If you know Banff, then you know it’s not exactly a budget destination. However, it is a bucket list destination, and those of us who usually travel on a budget can still make it happen in a relatively affordable fashion.


So here are our tips to enjoy a holiday in Banff on a budget without completely breaking the bank.


Camp Under the Stars

Bright light in several tents at a campsite at night


This is obviously a summer option, but there are plenty of campsites in Banff. The Tunnel Mountain Village Campgrounds alone have over 800 sites, and between the 13 campgrounds available in the area, there are nearly 2,500 campsites available in peak season.


How Much Does it Cost to Camp in Banff

You can find a place to camp in Banff starting at less than $20 per night. Although most sites will cost somewhere around $30 per night, which is a steal. Also, Banff is just an absolutely breathtaking place to camp.


Stay in Canmore Instead of Banff

Alternatively, if you don’t want to camp and still want to save money, consider staying in Canmore, which is only a 20-minute drive from Banff.


This suburban town is more affordable, less crowded, and equally beautiful. So either way you win!


There are several delicious restaurants and breweries to choose from, and Canmore has its own beautiful charm about it. I actually preferred being in Canmore over Banff during tourist season, because of the sheer numbers of people in the tiny town of Banff.


Buy Food at a Grocery Store Instead of Eating out

It goes without saying that eating out at a restaurant can be expensive. But you can avoid this costly problem when you go camping.


If you’re camping, chances are you’ll have a stove or something you can use to cook over the fire.


If you’re at a timeshare or apartment of some kind, you should have a kitchen. Even if you don’t have anything, you can still hit up the Safeway or a store called Nesters Market with a great deli right downtown, and take your food away for a picnic with a view.


Downtown Banff restaurants are pricey, but you don’t have to buy in to them being the only options.


Difference between a Parks Canada Discovery Pass and a Daily Park Pass


Consider purchasing an annual Parks Canada Discovery Pass instead of a daily park pass, here is why.


Daily Pass Parks Canada Discovery Pass
Costs $20 a day to enter a park Allows for multiple entries into parks for a year


Plan to go out for a day in the sunshine with the family, not to worry because a family pass is good for up to 7 people, and at $136, it is an affordable way to see Canada’s breathtaking parks.


Don’t pay the Gondola, Hike to the top of Sulphur Mountain

The view from the top of the gondola is beautiful, and it can be a fun family activity, but at nearly $40 per person, it’s hardly worth it when you can opt to hike to the exact same spot for free.


Take a day to explore the fascinating landscape of Banff national park, and enjoy a day in the sun. Just make sure you go prepared, with plenty of water and snacks to help make it up to the stunning summit of Sulphur Mountain.


We hope that our tips to enjoy a holiday in Banff on a budget have inspired you to visit -or return again – because Banff National Park is truly a world wonder!


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