Friday, November 27, 2015

Nakusp Or France.

So the other day the topic of visiting the folks came up and was rejected.  It would be nice but it is beyond practical to do it at this time.  The sister shared her approximate cost for traveling out there, the number was high enough that it begged the question, could I get to Europe for the same amount.

Now it has to be understood that the town I am from, and where our parents still live, is at least two hours from anywhere, surrounded by a sea of mountains and more than one route in required a ferry. It is also not a town serviced by Greyhound.  The bus will take you to one of the towns roughly two hours from Nakusp, after that getting the last hundred kilometres solved is up to you and the generosity of your friends.  For this exercise I will exclude the bussing plus pick up combination and the more eccentric hitch hiking option,  Those options do not reflect on the type of trip I want to have.  Which is not spending 12 hours on a bus, or risking life and limb sticking a thumb out.  No this trip has to be done in the only sensible way possible, with a car.

A car, I don't own one.  There are no short term plans for buying one and no pressing reason consider one.  So a rental is in order.  Now I am pretending I am doing this as winter trip, perhaps a prechristmass adventure, which places functional demands on a car that would be reduced in the summer.  So I need a rental, with good traction, snow tires, and insurance for all the things.  The season demands a better car, a lazy pricing for a four day trip, using a mid range, SUV such as a Rav4, gets the rental cost at just under $400, before fuel. At a one way trip of just over 600km from my home in New west to Nakusp, you will be using a lot.  I picked a four day trip because you will need two days for driving.
Looking at the !, someone made an error near Deep Creek.  Don't do that.
So for this I will pretend I rented car with approximately 30 miles per gallon fuel economy.  Number based on the stats for a 2014 Rav4, the Rav4 was the car the rental website described as a medium SUV.   Travel cost estimate break down
  • Car rental ~ $400.
  • Round trip distance, min 1240km. Ignoring side trips that will happen
  • Cost of fuel based on above estimates, ~$130.  Likely an under estimate because hills. 
  • So there and back, approximately $530.
These are not going to be the only costs.  For numerous reasons, but primarily privacy and comfort staying at the folks place is undesirable.   Because it had a good review, and is the only accommodation's with in a reasonable walk to the folks place I will pretend I booked 3 nights at the Brouse Creek B&B. This adds approximately $330, bringing a four day, three night trip to about $860, before adding eating out, going to the hot springs, the cost of driving to a neighbouring town eating out there and using their hot springs.

Trip time, not that different, direct flight not so cheap.
In the original discussion it was framed, could I fly to France, stay one night eat a meal and come back for a similar cost.  Paris is a cosmopolitan city, and there is no real cap on how expensive a meal or hotel room could be, but wine, bread and cheese from a corner store could keep the trip budgets similar.  So how much is a December return trip to Paris. According to this about $760.  

Travel Cost, not that different. 
So what can I conclude. If I plan an expensive trip to Nakusp, choosing creature comforts and autonomy over minimum costs, I get a back of the envelope trip cost for a 4 day trip approaching that of return air fare to France for similar time period. I also conclude that a 14hour trip to France is not a dissimilar travel time to what a Greyhound trip to Nelson or Revelstoke with pick up would end taking.  Ultimately this was a thought experiment, one that illustrates how big BCs, how remote my home town is, and why I can't just visit.  My home town is two hours from anywhere and those places are pretty far most other places, far enough that France is almost closer. 


Ien in the Kootenays said...

There is absolutely NO expectation at this end. It is ludicrously expensive and there is no way you should spend your scarce resources on a duty trip that would create anxiety all around. Do not even think about it.

Alexander van Houten said...

I was not suggesting that. I am also not suggesting I go to France. Though given the volatile nature of airfare costs, it easier to get a cheaper trip to France than a cheaper trip to Nakusp. And I have to admit that if I were to spend that kind of money on a trip I would like to do something new.