Calgary is the main airport if you are visiting the nearby National Parks of Banff and Jasper and hiring a car here will make it so much easier for you to get around and experience all that these beautiful parts of the world have to offer.

Renting a car at Calgary Airport is straight forward and in this article we will discuss how, when and where you can pick up your rental car in Calgary.

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Why Rent a Car in Calgary?

Renting a car in Calgary gives you the freedom and flexibility to explore beyond the city. The best sights in Alberta, if not in Canada are located a short drive from Calgary including Banff National Park which is only a 1.5 hour drive from Calgary Airport. Here you can visit the famous Lake Louise and go skiing at one of the Ski Big 3 Ski Slopes, Sunshine, Lake Louise and Norquay.

If you are only planning to explore the city of Calgary, you may find the public transport is efficient and cost effective enough for you but we would highly suggest you spend at least one of your days here out of the city.

Where to Rent a Car in Calgary?

The best place to rent a car in Calgary is through Discover Cars at the airport. This are is well signposted and as you come out of arrivals you will turn left and walk for around 10 minutes. The signpost will eventually direct you outside and across to an indoor area at the multi-story parking lot where you will take the lift up to the car rental desks.

When you arrive you will see a number of different rental companies. We booked our car through Dollar and we arrived outwith the Dollar opening hours so we were directed to the Hertz desk.

We were asked if we wanted an upgrade for an extra $20/day however, with just the two of us, we were fine with a smaller car. 

The Process of Renting a Car in Calgary

We checked in at the counter and shared our booking details, driving license and passport (if you’re not from the Canada) with the staff member. 

The gentleman went through optional add on’s such as road side assistance and insurance, however all this was already added on when we booked online so it was a smooth check in and we were on our way to get our car. 

Follow the signs through to the multi-story car park and on the map you will be given will show which bay number your car is in. Once we found our car we checked it over to match the scratches on the document we had been given and then we were ready to hit the road, easy as that. 

What car to rent in Calgary

We opted for a compact car for our car rental in Calgary. There were only two of us travelling in it and it fitted out suitcases and luggage in it perfectly. The roads were well cleared so we felt comfortable without paying extra for an all wheel drive.  

Driving through Banff and Jasper National Parks we had an absolutely dream trip and I wouldn’t hesitate on booking a car with Discover Cars in the future. The car was super comfy for long drives and the heated seats were a bonus after a day out on the ski slopes! 

Road trips from Calgary 

There are plenty brilliant road trips from Calgary. The roads are wide and brilliant to drive on.  

From Calgary to Banff National Park it is around a 1.5 hour drive, mainly along a highway. Here you can visit the cute town of Banff, Lake Louise and the Ski Slopes such as Sunshine Village, Lake Louise and Norquay. To get to Lake Louise from Calgary you would be look at more of a 2 hour drive but it is definitely worth it. 

Jasper National Park  is another popular National Park to visit in Canada which is around a 5 hour drive from Calgary. 

If you are planning to visit multiple National Parks during your time in the USA, you might want to look into an annual pass which cost $150 CAD for 2 of us. We learned that this is the most cost effective way if you are spending more than 7 days in a National Park. This pass gives access to over 2000 National Parks in Canada.

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Before You Leave for Calgary

Before you set off on your way to Calgary, there are a number of things you will need to get organised to ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey. These include what to pack, where to stay and what is the best insurance for your trip. All of this is discussed in detail below.

How to Get to Calgary

Getting to Calgary is straightforward with several transportation options available. If you’re traveling from a distant location, flying into Calgary Airport is the most popular and convenient option, as it serves numerous domestic and international flights. From the airport, you can easily reach your accommodation by taking a taxi, renting a car or using the efficient public transportation system. If you prefer a road trip or are already in the neighbouring states, driving to Calgary is a great choice, with several major highways leading to the city. Additionally, Calgary is a common stop on many bus routes, making it accessible for those travelling on a budget.

Where to Stay in Las Vegas

There is a wide range of accommodations available in Calgary, so you will not be short on options. Book your stay in the box below.


What to Pack for Your Trip to Calgray

When packing for your trip to Calgary, it’s important to consider the season you are visiting in. Summers are hot and winters are cold. (NOT EDITED AFTER HERE) Be sure to pack lightweight and breathable clothing such as shorts, t-shirts, and dresses, as temperatures in the summer can reach over 100°F. Don’t forget to bring comfortable walking shoes to explore the numerous hotel-casinos and attractions on the famous Las Vegas Strip. Additionally, you may want to pack a hat and sunglasses to protect yourself from the intense sun. While Las Vegas is known for its glamourous nightlife, you should also pack some dressier outfits for evenings out. Lastly, if you plan on visiting any of the nearby national parks, like Red Rock Canyon or Valley of Fire, be sure to bring a backpack, water bottles, and sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun and enjoy the beautiful scenery. With these considerations, you’ll be well-prepared to enjoy all that Las Vegas has to offer.

For our full list of items that we pack no matter where we go in the world, check out our full packing guides over here.

Given the beautiful sights and scenery that you are no doubt going to see around here, we highly recommend packing a good camera for your trip. If you want to read more about the cameras we use and why we love them, check out the link below.

You can read what else we keep in our camera bag over here.

What is the Best Travel Insurance for The United States 

I know travel insurance is the least enjoyable thing to purchase and look at when you’re planning a trip, however, you wouldn’t want to be without it in the event that something happened. Accidents can happen anywhere and the extortionate medical bills will ruin your trip if you are not covered.

To ensure you have a stress-free trip with no worries about potential medical bills, make sure you cover yourself when you travel. We can recommend using SafetyWing, a backpacker-friendly and cheap insurance company that provides good coverage and support. It is also nomad-friendly, unlike most other insurance companies, meaning you do not need to worry about being out of your home country for too long.

Get a quote for your travel insurance right here and get covered!

So there you have it, your Guide to Calgary Car Rental. If you are visiting this incredible city and have any other questions on what to expect, leave us a comment down below. We love to chat about this stuff! If you have already been, let us know how it was! 

Also, remember to share this with your friends and family that you are going to share this amazing experience with. Sharing is caring and we want to ensure that everyone is fully prepared to maximise their experience completing this stunning walk.

If you are planning a Canada trip soon then check out our other Canada content right here. Come and find us on social media to see where we are currently exploring. Tag us in your photos from your stay and we will share them with the rest of our community of explorers and backpackers.

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