't be impacted that much, but who knows with the current President.

About the cost vs benefit, I'm flying to Europe with my husband and between us we are saving $1600 flying out of Vancouver instead of Seattle (coach seats.) This isn't considering gas, parking for our car but we are thinking parking + gas will probably cost less than $500 for us, so that means we are saving $1100. That's a lot of money considering the Europe trip itself costs quite a lot.

Thank you again for your help!

Posted by
8440 posts

I flew out of Vancouver instead of Seattle last year. I saved significant money and had a much more pleasant experience at the airport. I am a Nexus card holder so border was a non-issue and it qualified me for Fast Track at the Vancouver airport. Parking was quite a bit cheaper as well.

Posted by
7049 posts

Check out Bolt bus to get to Vancouver from Seattle (you'll still need to take light rail to the airport from where it drops you off though). I use it all the time to go to NYC from Washington DC- it's a great service. The fares are really low if you book in advance, and you can save hassle of driving, parking, and gas costs. I sleep on the bus, so that's an additional plus (not everyone can, but if you can, then all the better).

Alternatively, how much is a short flight from Seattle to Vancouver for two people? For some reason, SEATAC is fairly expensive - too bad you can't get one of those nice Southwest deals for $49 each way.