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An Olympic roadtrip

Vancouver 2010 courtesy of a Flickr spectator
Vancouver 2010 courtesy of a Flickr spectator

Crossing the border to any country can seem like a hassle, what with the need for a government-approved passport and immigration forms.

Accordingly, I’m sure you can imagine that if it’s already a hassle to cross a border, things might get a little stepped-up for something with a high security risk, like, say, the 2010 Winter Olympics, running February 12-28.

According to Canada’s Tourism Commission website, Vancouver is expecting to host 5,500 Olympic athletes and between 250,000 and 350,000 spectators during the 2 1/2 week event.

This fantastic influx of visitors has placed border authorities on their toes, and American roadtrippers should be prepared to answer questions about their habits, what they plan to do in Canada, and show pristine documentation.

No longer are travelers permitted to to present simply a birth certificate and driver’s license, although this has been the case since 9/11: all passengers must present a legal and current passport to border officials.
Drivers should also be prepared with car registration and insurance information. For more information on Canadian border crossing requirements, visit

Now, for Nashvillian citizens, the likelihood of a brisk Canadian roadtrip to the opposite side of the country is pretty slim, considering the distance to travel is 2,562 miles, or 37 driving hours. 

But for that rare Nashvillian, here is some priceless information.

You will:

  • Cross the border at Peace Arch Park, just under 2 hours above Seattle.
  • Drive thru 10 U.S. states, not including Tennessee.
  • Spend an estimated $545 on gas round trip, based on average fuel costs.
  • Need to visit google for map information: map of trip from Nashville to Vancouver.
  • Need to do some hotel research. Try or for cheap but safe hotels on your journey across the nation (I usually use for my travel needs, and they are good about discount offers).
  • Need to research border wait times to discover your expected wait time at the Peace Arch border crossing.

For those less road-hungry, but still wanting to explore the cold regions of the North, you are not too late (even thought the Opening Ceremonies took place Friday night) and the cost to fly will run you about $580 (on Delta,

For both road and airline travelers, the Vancouver Olympic Village is located about 20 miles into Canada from the border crossing at 181 West 1st Avenue, Vancouver, BC, Canada. map directions

Canada’s Tourist Commission website also offers information on last-minute event tickets, ground travel costs, and accommodations: 

Happy traveling! While I would not attempt a 37-hour roadtrip for a 2 ½ week event, I wonder who out there will go. If you do this—let me know. I want to write a story about you.


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